Let's start with the nice things and get this off on a positive note....Arriving after dark with the huge central gardens gently illuminated was a pleasant experience and made you feel very comfortable. Eating breakfast in the garden was fabulous particularly the Lao specialities. Service from the hotel staff was also really nice, relaxed, attentive but not intrusive. The driver from their sister hotel in town was a great chauffer (as long as you spoke Chinese which we do) and the dinners at the sister hotel were also great and a great location.
Now the main thing that was a bit less impressive. We stayed in one of the two largest rooms, and they are big with a shower really big enough to swing a cat in. But they were so dark with no windows onto the front courtyard and small windows on the back that were of little use. If you're a fan of bright airy rooms this is not the place for you. The reasons for this strange architecture became clear after a couple days...why is there a high wall round the place? what are those things in the corner that look out towers? Well they were look out towers and it turns out this was Luang Prabang prison some years ago and before that the billet for the French troops.
It's a bit out of town so the hotel car service is useful but when we arrived at the airport with the car service booked for some reason he'd gone back to the hotel without us. We were told that someone at the airport told him we'd already taken a taxi into town which seemed a bit of a weird excuse. Anyway they gave us a complementary transfer back to the airport in the vintage Citroen which was a nice touch till there was a loud bang from the rear of the car and we ground to a halt and the new Honda had to make the rest of the trip.
Oh and check if there are any weddings planned at the place next door when you are staying...and if there are get a room away from that side. Deafeningly loud bad Lao pop singing is nothing to doze off to.
The town is a really nice place to relax and if I went back I'd definitely stay in the town, there looked to be lots of nice small guest houses.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Once the French Governor's Fort, the "all-suite" Sofitel Luang Prabang now oozes colonial style and splendour fused with contemporary elegance in one of the finest resorts in the region. Situated on a heritage site in the former royal capital of Laos, the hotel is close to the major tourist attractions. Large courtyards, landscaped gardens, a reflecting pool and fireplaces provide a welcome retreat in all seasons. Individually designed suites create sanctuaries of private space and sumptuous comfort, revitalising the soul. Natural LeSpa therapies and gourmet dining at the Governor's Grill capture the essence of Laos, drawing on its culinary and wellness traditions. ... more less
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