Like Cambodia, Laos lay for decades in a post-Vietnam War limbo. But,today, that hiatus has become a benefit to discerning travelers.
Spared much of the rush of mass tourism seen elsewhere in Asia, Laos remains largely untouched, and culturally and environmentally intact. And, the Laotians themselves, as curious about westerners as we are about them, are warm and welcoming.
In various destinations around the world, we have highlighted examples of exceptional accommodations that set new standards for aesthetics and responsible tourism. These properties reflect our own company values by emphasizing community involvement and the preservation of cultural heritage, protection of natural resources, and sustainability, both in practice and design. They also combine outstanding comfort and service, natural beauty, and functionality. Where you stay along the way can greatly enhance any journey. Options abound, but these are some of our favorites.
Sofitel Luang Prabang is rare conjunction of historical architecture and modern design, and a chance to inhabit an ancient place in an atmosphere of the utmost contemporary luxury. With 23 guest suites, private gardens, spa-like bathrooms, upscale restaurant, and a cooking school this hotel is destination in itself.
Set on a large garden estate, Amantaka is housed in graceful French colonial buildings surrounded by shady verandas. High-ceilinged suites encircle a large grassed courtyard, each with a private outdoor area fringed by mango trees. The hotel mirrors the surrounding UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang by blending ancient Lao and French colonial architectural styles with extraordinary beauty.
Perched on a hill with panoramic views and designed in a traditional style gemmed with teak, silk, and fresh cotton accents, Belmond La Residence Phou Vao provides a tranquil experience outside of Luang Prabang. With an emphasis on local styles and materials, this hotel features elegant suites, spa treatments, and an award winning restaurant.
Embark on a whirlwind adventure and spend the next three weeks taking in the highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. If you are looking for fantastic landscapes to photograph, amazing food to try, welcoming people to befriend, or a moving, cultural experience, then this trip should be at the top of your list. Stay in world class hotels and cruise across Ha Long Bay, hike and bike through Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap, and learn more than you thought possible about this fantastic corner of the globe.