Located on a lush green peninsula at confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan, UNESCO World Heritage–designated city Luang Prabang is one of Laos’s must-see destinations. The emerald of a city was the royal seat of the country until 1975—beloved by monarchs (and later, colonial rulers) for its proximity to the Silk Road, sacred Buddhist temples, and beautiful landscapes. Now, the destination has welcomed a new crown jewel into its lineup of luxury hotels with this month’s opening of Avani+ Luang Prabang.
The flagship property from Avani Hotels & Resorts new elevated Avani+ portfolio, the property offers just the right mix of heritage-driven design and programming and thoroughly modern amenities. Formerly the site of the French officer quarters, the property now features 53 airy suites clustered around a glistening infinity-edge swimming pool. Inside, each are a tranquil nod to the region’s rich history with their neoclassical architecture, French-colonial décor, and minimalist, Zen-inspired accents.
When not cooling off with a dip in the pool or unwinding with a traditional Lao massage at the spa, guests can take a short walk or bike ride into the heart of the city. There, they may watch saffron-robed monks pass by on their way to the gleaming gold Wat Xien Thong monastery or Haw Pha Bang—the temple built to house the Phra Bang Budda, for which the city is named. To get a taste of the sacred rivers that shape the region, guests can also reserve one of the property’s boats for a private tour of the waterways—which make stops downstream at the otherworldly Kuang Si Waterfalls or head upstream to shrines on remote islands and the famous Pak Ou Caves.
Come dinner time, guests can enjoy a mix of French and Lao fare at the property’s bistro, or take in the sights from the river with a tranquil dinner cruise. Jostling alongside locals at the Night Market to try traditional grilled eggs, sausage, and coconut pancakes before heading in for a nightcap back at the property’s Bistro bar is also a must-hit experience.