A Review of Luang Prabang’s Premier Luxury Hotel: La Residence Phou Vao

A friend of mine told me, Katie, do not go to Luang Prabang unless you can stay at La Residence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang. I think that was definitely the right advice. I found this hotel to be great but not as luxurious as I was expecting. La Residence is definitely Luang Prabang’s finest accommodations though. I don’t think you’ll find a nicer hotel. It’s just a short drive outside of the center of town. The hotel is located on the top of a hill, which gives it an incredible view of Mount Phousi and lush greenery and open skies.

The Grounds

The grounds of the hotel are charming and really lovely. Although it’s a large hotel it has the feeling of a boutique hotel. Ponds lace through the courtyards that cover the property. The hotel though is set up like a motel though so when you open your room door, beware, mosquitos rush in to enjoy the luxury accommodations too. This got to be a little annoying at night. We would have to funnel through the door as quickly as possible only to see dozens of mosquitos throughout the room, probably let in by the maid when she came for turndown service.

The Rooms

The rooms are a little rustic but still very clean and quaint almost. The luxurious bedding with a fancy mosquito net, wood floors, and beautiful views from private terraces make up for  outdated technology a bit of a lack of decor. As I said though, I think that this hotel is the nicest you will find in this beautiful town. The bathrooms are fine but again nothing too luxurious. Although I did appreciate the rose petals that welcomed me in the toilet upon our arrival. It’s teh little things, right?


Breakfast is included with the room and was wonderful. The service left a little to be desired but at this point we were used to the over-the-top world-class service from The Sofitel and the Four Seasons in Thailand. While the fruit spread here wasn’t as impressive as other hotels, they made up for it with the homemade noodle soups, eggs and crepes made fresh to order.

The Spa

The spa is considered one of the best in the country and possibly in Southeast Asia.


Pack your bathing suit, the pool here is beautiful and boasts stunning views (might be a bit chilly though because it’s not heated). There is a bar for guests to kick back and enjoy a cocktail at. Additionally, there is a wonderful library for guests to relax and a business center for visitors needing to work. The hotel also provides free shuttle service into town for its guests.

The Restaurant

The restaurant here comes highly recommended from everyone in town and is considered one of the city’s best. I didn’t love the food here but again, found it to be my favorite restaurant in Luang Prabang.

The Verdict

Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this hotel but I had very high expectations when I came. I think it is an absolutely wonderful Four Star hotel, but not quite up to being a Five Star. That said we really did enjoy our stay immensely. Take my advice with a little grain of salt, I was extremely spoiled at this point on our trip from the Four Seasons. I think this hotel is very nice but not exquisite. Just want you to go into your vacation with the facts.

Be sure to check out our post about the Top Ten Things to Do in Luang Prabang. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments!


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