Laos – the tiny, land-locked and least touristy Southeastern Asian country – first made it onto my radar after watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations back in 2008. A visit to Laos is, in may ways, a trip back into the past. Although it opened up to tourism in the past decade, there is still little of the rampant commercialism and vibrant entertainment industry which characterizes nearby Thailand and Vietnam.
Laos is also set apart from its more popular neighbors by the French influences seen in its architecture and food, due to French colonization in the 1800’s, which lasted well into the 1900s. French colonial design elements, excellent coffee, and fresh baguettes and croissants can be found throughout Laos, and especially in the city we visited, Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, which lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
When looking for place to stay in Luang Prabang, we wanted somewhere that evoked this rich history and cultural influence. The 3 Nagas Luang Prabang combines French architecture and Lao design, which come together to create an elegant, timeless boutique hotel. With just 15 spacious and well-appointed rooms, 3 Nagas is situated in three beautiful buildings, all built over 100 years ago, perfectly restored, and which are a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3 Nagas, which is an M Gallery by Sofitel hotel, is perfectly situated to explore the city’s main sites by foot, or by bicycle, including lovely street markets and boutique shopping, intricately designed temples and cultural sites of the historic district, as well as for a lovely cruise down the Mekong River, in addition to day trips to nearby spots, including the Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Each guest room and suite at 3 Nagas is unique, and are all beautifully furnished with dark, exotic wood, featuring authentic Lao decor and French colonial furnishings. Spacious balconies afford perfect views of the early morning Alms ceremony, one of the most sacred Lao traditions wherein monks collect rice, fresh fruit and traditional sweet snacks from the locals which are enjoyed during each monk’s one meal of the day.
The charm of 3 Nagas is undeniable, and only made better by the exquisite service, one of the best restaurants in Luang Prabang, and plush amenities, which are shared with the nearby Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel.
Airport transfers are also available on request, and include an air conditioned, comfortable vehicle, complete with WiFi, cold towels, chilled water, and delicious snacks.
Stay tuned for more about 3 Nagas Restaurant and the Spa at the Sofitel coming later this week, when I talk about what do do and where to eat during your visit to Luang Prabang.
For more about 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, please visit its website.