Hotel Profile | Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang, Laos
by Steve Hope, Trip Designer
Laos is increasingly among the must-see spots of southeast Asia, and understandably so. Her French colonial legacy, as messy as it was, has left behind shaded boulevards, colonial-era architecture, cafe culture, fresh breads (!) and a near replica of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Patuxai, in Vientiane, the sleepy capital.
Luang Prabang, while not the capital, is certainly the metaphorical gem in Lao regalia which continues to maintain an air of old-world Indochina. The old French mansions and villas left behind have been recognized by those whom answer to the politburo as a key piece of interest for tourism dollars, and many, certainly not all, have been restored to their former splendour, making Luang Prabang the defacto capital with the most air accessibility, rooms, and activities in Laos, in addition to be being the ideal jumping off point to get into the heart of Laos - the countryside.
One of our favourite hotels in Luang Prabang remains the Maison Souvannaphoum, the former residence of the 4-time Prime Minister of Laos, Prince Souvanna Phouma. French colonial elegance blending nicely with Laotian traditions, the Maison Souvannaphoum is an enchanting retreat located in the heart of town, near the murky waters of the Mekong River.
To arrive at a hotel in a town like Luang Prabang and be greeted by this warm, yet unassuming, lobby beautifully sets the tone for an experience in Laos.
Wooden shutters swing open offering a gentle breeze of a storied history, Lao textiles and bedding warmly greeting you in each room, french doors opening out to your balustrade balcony overlooking the garden, al fresco dining at Elephant Blanc, a rejuvenating spa , and a level of personalized service suitable for world class luxe. The Maison Souvannaphoum is a welcome retreat from a day out exploring - often in the stifling heat.
With only 24 rooms, and the charm of old Lao, the ubiquitous label of a ‘boutique hotel’ is (finally) indeed fitting. The garden is a sanctuary, the pool small but pleasant, the rooms reflect colonial Indochina ensuring that you very well know where you are, and the expansive grounds offer a charming ambience to soak it all in.
Located within walking distance to the river, restaurants, and town sights, including the famed night market, the Maison Souvannaphoum is positioned perfectly to best complement your experience in Luang Prabang. I mean look at this place?!
Interested in traveling to Laos? Check out a few privately guided tailor-made tours.
Luang Prabang City Stay - 4 Days
Laos In Focus - 11 Days
Treasures of Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos - 17 Days
Rue Chao Fa Ngum, Banthatluang
Luang Prabang, Laos
24 Rooms (5 categories)
1 Restaurant with both indoor and garden al-fresco dining