Sofitel Luang Prabang: A Luxury Stay at the heart of Timeless Luang Prabang!
Set in an old-school French Bungalow, Sofitel Luang Prabang celebrates Laos local life in every minuscule aspect.
Life is good at Sofitel Luang Prabang!
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The wooden elephant at the Sofitel’s entrance courtyard reminiscences about the regal past of Luang Prabang, a timeless seat of Buddhist heritage where peace and harmony thrived among man and nature. It may have come straight out of the postcards from the town’s night market illustrations, a monk a in a maroon robe, taming a wild elephant with love. A standstill vintage car with communist flag shares the entrance. Thus, even before you have actually taken a step inside, you know you are in a world apart where the ultimate capitalist expansion will take time to decipher the daily hymn!
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Juice made of local flowers! Do look up for that traditional cup while shopping for souvenir from Luang Prabang!
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Our stay at Sofitel was a part of the arrangement for a 7-day long FAM trip to Luang Prabang and the surrounding areas. On arrival, we were treated with a local flower juice in a golden shot glass. Relics of authentic Laotian art and culture abound everywhere in the property, that will soon get replaced with the surge of tourism that is coming to Laos from the neighbours, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, busy in hosting the world at the moment!
What is this called in Laotian? We call it Kathgolap in Bengali. From the private garden of my stay!
The rooms assigned to me screamed French from the outside bathtub to the white mosquito nets tucked on the top of a luxurious bed. It was a large room, painted with ivory white, illuminating elegance, with an L shaped sofa at one side, a big LED TV, a shower arrangement inside and huge glass doors touching the ceiling! The room, legitly, took me to awe! Staying true to the theme of the property, painted in white, most of the room amenities are in muted colour, making space for the lush green from the private courtyard making an impact.
Be a Responsible Guest to a Responsible Host that Sofitel is:
A few colocasia leaves play the role of the garbage collector in the bin. The hotel provides a few glass bottles of RO water. Among other mild stimulants, Laos Coffee pouches share a place with the coffee maker. I am not a coffee drinker, but have heard a lot about the distinct taste of Laos Coffee, which, accordingly to some connoisseurs, surpasses the coffee of Vietnam!
The headstand by the bed had a few options to charge your two pin electric machines (hence, you are safe even without an adaptor).
The large wall hanging in bright orange with intricate golden motifs showcase the rich heritage of silk weaving at Laos, especially Luang Prabang. Traditional textiles of the country is a shared heritage with that of southern China and much coveted in an international spectre.
However, what I loved the most about Luang Prabang is the bathtub in the private courtyard. It is a cosy place, set amid the lush greens and liberates our urban minds that is long-trained to get done with skincare routine from inside of a closed room! There is an inside shower bath too with modern fitting but I can live by the bathtub day in and out.
Sofitel Luang Prabang has a few pet bunnies taking a stroll in and around the property. I spotted one from the bathtub. Though a human can not peep over the high walls, the bunny found a hidden way to make a path inside my courtyard. I think his name is Manu!
The sprawling property of Sofitel Luang Prabang
The hotel bears a direct link with the colonial past of the country. A French governor decided to leave his bungalow on the eve of Laos’s independence. His property was left in ramshackle for long. Time flew by its side, allowing many myths and more to grow! Until Sofitel touched it with Midas fingers. The bungalows were redone with ivory white paint and choicest of furniture and upholsteries. A pond set amidst the property was transformed into a beautiful water garden. Staying true to the surrounding landscape, it never aspired to touch the sky with highrise buildings.
The entry to the hotel. Do notice the white vintage luxury car!
Luang Prabang is a quaint little town, fit to be explored by feet. Set at the confluence of Mekong and Nam AO river, the town is dotted with beautiful temples from time immemorial. Be armed with a town map and borrow cycle from the reception, and get to explore the beautiful town. I took a few strolls early morning and got acquainted with the real feel of the quintessential slow life of Laos. Later it was overwhelming to look back while sitting at a corner of the Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, in a mad rush of million people.
If you have time, you can seek help from the chef in understanding the art of making perfect Larp, a dish Laotians swear by. They have ongoing cooking class at the property on specific days of the week. A spa is there to relief your feet from the day’s journey from around the town.
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While I left no stone unturned in tasting the street delicacies of Luang Prabang, Sofitel has an exquisite dining area where a traditional meal is cooked and served in style. Local women dress up in Silk Salong and dance in a group by the bonfire.
A French-inspired property has to make an appeal with the French cuisine to live up to guests’ expectation, tight? Sofitel’s elaborate breakfast tale is a testimony to the lingering French legacy of the town. The number of bread on offer at the buffet is endless, all of them done perfectly. Do rely on the breakfast for a hearty and filling meal to start your day. The tiny cute cafes in the town will await you for periodic refreshments as you venture out in the town.
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Sofitel Luang Prabang evokes a vintage feel with seamless ease. In 7 days time, it became a second home to me where I could sleep with doors unlocked at night (because I am scared of ghosts when travelling alone!). Where have you found your second home where doors unlocked is not a concerned at all?
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My stay at Sofitel Luang Prabang was sponsored by Destination Mekong. All opinions are of my own!
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