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Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao Launches “Luang Prabang Escape”

October 16, 2014 Hotel Deals No Comments Email Email

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is showcasing the best that Laos has to offer with its new “Luang Prabang Escape” programme; a two-night minimum stay, which also includes a full-day Mekong River cruise with packed picnic; an early morning alms-giving to local Buddhist monks; a traditional Baci ceremony with blessings given by a local Shaman and a Lao cuisine cooking class.

unnamed (4)The package also includes round-trip airport transfers and daily buffet or room service for two – ideal for groups, families, and couples. The offer starts at US$499 per room/day.

Just minutes from the sleepy UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, the family-friendly Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is the only hotel in the country housed in a truly authentic French-Laotian design building. The hotel itself is comprised of just 34 spacious suites set in tropical gardens, ranging in size from 58-69 square meters. All suites are elegantly fitted, with emphasis on local styles and materials, while a combination of parquet and traditional Lao textiles creates an immediate sense of peace and space.

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao’s new Luang Prabang Escape programme, offers a range of cultural activities including a traditional boat to pick guests up on the banks of the Mekong River for a full-day of exploring. While onboard, visit the distinct Si Moung Khoum temple or the famous Pak Ou “Buddha Caves” – one of the most treasured religious symbols of the Luang Prabang Province. Several legends tell stories of this site where, over the years, thousands of statues of Buddha have been deposited and stand watch over the powerful Mekong River. On the return trip, the hotel’s staff can organise a delicious gourmet picnic set up on the banks and overlooking the majestic Luang Prabang Mountain Range.

Other cultural excursions include an early-morning guided visit to the centre of Luang Prabang on the hotel’s bicycles to take part in the traditional alms-giving to the town’s Buddhist monks. Every morning 500 monks gather in the streets and form a procession – collecting offerings from residents and visitors, which guests are encouraged to take part in.  After the alms-giving, guests will be invited to take part in one of Laos’s oldest traditions, the Baci ceremony. Often used to celebrate special events, a senior village shaman will perform this special ceremony for family and friends, bestowing blessings to strengthen community bonds and leaving one with a sense of renewal.

The Luang Prabang Escape also offers personal cooking classes within the property’s private garden, where guests can pick their own herbs and vegetables before cooking. Culinary enthusiasts will be taught authentic Laotian cuisine and the use of such ingredients as galangal, lemongrass and padaek.  After the class, guests can enjoy the fruits of their labors with a dinner in the grounds, surrounded by 500 candles and accompanied by traditional Laotian music.

Outside of the package offer, Belmond offers free transport for guests to and from the town centre of Luang Prabang from 6am until 10pm daily. The surrounding countryside offers a wide range of activities, from visits to the towns of Ban Xang Hai and Ban Phanom – well known for their Lao-Lao whiskey and silk markets, respectively – to excursions into the jungle to swim in the azure waters of the majestic Kuang Si and Tad Sae waterfalls.

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao itself boasts Luang Prabang’s first luxury wellness centre – rated No.1 spa by Conde Naste Traveler in 2012. Mekong Spa is situated over a water lily pool, with eight treatment rooms for guests to indulge in and a range of ancient techniques including facials, massages, body scrubs and body wraps, with ingredients sourced from local Lao gardens and cultivators.

The hotel is also home to the renowned Phou Savanh, consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in Laos. The dining area boasts sophisticated interiors that open into a romantic courtyard. Light fare and a barbecue are served for lunch, followed by a dinner menu of fusion French-Laotian cuisine. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail or tea at the properties Doc Champa Bar, an open-air lounge area with comfy armchairs and outdoor tables where guests can retire to watch the sunset.

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