Grand Hotel Luang Prabang, built on the grounds of The Xiengkeo Palace, is a perfect place to enjoy your holiday, a short ride away from the bustling town.
“Welcome to The Grand Luang Prabang, sir,” said the young receptionist clad in traditional dress with a warm smile, as she handed us the key to our room. Another friendly face accompanied us to show us to our room.
Not far from the market where we had our lunch, we waited just for a bit for the hotel van to pick us up, that dropped us at the door of the hotel. The complimentary service that runs at regular intervals makes the commute to and from the city hassle-free. As we walked in, we were captivated by the lavish reception hall. Classic chandeliers hanged from the high ceiling of the beautiful room.
Our room was spacious with classically decorated walls and mahogany furniture overlooking the legendary Mekong River. Lilies graced the long strip of the pool behind our back veranda. The grounds of the hotel stretched over the hill behind that. A perfect place to sit and relax.
The hotel is built on the grounds of The Xiengkeo Palace, the former residence of the Prince Petcharath Ratanavongsa, who is the most beloved personality of the Laos history and holds a special place in people’s hearts. We hanged around the rooms which still had some furniture and personal objects used by him. The views from the balcony were spectacular.
The dining area of The Grand lies in another regal building next to the place, perched on the edge of the high cliff overlooking the river below. With its high ceiling, magnificent chandelier and enormous floral arrangements, this place is fit for a king to dine at. The resident French chefs with the assistance of local food experts create mouth-watering dishes for their guests both at lunch and dinner while the open buffet at breakfast spoils everyone for choice.
Just behind the dining area lies the hotel’s very own herbal garden growing fresh herbs and vegetables under the watchful eyes of the local gardeners. It certainly can’t get any fresher than that.
There are several viewing points from the edge of the river. We could see small traditional boats with locals carrying their goods across the city as well as the bigger water buses on their designated paths back and forth. The river banks were full of lush green vegetation while the musky water of the river continued its millennia-old journey along the valley floor.
A few meters from the restaurant lies a small path surrounded by thick vegetation that sharply descends down to the river bank. If the dusty roads are not your thing then you can also get a boat from here to go further to the city in a leisurely style. Even if you are not taking the boat, it’s worth coming here to see the beautiful vistas from the water edge.
Once back up, we decided to hit the swimming pool and then soak in the glorious sunshine under the clear blue skies of Luang Prabang.