A refined sense of taste
Urban Boutique Guesthouse From USD $75
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province, Laos
1 Bedroom, sleeps 2
From USD $75
With a great collection of Asian art, spacious bedrooms and excellent food, Apsara is hard to beat as a base to explore Luang Prabang. Originally a rice warehouse situated on the banks of the Nam Khan [The quieter side of town]. The Apsara is also right in the heart of the heritage village, making it the perfect place to stay. And to top it off its’ restaurant has earned a deservedly high reputation in a city already famed for its’ cuisine.
This is a great little restaurant-with-rooms perched on the banks of the Nam Khan river, one block down from main street.
To be clear, it's an absolute steal, whose remarkable prices and vibrant interiors make it hard for mere humans to resist. However, you wont be the only one to reach this conclusion and the Apsara gets busy weeks ahead, so either book early or treat yourself to the owner Ivan’s other venture –River Droite on the far side of the river, which has a swimming pool shaded by palm trees and a boatman to ferry you across for supper.
Restaurant, bar and salon all come as a package a large open-plan room that opens onto a shaded roadside terrace and which overflows with colour and style: silk lanterns hang from the ceiling, leather stools wait invitingly at the bar and the scintillating smells of some seriously good food steams out of the kitchen.
The 13 rooms are decorated in a simple, inviting colonial style with high ceilings, shuttered windows, fabulous beds and doors onto a terrace or balcony.
There are two houses, both over two floors. Superior rooms are in the main house, Standard rooms are found in a building two doors down the street. The main difference between the two types is this: Superior rooms are a little bigger, have deep baths (and not just showers) and come with a daybed. If you opt for the first-floor rooms you get more light and have better views from the balconies.
All rooms are decorated with off-white walls, shuttered windows and big comfy beds. First-floor rooms have varnished floorboards; ground-floor rooms come with coloured cement floors.
Expect crisp white linen, local art and silky voile curtains. Colour comes from cushions and throws, even glass Buddha statues, and each room combines two colours to great effect: red and green; blue and orange, gold and lime. All have airy high ceilings.
The Apsara’s restaurant is rated as one of the best in town, so make sure you eat there at least once. It’s open-plan and very colourful, with lime-green lanterns scattered around the floor and Chinese inscriptions hanging on the walls.
Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. And it should be remembered that Luang Prabang is already famed for some of the best food in Indochina so you will have plenty of options if you simply explore.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with good reason: this sleepy city on the banks of the Mekong is one of the loveliest in Asia. It is a perfect spot to while away a quiet week and has enough diversions to keep most people contentedly occupied.
Do see the Kuang Si Waterfalls, The Royal Palace, The ruined temple of Wat Chom Phet or the Phu Si temple on top of the hill.
"The hotel is a conversion of a 1960s warehouse with generous room space and individual styling and balcony views over the Nam Khan. It is ideally situated away from the nightlife but only a short walk away. The staff were courteous and helpful and happy to oblige. Breakfast was good and so were snacks. Dinner was a touch expensive but well cooked and served." Robin M, Plymouth, UK
"We spent 4 nights here and loved every minute. We had an upstairs room overlooking the Nam Khan river with a tiny balcony but big enough to sit on and watch the world go by. The room was spacious ,and well eqipped with everything we needed including hair dryer and safe and very comfortable. There is also free wi-fi in the rooms. What mkes this hotel stand out is the excellent service given by every member of staff - nothing was too much trouble - we asked for towels to go swimming - they appeared neatly packed in a bag, The staff remembered how we liked our drinks made and our breakfast eggs cooked - that's service and, no, we weren't the only guests!
We liked the fact that although the restaurant is excellent they recommended other restaurants appreciating that tourists like to explore. Back to the food - worh the trip to eat one of their omelettes for breakfast! We also had dinner and again we were not disappointed - excellent meal. The location is perfect - approximately 2 minutes from the main high street - we found Luang Prabang to be a very safe place - we wandered everywhere both during the day and in the evening." JREDartford, mKent, UK
Room rates range from USD $75 to USD $130 per night in peak season. Minimum stay is 2 nights.