Luang Prabang is a place where tourists go to feel transported. The tiny Laotian city on the Mekong River is renowned for peaceful temples, a relaxed pace of life, and the large population of monks living there. The site of these saffron-robed holy men coming around to collect alms each morning is one that makes a lasting impact on visitors.
A colonial-style hotel at the riverfront, The Belle Rive, allows guests to feel transported in ways that go beyond the mental and spiritual to include the physical.
They offer free pickup from the airport, free bicycles to get around to the sights, and free sunset cruises with wine. Free wine.
We love a hotel with unusual perks — it’s the small, thoughtful things that set one place apart from others in a travel industry where each destination and accommodation is calling for attention.
The Belle Rive also offers an attractive dining perk for those that love to sleep in: guests can hit up the restaurant to claim their complimentary breakfast at any time of day.
The breakfast choices include coffee and tea, eggs, meats, pancakes, breads, meats, fruit shakes, and Asian-style offerings.
At this spot, there won’t be rushing to meet 10am breakfast cutoffs. If you want to lounge in bed or stroll through town before eating, have your a la carte breakfast anytime from 7:30am until dinnertime.
The building itself, like most of Luang Prabang, feels like stepping back in time, according to guests. With large, shuttered french doors, dark wood, wicker, and four-poster beds draped in Laotian textiles and mosquito nets, it will be hard not to take some swoon-worthy pics of this period accommodation.
Each room is slightly different in design, with a few offering loft-style sleeping and all offering views of the river.
One detail that won’t ruin your vintage-look photos are plastic bottles. The hotel has refillable bottles with filling stations around the hotel and the bottles can be taken with guests as they move around the city, where they’ll find water filling stations at most major attractions.
It’s part of a larger movement in Luang Prababg called “Refill, No Landfill” aligning hotels, restaurants, and the city together to curb plastic waste.
Oh, and the minibar — with drinks in glass bottles, of course — is restocked daily and its contents are free. So there’s no need to feel guilty about that 11pm orange juice or bag of nuts.
The Belle Rive
99 Baan Phonehueang
Rooms from US$109