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Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Location: Laos
Profile:  TLO101
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Hideaways' Review
Everything about Laos' ancient city of Luang Prabang invites you to slow down, breathe deeply, and absorb its pastoral rhythms: its location at a remote and peaceful confluence of the Mekong and Nam Kam Rivers; the 500-year-old Wat Xieng Thong temple and the European colonial buildings that exude imperial history; even the early morning alms-giving ceremonies performed by saffron-robed monks. Set one mile from town among manicured tropical gardens, with sweeping vistas of lush mountains and fertile valleys, the luxury spa hotel of Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao (The Hill of Kites) offers a unique window on this exotic countryside. Step from the humid tropical climate into its cool interiors, with airy and flowing rooms highlighted by burnished rosewood, whitewashed walls, and spacious shuttered verandas with day beds.

Resembling a sprawling French Colonial mansion, the hotel offers a mere 34 bedrooms with garden, mountain, or pool views. Wake up to the sight of glittering hillside temples emerging from the morning mist, and the occasional sound of chanting monks. Look out at the golden temple atop nearby Mount Phousi from the elegantly landscaped, emerald-tiled pool. At night, thousands of tiny lanterns flicker throughout the grounds and float on the pool, creating an ethereal dining experience. The Phou Vao Spa, the first luxury spa in Luang Prabang, consists of diminutive villas set around a water lily pond, and uses fresh, local ingredients in its invigorating treatments. Like Laos itself, Phou Vao is a world truly set apart, a captivatingly beautiful and unspoiled enclave influenced by ancient rhythms and warm, hospitable people.
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