The hotel is located just south of the Luang Prabang (LP) town center and an easy 10-12 min drive from the airport. The hotel is wonderfully situated on a hillside, looking towards the town, the spire at Phu Si and the hills and mountains beyond the Mekong. This provides a great view for when you are eating at the restaurant or laying by the pool.
At the same time, it’s very easy to get into town. You can walk to it in 15-20 mins, you can borrow a free bike from the hotel or you can get a lift by the hotel’s own tuk-tuk. I recommend taking a ride at least once, since the tuk-tuk is a very handsome machine, very quiet (electric powered) and just plain fun.
There are two drawbacks to the location. We were not particularly bothered by them, but for the sake of full disclosure I should mention them. The first, is that the hotel faces a “busy” road (by local standards). However, if you are from a major city, the traffic barely qualifies. The second, is that in front of the hotel (just beyond the road) is a minor industrial site – a warehouse, cement-mixer, couple of trucks and a gravel pile. During our stay (Thur-Sun) the noise from the site was negligible, as only a few trucks came to load/unload. However, it is a bit of an eye-sore to the view from the room balconies and the restaurant terrace. That said, if you are in/by the pool, you can’t see it or the road at all.
As of Jan 2012 the hotel had 18 rooms in operation, with a further 6 on the way (no construction, just internal work). We stayed in a Deluxe Mountain View Room with a balcony facing over the pool and restaurant and side-view towards LP. The room was open-plan and very spacious. The wash-basin is in the main space, while the toilet and shower are wisely located in separate enclosures with doors. There was plenty of space to unpack everything. The king bed was super comfy and the room was general well-appointed and finished.
Throughout our stay we had a chance to eat breakfast (included in room rate), lunch and dinner at the hotel. We thought the food at the hotel was mostly very tasty, made from very good ingredients and very cheap, even as compared to other places for Westerners in LP.
The breakfast consists of a small buffet with all the standard fare such as cornflakes, yogurt, fruit, coldcuts, cheese and pastries. In addition, you can order from a menu of hot dishes (no extra charge) such as eggs any style, banana pancakes (excellent!), waffles, French toast and etc. Everything we had was between good and very good. The only item that needs work are the croissants. If you know what a good one should be like, you will be very disappointed.
I believe there is a separate lunch menu, but we only had the pool-bar snacks. The club sandwich (comes in both vegetarian and carnivore version) is very light, fresh and tasty. The burger, while average by Western standards, is very good for Asia. The Pina Colada (although lacking proper crushed ice) is extremely tasty. The item that needs work is the strawberry milkshake. I don’t know if it was made with skim milk, or poor quality ice-cream, but it was quite bad.
The dinner, in particular, is highly recommended. You can tell that the head-chef is involved with dinner. The menu has both western and local/Asian dishes. The Phad Thai is very good.
The hotel is very well designed and thought through. The owners are in construction, and were clearly thoroughly involved in the planning. The property centres around a lovely pool, surrounded by a lounging and restaurant decks.
The Spa is situated at the top of the hill, giving great views. The Spa is small, but lovely. The girl and the Spa reception speaks excellent English. And the massage I had from the therapist (Mai) was one of the best I’ve ever had, and I have been to many top-notch Spas around the world. A further nice touch, is that if you come 30 mins before your massage, you get a complimentary foot ritual (washing and massage) and you can use to local-style steam room. It’s similar to a Turkish bath (hammam) although not as hot and appointed with wood inside. The local touch is in the incenses/herbs used to flavour the steam. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kiridara is an elegant, contemporary and luxurious boutique hotel located in the mystical city of Luang Prabang. Our 24 room contemporary boutique hotel scaled on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offers panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to central Luang Prabang and Luang Prabang International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kiridara Hotel Luang Prabang