Destination: Laos: Luang Prabang
Apsara & Apsara Rive Gauche
Writes Indagare member Tiffany Schauer: “We dropped our bags at the hipster-cool Apsara hotel. The establishment is located on Luang Prabang’s famous peninsula flanked by the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. The Aspara hotel also has a sister property across the river – the Aspara Droit – a bit more swanky with a pool.”
Opened in May 2011, the boutique Kiridara is a good solution for travelers who don’t want to stay in a tiny guest house in town but who are looking for something more affordable than the Amantaka and La Résidence Phou Vao. Located on the edge of town, the Kiridara is built into a verdant green hillside, affording it sweeping views of the area and onto Mount Phou Si. The eighteen guest rooms (the top category are the Premium Mountain View rooms) feature polished southeast Asian wood furnishings, wood floors, king-size beds and large rain showers (some rooms also have bathtubs). The best ones are on the higher floors with views toward town and some come with small balconies and terraces.
Considering that the Kiridara is located away from most of the sights, you are not likely to spend much time at the hotel during the day. Breakfast is served in a light-filled room or on a small patio in front of the hotel, while cocktails can be had on a large terrace with low couch seating and a groovy soundtrack playing at night. Kiridara is owned by a local architect who hired Thai Ativa Hospitality (the group behind Trisara in Phuket) to manage the property and the opening general manager hailed from the One & Only Maldives. The combination gives Kiridara a nice vibe that feels professional but hardly chain-y. The staff is lovely and tries hard to accommodate requests (the most common of which is a shuttle into town, since the main drag is about a 5-minute drive and 8-minite bike ride away). There’s also a small spa on the premises.
Upon arriving during my trip here in November 2011, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that across the street from the Kiridara lies a rather large construction site, which interrupts the otherwise lovely views. On the other hand, after the relentless crowds and traffic of the town center, I enjoyed coming back to a Beer Lao on the terrace of the Kiridara, so for me, the pros of staying slightly away from the buzz far outweighed the cons. This is a great option for travelers who don’t expect round-the-clock service and who can appreciate a laidback vibe. Rooms from $160.
Run by Angsana hotel group, this guest house is housed in a former royal residence and lies a bit off the beaten path but still within walking distance to the center of town. Unlike many of the dark-teak interiors of other guest houses, the ones at Souvannaphoum are done in light colors: white walls and furniture, with touches of reds and orange. Some come with balconies; the best ones are the suites in La Résidence wing. There’s a pool on the premises and the garden setting gives the property a deeply serene vibe. Rooms from $155.
Search By Keyword
Insider picks from Athens and the best island, including Mykonos,...
New on Indagare
Give the Gift of Indagare The perfect present for travelers: a membership to Indagare. Buy now
Indagare Insider Trips: Cuba, Myanmar and India: We’re planning trips throughout the year. Contact Indagare (212-988-2611) to be added to the wait list.
- Community: Share advice with fellow members asking about your favorite travel discoveries.
- Indagare Insiders: Three-day itineraries for families in London and art lovers in Vienna. Plus, fashion insider Chiara Ferragamo’s picks on what not to miss in Florence, Bonnie Gokson, owner of Hong Kong’s lofty Sevva on Hong Kong, Culinary Insider: Budapest.
- Rant & Rave: Indagare members can share their advice with the community by logging in first, then clicking here: Rants & Raves.
- Give the Gift: Indagare: Give the gift of travel intelligence with a membership to Indagare. For details or to order, call us at 212-988-2611 or click here: Gift Membership.
- Indagare Plus: Remember that hotels marked by an Indagare Plus symbol offer preferential rates and benefits to members.
- Indagare Share Feature: Share articles, postcards and reviews with family and friends on such networking sites as Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. Simply click on the three small dots that symbolize our connect icon, at the end of every article, and follow the link to the networking site of your preference.
- Sample Indagare: With free bi-weekly email blasts on new hot spots and insider tips when you sign up for our mailing list.
- Profile feature: Members share your profiles, comments, favorite articles and IQs. Just click on the Profile tab on the upper right of your screen and look for the Edit My Profile blue tab.
- Indagare means to discover, explore, seek, scout in Latin.