Rosewood Luang Prabang opens today as an ultra-luxury escape within an idyllic hilltop forest in north central Laos, where guests are able to immerse themselves in the rich cultural history, spiritual heritage and diverse tropical landscape of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The exclusive and charming resort provides a unique vantage point to appreciate this rich destination through the lens of the first tented villa concept and the second south-east Asia resort for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.
The enclave features 23 guestrooms, villas, suites and tented accommodations surrounding the site’s natural waterfall, only a ten-minute drive from Luang Prabang, the 14th-century capital of ancient Laos.
Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, Luang Prabang is known for its well-preserved French colonial architecture and Indochinese villas, monk communities and gilded temples, rich historical significance, French and Laotian cuisines, and mesmerizingly serene pace of life.
Bill Bensley and Bensley design studio modelled the property on the concept of a Laotian hill station from the turn of the 20th century, in which a grand and gracious home of a French host would be opened to intrepid adventurers and curious travellers from diverse walks of life who managed to make their way to this magical corner of the world.
“Rosewood Luang Prabang is exotic, intimate and deeply respectful of the destination’s culture, history and natural setting,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.
“This unique property is not only a wondrous expression of our brand’s A Sense of Place philosophy, but also marks a key milestone for our group and its Southeast Asia expansion.”
The 23 accommodations are situated adjacent to a river or waterfall or float above the ground amongst the treetop foliage.
They variously include their own private swimming pools, oversized balconies, outdoor wooden bathtubs and other features special to each, yet all provide the experience of immersion in a dense tropical forest.
They range from Riverside Rooms, and Riverside Suites that are more than 90 square meters in size, to secluded Riverside Villas, Waterfall Pool Villas and luxury Hilltop Tents.
Each accommodation’s design and décor is unique.
The rooms, suites and villas subtly recreate the French-Indochine ambiance, grace and hospitality of bygone Luang Prabang with authentic artefacts, antiques and objects reflecting the personalities and interests of travellers who might have stayed here over a century ago.
Inspired by the notion of a gracious French host – perhaps a diplomat or retired expatriate of refined taste – the Bill Bensley team painstakingly sourced and collected items for thoughtful placement in specific rooms.
Guests may discover newspaper clippings and illustrations from the early 1900s; vintage Kodak cameras, the cutting-edge technology of the time; even croquet mallets from 1900 in homage to French obsession with the sport when a female team from that country competed in that year’s Olympic games.
The resort’s luxury tented villas, a first for Rosewood, are situated on a secluded hillside and were sensitively built to preserve the site’s unique flora and fauna, meld with the environment and bring guests closer to nature.
Oversized balconies display mountain and river vistas.
Each of the six 75-square-meter tents is dedicated to a specific Laotian hill tribe which still inhabits the surrounding mountains, with its distinctive ethnic pattern adorning individual tent canopies and its colours, motifs and textiles in the interior lending a closer understanding of indigenous folkways.