By: Nicole Long, Laos Country Director
Most travelers appreciate a dip in the pool after a day of sightseeing. We have had guests in the past arrive to one of the quaint hotels located in the old town of Luang Prabang and were surprised to find there were not any pool facilities. The reason there are no pools located in the town center is because it is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site and pools are not allowed. So, if you are planning on traveling to Luang Prabang and you desire accommodation where floating is required then here is your guide!
The list below shows the top ten hotels with pools, starting with the very best from my personal opinion, and takes into account not only the pool itself, but the overall hotel and location. Happy Swimming!
1. The Luang Prabang View Resort ( formerly known as Shinta Mani Luang Prabang)
NOTHING can beat the view from this mountain top infinity pool. NOTHING. The hotel is located on the top of a mountain 15 minutes away from the town center and offers 360 degree views of the city and surrounding landscape. The pool is well designed with many shelves along the edge for a comfy seating while taking in the view. The dark tiles and sheer size of the pool make you feel like you’re swimming in a mountain top lake. This new hotel is still working out the kinks with management and staff, but the pool is definitely spectacular.
2. La Residence Phou Vao
One of the first hotels in Luang Prabang to offer 4/5 star accommodation, Phou Vao has still maintained this level of quality over the years. This hotel is also located on top of a mountain, surrounded by lush gardens, 10 minutes outside of town. The infinity pool is smaller than the one at Luang Prabang View Resort, but it has an amazing view of Phousi Mountain and temple.
This boutique property is located on a hillside with a pool looking off to the distant mountains. The pool isn’t huge, but it makes up for it with a great view, fantastic pool side bar/restaurant service and massage jets!
4. Maison Souvannaphoum
Maison Souvannaphoum is one of the old homes of King Soubannaphoum which has been renovated into a boutique hotel and offers the closest pool to town. The rooms and pool are on the small side but the location is unbeatable with just a five minute walk to town.
5. Apsara Rive Droite
This intimate hotel of only nine rooms is located on the banks of the Nam Khan River across from the town center. With nothing but local village life surrounding the hotel, the pool’s ambience is completely serene, especially amongst all the tropical foliage along the Nam Khan River. The drawback is that you are located across a small river which requires hiking up and down a river bank to the hotel’s free boat taxi. Just a small price to pay for secluded luxury!
6. Villa Maly
Villa Maly is a bit further away from town than Maison Souvannaphoum, but closer than most on this list. Some of the buildings were once a part of a royal residence giving off a feeling of yesterday’s aristocrats. Sitting on comfy lounges on the wooden deck by this black and white floor tiled pool will make you feel as if you’re in a different time.
7. Satri House
Located down a small village lane from Villa Maly is Satri House. There are two small pools (one a bit hidden and good for laps) amongst heritage buildings and tropical flora. Personally one of my favorite hotels in Luang Prabang, it is located about a 12 minute walk from town. Décor is just exquisite for the destination.
8. Hotel De La Paix
This hotel is partnered with one of our signature hotels, 3 Nagas. 3 Nagas is located in the center of the old town and so it does not have a pool, but you may go to Hotel De La Paix for a free dip. This hotel offers privacy behind large walls blocking off the outside world. And if you really want something more private than the hotel’s pool then you can book one of their fabulous corner pool suites which offer a private pool, inside/outside rain shower and bath. Ask for one of the two suites that have a lookout tower, allowing you to have a private view of surrounding mountains.
9. Le Palais Juliana
This large hotel is located about 20 minutes outside of town amongst rice paddies and lush gardens. The Juliana is one of the only hotels offering a bit of a Jacuzzi experience along with one of the largest pools in Luang Prabang. With such large premises and pool, this hotel is ideal for families.
10. My Dream
My Dream Boutique Hotel is located on the banks of the Nam Khan River, a bit further from town than the Apsara Rive Droite. This newly opened hotel does require using the foot/bike bridge to get into town, but with a small pool and riverside views it is one of the best values around.