Merit-making is one of the many cultural immersion programs on offer at Luang Prabangâ€™s top billet, where you can earn good karma by delivering steamed Mekong fish and braised vegetables to Buddhist monks. A well-executed conversion of the townâ€™s onetime colonial hospital, Amantaka has just 24 neutral-hued suites, none smaller than 65 square meters, and all furnished with restraint under soaring ceilings. When youâ€™re done exploring the manicured grounds, tour any number of surrounding temples with Amantakaâ€™s knowledgeable guides. Alternatively, climb aboard the hotelâ€™s custom-built boat for a cruise along the Mekong, or strike out on unguided explorations of neighboring sights like the night market. The attentive restaurant staff greet all guests by name; rely on them to point out the best local dishes on the menu, but save room for the sublime sticky rice pudding with wild mango.
55/53 Kingkitsarath Rd., Ban Thongchaleun; 856-71/860-333; doubles from US$600
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