The Luxe List 2018: Rosewood Luang Prabang

The tropical-elegant look and feel of the resort, by prolific Bangkok-based hotel designer Bill Bensley, draws inspiration from the architecture found in this part of northern Laos.

The bedroom of a riverside suite at Rosewood Luang Prabang.

From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsian’s annual collection of the year’s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.

There’s something magical about flying into Luang Prabang, Laos’ former royal capital. Surrounded by rain forest and hemmed in by the Mekong, the small mountain town feels far removed from the world outside. This is reflected in microcosm at the new Rosewood, which resides in a jungly valley 15 minutes’ drive from town, its 23 rooms, villas, and tents aligned around a natural stream and waterfall.

The tropical-elegant look and feel of the resort, by prolific Bangkok-based hotel designer Bill Bensley, draws inspiration from the architecture found in this part of northern Laos—a blend of vernacular and French-colonial heritage—and flows with the grounds’ natural contours.

While the building exteriors are mainly muted white and gray, inside is Bensley’s signature mix of color and whimsy, such as the faux tusk tables and hand-plastered fireplace in the Great House restaurant (which serves a menu of locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine); framed colonial-era newspaper clippings in the riverside villas; and a temple-style mural painted onto the table at the Elephant Bridge Bar. For a safari-esque experience, book one of the hilltop tents—they offer superb morning views of Luang Prabang emerging from the mist.

856-71/211-155; rosewoodhotels.com; doubles from US$820.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2018: Rosewood Luang Prabang”).

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