Organic herbs grown in an adjacent garden scent the steam inside the hand-finished, teak-clad spa baths at Kiridara (856-71/261-888; kiridara.com; doubles from US$120), a boutique retreat that opened in June among the forested hills of Luang Prabang, Laos. All 24 guest quarters, finished in stone and polished timber, open onto balconies or courtyards that are angled to maximize the views of this heritage-listed city’s most famous Buddhist site, Mount Phou Si. Unwind amid original Lao ceramics and textiles in your spacious room, sip lychee martinis by the champa tree-lined infinity pool, or contemplate the scenery from the deck of a mountainside yoga pavilion. Back in the spa, Kiridara’s therapeutic products are locally sourced through community outreach, which makes treatments like the cooling wrap of Mekong weed and aloe vera feel even better.
Originally appeared in the August/September 2011 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Laotian Luxe”)