With all rooms facing the Mekong river, the Belle Rive Boutique Hotel is designed to provide a sense of space, warmth and, above all, comfort. Best located right on the river shore, in the heart of the Peninsula and slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the main street, this allows you to walk to all the famous monasteries and sights within a few minutes.
At the very heart of the old city on the old peninsula, you’ll be woken by crowing cocks and set back to sleep by the soporific chime of call-to-prayer gongs at nearby temples. Cheek-by-jowl with stilted wood Lao houses, you are a short walk from everything this small city has to offer. Locals hang out their washing in back gardens, apprentice monks glide from glimmering Buddhist wats (temples), this is the real Laos you’ve read about.
Address: 99 Phonehuang, Riverfront, Luang Prabang, Laos.
Style & character
Contemporary Lao meets romantic Indochine, with dashes of ethnicity (like Hmong silk bed runners, rosewood floors and vividly-coloured tribal costumes from Laos’ 150-odd tribes framed on the walls. There are three buildings in total named Tamarind, Mango and Frangipani, all faithfully restored with Germanic precision (the hotel’s owners are from Germany) who have painstakingly evoked the élan of the French colonial era.
Service & facilities
Free use of bikes. Trips to the waterfalls can be arranged, as can boat excursions. Ask to go on the dreamy sunset cruise. Meanwhile, in Belle Rive’s stylish bar and lobby, cut-glass decanters catch the honey light presaging evening drinks on the sun terrace. There’s also a restaurant on the river; Belle Rive is one of a handful in the whole city to be allowed an exclusive license to eat al fresco by the Mekong. Free airport drop-off and pick-up.
- Room service
Rooms combine a sense of homeliness and taste, from wood-blade fans to hardwood furniture, and billowing silk mosquito nets over huge beds. Fresh juice is replaced gratis in your fridge every day, and satellite TV – not that you’ll want it – is available on request. All rooms look out onto the Mekong, with balconies, high ceilings and choice black and white photography on the walls. There are distinct differences in layout, with some rooms featuring mezzanine floors while others are on one level.
Food & drink
Shaded by tamarind trees, the Belle Rive Terrace commands an enviable spot on the riverbank overlooking the Mekong and the surrounding mountains beyond. Try the sundried platter: barbeque pork and sun dried buffalo, or the deep-fried Mekong River weed. It is a beautiful spot to enjoy a generous breakfast, a delightful typical Lao meal or a cool drink while watching the breathtaking sunset.
Time: 7.30 am to 10.30 pm
Access for guests with disabilities?
Sadly no, as there are too many stairs.
Aimed more at couples and solo travellers.
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