Thursday, August 29, 2019

A little paradise in Luang Prabang



No doubt the best hotel to stay at in Luang Prabang is Amantaka.  This ten year old French colonial resort was originally built in 1923 for Prince Born Khong.  In 2009, it was transformed by Aman into 24 suites luxury resort.

The placement of the building on the hotel formed an U shape.  Every single suite faces interior courtyard.  The center courtyard closest to the public area has a large swimming pool as well as lounge chairs dotted along the edge.  Along the edge of the pool, you can also find spa rooms as well as a gym.  Where the pool ends is where the suites starts.  The suite closest to the pool is Amantaka suite which is the largest suite available.

I stayed in the Amantaka suite and it was quite lovely.  I'll let the video do the talking.  The room is pretty quiet.  In no time was I ever woken up by noise outside of the resort.  If you look at surrounding of Amantaka, it is actually in a residential neighborhood thus there could be potential traffic/ people noise.  The pool in the backyard is great if you want some private swimming time.  The huge shower room is fantastic; the tile floor is heated.  As with any Aman, you can customize your bed to super hard or super soft or anything in between.

The food is delectable.  The chef hails from Montenegro although you wouldn't know it as he's very adapt at cooking local cuisine.  However, I asked him to whip up something I had at Aman Sveti Stefan and he was happy to oblige!  As with many Amans, Amantaka had someone playing traditional Laotian instruments nightly while I take in delicious dinner.  For the less adventurous eaters, chef's pasta is on point and al dente.

The spa at Amantaka is gorgeous.  Each spa room is as big as any of the suites!  I had several very good massages and would definitely recommend spa addicts to book a treatment or two.

Aman has a large and well stocked gift shop.  There are lots of selections from clothes to local antiques as well as lots of well made crafts by local artisan.  Shopping addicts will have a field day!  For those looking for night market type of experience, it's within walking distance from the hotel too.  

Aman excels at their exclusive activity menu.  Essentially instead of hiring a guide, Amantaka puts together activities you can do in Luang Prabang. All you have to do is tell anyone at the hotel when and what activity you want to do and everything will be planned out for you.  No fuss no muss.  There are two activities that I highly recommend.  One is take the private Amantaka boat out on Mekong River for few hours.  You will have a great time.  Scenery along the river is beautiful and you can go into a cave call Pak Ou Caves to explore.  The other activity is go to Kuang Si Falls.  The color of the water is unreal!  It's neon blue/green... kinda similar to what you see in Maldives/ Bora Bora except it's more green than blue.  Bring your bathing suit as you can swim in parts of the river.  

The only regretful thing I did at Amantaka is not staying longer.  While the temperature is slightly hotter and more humid than I typically liked, but temperature in February is quite tolerable.  I look forward to coming back to Luang Prabang again... specifically Amantaka.  

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