- Modern hilltop resort
- Stunning infinity pool, spa, cookery classes
- Local village visits, river cruises
- Short drive to Luang Prabang
Perched on a hilltop and set out across two acres of lush tropical gardens, Belmond La Residence is a large and modern resort-style property offering exquisite panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Luang Prabang below. This peaceful, high-end retreat is not without character and boasts superb facilities including a custom-designed spa, a library, a stunning 13 metre cliff-edge infinity pool and one of Luang Prabang’s best restaurants, Phou Savanh. There’s also a laid back open-air bar, and candlelit private dinners can be arranged with personal butler service under the stars.
The accommodation comprises a choice of Garden or Junior Suites. The Garden Suites overlook the garden and feature a double bed and a separate living room with comfy sofa. The Junior Suite bedrooms are a little more spacious, offering twin or king-sized beds with large windows looking out onto the exotic gardens and a private terrace. All suites house a bathroom with free-standing bath, satellite TV, an espresso coffee machine and iHome docking station. At night, views of the Phousy Temple light up the night sky.
Aside from enjoying the pool, spa and Laotian cookery classes at the hotel, there’s plenty to do in the wider area. Village tours of Ban Xang Hai, known for its wine distillery and Lao-Lao whiskey, are always popular. Ban Phanom, the village of weavers, is also worth a visit. Here, guests can see the complete cycle of silk production before picking out their own textiles and fabrics as souvenirs. Sunset cruises on the Mekong River are a delight. Starting at the top of Chompet hill, the cruise makes stops along the way at the Chomplot temple, Si Moung Khoum temple, and Tham temple cave. Alternatively Luang Prabang is just a short drive away, and the city can be explored on foot or by bike.
Children are welcome at Belmond la Residence and extra beds can be brought into rooms for an additional cost. There are plenty of family friendly activities in and around Luang Prabang, such as cycling or elephant trekking, but a babysitting service is available if parents want a night out for themselves. Note that the swimming pool is unfenced and unguarded, with no shallow end, so children must be kept under adult supervision at all times.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
We had the most incredible time thank you. We loved Karen Blixen camp and felt part of a family there, it was incredibly special. And Breezes was very relaxing.
We can't fault all the transfers and the moment we were greeted on the tarmac at Nairobi airport we knew we were going to be well cared for.
Thank you so much to you and all the Tourdust team for making it such a happy and memorable trip.
Zoe A reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Beach on 27 August 2019