Luang Prabang is a magical little town in northern Laos that has been designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site for its unique fusion of European and Lao cultural traditions and architecture. Maison Dalabua is situated a short walk away from the historical center of town and is the perfect place to find serenity in a popular tourism destination.
“Maison” means house and “Dalabua” means “Princess of Lotus”: a perfect name for an elegant retreat surrounded by lotus and lily ponds. The boutique hotel has 26 rooms, a spa, swimming pool and restaurant, Manda de Laos. I recently stayed for three nights at Maison Dalabua prior to a month of intense yoga teaching in Vang Vieng at Yoga in Vang Vieng.
I chose to stay at Maison Dalabua for its laid back, elegant and peaceful vibe & setting and spent my time lounging by the pool and designing yoga sequences. I also used the hotel as a base to explore the town of Luang Prabang as well as ventured out to the Kuang Si Waterfall (tip: it’s not blue during monsoon season!).
The hotel is just a quick 10 minute drive away from the Luang Prabang airport and pick ups can be easily arranged by the hotel at US$10 one way.
The Rooms at Maison Dalabua
There are several different accommodation options available at Maison Dalabua. I stayed in a deluxe room and it was extremely spacious yet cosy. The touches of traditional Lao decor in the room were beautiful and I also had access to a large covered private deck overlooking a lily pond.
The furnishing in the room was classy and simple, and the mattress was firm – every night around 6 PM the staff offer turndown service. Wifi is free and the signal was fairly consistent throughout the hotel and in the room but slightly weaker out by the restaurant. Who needs wifi when you have lily ponds ? The room rates are extremely reasonable and I paid approximately US$215 for 3 nights (US$72 a night) including breakfast in August, which is low season for Laos. Rates are typically slightly higher from October to March.
The Facilities at Maison Dalabua
The pool at Maison Dalabua is a wonderful place to lounge about and enjoy doing diddlysquat while soaking up the sunshine before hopping into the water to cool off. Even though I visited Luang Prabang during rainy season, there were still windows of prolonged sunshine in the morning and afternoon. If you’re staying in one of the poolside rooms, you can pretty much roll out of bed straight into the pool.
The spa at Maison Dalabua is located in the main reception building and offers traditional Lao massage (similar to Thai massage) and aromatherapy treatments. The prices are, in my opinion, dirt cheap at approximately US$20 for a 1 hour massage in a beautiful (AND CLEAN) treatment room. I tried the traditional Lao massage and the pressure was perfect – the therapist, a small Lao lady, wasn’t afraid to really kick the pressure up a notch when I asked for more. I’m a massage masochist, so sue me!
One of the most unique features of Maison Dalabua is their lotus and lily ponds. The property is surrounded by beautiful, still ponds and hundreds of lily and lotus pads that blossom during the day and decorate the landscape in splashes of fuschia. The breakfast terrace is located right next to one of these ponds so you can sip your Lao coffee in the morning and admire the beauty that surrounds you.
The breakfast selection in the morning is fantastic and offers both Western and Asian options: my favorites were the fresh mango and dragonfruit delicately placed on sheets of banana leaf, traditional coconut pancakes and croissants. For lunch and dinner, you can head to Manda de Laos and try their traditional Lao cuisine and delicious cocktails – I still dream about the pork spare ribs.
Make sure you book in advance as they take outside guests as well – on my last night I forgot to make a booking and couldn’t get a table. Also make sure you bring cash or a credit card as they are an externally-operated restaurant and not run by Maison Dalabua, so you won’t be able to charge your meal to your room bill.
The service at Maison Dalabua
The lotus ponds and stunning room are fantastic, but what truly made my stay unforgettable at Maison Dalabua were the staff and exceptional service. Each and every person I interacted with was extremely friendly and accommodating, and their front office will bend over backwards to make your stay enjoyable. The staff helped to book my airport transfer, patiently introduced all the different attractions in town, helped organize a van to the Kuang Si Waterfall (US$35 for an air-conditioned van and private driver) and even booked my bus ticket to Vang Vieng.
Things to Do in Luang Prabang
In addition to visiting the dozens of beautiful temples scattered around town and famed Kuang Si Waterfall, you could also climb to the top of Mount Phousi (don’t worry it’s a very manageable “hike” and only takes about 5 minutes to walk up) to catch the sunset. Just make sure you spray on tons of mosquito repellent and head there early to snag a seat. However, Mount Phousi is not actually my favorite sunset spot in Luang Prabang. Read this article on the best things to do in Luang Prabang to find out where I like to go to watch the sunset (minus the crowds).
Many people also wake up at the crack of dawn to observe the daily alms giving ceremony; before you decide to participate, I encourage you to read this article for a list of things to consider. Maison Dalabua is also a 5 minute walk away from the hustling and bustling night market where you can check out local handicrafts and souvenirs, or pop into the National Museum of Luang Prabang.
Visiting Luang Prabang for the first time? Head on over here for 9 of the best things to do in Luang Prabang (and what you might want to skip!)
All-in-all, I had a restful and rejuvenating stay at Maison Dalabua. The property is one-of-a-kind and visually stunning, the rooms are the epitome of comfort and class, and the staff are well-trained, warm and were true ambassadors for Laos. I’m dying to revisit the Kuang Si Waterfall during dry season so I have a perfectly valid excuse to go back to Maison Dalabua again to get my fix of Lao glamour and hospitality. I can’t wait! Click here to book your stay at Maison Dalabua!
Are you thinking about visiting Luang Prabang or have you stayed at Maison Dalabua before? I’d love to hear from you below!
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I stayed at Maison Dalabua as a paying customer, the opinions on Yogawinetravel.com are, and always will be, my own!
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