As someone who is constantly bounded by the hustle and bustle of life, I had the privilege to take a little breather last month where I got the opportunity to explore Luang Prabang, which is essentially the ancient capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos which lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
There, we were treated to a stay at the idyllic Pullman Luang Prabang, which boasts a 5-star international resort that sits within the company of misty mountains, paddy hills, ponds and shimmering pools – which was also a contemporary nod to traditional Lao terraced housing!
We were picked up from the airport by Fai, our host for the trip who arrived in Pullman Luang Prabang‘s airport transfer service. The ride was absolutely comforting, with macarons and drinks for us to freshen up after our flight.
Upon arriving at the resort, we were treated to a spectacular view of the villa and its surrounding architecture. Every single space in the resort was well-constructed and welcoming, especially the front lobby where we were brought to wait for our check-in and also served our welcome drinks by locals at the resort.
We stayed in the Premium Deluxe Room, which goes a few steps further than Deluxe to offer an extra 25sqm of streamlined space. The additional space allowed for a large work desk, a bigger TV, an illy coffee machine, Bose sound system and a huge bathroom. Plus, it also came with a big balcony that beckons the enchanting views of the rice paddies and the mountains beyond. Our room also came with a welcome fruit platter and cakes!
After settling in, we were then treated to a sumptuous meal of Laos cuisine at L’Atelier, which was the restaurant at Pullman Luang Prabang that guests can also visit for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The restaurant also overlooks the view of the pond, where guests can also choose to feed the ducks with bread from the restaurant, while taking in the view of the picturesque resort and the surrounding paddy fields.
Most of the ingredients used to prepare the meal is cultivated from their home-grown garden, which makes the organic vegetables free of any pesticides. They also use fish from Mekong river which makes the meat extra supple and wholesome! We love how we could enjoy the free-range ingredients from farm to table.
After exploring the rest of the resort after lunch, it wasn’t long before nightfall beckoned. We were then treated to one of the MyResorts benefits offered by Pullman Luang Prabang, which featured the MyGlass benefit that offers a free-flow happy hour from 7-9pm with a minimal charge of USD 25. All Accor Live Limitless members are entitled to this benefit.
Here, you can choose from an array of drink choices such as juices, cocktails and mocktails – whichever tickles your fancy. After which, you can then adjourn to the alfresco dining area where you can sip on your drinks while enjoying the gorgeous sunset with a campfire prepared by the staffs on duty. In fact, they’re even preparing for a movie night soon where you can sip on your MyGlass drink while enjoying the show!
Whether if you’re at Pullman Luang Prabang with your family or loved ones, there’s always something for you to choose from on the drinks menu. And, while you are at it, you can also take your pick from some of the cake selections near the bar – the perfect way to wind down the night with some pre-dinner drinks.
The next day saw us leaving the resort at 5am to the city for morning alms. Morning alms, also known as Sai Bat, is a morning ritual that takes place between 5-6am where locals place sticky rice or personal care items into the bowls of passing monks. It’s known to be a silent and sacred ceremony, and also a popular tourist activity for many.
It was indeed a heartening sight to see such a symbolic ritual taking place, and also an honour to be a part of it. For hundreds of years, this ritual has been steeped in tradition and holds a symbolic relationship between the monks and locals. This is also a way for them to make merit.
Many tourists make it a point to participate and photograph this event as it makes a great photo opportunity, but there are also rules that govern the process so as to make sure that the monks are being respected such as no flash photography, tourists to dress properly and also keep a safe distance from these monks. This ritual is also often done in the Laos traditional costume.
After the ritual, we were then brought to the Luang Prabang morning market where we witnessed many locals hard at work, selling knick-knacks and groceries by the streets while engaging in conversations with the other locals. Here, tourists can also purchase souvenirs and local snacks at a cheaper price compared to the night market!
After our morning stroll at the morning market, we then headed back to the hotel for a quick rest, before heading out to the Kuang Si Waterfall. Here at Pullman Luang Prabang, they also provide hotel charters to tourist destinations at no additional charge. We absolutely loved the fun-filled itinerary prepared for us!
It took us around 45-mins to get from the resort to the waterfall, and we were greeted with this magnificent view after walking all the way up to the top. During summer, you can often find many locals enjoying a picnic and swim here.
After spending most of our afternoon there, we then headed back to the resort where we enjoyed another session of the MyGlass resort benefit. This time, I opted for the cocktail since we were going to stay in at the resort for the rest of the night!
I had so much fun sitting by the bar counter and watching the bartender work his magic into the cocktails – and they certainly did not disappoint!
The next morning, I woke up at 8am to take part in the MyWellness Yoga session. Every morning, as part of the MyWellness Resort Benefit, guests can choose from a menu of morning exercises or activities, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Muay Thai, and many more. These activities are led by their in-house trainer, which takes place at the top of their wellness centre that overlooks an amazing view of the resort.
I loved how the yoga session helped me become more refreshed and gave my body a well-deserved stretch. No doubt, I had difficulty with some of the poses, but the instructor was so encouraging and motivating that I did not feel as though I was lacking in skills. Also, some of these stretches can be easily replicated, which would also be beneficial for guests who are doing these exercises for the first time!
Since I was feeling the adrenaline after the yoga session, I wanted to do a little extra workout to burn off the calories from all the sticky rice I’ve been having. I then visited the gym for a quick 30-min HIIT workout before heading for breakfast!
As we had some time before our next MyWellness session of spa and massage, we decided to order breakfast to our room. Their breakfast service ranges from 7am–10am every morning, with lots of hearty American and Laos local selections to choose from.
After breakfast and before our next MyWellness Spa session, we decided to hitch the Pullman Luang Prabang shuttle bus out to the city to explore a little more. Pullman Luang Prabang provides daily shuttle buses to take guests to and fro from the city, with the last bus ending at 9:30pm. And, even if you wish to stay out a little longer, you can also take their taxi that’s very affordable as well!
After our trip to the city, we adjourned back to the hotel for another MyWellness rewards session – a dreamy massage at Pullman Luang Prabang’s wellness centre. We felt totally spoilt. This was my favourite MyResorts benefit!
As we stepped into the Wellness Centre, I could feel a surge of calmness wafting through the air. With ample sunlight and soothing tunes, I felt as though I was transported to another realm that was so peaceful and relaxing, especially after a warm afternoon out. There, we chose the deep tissue massage and was also treated to a welcome drink before the massage session began.
The masseuse also made it a point to make us fill up a form indicating any aches or ailments we had, and the target areas we wanted to focus on. There was also an option on the level of strength that you wanted your massage to be!
We were first brought into a room to change to the bathrobe and deposit our belongings, before being ushered into the massage room.
The deep tissue massage is a massage technique that is mainly used to treat strains and sports injuries, but since I always face chronic neck and shoulder aches from sitting in front of the computer too much, this treatment was perfect for me. The masseuse constantly applied sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of my muscle, and I felt so relaxed that I fell asleep mid-way through the massage.
Since it was our last night at Pullman Luang Prabang, we hitched the shuttle bus out again for a last traditional Laos dinner, and ended the night at the night market shopping for souvenirs.
Even though we only spent 3 nights at Pullman Luang Prabang, I felt that this experience was sufficient to explore both the city as well as the facilities at the resort. Even though I wished we could have stayed longer, I’m so thankful to have been able to experience the MyResorts benefits and the beautiful country. I’m looking forward to coming back to Pullman Luang Prabang again the next time I’m in Laos!
MyResorts by Accor Live Limitless and The Asia Collective.