Where To Stay In Luang Prabang: Villa Chitdara
Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, has plenty of beautiful inns and hotels which were either villas once inhabited by colonists and wealthy locals or were inspired by the harmony of French and Lao architectures.
While searching for a place to stay, we wanted a hotel that is convenient and simple at a reasonable price. Almost all properties that popped up on the list were resplendent but one caught my eye just because it is situated right in the heart of Luang Prabang.
Villa Chitdara is a family-run guest house tucked along the hushed Kounxoau Road in between the city’s two main arteries.
The inn is split into two buildings, one facing the street while the other separated by a garden at the back. Check-in was a brisk affair since we paid everything beforehand and the receptionist-cum-bell hop brought us on a brisk “tour” of the breakfast pavilion and then taught us the correct method to heat up the shower.
We did not specifically indicate our room preference so we were assigned to one at the annex building which turned out for the better. The environment was quieter at night and we had a small veranda overlooking the tropical garden filled with papaya and jackfruit trees all bearing fruits as big as I could ever imagine.
We stayed in the superior room which at 30 m2 has ample floor space while three half-glass panels that open up to the deck provided the airiness and window to the evergreen garden. I was impressed at the wooden finishing of the room – solid timber was used for the furniture, from the king-size bed to the mirror frame, and the flooring was so smooth I could glide on it!
The amenities provided were pretty standard.
The room has both an air-con and fan which were handy since we used the former when it was hot during the day and the latter once the temperature dropped at night. The television only showed programs either spoken or dubbed in Lao but it did not bother us that much since the little one was more preoccupied with his toys than wanting his favorite cartoon shows.
Tea Watch: Lipton Tea was served as the in-room beverage instead of a local or regional tea brand. Not impressed considering northern Laos is known for its tea.
As far as the bathroom goes, there was nothing special to shout about.
The shower and toilet is separated by a wall adjoining to the marble sink and the rather drab-looking tiles was a huge contrast to the rest of the room. The shower set was also a let down – Panasonic is a good and reliable brand but they could definitely do better than plastic and rubber which is more befitting to a hostel than a guest house.
However, I have to give plus points to the toiletries provided. The soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner are not some generic, chemically-synthesized, jacked-up on coloring set but the aroma and texture feels like they use natural ingredients. I cannot fully remember was what used but I know at least lemon and ginger were in there.
Read Also: A 3-Day Itinerary of Luang Prabang, Laos
The stay included daily breakfast and mornings are quite an interesting affair. We went to Luang Prabang in January, considered to be in the middle of the cool season, and we would wake up every morning to a thick cloud of mist with temperatures hovering around 16-20 °C until nine o’clock. The breakfast spread is set at the pavilion right by the garden.
Everyone was decked up in their jackets and sweaters and as soon as we took our table, the staff would light up a pot of charcoal nearby to keep us warm. It was a poignant reminder that manual and traditional methods are still in use today although I was relieved that kiddo was not too curious about wanting to touch those rather attractive flames!
The mini-buffet had an interesting selection of breads. The customary French baguette was accompanied by the typical white and wholegrain with a row of butter bread thrown in for good measure. The same can also be said of the fruit platter where tropical treats like banana, papaya, mango and dragon-fruit are joined by grapes and persimmon.
The spread also includes noodles and porridge but we did not touch them since they contain pork and other meats. Eggs are made to order and they are perfectly made to instruction – scrambled eggs not too runny and omelet fluffy enough. Free flow coffee and tea are welcomed by a coffee lover like me who would drink at least two cups before setting off for the day.
Villa Chitdara is a homey guest house that hit all our sweet spots.
We were particular about the location because sometimes kiddo would get cranky for a nap so we could get back to our room in no time. Plenty of cafes and restaurants are just around the corner and most attractions are easily walkable – Wat Xieng Thong and Royal Palace, at opposite ends of the peninsula, were all reachable within 10 minutes tops.
I know there are resorts in Luang Prabang offering a full breakfast spread and a lavish swimming pool but this time we were on adventure mode so an accommodation like Villa Chitdara became the right fit for us. With a cozy garden, relaxing garden and a solid morning meal, Villa Chitdara made a more satisfying Luang Prabang trip for the whole family.
Kounxoau Rd, Ban Vat Nong
Luang Prabang, Laos
Tel: +856(0)71254949 | H/P: +856(0)20593055555
Website: Villa Chitdara