What with the name and all you might be expecting something French-colonial in style, but the 3 Nagas is classic Lao, a former royal residence from the end of the 19th century, a pair of buildings that have traveled on a winding path: from mansion to ice-cream factory to now, finally, a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel, one that just happens to be run by a little company called Alila.
It’s an interesting choice for the company that’s pretty much writing the book on modernist villa resorts in Indonesia and Indochina. But Les 3 Nagas shows they’re not unduly constrained by the task of taking on a historical building or two. The style is necessarily a bit less stark and sleek, a bit more classic, but it’s certainly no less chic, and the comforts are very much up to the prevailing Alila standard, which is somewhere short of “grand hotel” but well above “design boutique.”
And after all this it’s probably just as well known for its restaurant as for its rooms, which says something about the quality of the cuisine. The only real question mark is whether Alila devotees will mind that there’s no beach, no pool, no lavish modern spa — here’s hoping the classic charms of Luang Prabang prove an adequate substitute.
Ban Vatnong, Luang Prabang
(856)71 253 888