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Hotel Highlights

  • Sloping floorboards and four-poster beds are a step back in time to the city's heyday
  • Perfectly located to explore Luang Prabang’s World Heritage charms
  • Two restaurants, two menus, twice the experience, with some of the finest food in town

Overview

Seamlessly spread across three World Heritage-listed residences (and a street), 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, Managed by Accor radiates charm and character from every historic corner. Located in the heart of Luang Prabang’s Old Quarter, its rooms are lovingly decorated in period furnishings, many with balconies to witness the snaking symphony of saffron that is the local monks seeking alms.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking 3 Nagas with us:

Complimentary airport transfer on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at 3 Nagas

Advance purchase: 10% off Stay 3, pay for 2

Facilities

View Gallery
3 Nagas by Alila - Luang Prabang - Laos

Need To Know

Rooms

15 rooms, including three suites.

Check–out

Midday, although later check-outs to 5pm can be arranged at a cost of 50 per cent of the room fee. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $201.67, excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

A labour of love for renowned French-Canadian architect Pascal Trahan, 3 Nagas was delicately restored to comply with stringent UNESCO standards. Trahan has since gone on to oversee the design of Smith hotel Amantaka in town, as well as Hotel Luang Prabang, sister retreat to 3 Nagas.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, library, gardens. In rooms: minibar, free bottled water, Spirit of Nature organic toiletries, terrace or veranda.

Our favourite rooms

All rooms resonate with elegance and charm, blending contemporary touches with traditional Lao decor. Room 11 is set in the Provençal-style farmhouse and has a glam garden view. Back in the main building, suite 7 has an expansive balcony for keeping tabs on the street life below. Wooden floors and furnishings, silk fabrics and weavings add to the local feel.

Poolside

None at the hotel, but from now until 31 October 2014, guests can use the pool at neighbouring sister property, Hôtel de la Paix.

Packing tips

Grab a copy of One Foot in Laos by Dervla Murphy who cycled around the country back in 1997. Once you fall for Luang Prabang, you’ll be planning a longer return yourself.

Also

Smoking is allowed in outdoor areas. Alongside two intimate historic residential buildings dating from 1898 and 1903, the hotel includes a pretty garden edging the Nam Khan River.

Children

There are no cots for infants, but extra beds for older children cost US$36 a night. Babysitting is available, for US$5 an hour, with 24 hours notice.

Read more

Food & Drink

View Gallery
3 Nagas by Alila - Luang Prabang - Laos

Hotel Restaurant

There’s double trouble for those who find it hard to choose: Les 3 Nagas delivers perfectly presented Laotian cuisine and, across the road, the more casual Mango 3 has inventive international plates with a touch of French flamboyance.

Hotel Bar

Also the house bar, Mango 3 is open from 6.30am–10pm and serves up a Lao Lao Sling with rice wine moonshine.

Last orders

Both restaurants are open until 10pm daily.

Room service

Room service is available 6.30am–9pm and, rather generously, includes all dishes on both the menus.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Free the linenista lurking within, as it’s often humid.

Top table

A shady garden table at Mango 3 should be the destination for lunch. After dark, switch to a table on the footpath at Les 3 Nagas.

Local Guide

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3 Nagas by Alila - Luang Prabang - Laos
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Leave the historic surrounds behind for a day and venture to Elephant Village (+856 (0)71 212 311; www.elephant-park-project.org), located in a lush valley about 15 kilometres beyond Luang Prabang. Learn the art of the mahout and help bathe the animals in the Nam Khan River, or just pootle along on your pachyderm to a nearby waterfall. The elephant experience can be combined with mountain biking or kayaking if you fancy even more adventure.

Local restaurants

For the authentic flavour of Luang Prabang, try Tamarind Restaurant (+856 (0)20 777 0484; www.tamarindlaos.com; Ban Wat Nong), famous for its whole catfish and tasting plates perfect for sampling the multi-faceted local cuisine. You might also want to sign up for one of the popular cooking courses.

Local bars

There’s an undeniably hip buzz to Hive Bar (+856 (0)20 537 7826; www.hivebarlaos.com; Kingkitsarat Road), a flashpacker spot with devilish drink promotions and a lively crowd.

Local cafés

Why wander and wonder when Le Café Ban Wat Sene (+856 (0)71 252482; Sakkarine Road) is on your doorstep? The coffee will satisfy connoisseurs and the pastries are Parisian in presentation.

+ Enlarge
Heritage heartland

3 Nagas

97/5, Sakkaline Road, Ban Vatnong, Luang Prabang, Laos, 071

3 Nagas is about as central as it gets in Luang Prabang, close to both the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers and within walking distance of the major sights.

Planes

Fly into Luang Prabang International Airport, about five kilometres from the hotel. Taxis are available at the airport for US$6 (50,000 kip).

Automobiles

Self-drive is not currently possible in Laos. Chartering a chauffered car from capital Vientiane is an option, but it will take the best part of a day.

Other

Slow boats connect Luang Prabang with Pak Beng and Huay Xai for access to and from the Golden Triangle and northern Thailand. Luang Say Mekong Cruises (www.luangsay.com) is the stylish choice, but it does take two days with a stopover in Pak Beng.

Reviews

View Gallery
3 Nagas by Alila - Luang Prabang - Laos

Anonymous review

by Mark Footer , Well-journeyed journo at Post Magazine

Few things are as beguiling as the sounds of somewhere else. And when it's the audio of Luang Prabang, you can't help but want to throw open the shutters to let in that soundtrack... Hyperbole? Certainly, but we three Smiths have just flown in from hectic Hong Kong, via busy Bangkok, and Luang Prabang is what so many other south-east Asian hot spots ‘were once like’, or so popular wis…
Read more

3 Nagas

Anonymous review by Mark Footer, Well-journeyed journo

Few things are as beguiling as the sounds of somewhere else. And when it's the audio of Luang Prabang, you can't help but want to throw open the shutters to let in that soundtrack...

Hyperbole? Certainly, but we three Smiths have just flown in from hectic Hong Kong, via busy Bangkok, and Luang Prabang is what so many other south-east Asian hot spots ‘were once like’, or so popular wisdom has it. Drop your bags here and your pace of life falls with them. Fling wide those shutters and a state of calm wafts in on cooling mountain zephyrs.

Tuk-tuks fart their way past the window as we unpack, children shriek happily as they skateboard in formation down the road and tourists trade personal scores – temples visited or Beer Laos consumed, depending on their age.

Our room – No 1, aka a Superior Double – is perfectly pleasant but, without those shutters open, dark. The outside terrace, separated from an alfresco dining area by a wooden screen, proves a better spot in which to establish our bearings or, in the case of Master Smith, play with toy cars and imitate those trumping tuk-tuks. In this part of the hotel, which dates back to the turn of the last century, we discover ice-cream was once produced by royal appointment.

Location, location and location are the three things that matter most in real estate. In the case of 3 Nagas, one more ‘location’ should be added to the list. There can surely be no better positioned hotel in Luang Prabang, a town of many boutique boltholes. Perched between the Mekong and the Khan rivers, it’s just far enough along the main artery, Sakkarine Road, to count as being both in the heart of town and in the serenity of its suburbs.

Wat Xieng Thong – the departure point for the alms-collecting monks the town is renowned for – is also within a couple of hundred metres, which means you don’t have to get up especially early to watch them file past your room. Being an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of place, 6.30am doesn’t count as ‘especially early’ in Luang Prabang.

The monks bring with them an extra helping of tranquility and after they’ve passed, we sit in a semi-stupor beneath the hotel’s mango trees for our first breakfast in Indochina – and aren’t disappointed when pastries, locally made sausages and good, strong Laotian coffee arrive. The hotel’s French manager would no doubt have cringed (imperceptibly, of course) had he heard my ‘parfait!’.

Breakfast is followed by an amble into town, and before we know it, we’re there (told you it wasn’t far). The slow-beating heart of Luang Prabang is little more than a series of good eateries, trinket and handicraft shops, and the odd tour operator – and, Mrs Smith somehow divines that sunny morning, an extensive night market. I can sense her add a fifth ‘location’ to her mental ledger.

Temple inspections, snack sampling and a slow climb up the 300-plus steps of the dominating Mount Phousi command the rest of the day. That evening, aware of the pitfalls of shopping on an empty stomach, we cross the street from our room to dine in Khamboua House, one of the two buildings that comprise the 3 Nagas. Again we are impressed. We learn later that the hotel has a reputation for providing an exemplary introduction to Laotian food, which is less fiery than Thai and relies more on fresh herbs.

We enjoy our ouas (bamboo shoots stuffed with pork) and khouas (sautéed beef with onions), but with a market a five-minute walk away, Mrs Smith is soon champing at the bit. Before the coffee arrives, she’s gone, leaving Master and me to sit and admire the hotel’s vintage Mercedes and Citroën, which, used for airport runs and to ferry guests to tourist attractions.

By 9.30pm we’re all in bed... but not asleep. Being a Unesco World Heritage site, all buildings of historical importance in town must be restored faithfully, using local materials throughout. In this case, that means ‘may pow’ wood. I can find no reference to ‘may pow’ (maple, perhaps?) on the internet, so the only thing I know about it, other than it being a very dark wood, is that it’s incredibly creaky. The guests upstairs must be aware of the problem because they take great pains to tiptoe about their room – we know that because we can hear every move they make.

Nonetheless, on day two we’re up bright and breezy again, catching the monks for a second time. A couple of guests offer alms; balls of rice from a wicker pot supplied, along with a kneeling mat, by the hotel.

The day is devoted to a wider exploration of Luang Prabang, starting, to Master Smith’s great joy, with a ride in a tuk-tuk. Having explained to the driver we want a tour around the outer circumference of town, we clamber into the back. With the wind in our hair we drink in the sights as we putter alongside the Mekong, turn left and drive past a row of smart guesthouses, take another left and… hang on a second! Ahead is the Khan River. A couple of minutes more and we’re back in front of 3 Nagas, US$10 poorer but much more enlightened about the dimensions of Luang Prabang.

A visit to an elephant village, a boat ride on the Mekong or a trip to Buddha-filled caves or natural forest pools can all be arranged by the ever-helpful hotel staff, but we decide instead to do what comes naturally in this sleepy idyll… We give the day over to wandering, letting the sounds – and sights and smells – of this special somewhere else work more of their magic before it’s time to leave.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in 3 Nagas's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Set at the quiet end of the long road through Luang Prabang, this small hotel was extremely comfortable. Staying for a week so that we could chill out, as well putting some effort into seeing life in the area, we found that the friendly relationship with the staff - always there in background when needed, to be just right. The food was very good. We rated the bed as being as comfortable as any we have slept in anywhere. The private seating area outside of the spacious room was a great spot to sit and read.

Don’t expect

A small selection of European dishes would give choice to those who prefer a break from their excellent Lao food - but not too much please, there are alternative restaurants in town with European menus.

Rating: 10/10 stars