Wednesday 28 June 2017

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa - Elegant Indulgence

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
After attending the Mekong Tourism Forum I extended my stay in Luang Prabang so that I could have more time to explore this enchanting UNESCO world heritage listed town in Northern Laos. 

I chose to stay at the stylish Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa, a new hotel opened at the start of last year. The 33 guest rooms are housed in several delightful contemporary styled buildings that combine modern decor with a touch of Laos styling. Teak timbers are used extensively throughout the hotel, including the guest rooms. The outdoor areas of gardens and ponds filled with lotus flowers are delightful to walk through and sit in and relax.

Upon my arrival at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa I was warmly welcomed by the reception staff and given a welcome drink and refresher towel, then taken to my guest room.

My Classic Room (lower right) 
I was fortunate to have one of the luxurious ground floor Sanakeo Classic rooms that overlooked the swimming pool. Sliding glass doors provided access to the balcony, from which I could jump right into the pool. 

The room had everything that I could wish for to make a comfortable stay. The large plush bed, cosy pillows and fresh white linen were very comfortable and gave a wonderful nights sleep. I appreciated that the room was very quite at night. The towels were folded into a charming sculptural piece with fresh flowers and laid on the bed.

A flatscreen TV provided several TV stations, and complimentary wifi internet meant that I could keep in touch with my family and friends back in Australia. The room was air-conditioned, and had coffee making facilities.

The seperate functional bathroom had a shower with large shower head, toilet and handbasin. A nice ranger of amenities and fluffy towels were supplied.

My Classic Room at Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
Apart from the Classic Rooms, there are also Deluxe Rooms and a Presidential Suite for VIP guests.

Each morning I was served a tasty buffet breakfast in the first floor restaurant. Whilst not a huge range of items to choose from, the Laos and International delicacies filled me up for each days sightseeing. I have since learnt that all the menus of the hotel food and beverage outlets have been revamped, so the breakfast should be even better now.

The restaurant features authentic Luang Prabang cuisine and International dishes with fresh ingredients sourced from the local region. The Cocktail Bar beside the pool offers a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including some very special cocktails. The Coffee Shop next to the Reception Lobby serves locally sourced Laos coffee and light refreshments throughout the day.

The leisure facilities of the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa include a Sauna, Day Spa with Massage, Fitness Centre, Yoga Relaxation Studio and Swimming Pool.

Using the Sauna can help cleanse your skin, increase circulation and ease muscle pain.

The Day Spa offers a range of treatments, including the Traditional Lao Massage which relieves tension throughout the entire body. 

The Fitness Centre has a small number of exercise machines to cater for those who like to work out.

The Yoga Studio is a restful place with Yoga mats for those who wish to relax in a quite way.

Swimming Pool at Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
The Swimming Pool is a delightful way to cool off in its clear blue water. The pool is large enough to swim laps, or just float around in. Day lounges are placed on one side of the pool to relax on.

The Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa is ideally set up to host meetings, conferences, events and weddings. They can assist with the organisation of your next event by tailor making the most suitable package. They offer a variety of  Conference Room set-ups, such as theatre, class room or U-shape, and can provide audio-visual equipment, pens, note pads and drinking water. A variety of catering options are available for morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunches, dinners, welcome receptions and cocktail parties. These can be served in or beside the meeting room, beside the swimming pool, or in the restaurant. 

I noticed that the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa has adopted many policies and practices to become a green hotel that takes care of the environment. They are proud to be the recipients of The MARK, which is a UNIDO accreditation for clean and green dining, and safe environmental practices in Luang Prabang.

Some of notable initiatives the hotel has made include -
  • placing of ceramic pump action dispensers for soap, shampoo, conditioner in guest rooms and public areas 
  • removing cleaning chemicals and using a home made solution of lemon grass and eucalyptus oil
  • encouraging the refilling of water bottles from the complimentary water dispenser located in Reception Lobby
  • limiting the use of plastic bags and re-using plastic bags whenever possible
  • recycling all plastic bottles, aluminium cans, paper and cardboard
  • collecting ‘Ring-pulls’ from drink cans for the manufacture of prosthetic limbs
  • sending food waste to a local pig farmer
  • mulching garden waste at the hotels orange tree plantation
  • using low energy lightbulbs
  • turning off outside lights wherever possible
  • turning off office computers and other electrical appliances when not in use
  • using cloth bags for guest laundry service, and returning laundered items in a cane basket
  • encouraging guests to explore local attractions by walking or by using the complimentary bicycles
  • buying local produce and produce ‘in season’ wherever possible
  • encouraging guest to turn off lights and air-conditioning when not in the room, and reusing towels
  • taking indoor pot plants outside for a drink when it rains, instead of using town water. 

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa
A most interesting initiative is that families of staff are given vegetable and herb seeds to grow and then sell the produce back to the hotel when harvested. 

The Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa is located on a lovely wide street just outside the out part of the town. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the old town to explore the French style architecture, shops and cafes. Here you will find the Palace Museum, many Buddhist Temples and the Night Markets. The hotel has complimentary bicycles for guests to explore the local surrounds, and also offers a shuttle service into town. I borrowed a bicycle and explored the local area during one of the afternoons I was there.

There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities nearby Luang Prabang to fill your days when staying at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa. You can can go on trips to the Pak Ou Cave, the majestic Kwangsi Waterfalls, Elephant Sanctuaries or neighbouring villages. You can take a longboat ride or sunset cruise on the legendary Mekong River. Well worth visiting are the new Botanical Gardens on the other side of the Mekong River reached by a short longboat ride.

Tak Bat alms giving ceremony
A unique event that happens early every morning is the ancient Tak Bat alms giving ceremony, where over a 100 Buddhist Monks make their way past the hotel. They can be viewed from the comfort of the hotels restaurant balcony, or from their doorstep. It is well worth setting the alarm clock to wake up in time to view, as the tradition of Tak Bat dates back to the 14th century. Many locals line the street and give the Monks gifts of sticky rice, traditional snacks and fresh fruit in return for merit from the Monks wearing their orange robes.

My stay at the Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa was over all too soon. I liked the modern decor and comfort of my Classic Room and the use of the swimming pool. I appreciated the friendly nature of the Lao hotel staff and their understanding of the English language. At the end of my stay I was kindly taken in the hotel shuttle van to the airport for my return home. I took with me fond memories of Luang Prabang and the elegant Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa.

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa

Sanakeo Boutique Hotel and Spa

Phu Vao Road, Pong Kham,
Luang Prabang, Lao P.D.R
Tel: +856 71 252 055
Fax: +856 71 252 039

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