October 26, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
We all have a bucket list, a list of things we want to do before we die. Mine includes climbing Kilimanjaro, learning to scuba dive, and setting foot on every continent at least once. And CNN recently gave us its own thoughts on the fifteen hotels you just have to see before we're definitely done dancing. One of their, and our, favorites is the La Residence Phou Vao in Laos. The unique appeal of this hidden gem lies in its contemplative atmosphere. The secluded, idyllic mountain valley it rests on the edge of allows it to overlook Laos’ second-largest city and home of the golden Buddha, Luang Prabang. The surrounding greenery envelops the hotel, intimately holding in a silent tranquility, as if the wind itself is afraid to take a breath. A stay at Phou Vao is essentially a monastic retreat, a chance to lose oneself in quiet introspection.
Supplementing the peaceful clarity with pure comfort, the accommodations themselves are anything but Spartan. The luxury spa features an emerald infinity-edge pool and fine dining at its patio seating, complete with a breathtaking view of the valley below. So make sure you add this hotel to your list, and just maybe, when you cross it off, you’ll find the moment of personal enlightenment that makes La Residence Phou Vao one of the 15 places to stay before you die.