'Totally unexpected but extremely welcome' is how a recent client described the Muang La Resort. The town of Oudomxay is perhaps not the most inspiring location, but lies within one of South-East Asia’s most striking regions, and offers a very welcome stopping point on several long journeys in northern Laos. And the Muang La, tucked alongside a peaceful river in the neighbouring village of Tai Lu, provides stylish Lao accommodation well away from the bustling streets of the town itself.
Set in lush tropical gardens, the lodge consists of four wooden villas and eight bedrooms, decorated in a deceptively simple, beautifully finished local style, with whitewashed walls, polished wooden floors and woodwork, smart locally designed furniture, and locally produced fabrics. Sculpture and artworks from regional artisans add the finishing touch, with each room uniquely themed to honour a local tribe.
Bathrooms further contribute to the sense of personality, with their colourful terrazzo tubs and stylishly deployed natural materials. All accommodation benefits from a private terrace overlooking the gardens, river, or the impressive countryside beyond.
In creating the lodge, great care has been taken to respect both the environment and the welfare of Tai Lu’s villagers, with local sustainable or recycled materials used throughout the property, and trust placed in traditional methods for personal comfort - there is no air-con, and the resort’s spa is fed by a nearby and naturally hot spring. The resort pays to maintain the riverbanks, and takes care to use only a small proportion of the springwater.
Muang La’s top class restaurant serves Lao-French cuisine against a backdrop of imposing mountains, lush paddy fields & picturesque river. The hotel also offers a cookery course that includes a shopping trip to the local market and an expert lesson in traditional Laos cooking in the resort’s friendly kitchen. A new addition to the property is an infinity pool, built onto a small, private island, set into the middle of the flowing river.