Sheltered by gently-sloping hillsides, with the Mekong flowing sedately alongside it, the Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge is a refreshing, welcoming retreat. It offers luxury with a different profile; one without ornate interiors and lavish facilities, but with time and space to soak up north western Laos’ remote and unspoilt landscape at your leisure. The accommodation is bright and airy, with private balconies and sweeping valley vistas - the deluxe suites are the ones to go for as they really take things up a notch.
Connecting with nature is key. Walking routes meander in many directions through the surrounding forest, and the nearby Mekong Elephant Park offers a glimpse of high-quality conservation in action. The hotel has a dual focus on responsible tourism and strong community links, which includes offering staff land to grow their own fruit and vegetables, as well as funding an onsite health centre. There’s a true sense of purpose to these initiatives, not just sustainability lip service; the whole hotel has a gentle balance of comfort, quality and connection.
This peaceful hotel is surrounded by the wild countryside of north western Laos, between Luang Prabang and Huay Xai on the Thailand border. Both towns take several hours to reach by road or boat.
Outdoor pool & terrace.
Elephant sanctuary links
Upgrading to the deluxe room was definitely worth it for the extra character and excellent views.
Discover what to expect from staying at The Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge
The dream of getting ‘off the beaten track’ may have lost a little meaning with overuse, but places like this truly live up to expectations. This location feels a world away from the relentless rush of modern cities. The easiest way to reach this remote part of northern Laos is by boat, sailing along the languid stretch of the mighty Mekong which passes through the valley. Many travellers discover this spot as a convenient stop-off point between cruises, and the tranquillity reflects the necessary change of pace - slower and more patient. It’s somewhere to completely rest and reset.
We all want different flavours of luxury at different times, and whilst there’s always a place for opulently-decorated ‘bells and whistles’, there’s also a niche for the alternative offered at the Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge. This luxury is about immersing yourself in a special - and often hard to reach - location, with facilities on hand to ensure you can enjoy it smoothly. The ambiance is centred around ensuring you fully relax and feel refreshed, allowing you to turn your attention to the extraordinary surroundings, and then scooping you up with delicious local food and a warm welcome upon your return.
Relax on sheltered private balconies or by the modest outdoor pool, take in the sweeping views over the river and forested hillsides, and enjoy delicious regional cuisine prepared with fresh, seasonal produce grown organically on the hotel farm. Head out on walks and mini-treks over the hills, visit local villages and hidden waterfalls, and learn about the high-quality conservation in place at the Mekong Elephant Park. Return to the hotel for classes in traditional Laos cuisine and a game or two of petanque.
The Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge has an honest, focused approach to responsible tourism and sustainability. They fund work at the nearby elephant sanctuary, finance a community health centre onsite, support local artisans, and offer allotment space to their staff to grow their own produce.
A two-week journey through Laos’ laid-back cities and rural landscapes, exploring the country’s rich cultural heritage, meeting the friendly locals and going on an adventure or two.