Villa Maly & Kamu Lodge E-Brochure


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A 33-room boutique hotel in the heart of Luang Prabang, Laos
20 luxury tents in the Laotian forest along the mighty Mekong River

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Villa Maly & Kamu Lodge E-Brochure

  1. 1. Luang Prabang Delightful Little Town
  2. 2. 2 The Destination Unlike other alluring destinations in Southeast Asia, where legions of fellow travelers can overwhelm the integrity of the place itself, Luang Prabang still feels fresh. A town on the make. A city yet to be discovered.Once the royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang nestles up against the milk coffee-colored Mekong River. Its wats, the architecture of its royal palaces and its ubiquitous wooden houses create a timeless ambiance that almost feels forgotten though hardly woebegone.UNESCO declared this “delightful little town” as the French naturalist-explorer Henri Mouhot knew it, a World Heritage Site in 1995. The town’s Buddhist aura emanates from a plethora of irresistible wats, or pagodas, and from a daily, early morning trudge for alms through town by saffron-robed monks.
  3. 3. 3 In a single glance, the town can be embraced by summiting, via 355 steps, one of the Luang Prabang’s principal attractions — Mt. Phou Si. From here, thebuildingsseemsubsumedbycoconut trees. Indeed, regulations prohibit new buildings from rising higher than the trees’ leafy bowers.The Mekong sweeps beneath the flanks of dramatic ridges, some cut with stairways that lead to yet another temple. Teak trees flutter their pale, skimpy foliage from the banks while the occasional elephant, led by an able mahout, wades into the water for a bath.The languor of the Mekong, here in the midst of its 4,350-kilometer journey to the sea, is a metaphor for the languid appeal of the town itself. Listening to the rice grow feels like obligation here. As does a visit to one of the city’s many wats. The city’s most renown wats - Mai, Pa Huak – date to the 19th Century, though many claim older pedigrees and most feel like relics.
  4. 4. 4 The city itself claims an ancient pedigree, emergingontorecordsometimeinthelate 7th Century. The French, who assumed protectorate status over the region in the 19th Century, recognized Luang Prabang as the capital of the Kingdom. In 1904, they helped build a royal palace where the Lao kings lived until the Pathet Lao takeover in 1975.Today, the royal palace is a museum, housing holy icons, paintings and china. Another, more fantastic collection of relics lies upstream along the Mekong in the Pak Ou Caves. AttheMekong’sconfluencewiththeNam Ou, a cave in a bluff on the river keeps a pantheon of small Buddhist statues. UNESCO hailed Luang Prabang as the “the best preserved city in Asia” when the organization inscribed the destination in 1995. Nothing has changed about that since.
  5. 5. Villa Maly A Residence of Charm
  6. 6. 6 The Concept The homelike ambiance of the Villa Maly has a royal pedigree. This is what we know. In Southeast Asia, the great divide between the colonial and modern eras opened in the 1950s after the colonial French decamped for Europe, leaving Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to fend for themselves as independent nations. What endures in the former colonies from before the 1950s is as captivating as relics from another age. And so it is with Villa Maly. The anchoring villa  at Villa Maly, Plumeria, was built in 1938 by His Royal Highness Khamtan Ounkham, a grandson of a Lao king, Kham Souk Zakarine, and the first of his seven wives, Queen Pheng. Khamtan Ounkham was born in 1909.
  7. 7. 7 Like many well-to-do Laotians of the day, Khamtan was sent by his father to Hanoi, where the boy made his way through the colonial educational system from the age of 7 to 20. His success as a student won him an appointment to France where he continued his studies for three more years. Upon his return to Laos, Khamtan pursued a career in government. This was the ineluctable choice for a well-educated young man of royal pedigree. He served as prefect of the provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Sayabouri. In a surviving photo, Khamtan is a dapper administrator whosefashioncues,frombowtietosport jacket, he took from the Europeans. The young prefect married his cousin, Princess Khampieng, who was born in 1911. Like her husband, Khampieng was schooled in the colonial system. At 18, she was named an auxiliary instructor in the girls’ school of Luang Prabang. She devoted her life to national educationandclimbedthroughtheranks until she became principal of the first class in 1962.
  8. 8. 8 The Grounds A wonderfully mature tropical garden bloomsallaboutthegroundsofVillaMaly. Stepping stones meander purposefully among the plantings, showing off a profusion of  tropical life - frangipanis, mango, ginger, orchids, lilies, gardenias, mango trees and others. It’s the sort of botanical garden that should have identifying placards, an aim we plan to satisfy. It is a place to linger, whether with a cup of coffee after breakfast, or on a stroll after dinner. In the midst of Villa Maly is our singular pool, and an ample pool deck, perfect for sunbathing or a late afternoon apertif.
  9. 9. 9 Sweet Dreams “With the rooms at the Villa Maly, we’ve tried to evoke the ambiance of a space remembered by a great writer, by a MargueriteDurasoraNoelCoward.And oh, this was where I stayed during my time in Indochine…”Eric Verschelden, designer of the Villa Maly
  10. 10. 10 Deluxe Rooms Poolview-4,Gardenview-1 With king beds, wonderfully subdued colors and ample natural light, the deluxe rooms rank as the Villa’s most exquisite accommodation. Allofthedeluxeroomsoccupyspaceinthe homeattheheartofVillaMaly,nowknown as Plumeria but once the residence of Princess Khampieng and Prince Khamtan andtheirchildren. The furnishings in each of the rooms was specially designed for Villa Maly and craftedbyartisansinSaigon.Thedesks,the bedsteads, wardrobes and tables each add tothesingularambianceofVillaMaly.
  11. 11. 11 Superior Rooms Poolview-13,Gardenview-15 Each of the superior rooms at Villa Maly can lay claim to its own distinct appeal, featuring custom arrangements and distinguished artwork. The rooms do share similarities in hardwood floors, vibrant colors, slate- walled bathrooms, flat screen televisions andviewsofthegardensorpool. Some superior rooms boast a king sized bed; others offer a pair of beds. All promise averyindividualizedexperience.
  12. 12. 12 The Dining At Villa Maly, our menu dabbles in the culinary traditions of the East and West, with a scattering of French standards and a little bit of Lao adventure. While you may be lured for a dinner or two beyond the confines of Villa Maly, we do urge you to experience the set menu at Le Vetiver one evening. This is real Lao cuisine by an exceptional Lao chef.
  13. 13. 13 Nava Mekong Dining on the mighty Mekong is to being in Luang Prabang what walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is to being in New York. Essential. To ensure you don’t ‘miss the boat’, we’ve launched the Nava Mekong, the foremost regular dinner cruise opportunity in the royal capital. The cruise embarks daily at 5:30 pm and motors downstream to moor near a traditional village where traditional Lao dancers perform age- old sets that include interpretations of the royal ballet, rural life, folk tales and legends. The boat returns at 9 pm.Widened at the beam to accommodate 10 four-top tables, the traditional Lao river boat also embarks every morning at 10:30 am for a four- hour lunch cruise. During this cruise, the Nava stops at the Pak Ou Caves for adventuring among the 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images scattered about the two limestone grottoes. 
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. 15 Le Vetiver Villa May’s own culinary options are a good base for exploration. The hotel’s kitchen serves a mix of Western and Eastern dishes, from Italian favorites, local fish to green curry, fried glass noodles prepared Lao style and Chinese fried rice. We do soups, salads and sandwiches as well. Though our menu is not extensive, what we do we do well. Likewise, our wine list. It’s short but vibrant, with excellent vintages from Europe to Australia.
  16. 16. 16 Sindad On a balmy Luang Prabang evening, what could be better than a poolside barbecue and hotpot in the midst of Villa Maly. At our Sindad, our servers will whet your appetite as they parade tantalizing cuts of well-marinated tenderloin, ribs, pork, shrimp and fresh seafood to your table. We’ll fire up the grill and leave you to cookselectionstoyourliking.Meanwhile, we’ll leave a steaming hotpot to simmer its delights. Our wine list complements both the grill and the hotpot.
  17. 17. 17 HenriMouhot’sBar On the ground floor of Plumeria at Villa Maly,thereisMouhot’s. A bar, yes. But it’s more than that. It’s an out-of-the way watering hole for those who wantaquietdrink,andthoseinclinedtolift aglassinthememoryofthebar’snamesake, HenriMouhot. After the French naturalist Mouhot rediscovered Angkor, he traveled through LuangPrabangandfellpreytomalaria. But rest assured, there is plenty of quinine (tonicwater)behindourbar!
  18. 18. 18 The Spa As we are a boutique hotel, so too we offer a boutique spa experience. In our two-table, poolside venue, our two therapists practice time-honored spa techniques. With Marelli fans, vibrant, tropical colors and hardwood floors, our spa trades on the same charming aesthetic at large in our rooms. We’re ideally suited for one guest at a time but couples can be accommodated, and the four-hand massage is an option. We do recommend pre-booking.
  19. 19. Please contact us for more information: c/o BP 78, Luang Prabang , LAO PDR Tel: (856) 71 253 902 /903/904 Fax: (856) 71 254 912
  20. 20. Kamu Lodge By Apple Tree Hospitality Laos
  21. 21. 21 The Concept In the heart of the Lao jungle, on the banks of the Mekong, Kamu Lodge strikes a delicate balance between tourism and the maintenance of the region’s cultural and ethnic heritage. However swift-moving the flow beneath our bluffs, the Lodge is an eddy in the rushing currents of our age. A place to slow down. Disengage. An opportunity to live as deliberately as Thoreau, if only for a day or two, fronting the essential facts of the natural world.  Beyond the confines of a compound madeupofmosquito-freesafaritentsand stilted, thatched pavilions, Lao beckons.
  22. 22. 22 Primitives paths lead to remote villages. Throughawonderlandoffloraandfauna. Upriver and down, the allure of Lao looms large, whether you’re checking in at the Pak Ou Caves, where pilgrims have placed thousands of Buddhist statues or by some timeless village that looks much thewayitdidwhenFrenchexplorersfirst plied these waters in the 1860s.  Our full board package feature return transfers from Luang Prabang to Kamu Lodge. 
  23. 23. 23 Sweet Dreams Two of the world’s top-three hotels accommodateguestsinsafaritents...just like Kamu Lodge. Our 20 free-standing lodges are hybrids actually. Thick-walled tentsshutouttheelementswhileasturdy thatch roof guards against rain and sun.   However rustic the look and feel, Kamu’s mattresses guarantee a good night’s sleep.In the spirit of sustainable lodging, solar panels fixed to the roofs gather just enough juice to keep your fan turning all night and your interior lit. Every lodge features a white-washed stone annex, and the familiar trappings of a traditional bath. Hot water flows from Kamu’s shower heads. And there’s ample space to maneuver about as you make your daily ablutions.
  24. 24. 24 On the apron of every lodge, a thatch- covered veranda and its rustic easy chairs encourage passive enjoyment of a timeless view over the slow-moving Mekong. Our full board package feature return transfers from Luang Prabang to Kamu Lodge. 
  25. 25. 25 The Dining Perched on a bluff above the Mekong, dining at Kamu Lodge is a cultural experience all its own. In this unique, stilted pavilion, guests dine as local Kamu villagers frequently do. In the open air. Underthatch.Oncuisineborneintheheart of Lao.At dinner, feast on fish harvested from the Mekong. On pork raised by local farmers. On beef and buffalo and curry flavored Kamu style. Most of the rice and produceisgrownwithinwalkingdistance. And the fruits you eat at dinner may be the fruits you passed during your trek that day.Likewise, lunch is a local affair. The pork, beef and vegetable dishes vary with the season, and availability. What doesn’t varyisthelocalappeal.You’reeatingwhat the locals are eating.
  26. 26. 26 At breakfast, we deliver comfort foods familiar to Western travelers. The American breakfast is long on eggs and bacon. The French breakfast favors baguettes and jam.Beyond dining, the bar at Kamu Lodge is a thirst quenching experience whether your beverage of choice is locally distilled or imported from abroad. Our well-stocked bar rarely fails to satisfy. 
  27. 27. 27 The Location Thirty kilometers upstream from Luang Prabang, the Mekong channels betweenthedramaticflanksofLaohills, scenery that very well may be unrivalled in the river’s 4,350-kilometer journey to the sea. In his book about a landmark journey from the river’s source to its delta, modern explorer Edward Gargan describes this stretch of the Mekong this way: “Here, wrapped on both sides by jungle, sometimes dense, sometimes scrubbed by slash-and-burn agriculture, the wagon train of globalization had yet to venture.”
  28. 28. 28 The Community Everybody loves the idea of low-impact travel. But so few actually embrace its tenets. At Kamu, we do. We’re all about a low-impact footprint. We work on a small scale. We’re intimately involved in the economic developments of neighboring villages. We’re educating our guests. And doing what we can to empower the Kamu. OurlodgeneighborsBanNyoyHar,where 63 families make a living in traditional Kamu fashion. They fish; they farm; they harvest teak they’ve planted, after 15 or 20years.NovisittotheLodgeiscomplete without a visit to Ban Nyoy Har. This is life as the Kamu live it.Such a visit is vital and life-affirming. Walk about the village on a Saturday morning when children are everywhere at play, and everywhere delighted by your visit. They’re learning about you, and you’re learning about them. We’re building bridges.
  29. 29. 29 A million things always seem to be in the works here. A villager braiding strips of bamboo into a cylinder for rice. Another scooping harvested peanuts from a tarp to a bamboo basket.  And yet another shaping a door frame. And everywhere, dogs and pups, pigs and piglets, chickens and chicks.Between the lodge and the village, our rice field takes in two hectares. The villagers work this field. Andourguestsworkthisfield,harvesting what’sknownintheregionaswhitegold. Our efforts, and your visit, help support this traditional way of life, stimulating sustainable economic development. 
  30. 30. Please contact us for more information: 44/3 Ban Wat Nong, Kham Kong Rd, Luangprabang Lao P.D.R. Tel & Fax: ( 856 71 ) 260 319 Mob: (856 30) 5 140 315 (856 20) 6 032 365