Luang Prabang gets luxury spa

1st Mar 2006

La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, is launching its new Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara -  the first purpose-built luxury spa in Luang Prabang. The Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara is inspired by the concept of a typical Lao village, with cozy spa cottages set around a lush water lily pond. It is the first spa in Luang Prabang to offer a traditional Laotian steam room, with an adjacent relaxation deck with an infinity plunge pool overlooking the tranquil water lily pond. There are four treatment rooms for both couples and singles. Each room has a different design so that even guests who use the spa every day can enjoy a new experience in each room. One of the most enticing features is open-air Japanese style sunken bathtub with a garden view that is a wonderful place to languish in a muscle-soothing hot herbal bath during the cooler months of the winter season.

Built in traditional local materials, the spa cottages are decorated in an inviting mix of ethnic craftsmanship and modern comfort. Each house is decorated in a contemporary style with Laotian accents using wooden furniture and elegant wall paneling made of hand woven local silk. The spa doors are decorated with hand carved wooden lintels inspired by traditional temple motifs, and in tribute to ethnic culture the brass door handles and hangers are reproductions of traditional jewelry of the local Hmong hill tribe people.

Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara offers a full range of face and body treatments including facials, massages, body scrubs, body wraps and packages for individuals and couples. The custom-designed spa treatments are based on traditional Lao herbal remedies aimed at healing and nurturing, and use only pure botanical ingredients from the organic herb garden and local farms.

Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara offers two signature treatments not found at any other spa - the Mohom Indigo Healing Art and the Piu Nuan Lao Secret of Sensual Skin. Mohom is a herbal compress using the native indigo plant, which has strong origins in this region and is prized for its potent skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. The treatment lasts 90 minutes and costs $48. Piu Nuan, which means “smooth skin,” is another herbal compress using local sticky rice, the staple diet of the Laotian people, along with black sesame seeds and heated honey and oil to smooth and soften the complexion. This 120-minute treatment costing $60 is derived from an ancient recipe used by Laotians for centuries.

All guests are encouraged to participate in traditional herbal steam along with their other spa treatments. The unique Lao herbal steam uses specially blended formulas using specific herbs aimed for therapeutic results, such as lemongrass, kaffir lime, and Lao rosemary for detoxification, and other formulas to relax and rejuvenate. The steam room is made of limestone in contemporary style, with a pebbled stone path leading to the rinsing area where guests rinse off by splashing water from traditional earthenware urns, then proceed to the infinity plunge pool and relaxation area overlooking the water lily pond.


Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara also offers health food, snacks and drinks, all made from the purest local organic ingredients. There is a selection of herbal drinks specifically formulated for rejuvenation, relaxation, and detox. In future, the spa will offer comprehensive day packages including spa lunch with organically grown local ingredients, as well as Tai Chi and Chi Gong classes.

La Residence Phou Vao is situated five minutes from the center of Luang Prabang, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 32-room hotel features an infinity pool with dramatic views, a restaurant showcasing a combination of traditional Lao cuisine and dishes reflecting the area’s French colonial heritage, and the new Phou Vao Spa by Ytsara.


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