Villa Ban Lakkham is a charming 10-room boutique hotel in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, nestled in the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. It overlooks the sleepier and quieter of the two rivers, the Nam Khan.
Literally meaning ‘House in the Village of the Golden Pillar’, Villa Ban Lakkham has a wealth of history written into its very name. During the 13th century, a golden pillar was discovered when the land was being dug up for the construction of roads. The gold was sold for a handsome sum of money known in Lao as a ‘Sene’, and the proceeds were used to construct the magnificent temple known as Wat Sene. Meanwhile, the village was known as Ban Lakkham, meaning ‘Village of the Golden Pillar’. Later it was changed to Ban Sene, to reflect the name of the temple at its heart.
Across the road from the hotel you will find The Indestructible Rock restaurant. The grandmother of the current landlady was born under the large tree that forms its centrepiece.
Eight out of the ten tastefully decorated rooms at Villa Ban Lakkham have their own private balcony or verandah. Solid wooden beds, wooden floors and whitewashed walls remain faithful to the simple yet timelessly elegant local architectural style. A mountain of cushions and bolsters on each bed, covered in handwoven Lao cotton made in the local weaving village, create an inviting spot for lolling, reading and afternoon napping.
Limited edition lino prints by acclaimed Australasian artist, Sally Heinrich, and handmade stained glass bedside lamps adorn each room. Balconies and verandahs are graced by handmade mosaic sun catchers, reflective of Lao culture, by acclaimed Australian multi-media artist Violet Cooper. Original commissioned art and customised handicrafts dot the corridors and common areas of the hotel.
Breakfast is served on the terrace outside Reception, in guests’ rooms or on their private balconies or verandahs, or on the absolute riverfront restaurant across the road from the hotel, known as The Indestructible Rock (see DINING). A choice of western, continental, local Lao or Asian breakfast is offered, each served with excellent Lao coffee and freshly squeezed tropical fruit juice. A must-try are the home-made jams, made on the premises from exquisite tropical fruits.
Since March 2012, Villa Ban Lakkham has been under new management by a husband and wife team based in Singapore, Bob and Suzanne. Originally from Britain and Australia, the couple has lived and worked in the media industry in Singapore for almost 20 years. After travelling extensively in the region, they fell deeply in ‘love at first sight’ with Luang Prabang and in particular, Villa Ban Lakkam. Serendipity and perhaps fate conspired to bring them here.
We hope that you too will fall in love with Luang Prabang, and Villa Ban Lakkham.