Style Classic colonial
Setting Heritage heartland
Seamlessly spread across three World Heritage-listed residences (and a sleepy street), Luang Prabang boutique hotel 3 Nagas oozes charm and character from every historic crevice. Located in the heart of the city’s Old Quarter, its rooms are lovingly decorated in period furnishings, many with balconies to witness the snaking symphony of saffron that is the local monks seeking alms. More about cultural immersion than raucous kids’ clubs, 3 Nagas is best suited to families with older offspring – holidays with teenagers don’t get more serene than this.
Sleeping All rooms resonate with romance and elegance, blending contemporary touches with traditional Lao decor. Room 11 is set in the Provençal-style farmhouse and has a gorgeous garden view. The Junior Suite is a little more spacious when you need to add an extra bed for the Junior Smith, and also boasts an outdoor terrace. The hotel doesn’t supply baby cots, so it’s best to bunk here with older kids, unless you want to lug your own travel cot. Extra beds cost US$36 a night.
Activities Luang Prabang will prove a real eye-opener for slightly older children. They can explore the temples and markets and cycle around this quiet town. Active types can ascend Mount Phousi (just a 15-minute stroll up a marked path), and early risers will relish the opportunity to take part in the alms-giving service, as a procession of monks weave down the street each morning. And what kid wouldn’t enjoy a trip to an elephant park? Further afield, jaunts down the Mekong River beckon.
Feasting There’s double trouble for those who find it hard to choose: Les 3 Nagas delivers perfectly presented Laotian cuisine and, across the road, the more casual Mango 3 has inventive international plates with a touch of French flamboyance. Lao treats such as fried fish with ginger sauce, followed by sticky rice, banana and ice-cream, or Western faves including stir-fried chicken with noodles and crème brulee for dessert, should satisfy most junior palates.
No need to pack If you’re travelling with toddlers, you’ll have to bring everything, from change mats to baby cots.
Time-out Babysitting is available for US$5 an hour and needs to be booked at least 24 hours in advance. Take this time to explore the Night Market with Mr Smith (the silver jewellery and silks are particularly covetable) – just a five-minute walk from the hotel – or sip on a Lao Lao Sling (made with rice-wine moonshine) in Mango 3 bar.
To book a child-friendly Smith stay visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world. At 3 Nagas, you’ll get free one-way transfers from the airport to the hotel.