Mandala Ou

Location: Luang Prabang | Laos

Price guide: £££££ Less than £100 per person per night

Nestled on the banks of the Nam Ou River, Mandala Ou lodges itself among some of rural Laos’ most incredible scenery. This charmingly rustic bungalow swaps frills for thrills, perfectly placed for adventures out into the untouched wilderness, where virgin rainforest and karst limestone cliffs line the riverbed.
Perfect forAdventurers and yogis.
In the know
  • Small and rustic, with a warm homely feel
  • Sensational views over the river and towards the mountains

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Mandala Ou is located roughly two hours north of Luang Prabang in a small village called Nong Khiaw, where small Lao ethnic tribes live off the land and the Nam Ou River.

Rooms at Mandala Ou

The resort houses ten Lao boutique style bungalows, each decked out with simple, traditional interiors, brightly coloured fabrics and eco-friendly ceramic heaters for the cooler months. Six bungalows enjoy river views, while the other four peer out over the fountain garden. All rooms are double or twin.

Food and drink

The covered restaurant cooks up delicious cuisine on the river’s edge, blending Lao, Thai and Western flavours. Nearly all ingredients are sourced locally from the village market and the organic vegetable and herb gardens. Breakfasts are also a real treat, with an impressive collection of fruits, cheeses, pastries, eggs and meats, as well as natural homemade jams provided by a friend of the lodge.

Facilities

The facilities at Mandala Ou channel the peaceful surroundings, with an infinity swimming pool overlooking the river, cushioned seating areas surrounding the garden fountain and pond, and a free Lao herbal steam sauna offered every evening in the winter months. The resort is also renowned for its attractive yoga sala, offering impressive views over the Nong Khiaw Karst Valley and fully equipped with mats, blocks and straps; bi-monthly yoga retreats are held at the resort over the weekends.

Activities at Mandala Ou

The surrounding valley and river are itching to be explored, whether that’s by foot, bicycle or kayak. The lodge offers free use of bicycles and can help with route planning and daily excursions. Take untrodden paths though virgin jungle, explore nearby waterfalls, go tubing down the river, or explore the historical Patok Cave, which was used extensively by locals during the heaviest period of the carpet bombing during the war.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Fly into Luang Prabang, located 150km from Mandala Ou; a pick-up service can be arranged at an extra charge, or alternatively catch a public minibus, which will drop you at the bus station located five minutes from the lodge.

Stay at Mandala Ou on these trips

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