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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Laos

Riverside Boutique Resort, Vang Vieng: a slice of luxury and ethnic culture

Our guests come to trek, kayak, cycle and rock climb in the area. Balloon rides are the best way to appreciate Vang Vieng’s landscape …

By Stéphane Vigié
Co-owner of Riverside Boutique Resort

Riverside Boutique Resort, Vang Vieng

My main motivation behind Riverside Boutique Resort was to showcase the beauty and ethnic diversity of Laos’s culture. I was taking a sabbatical from working with the United Nations when some Laos hotelier friends came to me and said: “We feel like there’s a need for an upmarket, four-star hotel in Vang Vieng. There are nice hotels in Luang Prabang and Vientiane but there’s nothing here, are you interested in creating one with us?” I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

We set the resort on a riverbank facing Vang Vieng’s beautiful mountains and decided on Laos colonial architecture. For the interior décor, I spent a lot of time travelling the country looking for fabrics and art from different ethnic groups. Although all of our rooms are the same size, each one has a different ethnic theme. For instance, we have a H’mong building to highlight one of the main ethnic groups in Laos and there’s a Katu building to showcase this group from the south, who are known for weaving small beads into their textiles.

Riverside Boutique Resort also stands out because it’s the only hotel in Vang Vieng with both a restaurant and traditional outdoor spa. We have a menu focused on Laos cuisine with some international dishes and an open-air spa that promotes the use of natural herbs and treatments from Laos. The spa faces the river, so it takes full advantage of the location and what makes Vang Vieng so special, the beautiful scenery. We’re also working on making the resort as eco-friendly as possible. In the last six months, we’ve reduced our electricity costs by 30 percent and we’re working on recycling our water.

Our guests come to trek, kayak, cycle and go rock climbing in the area. Hot air balloon rides are also very popular and the best way to appreciate Vang Vieng’s landscape. Visitors often comment on the friendly staff at Riverside Boutique; it was important for me to hire local people, train them well and create a sense of team spirit. In fact, all our managers and supervisors have been with us since we opened in 2012. I also like to support Laos creatives, so all of our artwork comes from local artists and we work with a youth organisation that performs ethnic dance shows at the hotel on special occasions.

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Alfred & Stéphane Vigié

Stéphane Vigié hails from Paris and came to Laos in 2007 as the Deputy Representative of the United Nations Development Programme. Along with his Laos partners, Stéphane built Riverside Boutique Resort in 2011 with the aim of promoting and showcasing Laos's diverse ethnic culture.
Stéphane Vigié, Co-owner of Riverside Boutique Resort

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Laos. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guide who can hone your pétanque skills while playing with the locals, the conservationist who can take you trekking with Asian elephants and the monks who can school you in the craft of Makbeng and Pasaat Pheung making.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656