As a child I read Rudyard Kipling’s Riki-Tiki-Tavi over and over again. It is the saga of battles between a valiant young mongoose and a pair of Indian cobras named Nag and Nagaina. From a previous visit to Angkor Thom in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I knew that centuries ago Indian and Hindu influence was spread throughout Southeast Asia. Still, until I was standing in front of the hotel, the potential significance of the word root of Nagara never registered. It was then I realized Villa Nagara probably meant something like ‘snake house.’ I wondered if there might be snakes in the vicinity. I… hate… snakes!
Since I had already paid for the room (about $50/night), I was committed to staying even though my skin was crawling a bit. (Nagara also has meanings and interpretations other than snake.) When I booked the hotel on Agoda I had no thoughts of Nag and Nagaina. I liked the location, price and appearance of the rooms.
Other posts about the trip that circled the globe:
Luang Prabang City Tour
Hotel Review – Villa Nagara, Luang Prabang, Laos
Villa Nagara is situated on the banks of the Nam Khan River, a major Mekong River tributary.
The hotel is located in the old quarter one block from the main street.
Many restaurants are found nearby. Food was good and inexpensive.
Note: Agoda and perhaps other sites claim this hotel is close to the airport. In fact it takes about 15 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport. You will need a taxi, and they are not readily available. So book in advance through the hotel and verify your departure time.
Villa Nagara is a boutique hotel with seven rooms – three suites and four doubles with twin beds. Each room has a name and slightly different decor.
My room was on the second floor. There is no elevator, but the stairs are easy to navigate.
This room is the Nagara Gold Classic Twin. It faces the rear of the hotel and has no view. Suites on the front have great river views.
The room has a private bath.
There was no problem getting hot water or maintaining a constant water temperature.
The room has cable TV with a variety of channels from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. There are a few channels and movies in English.
The room’s best feature is the refrigerator. It is stocked with bottled water, soft drinks, and two cans of local beer. The contents are free. The maid replaces any used items daily.
Breakfast for two is included in the rate. The restaurant is next to the hotel.
Breakfast was very good, especially the fruit. I liked the warming stand for the coffee pot. The restaurant is also open for lunch and diner, but I ate only breakfast here.
In spite of the fact that I am a wimp when it comes to anything remotely related to snakes, Villa Nagara was a great hotel for my stay in Luang Prabang. It has an excellent location in the old quarter and is reasonably priced. The free minibar was a great feature, and it wasn’t even advertised in the materials I read.
There was one thing about this hotel that I thought was a bit quirky, though not a problem. Guests must leave their shoes in a cabinet and wear slippers going from the lobby to your room.