Le Bel Air fuses best of Oriental and colonial age
Le Bel Air Resort is designed in respect of the existing tropical vegetation bordering the Nam Khan River in front of the historic center of Luang Prabang, Laos.
The architecture of the 66-room resort reflects the French cultural influence of the 1920s when the Lao aristocracy transformed the royal city of Luang Prabang by building a new Laotian architecture influenced by the colonial style.
It is the fusion of two architectural styles combining Oriental details of a tropical wooden construction with the Western engineering of new techniques and building materials. It is the marriage between two cultures that gives the city its unique architectural identity throughout Southeast Asia.
“The concept of this resort design was to draw inspiration from the variety of village architecture in its materials and colors to create the 66 rooms resort, composed of small buildings of four and six bedrooms,” said architect Francois Greck, who is an expert in Lao traditional architecture and culture.
The pastel hues of blues, green and brown are the color schemes throughout the resort. Special attention has been sought by the architect to create different room styles in order to find the authenticity and variety of Lao village architecture consistent to the wooden balcony designs and facades.
“The interiors of the rooms are designed to respect the codes and materials of the colonial architecture associating tiles of cement waxes on the ground with colored patterns manufactured in Vietnam, high door out of painted wood, arcades and ceilings with wooden beams,” Greck said.
The furniture created for the project was manufactured in Laos.
“I have combined precious wood, Lao marble and brass wrought iron, inspired by the Oriental interpretation of the Art Deco style found throughout the Indochina in the 1920s. The atmosphere of yesteryear colonial homes is traced by the selection of vintage lamps, fans with wood blades, ceramic door handles, thick cotton bedding, curtains of organza veil and the softness of the floor tiles of cement wax,” he added.
In the spacious bathroom, the large double marble vanity with a painted wooden table is topped with two individual colonial-style mirrors.
Separated by a partition of ceruse glass with Oriental motifs, the vast walk-in shower is bathed in natural light by the bay window overlooking the tropical garden.
The living heart of Le Bel Air Resort is its restaurants, its bar with the terrace offering exceptional views of the Nam Khan River and the city of Luang Prabang at sunset.
Tropical species are abundant in the resort from banyan, ficus, date palm, banana trees, coconut trees, mango trees and the variety of flowers that are organized in the Laotian style. The beauty of its garden can rival the charm of the city’s botanic garden.