Mandala Ou is a small, simple and attractive little hotel that sits high on the banks of the glorious Nam Ou River in Nong Khiaw. The views of the rugged lime-stone karst scenery really make up for the lack of frills and luxury at the property; they are breathtaking. There are ten simple but comfortable bungalows that are clean and tastefully decorated with brightly coloured fabrics. Of these, 6 have direct Nam Ou river views, and 4 overlook the fountain in the garden.
At the edge of the property is a cool contemporary swimming pool, the only one in town. It looks out to the river and luminous jungle greenery and we think it's a real highlight of the hotel. Food is served during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect fresh coffee, croissants, eggs and toast for breakfast and a selection of Lao and Western dishes for both lunch and dinner.
Mandala Ou is located just on the edge of Nong Khiaw, a sleepy village that's a fantastic base for trekking, cycling and kayaking. The town is approximately two hours (152km) north of Luang Prabang at an altitude of 400m. This makes the area beautifully cool and a welcome respite from the lowland hills. The area is home to numerous hill-tribe villages, such as Khamu and Hmong, making it a fascinating introduction to northern Laos and its distinctive culture.
Whilst Mandala Ou is very simple, we feel it's the best option in Nong Khiaw, providing a good place to rest after a day of adventurous activities. It's ideal for outdoorsy couples and adventurous families that just need a clean and comfortable place to rest.