While massage is an art throughout Asia, it is not something that has a long tradition in Laos unlike countries such as Thailand. Having said that, tourists enjoying a busy Laos holiday will not be disappointed because there are some quality facilities in Luang Prabang. There are also some cheap establishments that seasoned travellers on a Laos tour would do well to avoid. The quality and price of some places do not compare with other towns and cities in South East Asia. However, there are some places that are certainly recommended on all counts. If you want to refresh yourself then try any of the places mentioned below and you will not be disappointed.
• Spa by Burasari in the Heritage Hotel in Kingkitsalat Road is the only luxury spa the old town. There is a wide range of treatments, all of which use natural ingredients: massage, Thai massage, scrubs, detox packages,waxing, manicures and pedicures.
• Lao Red Cross Massage in front of Wat Wisunalat in Wisunarat Road is a traditional Lao sauna and massage that locals often use in the afternoon. It was renovated in 2014 and looks clean and bright. It is inexpensive to get an oil massage and the profits go entirely to Lao Red Cross in Luang Prabang Province.
• Angsana Spaat Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel near Nam Phou Fountain in Rue Chao Fa Ngum offers plenty of treatments on its menu including massages, manicures and pedicures, body scrubs and facials. It is part of a Singapore-owned chain and has well-qualified staff.
• Silva Naga on Sakkaline Road is another offering good value. It is well decorated, plays soothing music and you can get a private locker. You should book in advance as this is a popular place.
• Kiridara Hotel has a spa open to non-guests. It is on the outskirts of Luang Prabang but when you make an appointment you will be offered free transport if you need it.
• Belmond’s La Residence Phou Vao is sheer luxury, at a price. An oil massage in its private garden is a treat you should give yourself and not worry about the cost.
If you have a limited budget and are just looking for a simple massage with none of the frills, in a place that is clean but hardly atmospheric then Peninsula Massage & Sauna on the Mekong River road near Wat Xiengthong will do the job.