Asia-style escape to nature
Namkat Yorlapa is a resort anchoring a new nature tourism destination centred on the Nam Kat waterfall.
Opened in early 2016, the resort is located 17 km northeast of Udomxai city centre. A freshly cut and paved road rolls through the countryside, leading to the newly created outdoor park like a red carpet.
Udomxai lacks sights and accommodation to entice visitors to linger, and Namkat Yorlapa is trying to fill that niche for both. The setting is undeniably beautiful and the rooms do a good job allowing guests to admire the surrounding nature. However, the resort’s target market is Asian tourists, namely Lao, Chinese and Thai, and as an “eco-resort” it may not be what some have in mind.
A lobby/reception sets the tone as the airy space is elegantly designed with natural materials such as bamboo, rattan and terracotta. Moving through, a wood walkway leads to the resort’s prime feature, the infinity pool against a backdrop of a lushly forested hill. The pool has a wide open deck bedecked with sun loungers. To the left is the restaurant, to the right is the open air gym, spa and sauna.
There are 30 eco rooms and 31 villas (some with private pools), all cantilevering along the river’s edge. The eco rooms have a full glass wall facing the river and a screened window that can be opened so the rushing water can be heard inside. The rooms, painted in muted earth tones, are snug and fully equipped with mod cons and a few luxurious touches: comfortable king-size bed (unless you’ve opted for twin of course) with white cotton linens, minibar, safety box, air-con, WiFi and kettle with tea/coffee. The bathroom is fully modern complete with rain shower, contemporary fixtures, hair dryer and toiletries.
We think the highlight is the fully private view from within and the space on the shared terrace for some time al fresco. Breakfast and transfer is included but the activities such as hiking, mountain biking, ATV and the waterfall, which you need to be shuttled to, are not.
The resort has a few missteps. The recreated Khmu village is kitschy and the rooms have flatscreen TVs—the bay window should be the entertainment. Overall, the surrounding forest and countryside is pretty. Considering how some nature parks in Southeast Asia are anything but natural, Namkat Yorlapa has shown some restraint and taste. This can be a good place for travellers to treat themselves to some quiet time…unless the hotel has a large selfie-stick wielding tour group in house.
Namkat Yorlapa is located 17 km northeast of Udomxai. Take the road to the airport and follow it straight, there should be signs for the resort every kilometre or so. As of 2018, the road was being paved. You’ll go through Ban Donkeo village, Ban Nabo-Noy then Ban Faen, turning right and following the new road until it dead ends at the resort and waterfall entrance.
A word on the name of the resort—or rather the spelling—the hotel spells it three different ways on its own website and the spelling on Agoda and Booking are different to one another. The upside its there are no other hotels in the area with a similar name, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but it is a bit head scratching.
Address: Ban Faen village, 17 km northeast of Udomxai, Xay District, Udomxai Province
T: (020) 5556 4359;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º5'50.02" E, 20º43'1.1" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$50 to 100
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||US$65||US$65|
|Superior double room||US$100||US$100|
|Deluxe double room||US$130||US$130|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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