A timeless eco-luxury hotel where you arrive as our guest and leave as our family.
The late hotel structure housed CIA Headquarters during the secret war of the 1960s, has been given a make-over and magnified just in time to open post-pandemic. The original colonial structures have been preserved and continue to tell a story.
This property was once home to Ouane Rattikone, the General in command of the Royal Lao Armed Forces, the official military of the Royal Lao Government and the Kingdom of Laos during the 1960s. General Rattikone was an ally of the United States during the Vietnam War and provided critical military support against communist forces in the northern regions of Laos. He was born in Luang Prabang in 1912 and passed away in 1978.
As a clandestine participant to the Vietnam War and its shadow secret war in Laos, this building functioned as the offices for USAID, America’s foreign aid mission during the secret war and a cover for CIA headquarters. Imagine, this parking area once had a helicopter landing pad!
The construction of a hotel on Rattikone’s family land was led by Ms. Sirivanh Thammavongsa, one of his ten children. At a time when Laos was starting to see international tourists cross its borders, Villa Ban Lao was one of the first hotels to open in Luang Prabang in 1999. Built in the classic colonial design and encircled by gardens and a lily-filled pond, the hotel offered an on-site restaurant, which made it a popular venue for weddings and parties. It was also the location for the first Miss Lao New Year (Nang Sangkhan) pageant in Luang Prabang.
The late hotel structure of Villa Ban Lao has been transformed into the modern neo-classic elegance of MyBanLao. Renovation to the original buildings was undertaken with strict UNESCO construction codes to protect its heritage and architecture.
Environmental Sustainability &
Corporate Social Responsibility
Embrace sustainable tourism at MyBanLao. We follow an environmentally friendly, one health philosophy, bridging the gap as much as possible between environmental conscientiousness and a luxury experience. The concept of One Health is a lifestyle approach that recognizes that the health of humans is linked to the health of animals and the health of our shared environment. Through surveillance, prevention, mitigation, and interconnection of these three elements, we can experience a sense of wholeness.
On arrival at MyBanLao, guests may not immediately notice that the parking area is covered with 120 solar panels. These feed into a battery network which serves as an energy backup system. Additionally, MyBanLao prominently uses only electric vehicles, including cars, scooters, and motorbikes.
Our Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary
MyBanLao is home to 8 species of 40-50 endangered and critically endangered turtles and tortoises. These testudines are safe here in this mini sanctuary. We have recreated a habitat for them that matches their natural world, including maintaining a very specific diet. Each species has different dietary needs which we strictly adhere to with the objective of giving them the best chance to breed and leading them on a path to survival. They are fed three times per week and most of their diet includes fruits, fish, and vegetables. During the winter months (Nov - Feb), they hibernate and during the rainy season (May - Oct), they will lay their precious eggs in the sand.
Buddhists believe that turtles are sacred and symbolize longevity, transformation, and protection. Ecologically, they are extremely important to the contribution of the aquatic and terrestrial food web, playing an important role in keeping aquatic ecosystems healthy and clean. The extinction of these turtles would have unforeseen consequences for the biodiversity and habitats of other living things. It is our hope to preserve these animals through sustainable breeding and increased awareness of their plight to tourists and the general public.