The 'By Alila' and 'Alila villas', run by Alila Hotels, are brands The Luxury Travel Bible is increasingly fond of because they consistently deliver style and atmosphere, yet retain the 'spirit of place'. 3 Nagas by Alila is a good example of a well thought out mix of contemporary design and Lao heritage features such as dark wood floors and traditional clay tile roofs. Behind a picket fence you'll find three white-washed, century-old heritage buildings. With just 15 rooms and suites located in two of the houses, there a sense of charm and intimacy. The Khamboua House (8 rooms), built in 1903, looks out on a lush garden edging the Nam Khan River. Choose The Lamache House (7 rooms), if you have delusions of royal grandeur and a sweet tooth. Originally built in 1898 to host the royal family the house was converted into an ice-cream factory in the 1930s. General Manager Karin van Zyl makes sure that whichever house you choose your needs are met by the serene staff. The Luxury Travel Bible also likes the fact that the resort has not just a concierge but a 'leisure concierge', a concept which really gets into the relaxed spirit of things. Hailed by the New York Times online a few years back Les 3 Nagas restaurant is a classy place to dine even if you are not staying there. Ditto the boutique for designer souvenirs you'll still like when you get home.