The former palace of a Lao prince is moving into the portfolio of hotels managed by Spanish hotel group, Meliá Hotels International.

The Grand Luang Prabang will be the first hotel in Laos to underscore Melia’s growing ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Luang Prabang property will undergo a 12-month rebranding process to become the first member of the Melia Collection in Southeast Asia.

Situated on the riverside in Luang Prabang, The Grand Luang Prabang is a 75-key property spread out over eight buildings, comprising of a 1920-built palace and a collection of annexes.

The property commands the high ground of a six-hectare bluff on a bend of the Mekong with sweeping views of mountains and river.

Once known as Xiengkeo Palace, the roots of the property reach deep into French colonial-style architecture, albeit with decidedly Laotian touches, Melia says.

Prince Petcharath, the aristocrat who once lived on the grounds, is well-known among Laotians and held a tenure as prime minister during World War II.

Under Melia’s stewardship the hotel will undergo renovation and refurbishment over the next year, remaining operational throughout.

Melia Hotels International landed in Asia for the first time in the 1980s with the opening of Melia Bali. The group has since built a portfolio of currently 50 properties (operating and in the pipeline) in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, China and Laos.