The Academy Training Hotel and Restaurant officially opened its restaurant to the public on 1 April.
Staffed by students who are overseen by their teachers and an international management team, The Academy, which was officially inaugurated in November 2020 and is part of the Vientiane Province Technical College, offers students of tourism and hospitality programmes a unique practical training environment in the heart of Vang Vieng.
Over the past months, students and teachers of the college have been preparing to welcome its restaurant guests. Chef Serge Selbe, a professional with over 30 years of industry experience, has been working with teachers and students to introduce them to the modern and professionally equipped kitchen.
“The menu we have created with the teachers and students blend international and local produce, combining fresh ingredients, native herbs and spices to create innovative yet simple dining options,” Serge reveals.
All meals and drinks offered at The Academy are prepared and served by students who are enhancing their skills in a real-life environment, supported and supervised by their teachers.
“Some of the students are experiencing working in a professional environment for the first time in their lives, which makes them exceptionally eager to learn. Students realize that they have a rare opportunity to gain many sought-after skills, making it easier to find a job upon graduation,” one of the teachers, Ms. Nidsakhone Sihachak added.
“The last two months went by very fast,” said Ms. Khambai Vongsodsavanh, a student currently enrolled on the Diploma in Hospitality specializing in Restaurant Operations.
“It has been an intense learning experience for all of us ranging from receiving instructions on how to properly use a wide variety of kitchen utensils, being taught how to practice hygienic standards at all times as well as becoming familiar with all the intricacies of working in a bar and a restaurant.”
The hotel at The Academy is also open to guests, offering six guest bedrooms that blend style and comfort with simplicity. Each bedroom has a private balcony and is equipped with A/C, LCD TV, WiFi, complimentary tea/coffee making facilities, and ensuite bathroom.
“We can facilitate meetings and events in our meeting rooms which are equipped with LCD projectors, whiteboards, flipcharts, and WiFi,” the General Manager, Ms Savija Pannark, explains.
“A wide variety of clients have already made use of our facilities and services, and we are ready to welcome new customers who wish to organize their meetings and events at our facility,” she added.
With The Academy Training Hotel and Restaurant offering new learning opportunities, “students will see their horizons broadened and their aspirations raised,” commented Mr. Nouphan Outsa, Director General of the Technical Vocational Education Department at the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“It provides students with the vital work-related knowledge and skills which support them as they transition from school to work. In addition to enhancing their practical skills, training in The Academy will provide students with valuable interactions with the world of work, help them prepare to take up employment in the tourism and hospitality sector and achieve their potential.”
The Academy Training Hotel and Restaurant is supported by the Skills for Tourism (LAO/029) Project which is co-financed by the Governments of Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Switzerland, and is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.