Tag Archives: hotel

Vientiane’s Mercure Hotel To Shut Doors As March 1 Closure Announced

Mercure Closes Doors on Vientiane Property

Mercure Hotel chain has announced the closure of its Vientiane property from March 1, 2019.

Mercure Closes Doors on Vientiane Property

Mercure Closes Doors on Vientiane Property

The Mercure is set to continue trading until February 28 shutting its doors for the final time March 1, the letter signed by general manager Christopher Yeo and dated December 26, 2018, announced.

Boasting 172 well-designed guestrooms, the four-story hotel long benefited from its site conveniently situated on the airport end of Vientiane’s downtown.

More recently the highly competitive market for higher end hotel accommodation and proximity to the larger Crowne Plaza Hotel were doubtless among the factors driving demand and affecting considerations on the viability of the business in Vientiane for the Mercure Chain, part of the Accor group.

Laotian Times like other denizens of the city and beyond will be tuned in to learn what’s next for this prime spot located opposite the Park Honouring the legendary monarch King Fa Ngum.

Furball 2018: Animal Love, Welfare Aspirations Light Up The Night in Laos

Furball 2018 for Vimaan Suan Foundation in Vientiane Laos.

Fashionable Folk and Animal Spirits were very much in attendance as the very first Furball 2018 touched down in the Lao capital Saturday with some 150 folk in attendance.

Attendees helped raise funds for construction of a secure fence to mark the perimeter of Laos’ very first sanctuary for aged, infirm and other domestic animals, offering treatment and dignity to felines and “man’s best friend” alike.

In a salute to the effort, an entertainment line up of some of Laos biggest names such as Ola of the band Black Eyes, Aluna Thavansouk and Tot Lina hit the stage with well known tunes in Lao and English languages.

The musical feast was preceded by multiple courses of Crowne Plaza Hotel’s very finest kitchen creations.

Love Me, Love My Dog

Coming out to the strains of 70s British pop singer Peter Shelley’s hit was Aluna Thavansouk.

She also thrilled the charity’s supporters with her version of John Lennon’s legendary Imagine.

You Make Me So Very Happy

Attendees were treated to the rare reemergence of Singapore-bred & Laos-based inspiration Shanaynay, who lent her voice and presence to thrill the crowd.

The smooth voice of Sanonh and the up and coming vocals of Pepsi Song Contest Winner Kob also tickled the fancy of the animal lovers in attendance.

Furry Friends for a Cause

The fundraising Gala supports the Vimaan Suan Foundation’s Sanctuary Building Fund.

Proceeds from FurBall 2018 are be earmarked for Phase One of the construction of the Sanctuary located in Naxaythong District.

According to organisers, “each ticket sold will help build approximately 1 meter of wall that is 3 meters tall to protect the resident animals from predators and dog/cat thieves.

“Additional funds raised will be used to raise the level of the land to ensure the safety of the resident animals in the event of flooding.”


Furball 2018 for Vimaan Suan Foundation in Vientiane Laos.

The River Resort: Riparian Luxury Meets Lao Hospitality

On the right bank of the Mekong, just north of Champasak town, sits a hidden treasure in Laos: The River Resort. Formerly a royal orchard, the 30,000 square meter area is teeming with green space for travellers looking to get away into nature and affordable luxury.

I had heard of The River Resort for quite some time and that it was a not only beautiful, but had a holistic attention to detail. People often remarked that it was a highlight of Southern Laos! I needed to find out for myself.

Cheerful Mr Ton, the General Manager, greeted me at reception and walked me through the property to my room. I learned that the resort itself is comprised of 28 Deluxe Guestrooms, 20 two-storied villas; and 8 adjoining rooms in two-storied structures. Each room has a splendid Mekong River view or Pond/Garden view, which can be enjoyed through large panorama windows.

The property also has two infinity pools with Mekong views, as well as a stunning riverside restaurant serving sumptuous Lao, Thai, and Western cuisine. There is even a rooftop area that is perfect for small private events or corporate meetings, complete with its own bar. Mr Ton also mentioned that the hotel has their own boats available for journeys up and down the Mekong, and even sunset cruises!

The American and Japanese owners fell in love with the location and invested in building this unique hotel project in keeping with the history of the area, and with a focus on the wellbeing of both guests and the community. The River Resort is dedicated to sustainable practices by composting organic waste to grow the magnificent flower, fruit, and vegetable gardens; using solar power in the kitchens, using ecologically grown bamboo in most of the furnishings; as well as maintaining a working rice paddy on the property! Hotel staff are almost all from the local area and have learned that hospitality brings skills they can use to improve their lives and share their region with the world.

I decided to see more of the area before dinner and boarded one of their comfortable local-style boats. In this area, it is very common to construct a large platform spanning two local pirogues as pontoons. Sitting in comfortable rattan chairs under a grass roof, I was feted with local snacks and a few soothing bottles of Beerlao to help quench the late afternoon heat.

Admiring the mountains towering over scenes of local life along the riverbank, it truly felt like a special piece of paradise.


Getting there:

The River Resort is just outside of Champasak town,

which is 30 km south of Pakse city. Lao Airlines flies from Vientiane

to Pakse daily, and flies from Bangkok four times per week.




Photographs by THE RIVER RESORT

Originally published in Champa Meuanglao magazine.

Stairway to Heaven: A Stay at the Kiridara Luang Prabang

There’s an overwhelming number of things to do in Luang Prabang – temples to visit, cooking classes to take, museums to explore, and waterfalls to climb. So much so, in fact, that sometimes the best thing to do might be nothing at all. And where better than to do just that, than the Kiridara Hotel?

DoubleTree by Hilton Makes Investment in Laos

Doubletree by Hilton Laos

The award-winning DoubleTree by Hilton will soon be among the many new hotels to open in the heart of Vientiane. Earlier in the week, DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane signed a management agreement with TPD Company Limited, a branch of TK Group, to manage the 160-room luxury hotel.

The announcement solidifies Hilton’s launch into Laos and the brand’s debut in the capital city of Vientiane.

Guy Philips, senior vice president of development – Asia & Australasia, Hilton stated, “the capital city of Vientiane is a key destination in Laos, with tourist arrivals making up approximately 25 percent of total annual arrivals historically. Vientiane has become a strategic market for Hilton’s first point of entry to Laos. As one of the world’s fastest-growing hospitality companies and through our strong partnership with TPD Company Limited, we are confident that the DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane will perform well in the market.”

As the social and economic capital of Laos, Vientiane is home to a multitude of substantial financial institutions, government agencies and international businesses holding offices.

Its landlocked state has also positioned the country in a unique seat, acting as a trading hub for various goods on account of its access to Thailand and Vietnam via the Mekong River and three link bridges.

The country is foreseen to has seen a surge in economic growth from foreign investment in recent years, and is foreseen to remain one of the fastest growing economies in Asia as a result of the government’s enthusiasm to encourage foreign investors and pledging to developing the tourism industry.

Leading up to the 2016 launch of the ASEAN Economic Community, statistics showed a 70 percent increase in foreign direct investment.

In addition, the much anticipated US$6 billion, 427-kilometer Laos-China railway, that is currently under construction, will connect the Kunming-Singapore railway and will run through central Vientiane making Laos a vital part of the project.

The economy is expected to see a boost in trade and tourism and spur economic growth within the capital.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane is located on the intersection of Rue Setthathilath and Rue Manthatourath, close to the iconic stupa, That Dam. The hotel is also conveniently located about five kilometres from Wattay International Airport and is scheduled to open in early 2020.

Muong Thanh Group Opens Five-Star Hotel in Laos

Vietnamese Muong Thanh Group on July 29 inaugurated the five-star Muong Thanh Luxury Vientiane Hotel in Laos’s capital of Vientiane, which is its first hotel abroad, marking a new progress in the firm’s ambition to become the largest hotel chain developer in Indochina.