This hotel is a real oasis in a busy town. We loved Vientiane even though it isn't a major tourist destination. For a national capital it's small and relaxed. It's late development by comparison with other Asian cities is wonderfully refreshing.
Contrary to some reviewers' opinions, the hotel is a short 5 minute walk from the "action". It has a dignified, sedate character and really makes you feel like your miles away from town. There is a beautiful palm tree-filled garden with a big swimming pool.
Several people have commented on the quality of the staff. I think it's important to remember that Laos is a country which only recently became a tourist destination - at least for higher end travellers. As such, there is no tradition or experience of commercial hospitality. Some of the staff seemed a bit undertrained. And some had difficulty with English but they were all pleasant and trying their best. And I think that, in this context, a hotel like this one is a real find. Most guests appeared to be business people with very few tourists.
The rooms (we had their standard room of which, I believe, there are only four) are a nice size and thoughtfully furnished with repro' antique style furniture. The bed is comfortable, the linens are of good quality and there's a fridge and kettle with coffee. The bathroom is a good size. All lighting was with fluorescent bulbs and commensurately dimmer. There is a tub and separate shower with plenty of hot water.
I took a look at rooms in the Salana and the Ansara. Rooms at both were smaller than here. They were a bit slicker and contemporary. The Salana has no pool. The Ansara's pool is in a (to me) far less appealing treeless garden in a busy part of town.
Several earlier reviews made reference to mosquitoes. We encountered none. And they always find me if they're around.
Breakfast and the delightful dining room are wonderful. There was a more than ample selection of the usual suspects plus fabulous French croissants and pastries. In addition to the buffet, eggs any style are available to order and arrive promptly. The service was attentive and elegant.
We took their English cab shuttle from the airport for US$11.00 and it was a treat.
We left Vientiane by minivan which brings me to one of my few disappointments with this property. Several months before our stay, I emailed the hotel asking about travel options for leaving Vientiane. We travelled to Vang Vieng. The hotel replied that the only transport they could arrange was by private vehicle for several hundred dollars. We made our arrangement through Green Discovery travel once we arrived and booked seats on a shared minivan - about 12 people - for US$10:00 pp with hotel pickup. When I inquired at the front desk as to whether they could arrange this type of transport, they said they could. They just wouldn't let me know this in advance.
All in all I would recommend this property to anyone looking for a charming comfortable hotel in a good location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 1930s French colonial heritage building, with high ceilings, period furniture and lighting, beautiful Italian-marble floors and richly crafted rosewood furniture at this luxurious colonial hotel will take you a step back in time. Beautifully restored to its former charm, the Settha Palace is a hotel you will never forget. Relax by the free-form pool with beautifully landscaped surroundings. Indulge your appetite at our French Mediterranean restaurant, La Belle Epoque. Stay connected with modern facilities like wireless internet service. Now with free WIFI in all public areas of the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Settha Palace Vientiane
- Hotel Settha Palace