Settha Palace Hotel
Built in 1932, this Grand dame of Vientiane presides over its position in the heart of the Laos capital with elegance, as it has for nearly 100 years.
Having once been an iconic architectural feature in Vientiane, the property was as-good-as abandoned having been used – and misused – during the 1970’s, by a swath of government officials in need of short-term housing. However, walk through the impressive Settha Palace entrance and on to the lobby’s polished marble floor today, and you’ll be under no illusion that this unique luxury Vientiane hotel is well and truly back to its glorious, regal best. Huge widows let in plenty of light, just what’s needed to show off the distinct décor of rich rosewood furniture, stone pillars and Laotian artwork peppering the walls.
Outside and around the grounds it’s just as impressive, as verdant gardens – emblematic of Laos and a rare find for central Vientiane hotel – cradle an inviting lagoon-style swimming pool and sun patio, one of the few city centre hotels that has one. You can stay outside for a spot of lunch too, courtesy of the poolside bar and al fresco tables, though the main restaurant and lobby lounge are just as inviting, particularly at night and you’ll find an admirable passion for local cuisine across the seasonal menu here. That said, the best restaurants, bars and shops in Vientiane are all within easy walking distance of the hotel, so too the popular Nam Phou Park with its impressive central fountain, National Museum and Wat Si Saket Temple, among many other highlights.
Of course, while enjoying your tour of Laos, downtime is also important and the masseurs at Settha Palace Hotel’s onsite spa will be only too happy to oblige. Secluded and with a small walled-garden to look over, their spa offers treatments ranging from traditional oil-free, invigorating Lao massages to aromatherapy-based treatments that feel suitably indulgent; the final piece of the puzzle in taking you back to this illustrious property’s turn-of-the-century heyday.