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Review: Settha Palace Hotel, Laos

Romantically lit pool at Settha Palace Hotel Settha Palace Hotel A colonial oasis amidst the pulsating vibes of Laos capital Vientiane, Settha Palace Hotel offers fascinating history, gorgeous Victorian furniture and a fantastic restaurant.
Romantically lit pool at Settha Palace Hotel

A colonial oasis amidst the pulsating vibes of Laos capital Vientiane, Settha Palace Hotel offers fascinating history, gorgeous Victorian furniture and a fantastic restaurant. Ankita Mahabir beds down for the night.

First impressions

I step into the lobby and I’m awestruck by the beautiful wrought iron chandeliers before me. I look around me and see stunning furniture everywhere: solid oak tables with intricate carvings, high back chairs upholstered in bright floral fabrics and a beautiful wooden staircase with railings that run through the entire hotel. A friendly “sabai dee” (meaning ‘hello’) reminds me that I am in Laos and not the lady of a colonial mansion (alas). I’m handed a lemony fresh welcome drink with a smile and friendly service that I soon grow very accustomed to.

Ideal for…

Couples and luxury addicts. Settha has a gorgeous pool and when illuminated at night, it becomes an extremely romantic spot for an evening swim. The suites are dreamy, with all the comforts right at your doorstep (including breakfast in bed for honeymooning couples).

The room

 

 

Deluxe SetthaDeluxe twin bedroom
Settha Palace Hotel
The centrepiece of my room is a rosewood four poster bed. It was all so lovely, starting from the pretty covers to the down feather pillows to the “make you sleep in a second” mattresses. I’d been travelling for a while before I reached Vientiane and I couldn’t have had a more comfortable bed. I sank into it, literally. From my vantage point, I admired the room’s colonial décor; its high ceilings, wooden floorboards, large marble bedside lamps and a charming writing desk in the corner. I drew back my curtains and opened my windows and the smell of the lush garden filled the room immediately. For someone who’s grown up in a household filled with flowers, I felt right at home. The bathrooms are impeccable too and come with a marble bathtub equipped with a standing shower and all of the toiletries you could possibly need.

 

Best room?

All rooms have either a garden or a pool view and the executive suite is stupendous, with its separate living room, a second bathroom for visitors, large wooden coffee tables and beautiful decor. However, I think the best room is the smaller, more intimate junior suite. My favourite features are the charming lamps, portraits and marble dining tables.

Eating and drinking

 

Restaurante SetthaDine at the hotel's Belle Epoque restaurant
Settha Palace Hotel
The hotels offers multitudinous dining options but don’t miss out on La Belle Epoque, which serves both Laos and French cuisine. I tried two Laos specialities here; Laos pork sausage and laap (a salad-like mixture of meat with mint, vegetables and herbs. Both the dishes were deliciously spicy, the meat perfectly cooked and the veggies were all seasonal and fresh.
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Extras

The list of extras is endless, including the pool bar, free Wi-Fi and the quaint airport pick up and drop service where you’re greeted by a friendly chauffer in a fancy refurnished London taxi. There are also plans for a spa to be opened in the spacious garden area.

Out and about

The hotel is conveniently located in the centre of the capital, close to the city’s oldest Bhuddist temple, Wat Si Saket, now a museum, as well as Wat Si Muang and Wat Ong Theu, also worth visiting. If you want to familiarise yourself with Laos’ tumultuous history, then the Laos National Museum is extremely close at hand.

In addition, the Mekong River is 1km (0.6 miles) away. The riverfront is lined with shops selling everything from clothes, paintings and beers to milkshakes with huge chunks of jelly (delicious). Try to make it to the riverfront during sunset and watch the beautiful spectacle unfold with a cold Beer Lao in your hands.

Details

Settha Palace Hotel
6 Pang Kham Street
P.O. Box: 1618, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: (21) 2175 812.
Website: www.setthapalace.com 
Prices start from $280 per room per night for a double room, excluding breakfast.

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