For a long time I would drive past the construction site of Rashmi’s Plaza Hotel every day watching the massive megalith slowly take form. Suddenly one day it opened, replete with flashing silver spirit houses guarding the front entrance and sparkling tower adorning the top. After often wondering what the interior would be like, J&C was lucky enough to receive a guided tour just last week.
Although the location seems a little far from the city centre for a major hotel, it is actually smack-dab right in the middle of the ‘diplomatic area’, with many embassies such as the Singaporean and Australian quite close by. The view of the Mekong River from the top floor is fit for an ambassador and when you see the rooms you’ll understand why, no matter the locale, this hotel will remain unique in Vientiane for years to come.
We met with Mr. Weerawech Ekawat, the hotel’s Sales and Marketing Executive, downstairs in the lobby and began our tour from there. What was immediately apparent upon entering Rashmi’s was the friendly atmosphere engendered by the polite staff who smile and greet guests at every turn. Unlike other hotels in Laos where staff sit around painting their nails, talking on the phone or reading magazines, at Rashmi’s they are attentive and smiling at all times; and they appear to genuinely mean it! At any rate, we were guided by these happy folks over to the elevators to begin our tour from the top down.
We received some background information about the hotel on the way up to the fifth floor. Rashmi’s Plaza was designed by the hotel’s General Manager, Mr. Sunshine Jeams and is as ultra-modern as you can get. In terms of design, whilst I’m no expert, I can see that this is completely removed from all other hotels in Laos and looks more like something you would find in Sukhumvit, Bangkok. As you walk around you really feel you are in a completely different city altogether. In fact if you need an escape but can’t leave Vientiane, Rashmi’s could be the ticket. The hotel has 54 rooms in total but seems to be going through some sort of extended soft opening with only 18 rooms in operation at the moment. As the elevator doors opened and we hit the fifth floor we were pleased walk out to a rooftop deck featuring a large swimming pool, spa and sauna area with a panoramic view of the Mekong river and surrounding city. The hotel hopes to add a restaurant in the near future, as well as an alleged ‘beach area’ complete with sand!
Next stop was the gym which has been named “The Olympic Fitness Club”. The gym area at Rashmi’s, open 8:00 to 20:00 every day, has an excellent range of quality equipment including weights and cardio machines and guests are afforded the same spectacular view of the Mekong River whilst working out. Memberships are available for Vientiane residents through various packages such as three monthly, six monthly and yearly. A yearly package costs $1,300 USD and includes use of all the facilities plus the pool.
Nearby is the main restaurant at Rashmi’s, called ‘Gourmet’. When I visited Gourmet I had the feeling I was walking around somewhere in Bangkok again. The entire Hotel has a sort of modern Thai feeling to it and this was most evident at the restaurant. Gourmet serves international cuisine and the kitchen’s Thai chef is an expert in Italian food. Rashmi’s has a buffet lunch available on Wednesdays for 114,000 kip per person, and a buffet dinner on Fridays for 192,000 kip per person. There’s also a Sunday brunch. Guests are soon to be entertained by a pianist, however until he arrives they may choose their own music via an iPad.
On the bottom floor is Rashmi’s Plaza’s spa area, called Giriya Spa. This space is wonderfully designed with a distinctly Indian flavour. Thai masseuses give expert massages to guests who lie in private rooms adorned with Indian colours and patterns whilst overlooking the garden nearby. The spa is only operating at half capacity right now but will soon be fully open. Like the gym, memberships will be available to Vientiane residents.
Our final stop brought us to one of the hotel rooms. As expected, the rooms were plush without being over the top, and modern in design rather than overly grand. The bright, large bathroom featured a spa-bath and its own TV, beds were comfortable and sizable and the private balcony overlooked the central garden below. Room rates differ depending on the type of room and length of stay.
At the end of the tour we said our thankyous and goodbyes and vowed to come back for the buffet. When I returned to my car I had the pleasant surprise of finding that it had been given a very thorough washing! Squeaky clean! At Rashmi’s, the service really never ends!
You can find Rashmi’s Plaza hotel at KM 3, Thadeua Rd, Ban Beungkhanyong-Tai, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR. Call +856 21 315088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See the google maps reference here.