BANGKOK, 8 March 2018: Amari Vang Vieng opened last weekend, 3 March, in the famous backpacker haunt of Vang Vieng in Laos, a halfway-house village between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Popular with backpackers, who break their overland bus journey at Vang Vieng, the once sleepy village is packed with guesthouses and hotels overlooking the Nam Song River.
During its recent past it was notorious for travellers behaving badly. News of heavy drinking and wild parties on the river, sometimes leading to accidents, attracted international media attention that seriously embarrassed town officials.
Town officials claim they cleaned up the town and adopted a zero tolerance for drugs and heavy drinking.
One of the signs of moving up market is the arrival of the first internationally managed hotel that opened last weekend and is managed by the Bangkok headquartered Onyx Hospitality Group.
The property is flagged an Amari the most popular brand under the Onyx stable.
Located right in the heart Amari Vang Vieng has 160 rooms a spa, a restaurant, an outdoor free-form swimming pool and fitness centre.
To mark the opening, Amari Vang Vieng is offering a special rate starting at USD 60 ++ for a superior city view room. The offer is valid for bookings made by 30 June.
The USD 60 ++ rate is consistent with the best rates on offer on online travel agencies namely Expedia. However, if you book directly on the Amari Vang Vieng website there is a bonus; a room upgrade to a higher room category.
The rate on both Amari website and Expedia is subject to taxes of USD 12 a night.
A check of TripAdvisor, 7 March, showed it had one review, very positive, from a guest who paid USD 72 including taxes and got the upgrade. They were impressed.