Building of Vientiane’s largest hotel

The Ministry of National Defence and the Singapore-based Regal Global Investment Development group signed an agreement back in September 2011 to build the joint-venture US$100 million hotel. Construction of the 28-storey five star hotel was slated to start in early 2012, with the completion date set for the middle of 2014. But there has yet to be a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

The signing ceremony and design details were reported in local media outlets including the Vientiane Times on September 20, 2011.

The hotel was to be built on a 120,000 square metre site to replace the existing Rasavong Hotel on Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue. But the Rasavong Hotel has not even been demolished.

Asked why no progress has been made, the official, who asked not to be named, said “There is a problem on the company’s side.”

He said the project has not been cancelled, and officials in charge expect to hold talks with the investor in the coming weeks.

“The superior authority has already given the green light to build the hotel, so we will work to realise the project as planned,” he said.

“If the investor (Regal Global Investment Development Group) is unable to continue with the project, we will find another investor to take part in the joint venture. Other investors have expressed interest in the project.”

According to the terms of the agreement, the Ministry of Defence owns a 25 percent stake in the venture and the Regal Global investment Development group owns the balance.

Plans for the hotel described it as having 350 rooms including 20 VIP rooms and 30 suites. It was also to have a large shopping complex, restaurants, entertainment venues and a cinema.

If the project goes ahead, the hotel will provide high quality rooms that can accommodate businesspeople and dignitaries. It is expected that the hotel will create about 400 jobs.

The Regal Global Investment Development Group is also involved in another mega project which has seen no progress.

A few years ago, the Group was also given the green light by the Lao government to build the Regal Megamall City on Souphanouvong Avenue in Sikhay village, Sikhottabong district.

The development was slated to take three years to build and was touted as being one of the largest malls in Vientiane upon completion in 2014. But no progress has been made on the US$50 million shopping mall to date. Officials in charge could not be contacted for an explanation as to why this was so.