RESTAURANTS AND COMMON AREAS

Tourists do not like to see dead animal parts like deer antlers, animal skins or elephant tusks on display at an ecolodge’s restaurant.
Even worse is to have live wild animals like birds or monkeys in cages or in chains.
Regarding food and beverage service you must always have available what is on the menu. Tourists will expect that you will. You should never be “out” of something.

Tourists will want to eat delicious Lao food but not wildlife. Some Lao people might like to eat wildlife, but international tourists that stay at ecolodges do not. If some foods are only seasonal, they should be listed as a “daily special.”
Do not use MSG or pro-cessed margarine or jam. Instead serve pineapple and tamarind jam made by the Lao Farmers Group.

An example of a well furnished restaurant

Mulberry paper hanging lamps

A band playing traditional Lao music

A purpose-built bar

The drink list should contain a basic selection of alcoholic and non- alcoholic drinks. Popular choices are gin, vodka, tequila, rum and whiskey. Beer Lao is very well-liked by international tourists. Keep mixers such as tonic, lime juice, soda and orange juice in stock. Standard soft drinks that any restaurant should have are Pepsi, 7up, drinking water, coffee and tea. Fruit shakes are also very popular.

COMMON AREAS

In addition to the restaurant, many ecolodges have a common area or purpose built facility. This may be a place where tourists can watch birds, view animals or see handicraft-making demonstrations. They give your guests a place to meet and talk outside their rooms, interact informally with staff and learn about the area’s natural and cultural features. Common areas should be built following the same design elements as the ecolodge.

Examples of common areas for guests

13 DESIGNING AND BUILDING AN ECOLODGE IN THE LAO PDR SUGGESTIONS FOR LOCAL INVESTORS

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