A new four-star international hotel opened in Lao Cai city in the northern mountainous province of the same name, on July 11, becoming the first of its kind in the region.

The Swiss-Belhotel Lao Cai, invested by local consumer goods maker Bitis, has 186 modern guestrooms and facilities including conference rooms, a fitness centre, a bar and a top-of-the-line restaurant.

The 500 billion VND hotel is the second hotel in Vietnam managed and operated by the Swiss-Belhotel International Group - one of the fastest growing hotel management chains in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East . The first hotel is the S wiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa in Hoi An City, the central coastal province of Quang Nam .

Lao Cai city is the capital of Lao Cai province. The popular resort city of Sa Pa is just 38km away, which can be reached by car.

Australia’s travel magazine Lonely Planet has listed Sa Pa as one of the 10 best walking sites in the world for tourists, while US-based Travel and Leisure Magazine has named Sa Pa as one of seven most magnificent terraced rice fields in the world.

According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Lao Cai received an estimated 600,000 tourists in the first half of this year. Last year, the city hosted 940,000 visitors.-VNA