Setting the gold standard
For the first Dolce hotel in Asia, owner Hoa Binh Group and management group Wyndham Hotels & Resorts sought to raise the gold standards—literally.
Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, which opened earlier in July, features gold-plated amenities and furnishings, from bath tubs, basins and toilets to its 24-karat gold rooftop infinity pool—a dramatic contrast to the rest of the city's Soviet-era buildings.
Around a tonne of gold went into coating the five-star property in gold, with rates starting from US$250 a night. Food even comes served with edible gold flakes, and an event at the hotel saw models painted in gold, according to Reuters.
The 441-key hotel is located near Giang Vo Lake, about 10 minutes from the capital's city centre.
Nguyen Huu Duong, majority owner and chairman of Hoa Binh Group, a Vietnam War veteran who grew his fortune in property and construction, is planning more gold-plated projects next in Ho Chi Minh City and a resort in central Vietnam.
Curtains up on opera-inspired Capella Hanoi
Opening this month, Capella's latest property was moulded under Bill Bensley—the same design force behind Capella Ubud, Bali—who took inspiration from Hanoi's iconic Opera House, located just steps away.
As a result, each of the 47 rooms exhibits the exuberant opera scene of the 1920s, complete with operatic memorabilia and custom portraiture art, with set designs, opera costumes and vintage tableware dotted across the hotel, as well as its two F&B outlets — Backstage and Diva's Lounge.
To immerse fully into the locale, Capella Culturists are on hand to deliver Capella Curates programmes so guests can explore the hotel's address within Hanoi's Hoàn Kiếm quarter, where historical landmarks including Temple of the Jade Mound and the French Quarter lie in close proximity.
Another feather in Adrian Zecha's hat
Azerai Ke Ga Bay opened on 15 November, replacing the former Princess D’Annam Resort & Spa on the same site following an extensive renovation.
Founded by Adrian Zecha of the Aman fame, the Ke Ga Bay property, located 180km east of Saigon, also marks the first beach entry for Azerai Resorts.
The 46-suite resort is flanked to the north by Ke Ga Island, home to its iconic 1899-built colonial French lighthouse, and to the south by sand dunes.
“Azerai Ke Ga Bay offers much that travellers would look for in a secluded beach resort—panoramic ocean views, lush ginger gardens with tropical trees and flowers, and a location that’s close enough to be easily accessible but far enough away to offer real privacy and escape,” said Zecha.
Apart from the five-km stretch of private beach for guests, its also possible to enjoy ocean views from Azerai Spa's 10 treatment rooms which offer hydrotherapy facilities, jacuzzi, a beauty studio and gym.
Water babies can pick from four pools: an oceanfront pool with sun beds, a free-form pool, and two square pools set within mirrored courts.
Dining at The Terrace, The Dining Room and The Living Room offer beachside views or pool facing tables, with local dishes often plated with ingredients straight from the sea.
This opening comes right after Zecha's partnership with Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments to launch a new ryokan brand, Azumi. Announced in October, the property will open in Japan's Setouchi Region come spring 2021.
Accor's 35th opening in Vietnam
Novotel Hanoi Thai Ha Hotel has opened in Dong Da District, marking the group's seventh property in the capital and its 35th in Vietnam.
Offering a mix of 338 rooms, studios, apartments and suites, guests can pick from short and extended stay options, with easy access to nearby residential areas, office buildings, retail, art spaces and street life.
Regular guests will find Novotel's signature Live N Dream bed design which comes with Smart Pillows that fold when guests are sitting upright, and unfolds out for sleeping. For F&B, there's the all-day dining Food Exchange, Gourmet Bar for light snacks, poolside bar Aqua, and the Rooftop Bar serving cocktails, mocktails and wines with light dishes.
Amenities include a fitness centre, outdoor heated swimming pools, sauna, Jacuzzi, and kid's room which offers a range of activities such as board games for the family. Business travellers have a choice of 11 meeting rooms that can host up to 480 guests. All come equipped with built-in LCD projectors and large scale drop-down screens, lighting, sound system and multi-media support.
Calling Vietnam "one of our most attractive travel markets in the region," with more than 85 million domestic tourists in 2019, " Patrick Basset, chief operating officer of Accor, Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia and the Maldives continues to see "huge potential for residents of Vietnam to drive growth for our hotels in the coming months with international travel still limited".