An artistic rendering of the Vinh Hoi Bay Golf Resort, future home of the brand-new Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa in 2013 // (C) 2010 Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Asia
In Vietnam, a number of hotel brands are making concerted efforts to attract travelers via recent renovations, new properties and new food and beverage portfolios. Interest in travel to Vietnam, in particular, has increased significantly within the last year: According to the 2010 Virtuoso Luxe Report, Vietnam ranked second as one of the top emerging destinations among luxury travelers.
Moevenpick Hotel Saigon
The $15 million renovation of the Moevenpick Hotel Saigon was recently completed in time for its Aug. 1 reopening and mirroring the successful makeover of its sister property, the similarly upscale Moevenpick Hotel Hanoi, which opened some 18 months ago.
The luxury property features 278 guestrooms that combine modern features and technical conveniences. Alterations to the hotel’s physical facilities also included innovative interiors and new menus for all of the hotel’s five restaurants, as well as a new bar on the third floor that flanks the hotel’s spa and swimming pool area.
“Yes, the difference in the hotel’s appearance will be striking,” said Knuth Kiefer, general manager of Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, Vietnam, “but the transformation goes way beyond aesthetics. Our enhanced devotion to service will be just as dramatic.”
Since renovations began in March, the Moevenpick has continued to expand its current team of employees and reserve time for extensive staff education, with an emphasis on core training in hospitality essentials.
“The process of evaluating what we need to do in rebranding our Saigon hotel has been a revelation,” says Kiefer. “And we realized that to achieve our goal — individual service of an order unprecedented even in the five-star stratum of Vietnamese hotels and resorts — requires much more than just a physical makeover.”
Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa
Earlier this month, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Asia announced its plans to co-design and manage a new luxury resort on the central coast of Vietnam with developer Vietnamese American Hotel and Resort Co. Ltd. The five-star Outrigger Vinh Hoi Bay Resort and Spa will be part of the fully integrated Vinh Hoi Bay Golf Resort, which is currently being constructed on a secluded white-sand beach 18 miles north of Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh.
Hotel amenities will include 210 spacious guestrooms and themed suites; 46 private villas offering one-bedroom or two-bedroom accommodations; a two-story grand villa; six food and beverage outlets; a cooking school; a Navasana wellness center; a kids’ and teenagers’ amusement zone; a fitness center; a library; an adventure center; retail outlets; and multiple other amenities to ensure an inclusive resort experience while integrating and celebrating the cultural diversities and rich traditions of Vietnam.
“We look forward to being a part of what is sure to become Vietnam’s most recognized resort destination,” said Darren Edmonstone, Outrigger’s senior vice president-Asia. “The spectacular setting, luxurious accommodations, expansive resort amenities and Outrigger’s unique brand of hospitality will be a perfect mix ensuring all guests a relaxed, memorable and satisfying holiday experience.”
The resort is scheduled to welcome its first guests in late 2013.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic hotels, is deepening its French culinary heritage by hiring Parisian native, Thibault Souchon, as the hotel’s new director of food and beverage. In operation since the hotel’s opening in 1901, in the exact same place within the hotel, the Le Beaulieu reigns as the hotel’s flagship restaurant.
“Our goal for Le Beaulieu is to have a standalone reputation as the top French restaurant in Asia,” said Kai Speth, general manager of the hotel. “That’s why we hired chef Denis Groison in February and why we’ve hired Thibault Souchon today.”
Souchon joins the Metropole after spending four-years at the Lotte Hotel Seoul where his most noteworthy achievement was the grand opening of the Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul restaurant, a Michelin three-star restaurant ranked by Restaurant magazine as the top restaurant in the world in a 2006 survey.
As food and beverage manager, Souchon’s main goal at the Sofitel will be fixed on French cuisine in Hanoi.