It has been a while since I last wrote about a trip that I have made. I love travel and the whole learning experience that I get out of it, but to sort through hundreds of photos and then write about a story… is well — a totally different story altogether. As I was looking back through some old files, I discovered a bunch of beautiful photos from one of my memorable trips last year. After seeing them again, I realized that this gem of a place must not be kept hidden, but rather must be shared and allowed to shine.
Warning : this post is filled with lots of photos — all just taken by my handy iphone camera!
Danang is Vietnam’s most happening city right now. For quite a while, it had a reputation of being a slow, backward province. But recently, the city has seen a lot of changes and growth. The tourism industry here is booming, leading to several international hotel chains (big and small), opening left and right.
The city of Danang is indeed beautiful, but what left an impression on me (and what this post is all about) is the place where we stayed : Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.
This resort is a 30-minute drive from Danang International Airport and a 45-minute drive from the world heritage site of the charming old town of Hoi An. It is surrounded by pristine beaches and the unspoiled forests of Son Tra Peninsula.
The resort has beautiful architecture all around, inspired by Vietnam’s Buddhist temples, palaces, imperial tombs and native villages.
They use a lot of black and white color scheme here as well as wooden lattice work. The place exudes an elegant mix of Southeast Asian vibe in a French colonial setting. It is heaven for those who appreciate good architecture. form and design.
Our room’s terrace that overlooks the majestic and sparkling East Sea.
This is Citron, one of the five restaurants in the resort. It has a striking, colorful palette of black, white, yellow and green.
This restaurant is open all day, but their breakfast buffet is the star here. Offering authentic Vietnamese cuisine side by side with popular continental dishes, this is possibly one of the best hotel buffets I’ve ever tried — not just in terms of ambience and food presentation but moreso, because of their extensive menu’s excellent taste and food quality.
Citron’s private dining booths are in the shape of an inverted non la (Vietnam’s famous conical hats) and these are floating over the hillside about 100meters above sea level. This is actually my favorite sitting spot in the whole resort!
When seated in this non la, you will see this spectacular view of the resort and its surrounding bay and mountains.
The resort also has a kids’ club for the children guests. They have all sorts of fun and educational activities here ranging from arts and crafts to music and dance to learning about Vietnamese culture.
Right outside the children’s area, is the Long Bar, which is an extra long bar right across the beach. This is the best place for cocktails and light snacks. Note the huge swaying fans above!
I am totally smitten by their creative combination of colors, shapes and textures here!
The resort also has a well-designed spa, the Harnn Heritage Spa, which is outfitted in the serene colors of aqua blue, grey and white.
The spa is famous for its traditional Thai and Vietnamese therapeutic treatments.
It also has a secluded spa lagoon for those who wish to enjoy the hot jacuzzi tub surrounded by the lush rainforest around.
La Maison 1888, the resort’s in-house fine dining restaurant offers French haute cuisine. This is run by no less than three Michelin starred Chef Michel Roux.
The restaurant is made to look like a fictional French colonial mansion telling the story of a French-Eurasian family through its architecture and whimsical design.
There are several private dining rooms in the restaurant, each telling a story about its fictional characters. We were seated in an area called Le Boudoir de la Madame, a group of tables and chairs dressed in red, black and white, with a lot of velvet and feathers to match, evoking the romance and passion of the sultry characters in the story.
Beautiful setting, amazing food and fantastic service have made La Maison 1888, the top gastronomic destination in Danang. This restaurant is not exclusive to the resort’s guests and is open to the public for reservations as well.
This is another amazing and amusing part of the resort : the built-in cable car called “Nam Tram” which is used as the guests’ open-air elevator to go from one level of the resort to another! The children definitely had fun riding this elevator back and forth!
The resort’s unique front desk is decorated in red, black and white with a splash of hot pink all over!
The resort has a lot of French-inspired decor owing to the French-colonial period of Vietnam.
The resort’s welcome lobby.
Another area of the resort’s welcome lobby.
Staying in this multi-awarded resort was indeed a complete experience in itself. Given that I was here for only a couple of days and did not have much time in my hands to explore the rest of the city, I was glad to have taken advantage of what this resort has to offer : amazing natural beauty around and fascinating architecture and design within. All these bring out the vibrant culture and rich history of this beautiful charming city, Danang.
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