Improving Vietnam’s resort tourism - the role of the “art hotel”
Class does not come from… Beluga caviar
What is a luxurious resort in the deluxe class? Are they gilded mansions with diamond-studded forks on Beluga caviar plates? We can call a gilded hotel luxury, but many things cannot be defined with money.
The Peninsula is the world’s oldest luxury art hotel brand with dozens of properties around the globe. The hotel is considered the symbol of the Peninsula located in Hong Kong, established in 1928 with the famous name “Lady of the Far East”, which displays many admiring historical antiques. Although the price may be up to hundreds of millions of VND for a night, the Peninsula is still a particularly popular destination in Hong Kong.
The Peninsula is a typical example of the luxury resort trend appearing and spreading in many developed countries around the globe, of which the boutique hotel is a type that has fascinated the whole world with hotels that are small but high-quality. The price paid for one night at these hotels will sometimes startle you, as it may be up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In Vietnam, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort can be considered the first hotel to bring the world’s high-class art resort to Vietnam in 2012. Bringing the world’s artistic quintessence but still promoting the identity of local culture is the successful formula helping the hotel to be honored as “The World’s Leading Luxury Resort” by the World Travel Awards for four consecutive years. The hotel interprets its own story with the most unique features of traditional Vietnamese architecture and combines them with factors from wild nature. In there, you’ll find a bar designed by an “aristocrat monkey”, a banana-yellow cinema, and a toilet that many travel magazines have appreciated as “the most interesting toilet in the world”.
And the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort can be considered a pioneer resort bringing high-class resorts to dock and register Vietnam on the global luxury resort map.
Art hotel trends and the names raising Vietnam’s tourism position
Gold and silver are the embodiment of luxury, while only art is the pinnacle of luxury. The elite are willing to pay up to USD450 million for the world’s most expensive painting by Leonardo da Vinci, hence, USD100,000 for a night at a deluxe resort that honors the beauty of art (we call it an art hotel) is not expensive.
One of the reasons why art hotels are so treasured is their conservation value. Built as an open and interactive “museum”, many art hotels store thousands of paintings, sculptures, photography, and even antiquities from around the world.
However, a hotel is not a museum, and it should not be a museum. Therefore, each art hotel has its own story and its own soul. It needs a lot of creativity to urge people to come to enjoy and relax. Bill Bensley, a the famous “resort wizard” with 150 resorts with artistic personalities around the world said: “The more complicated, the simpler”. It sounds quite paradoxical, but this master of architectural storytelling has turned such paradox into truth, with the hotel masterpieces that he collaborated on with the Sun Group in Vietnam. Each of his hotels is a masterpiece of art and tells its own story.
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, inspired by a 19th-century university, is an outstanding masterpiece of Bill's in Phu Quoc. “In two years, we have collected more than 3,000 antiques and vintage ornaments to create the true beauty of the school. From a 19th-century elevator to 48 original designs for a French six-wheeler from 1910, the campus is full of fascinating anecdotes to explore,” he said.
Hotel de la Coupole - MGallery (Sapa) is another example. This is a place that has thousands of fashion paintings, antique chests, fur coats, and necklaces with patterns of Northwest ethnic groups to honor the cultural values of ethnic minorities in Vietnam. The furniture here is of course antique or designed by Aood & Ord, the skilled interior designers, and crafted by Vietnamese artisans. That makes the hotel a place of cultural interaction between France and the highland culture of ethnic minorities such as H’Mong, Dao, Xa Pho, Tay, Giay, and so on.
Moreover, Capella Hanoi, a typical boutique hotel in Vietnam, pursues the art of music, recreating the most brilliant era of opera. Here, Bill's creative team wrote the stories associated with 47 world-famous legends: acting stars, excellent opera vocalists, well-known dancers, and famous classical composers. Each room at the hotel is named after these 47 legends and tells their stories through thousands of pieces of memorabilia, costumes, photographs, theatrical settings, art shows, and even opera glasses.
Possessing a story with its drama, each hotel provides a well-thought-out experience and becomes a work of art: a profound writing or a brilliant painting. Each Sun Group art hotel designed by Bill Bensley is an unmistakable one, and this resort trend has registered the name of Vietnam on the global luxury travel map.
After the famous wedding of the Indian billionaire couple at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay in 2019, this hotel is still proud of being the destination of the super-rich worldwide.
At the end of 2019, Hotel de la Coupole-MGallery was honored with the world’s leading prestigious awards such as World Travel Awards or World Luxury Hotel Awards with the titles of “World's Leading Design Hotel”, World’s Iconic Hotel”, “World’s Luxurious Architecture Hotel”, etc.
For Capella Hanoi, the world remembers a magnificent Hanoi capital when it became one of the “100 best new hotels in the world” voted by Travel + Leisure. Time magazine (USA) also mentioned Capella Hanoi as one of the best destinations in the world in 2021.
Sophisticated and private, unique and inspiring, hotels with artistic architecture have contributed to bringing the quintessence of humanity to Vietnam and creatively preserving them. An art hotel is a place for tourists to feel true happiness when enjoying the pinnacle of art in the most private and relaxing way right in Vietnam.