An historic 122-room boutique hotel on the south bank of the fabled Perfume River in the one-time imperial capital of Vietnam has officially opened.
Azerai La Residence, Hue, becomes the second hotel in a new group formed by hotelier Adrian Zecha.
Concurrent with the hotel’s rebranding is the conclusion of work on the second phase of the most extensive renovation in its recent, 14-year history.
All 73 superior and deluxe rooms in the hotel’s west wing were stripped and redesigned with an understated aesthetic that affirms Azerai’s devotion to simplicity and elegance.
Its expanded and completely renovated spa now features six treatment rooms (four singles and two doubles), each with a dressing area, vanity and shower.
After opening the 60-room Azerai Can Tho on the Mekong last spring, Zecha has embarked on a path that calls for a new debut every year.
“In Hue, we wanted a hotel that would emerge as the quintessential hospitality experience in the city,” said Zecha.
Come spring, 39 more rooms in the hotel’s east wing will come out the other side of a renovation that will both brighten the rooms and update the aesthetics.
La Residence opened in 2005 after a French entrepreneur partnered with the local tourist authorities and renovated a 1930-built mansion that was once part of the colonial governor’s residence.
With the departure of the colonial French in 1954, the mansion at 5 Le Loi Street served as a guest house for provincial authorities from the 1950s all the way through the turn of the century.
In 2013, Hue native Phan Trong Minh succeeded a run of foreign general managers to usher the hotel over the threshold of its tenth anniversary and into its second decade as one of the top five most roundly celebrated properties in Vietnam.
The name of the new hotel brand is derived from Adrian Zecha’s initials and the latter part of a Persian word, caravanserai, which references the storied old inns of the Middle East.