Here’s a first-hand account of the opulence of Vietnam’s most glamorous hotel. Christine Cunanan writes:
I’ve stayed in some of the world’s loveliest luxury hotels. But nothing so far prepared me for the explosion of color, design and inspirations of the six-star The Reverie Saigon.
ABOUT THE REVERIE SAIGON
The Reverie Saigon took seven years to create. For a long time it was Vietnam’s most talked about hotel. Simply put, it is over the top in an indescribable way that will almost certainly disorient you at the outset.
This hotel has such an incredible variety of decor and accent pieces that you do not know where to look first. A multicolored artsy chandelier of glass flowers and crystal covered pendant lights is literally sprawled on the ceiling of the ground floor lobby. Incidentally, this lobby is decked out in blue and white Italian marble, and it has inlaid walls.
Then, just off the lobby are the elevators. The elevators of The Reverie Saigon are covered floor-to-ceiling in amber. These take you up to the reception floor where antique clocks, two-storey high mosaic masterpieces, and the largest sofa seat I have ever seen – ornately carved, gilded in gold and upholstered in purple velvet – await.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, too – to use a cliché. There are modern art pieces, classical antiques, Chinese furniture, whimsical sculptures, ornate décor, contemporary objets d’art, and even a touch of Islamic influence all in one place. Oh yes, and wherever I looked, I saw gold in all forms, surfaces and textures.
A PALACE IN VIETNAM
This is Vietnam’s version of a 21st century Versailles. Except it’s open to discerning travelers willing to pay for the experience.
INSPIRATION FROM EVERYWHERE
“This must be the work of a designer gone mad,” I told myself. I was literally unable to keep my jaw from dropping as I walked to the counter at one end of the cavernous hall to check in.
I added to myself: “Or, actually, it’s probably the work of a dozen designers gone mad.”
BEAUTY IN DISUNITY IN THE BEST HOTEL IN HO CHI MINH
Disunity figured everywhere I looked. There were influences from every period and school of design. Much of it was from Italy, although in different styles. So initially it really did look like a collaboration between designers who did not actually work together.
Later on, I realized that I was not too far from the truth. The hotel is also a showcase for the works of 13 Italian design firms including Giorgetti, B&B Italia, Baldi, Cassina, Grifoni, Visionnaire, and Colombostile.
THE MAGIC FORMULA
Of course, this visual feast was quite disconcerting when I first walked into The Reverie Saigon. Especially as I am more used to hotels and resorts with sleek and seamless designs that are ever so easy on the eyes.
Interestingly, this seeming lack of a concept was actually a concept in the end. And it worked like a magic potion. It took me several hours to get used to the deliberate haphazardness of design.
A REAL LUXURY HOLIDAY
But once my eyes grew accustomed to the blaze of styles and colors, I ended up loving it. I don’t think I’m ever going to redecorate my home as a result of these influences. but for a few wonderful days staying in the hotel’s club floor, I was pampered beyond imagination, and I enjoyed an amazing multi-sensory experience unlike any other.
And isn’t that really what a holiday should sometimes be about?