Friday, 22 February 2008: Perched on the edge of a fabled city lake, the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake officially opens its doors March 6 as the UK-based hotel group´s first property in Vietnam.
After a soft opening in mid-December, the 359-unit hotel shows off its polish in a market where the demand for upscale accommodation has never been greater.
´We couldn´t get our doors open fast enough,´ said Jon Nielsen, general manager of the InterContinental. ´In many ways, Hanoi is one of the most happening cities in Asia, for business and leisure travelers alike. As a hotel, we´ve got to respect the unique dynamics of this city, and its demand for the authentic and the progressive. That´s why we´re breaking the mold of what a big-city hotel is all about.´
Located just 10 minutes from the heart of Hanoi, the waterfront hotel evokes a resort-like ambiance with its torch-lit Venetian promenades and hard-to-find airiness in Vietnam´s bustling capital. Balconies jut from each of the hotel´s 340 rooms and 19 suites, all with singular views of the 500-hectare (1,235-acre) lake, the cityscape or the property´s tropical gardens.
´We´ve married the best of both worlds here,´ said Nielsen. ´Proximity to the cultural heart of Vietnam and a sanctuary on the edge of a spectacular lake. That we´ve been able to successfully have it both ways continues to fuel our anticipation for this property. There´s nothing else like this in Vietnam.´
At a 43-square-meter minimum, the InterContinental´s guest rooms rank as the most spacious in the city. The rooms indulge the latest in modern technological amenities, with LCD televisions and high-speed Internet access. Each bathroom offers double-basin vanities and both a deep-soaking bathtub and a separate walk-in rain shower cabin.
Expectations are soaring all over Vietnam as the country´s GDP gallops at a nine percent rate of growth, reputed to be among the fastest, if not the fastest, in the world. The InterContinental has positioned itself as a service provider in this economy with a ballroom that can accommodate 400 guests and meeting rooms equipped with technical support that includes Internet coverage, video conferencing and projection capabilities.
Beyond accommodation and conference facilities, the hotel whets the appetitive and the thirst with a bevy of dining and lounge options. The hotel´s signature restaurant, the Milan-Saigon, sprawls across the entire mezzanine level of the main building as a stylish, fusion of contemporary European and rustic Asian aesthetics.