SETTING THE SCENE
A memorable image of the spectacularly illuminated, whitewashed La Residence hotel at dusk, taken from the opposite bank of the Perfume River drew me to this splendid hotel. And the riverside location of Truong Tien Bridge and the Citadel’s colossal flag tower do make this hotel’s setting enchanting. However, it’s the main Art Deco building with its unique combination of clean lines, nautical inspirations, geometric patterns, and Oriental flourishes that really make the property special.
From the jaw-dropping entrance with its striking dome and colonial-style billiards room with skylight and portraits on the walls, to the dimly-lit lounge-bar with its plush ruby drapes, curvaceous red upholstered chairs and high stools dramatically lined up at the bar, this is a breathtakingly beautiful hotel.
Most of the hotel’s 122 rooms and suites are spread across two adjoining modern structures. These rooms are perfectly comfortable and very spacious, offering heavenly beds, satellite television, tea and coffee making facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi. I stayed in a room with a massive terrace overlooking the Perfume River that provided a lovely spot for a morning coffee and sunset drink.
One of the reasons to visit Hue is to sample the wonderful Vietnamese food – don’t miss modest local eatery Huyen Anh for the banh uot thit nuong (marinated chargrilled pork in rice paper rolls) or bun thit nuong (the same pork served on vermicelli noodles with fresh greens). La Residence’s main restaurant Le Parfum is also special, however, particularly if you dine on the terrace for dinner.
The menu – which also features European and Vietnamese classics – is sprinkled with chef’s fusion dishes, imbued with the flavours of the places he has lived. Foie gras, for instance, sits on mango and has a tamarind, mango and fish sauce dressing, sea bass boasts a coffee and spice crust, while the highlight of the desserts are a selection of four crème brûlée– coffee cream, basil and green pepper, hibiscus, and durian, served with cinnamon ice-cream.
The restaurant also serves as the location for breakfast, when you should try the bun bo Hue, the city’s beloved beef vermicelli soup. Much of the produce comes from the hotel’s own kitchen garden and fruit orchards.
WHY I’D RETURN
The splendid Art Deco architecture, the stylish bar, the refined French-Vietnamese cuisine at Le Parfum, and the colossal swimming pool and fragrant gardens are all excellent reasons to return and easily make La Residence the most outstanding choice for a stay in Hue.
LA RÉSIDENCE HÔTEL & SPA
5 Le Loi Street, Hue, Vietnam
T: +84 054 3837 475
F: +84 054 3837 476
Texts by Lara Dunston / Photos by La Residence Hotel & Spa