Vietnamese resort offers peaceful sanctuary on a leafy city island

Azerai has unveiled the brand's second resort in a picturesque and culturally rich destination in Vietnam's Mekong Delta a year after its first hotel property opened in Laos.
Courtesy of Azerai / Ti Gong

The interiors embrace light, neutral tones and make full use of traditional materials such as bamboo and rattan.

Azerai has unveiled the brand’s second resort in a picturesque and culturally rich destination in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta a year after its first hotel property opened in the heart of Luang Prabang, Laos.

Situated on a private islet on the Hau River in Can Tho, the fourth largest city in Vietnam, the property is a sanctuary occupying eight acres. All the rooms and pavilions are integrated into the islet’s peaceful pastoral landscape that includes ancient banyan trees, palm trees and flowering jasmine.

A 32-meter swimming pool and a man-made lotus pond anchor the central courtyard, providing a visually stunning and relaxing focal point for the resort. The cafe and the lounge and bar are situated at either end of the pool, while nearby the spa, boutique, gym and children’s playroom are interspersed among a grove of banyan trees.

Principal designer Pascal Trahan once again lent his design brilliance to Azerai who found a good balance between an urban feel and a riverside ambience. “In addition to that, the presence of a group of magnificent banyan trees on the land called for a design that would seamlessly integrate those elements,” he said.

Walking under the tree canopies, you can easily feel the calm and serene environment, perfect for lounging, dining and relaxing. It was then obvious that the public areas of the hotel should become an extension of the natural elements.

“The architecture of the buildings was developed with this in mind. High pitched roofs and open ceilings inside, coupled with lower flat verandas, allowing to extend the space and experience found under the natural tree coverage. In the same fashion that a person would walk from tree to tree, at times covered and sheltered by the canopy and at other times under the open sky, and then going into the buildings provides a similar experience – walking under the lower veranda to then find yourself under a high pitch roof,” the designer said.

The second main feature is the layout of the guests’ suites and their relation to water and the environment. One of the main attractions of Can Tho city is its morning floating market. The layout of the suites was inspired by the way the merchants’ boats gather together to form an actual market, Trahan said.


Courtesy of Azerai / Ti Gong

The trees played a major role in the design of the buildings all the way through to the smallest details.

The water being a very important element so it was important that a maximum number of suites be in direct contact with the water. “The river provides a gentle curve around the island together with the existence of a natural pond gave us the opportunity to achieve a feeling that is reflective of the initial inspiration,” Trahan said.

Old trees also play central part in Azerai resorts. “Trees are a thing of beauty, calmness and longevity. As such it is not surprising that they can radically change the perception of a site when first visited. It is not a scenario where we say let’s find a site with nice trees but rather a site in which the presence of a single special or multiple special trees will just make the experience more complete. This is especially true with urban sites,” he added.

The trees played a major role in the design of the buildings all the way through to the smallest details: the canopy cover became low verandas, open skies between two trees became open high pitched ceilings, tree trunks became columns and so forth.

Trahan said the beauty of Azerai is fairly simple: affordable luxury. Beyond that, concepts are flexible and it is a must that they be inspired by the location rather than brand standards. “This is also the difficult part since it means that very few things can be repeated from one property to another and almost everything has to be reinvented in order to fit the location.” 

To the architect, the main highlight is the fact that the site and the general architecture succeeded in achieving a peaceful atmosphere within a busy and bustling areas. 

Featuring river, lake or garden views, each of the resort’s 60 rooms is approximately 35 square meters and features a spacious shower and dressing area, a combined bedroom and sitting area and a private outdoor terrace with comfortable loungers. The interiors embrace light, neutral tones and make full use of traditional materials such as bamboo, rattan, hardwoods and decorative tiles. 


Courtesy of Azerai / Ti Gong

Featuring river, lake or garden views, each of the resort’s 60 rooms is approximately 35 square meters and features a spacious shower and dressing area, a combined bedroom and sitting area and a private outdoor terrace with comfortable loungers.

“A great man once said that ‘space is luxury,’” Trahan said. “Of course when the goal is to create affordable luxury we can’t be too excessive with the amount of space we allocate for each unit since whether I like it or not, there is economics involved and I have to respect that. But this also means that we have to use the reduced space more wisely and I’m a true believer in ‘less is more.’”

The rooms are meant to be your own personal fishing hut within the Mekong delta. It was important with the design to keep a direct connection between the interior and exterior of the room and to do so the designer felt he had to limit the number of “distractions” inside the room. 

“Vietnam in general is a busy country. Can Tho in particular is a bustling city and the Mekong delta is a calm place. We wanted the guests to appreciate all of these elements while being able to relax within their own sanctuary just a few minutes from the bustling city,” Trahan said. Azerai is uniquely envisioned for today’s experienced urbane individuals, couples and families looking for distinction, quality and comfort at affordable prices.

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