DAY­DREAM­ING ON THE MEKONG

The Rev­erie Saigon more than lives up to its name with a con­tem­pla­tive and dream-like propo­si­tion to trav­ellers seek­ing some­thing far from the usual.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Travel & Leisure - Pho­tos Fred­erik Wissink, Matthew Shaw

In the hurly burly of Ho Chi Minh City, The Rev­erie Saigon man­ages to co­coon its guests with an in­cred­i­ble amount of com­fort and tran­quil­lity. The ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins at the air­port where I am whisked away in a BMW 7-Se­ries, with re­fresh­ments and a Wi-fi- en­abled ipad to help me at­tend to press­ing emails. Lo­cated in the throb­bing heart of the pres­ti­gious District 1, The Rev­erie – be­ing the tallest ho­tel in the city – of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views of the ur­ban­scape; a melange of colo­nial French ar­chi­tec­ture amid the ta­pes­try of lo­cal builtup in­flu­ences. The same struc­ture also hosts 89 full-ser­vice lux­ury apart­ments.

In­side, the 286-room ho­tel of­fers an­other feast for the aes­thetes. Even as you make your way to the sev­enth floor to check in, you would al­ready have passed through the lav­ish gold-leafed en­trance, Swarovski crys­tal-en­cased lobby and art deco-in­spired gold el­e­va­tors. Step­ping out on the pala­tial sev­enth floor, you are struck by the over­whelm­ing mo­saic col­umns and walls, the Louis Xvi-style so­fas at one end and a gi­ant an­tique clock at the other.

Up on the 33rd floor where I stayed, the floor-to- ceil­ing win­dows open up to the breath­tak­ing panorama of the city and the Saigon river. In­side, guests are of­fered a fully stocked com­pli­men­tary mini­bar, a 46-inch LED TV as well as a 15-inch TV in

The Rev­erie of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views of the ur­ban­scape.

the bath­room, equipped with both a tub and walk-in rain­for­est shower.

At break­fast, I find my­self with Christina von Wrede, the ho­tel’s res­i­dent man­ager. She points out the ho­tel’s show­piece re­sid­ing in the foyer, a US $313,000 (RM1.4 mil­lion) Bech­stein grand pi­ano with a ve­neer of ‘ Rus­sian mo­saic’; pre­cious mala­chite stone ac­cented with gilded bronze. This op­u­lent pi­ano serves as a mi­cro­cosm of the tremen­dous en­er­gies in­vested into the prop­erty – a seven-year un­der­tak­ing that has wrought this dra­matic, soar­ing ed­i­fice. The amount of mar­ble that adorns the ho­tel leads to a joke by von Wrede who says: “There is no more mar­ble left in Italy since it is all in The Rev­erie now.”

At the lobby, a but­ter­fly ceil­ing de­picts the map of Viet­nam – an in­tri­cate piece of art com­posed en­tirely of Lepi­doptera. Walk­ing through the in­te­rior spa­ces, a con­nois­seur would recog­nise some of Italy’s fore­most fur­ni­ture brands in the form of B& B Italia, Gior­getti, Poltrona Frau, Colom­bos­tile and Si­cis; a com­bi­na­tion of clas­si­cal Euro­pean and whim­si­cal pieces that cre­ate amaz­ing can­vases. Fa­cil­i­ties run the gamut, from a Vi­sion­naire-out­fit­ted 542sqm lounge on the ho­tel’s top two floors, to an out­door pool with un­der­wa­ter sound sys­tem and two jacuzzis. A to­tal of 1,200sqm of re­lax­ation is pre­sented at the spa. Its range of ther­a­pies is in­clined to­wards Asian treatments, but utilise some far-out in­gre­di­ents such as At­lantic sea­weed and Hi­malayan pink salt. Such is the breadth of the ho­tel’s di­ver­sions that one need not ven­ture far to be amazed. Four culi­nary op­tions com­prise The Royal Pavil­ion for Can­tonese, R&J for Ital­ian and Cafe Car­di­nal for French, as well as The Long Bar, a re­laxed din­ing venue with a vi­brant bar scene. The Rev­erie Saigon’s per-night rates start from US $350 for the rooms and from US $850 for the suites. www.therever­ie­saigon.com ≠

Such is the breadth of the ho­tel’s di­ver­sions that one need not ven­ture far to be amazed.

The Rev­erie oc­cu­pies the top­most floors of the land­mark Times Square Build­ing in Ho Chi Minh City’s pres­ti­gious District 1. Fac­ing page: the but­ter­fly ceil­ing.

Cafe Car­di­nal’s im­pres­sive atrium din­ing space fea­tures an el­e­gant land­scape of gorgeous leather fur­nish­ings by Vi­sion­naire. Fac­ing page from above: the Panorama Deluxe Room; the spa has 10 pri­vate treat­ment rooms.

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