Sher­a­ton Grand Danang

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - THE REPORT -


Da Nang is a hive of lux­ury de­vel­op­ment right now, with work pro­gress­ing well on most re­sorts; but that wasn’t the case in 2017 in the months be­fore the Sher­a­ton Danang Re­sort opened its Con­fer­ence Cen­tre. Project man­agers at other re­sort projects in the city still la­ment days of scarcity when prac­ti­cally all avail­able labour, ma­te­ri­als and tools were re­quired for Sher­a­ton’s site at Non Nuoc Beach to en­sure the con­fer­ence cen­tre was ready to host the Apec 2017 lead­ers gala din­ner that Novem­ber. The prop­erty is un­der the in­vest­ment port­fo­lio of BRG Group, which is chaired by one of Viet­nam’s most prom­i­nent fe­male ty­coons, Nguyen Thi Nga.


Non Nuoc Beach is along one of the most en­vi­able stretches of sand in Asia. In the 1960s, US Marines came ashore to make Da Nang a strate­gic strong­hold dur­ing darker days for Viet­nam. Big names such as Four Sea­sons, In­tercon­ti­nen­tal, Fu­rama and Sof­i­tel are neigh­bours, while the pic­turesque town of Hoi An is a short drive to the south and the an­cient cap­i­tal of Hué about 93km north.


The “Grand” in its ti­tle is a well-de­served ac­co­lade: you’ve got two six-floor ho­tel blocks, a long swim­ming pool, and a pala­tial lobby adorned with chan­de­liers and a foun­tain. Guests can walk to their rooms or take golf carts. You may be in mar­ket-cap­i­tal­ist, trop­i­cal, coastal Viet­nam, but you can’t get away from the im­pres­sion that the ar­chi­tec­ture harkens back to the Soviet era, be­ing grand in that ro­bust rev­o­lu­tion­ary way.


The 258 gue­strooms and suites com­bine the clas­sic and re­sort feel. One set of rooms – Deluxe Pool View cat­e­gory – faces the gar­den area with a pool and events lawn that leads down to the ho­tel’s pri­vate beach. The Deluxe Bay View rooms show the ocean and plots of land ripe for de­vel­op­ment – but for the best an­gles, try one of the 24 Deluxe Cor­ner rooms or, bet­ter still, a ground-level pool-view suite with its own pri­vate plunge pool. Even grander are a choice of two fam­ily suites. For heads of state or other ul­tra-VIPs, there are the Am­bas­sador (270 sqm) and Pres­i­den­tial (396 sqm) suites, the lat­ter not too far from the block’s he­li­copter pad. The en­try-level Deluxe rooms mea­sure 47 sqm and come with high-speed wifi, a 55-inch flatscreen TV and work sta­tion.


Why would any­one need a lounge in a re­sort, when the whole place, ex­cept the meet­ing fa­cil­i­ties, is a venue for un­wind­ing? There are, how­ever, seated ar­eas above the lobby where reg­u­lar busi­ness vis­i­tors to Da Nang can gather for meet­ings over cof­fee. But for now these and any be­lea­guered con­struc­tion project man­agers are more likely to be seen re­cu­per­at­ing on the sun decks at La Plage, the beach bar-restau­rant at the top end of the pool.


There are an ad­di­tional five F&B spots in­clud­ing the lunchtime favourite and all-day din­ing out­let Ta­ble 88, as well as The Grill with its op­tion of a long ta­ble and an open­ing to­wards the Pool Lawn.


The two-level Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, chris­tened with the Apec lead­ers gala, is set to make Da Nang a fea­ture on the Asia meet­ings cir­cuit thanks to in­creased flight con­nec­tions. The pri­or­ity, con­sid­er­ing the fur­nish­ings in the first-level Hanoi and Danang rooms, ap­pears to be for mat­ters of state with the China-style U-shaped ar­range­ments topped by twin arm­chairs. The fa­cil­ity has a sep­a­rate drive­way and the 1,267 sqm Sher­a­ton Grand Ball­room can be di­vided into three ju­nior ball­rooms.


This new ad­di­tion rep­re­sents Sher­a­ton’s – and Da Nang’s – for­ward think­ing as it reaches out to the world while at the same time pro­vid­ing a sym­bolic state­ment of power when it comes to con­fer­ences and the tra­di­tions of ar­chi­tec­ture those in power ex­pect when they meet. All this is won­der­fully bal­anced with a re­sort equipped for both busi­ness and leisure. Mar­tin Dono­van

You can’t get away from the im­pres­sion that the ar­chi­tec­ture harkens back to the Soviet era, be­ing grand in that ro­bust rev­o­lu­tion­ary way

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