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Simple & refined

Released at: 20:10, 30/01/2018

Simple & refined

Photos: Azerai Hotel

The first Azerai Hotel in Can Tho held its soft opening in December, bringing guests an experience in discovering the Mekong Delta and its unique beauty and cultural interests.

by Linh San

Can Tho is the fourth-largest city in Vietnam and the leading city in the Mekong Delta, regarded as the country’s “rice bowl”. Each year, tributaries flow through the Delta from the Mekong River, enriching the soil with tons of alluvial sediment. A visit to the region will leave a heart-warming impression of diversity in colors, images, and sounds. Every morning, fishermen and farmers take their sampans or motored junks through meandering canals that lead to floating markets and the city.

“The Mekong is a formidable river; the largest in Southeast Asia and one of the most beautiful examples of river culture,” Mr. Adrian Zecha, Founder of Azerai told VET, when explaining why he choose Can Tho for the first Azerai Hotel in Vietnam. The name Azerai is influenced by the initials of Mr. Zecha and the Persian word “caravanserai”, which means a resting place for travelers with a central courtyard. Azerai is a new brand of hotel that offers guests simple elegance, refined design, and discreet and attentive service in places of unique beauty and cultural interest. 

After travelling to Can Tho city by road or air, the Arrival Pavilion in the city provides a relaxing setting to prepare for the boat transfer to Azerai’s open-air lobby. Azerai is located on Au Islet in the Hau River and covers an area of over 8 ha with 60 rooms. Its design is inspired by traditional architecture and achieved through a contemporary interpretation. The accommodation is housed in 30 two-room structures, embracing the use of local materials for today’s modern comforts. Interiors are light and neutral in tone.

Each room is approximately 35 sq m, offering a range of views over the river, lakes, or the surrounding gardens and trees. All rooms provide a spacious bathroom area and a combined bed and sitting area, in addition to an outdoor terrace with loungers. Beds are king-size or king-size twin single beds and amenities include TV, minibar, and individual coffee and tea making facilities. 

Breakfast at the hotel offers a range of unique Vietnamese breakfast items, together with a continental buffet featuring a selection of bread, buns, pastries, cold cuts, cereals, yoghurt, and seasonal fruit. An a-la-carte menu offers hot dishes and daily specials such as noodles and congees, eggs and sausages, and sides. Lunch is a selection of regional Vietnamese dishes, together with salads and sandwiches, and a variety of light and tasty desserts, along with coffee, tea, and herbal infusions. Dinner in the evening is a casual tapas-style menu on platters, encouraging family and friends to enjoy a social dining experience. 

The hotel has a wide range of facilities and services, including a comprehensive spa, a junior zone, a lounge and bar, a boutique, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a gymnasium, and a yoga and meditation studio.

The Azerai’s spa is nestled beneath the shaded canopy of banyan trees alongside the islet’s canal. The spa has six air-conditioned treatment rooms and two treatment suites, with private bathrooms offering privacy and seclusion. The spa menu features a range of treatments, from deep-tissue to gentle massage, as well as stone therapy, body scrubs, wraps, and facials. Products are blended with local natural ingredients such as Mekong rice, sweet almond oil, and coffee, to promote detoxification and nourish the skin.
A highlight of a stay at Azerai is venturing out on an early morning boat ride along the Hau River to witness local fishermen and farmers trade their catch and crops at the Cai Rang floating market. Other excursions include morning and afternoon biking tours leaving Can Tho and heading out into the rural riverside and plantation areas to visit traditional rice noodle factories and cocoa farms. 

Azerai in Can Tho is the second resort opening in Vietnam by Mr. Zecha, following the success of the Amanoi Resort in south-central Ninh Thuan province. Mr. Zecha told VET that Vietnam has much to offer in hospitality. “The country’s energetic and economic strategies to improve infrastructure, as well as its natural resources, geography, culture, and history, all contribute to its positioning as an attractive destination for tourism,” he said. Azerai Can Tho will have its official opening in February.

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