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Work of art

Released at: 12:11, 18/08/2015

Work of art

Its stunningly unique design sees the InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort in the running to win a leading international award.

Designed by Architect Bill Bensley, known as a master of resort design, the five-star InterContinental ® Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort is said to be one of his masterpieces. It was recently nominated in the category of Best Achievement in Design in the Virtuoso Best of the Best Awards for global luxury resorts, to be held at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas this month. Joining other resorts such as the Mandarin Oriental (Taipei, Taiwan), The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto (Japan), Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Toranomon Hills Andaz Tokyo (Japan), InterContinental ® Da Nang is one of only a few resorts in Vietnam to compete for an international award. 

Hidden in the myth-filled hills of Monkey Mountain on Son Tra Peninsula, the InterContinental® Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort is as much a work of art as a resort. Set on 37 ha of stepped gardens leading down to a private beach, every inch of the luxury resort is the stunning creation of Mr. Bensley, with dramatic views of the sea enjoyed from all 197 rooms. 

According to Mr. Iain McCormack, General Manager of the resort, guests will find a unique design not found elsewhere. “Here is where myth meets luxury, where the significant features of Vietnamese landscapes combine with modern architecture to create a world-class resort,” he said. 

In order to create his masterpiece, Mr. Bensley visited at least 30 Buddhist temples, palaces and imperial tombs throughout central Vietnam to put together the architectural vocabulary for InterContinental® Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort’s interlinked living spaces of distinctly different sizes under multi-tiered roofs finished with half-rounded tiles. The lobby’s shape draws upon the simplest form of Vietnamese temples’ architectural layout, based on the Chinese letter Dinh. 

The interiors at InterContinental® Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort recall Vietnamese temples too, with vibrant hanging lanterns, ornately-carved candle stands, and temple motifs like dragons, elephants, lions and the lotus flower. The resort’s stark color interplay of black and white comes directly from the lexis of Vietnamese temples’ black lacquered wood and white tiles. Historically, Vietnamese temple builders used color very sparingly. Black and white were more than just color choices at these holy venues. They symbolize the yin and yang that is the basis of religions across East Asia. Here the architect chose black and white for every formal building in the resort, but as this is definitely not a religious temple but a place of pleasure he added a signature pop of color to each space, such as the yellow in Citron restaurant, a color once reserved solely for Vietnamese emperors.

Festive temple lanterns, originally brought to Vietnam from China, dapple the facades of these rare wooden “tube” houses to lure throngs of guests into one souvenir shop after another. The sensual curves and colorful silk skin of lanterns appear throughout the resort. Just as often he adopted the Vietnamese lantern skeleton, such as upstairs at La Maison 1888 and along the corridor to Le Boudoir de Madame.

Mr. Bensley’s imagination doesn’t end there. Guests will also find old French-inspired chairs, quirks like cast iron ostriches poised alongside marble bathtubs, and even surfboard-shaped terrace tables drawn from his own Southern California roots - just in case visitors forgot they were on a beach vacation. 

Talking with VET, Mr. McCormack said winning the prestigious Best Achievement in Design award at the Virtuoso Best of the Best Awards would be a source of endless pride for the resort. “The nomination not only acknowledges and recognizes our unique architecture but is also a great inspiration for us to preserve our architectural value of traditional authenticity and modern luxury to bring an exceptional experience to our guests during their stay,” he said.

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