Joe Springer-Miller used to be well-known in Saigon — with a surname of such double-barrel uniqueness, you’re unlikely to be forgotten. A one-time corporate expat, a photographer and one of the forces behind Saigon Players, he then did what every happy-go-lucky man in the prime of his life just shouldn’t do. He fell in love.
Hue 1930. The mansion at 5 Le Loi opened as an addition to the residence of the colonial French Resident Superiore. This period was the hey-day of the Art Deco school of design. No corner of the globe was beyond the bounds of this particular movement.
You can usually judge a place on the quality of its bathrobes. Your average city hotel trafficks in waffle-weaved cotton, not particularly luxurious but good for the moderate climate of your temperature-controlled room.
An Lam’s private residences may only be a few short kilometres from the non-stop rough and tumble of central Ho Chi Minh City, but when pulling up by boat to its tranquil docks perched along the riverbank, few places feel further away from the urban jungle than does this peaceful corner of the Saigon River.
The devil they say is in the detail, and when it comes to details, the InterContinental in Danang is quite truly in a world of its own.
Take the Saigon River, put a villa on its edge and then transform it into a boutique hotel. It’s a concept that’s worked elsewhere, but only now has it come to Vietnam.