Azerai grows portfolio with new coastal retreat in Vietnam
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Azerai grows portfolio with new coastal retreat in Vietnam

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We wanted to create a more contemporary and pure design look
– David Hodkinson

Aman founder and hotelier Adrian Zecha has expanded his Azerai resort brand with a new barefoot luxury destination and spa in Southeastern Vietnam.

Named Azerai Ke Ga Bay, the beachfront retreat has come to fruition after an extensive makeover of the former Princess D’Annam Resort & Spa.

The resort comprises 46 suites and a newly refreshed oceanfront spa with a stylish aesthetic defined by clean minimalism.

The 10-treatment-room spa has been redesigned from top-to-toe with design details to evoke a soothing sense of nature and tranquil atmosphere.

The refreshed wellness facility features new relaxation spaces, a beauty studio, Jacuzzi and a gym fitted with cardiovascular and strength-training equipment.

“We wanted to create a more contemporary and pure design look,” explained David Hodkinson, partner at Noor Design, the Ho Chi Minh City-based architecture and design firm responsible for the overhaul.

“The spa has been designed as its own entity with a processional entranceway, so as guests arrive, their journey begins at a small welcome pavilion from which they walk a frangipani-lined pathway to the main spa building.

“The materials and tones in the spa emanate their surroundings, with a neutral colour palette inspired by the beach's rocks and sand which vary in colour from a light orange-brown through to a dusty pink."

A calming water feature anchors the spa which is flanked by seperate male and female areas, each with their own reception, lounge, relaxation area, changing area, sauna, steamroom and treatment rooms.

Noor Design worked with indigenous Vietnamese materials to breathe new life into the resort, such as locally-sourced natural stone and timber.

“Azerai Ke Ga Bay takes design cues from a modernist Vietnamese architectural aesthetic – one of the key elements was to open up the rather enclosed and insular spaces of the former resort, connecting them to the landscape and surroundings,” Hodkinson shared.

Other nods toward Vietnamese design include woven rattan and seagrass matting, pebble-wash flooring using local sand and pebbles, paint colours inspired by nearby rock formations and crafts made by local artisans.

Steven Scott, executive director at Azerai Resorts, said the goal was to replan the interior design, opening areas to more natural light and encouraging seamless indoor-to-outdoor living spaces, both in the guest suites and public areas.

“There are many unique features to the resort, but one of my favourites is the connection between the beachfront pool and terraces with the landscape, beach and sea beyond,” Hodkinson says.

“The open-stepped wall gives an unblocked view out towards the sea, creating a theatre auditorium feeling, with the sea and sky as the stage.”

As part of the renovation, the resort’s four swimming pools were all retiled and wide gradual steps were installed, allowing guests more places to sit and relax in the water.

Azerai also decided to install a solar farm, new energy-efficient air-conditioning systems and low-energy LED lights fittings.

Azerai Ke Ga Bay marks the brand’s first beach resort and joins Azerai La Residence, Hue, a historic city resort overlooking the Perfume River in Vietnam’s former imperial capital, and Azerai Can Tho, a peaceful retreat set on a lush islet in the Mekong Delta.

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Aman founder and hotelier Adrian Zecha has expanded his Azerai resort brand with a new barefoot luxury destination and spa in Southeastern Vietnam.
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