Azerai - La Residence Hue

Hue - Danang - Nha Trang, Vietnam Book from Book from £110 per night

A glorious Indochine-era residence on the banks of Hué’s Perfume River, with magnificent Citadel views, a high-end spa and Art Deco rooms
Built in 1930 as the French Governor’s official residence, this 3-storey riverside mansion underwent a dramatic makeover in the early 2000s, gaining 2 new wings in the glorious Art Deco style of the original building. Oozing history and class, yet still convivial and informal, the 5-star hotel is now almost certainly the finest accommodation option in Hué.

A heady Indochine ambience fills the high-ceilinged interiors and 122 colonial-inspired rooms and suites, with tasteful Art Deco furnishings ranging from claw-foot tubs in some suites to a wraparound mural in the Agatha Christie-style lobby bar. Modern day comforts - such as Hué’s first high-end spa - are subtly interwoven. Best of all, you can feast your eyes on outstanding river views towards Hué’s landmark Citadel and Flag Tower. Weary culture-vultures will be soothed by the luscious gardens on the banks of the Perfume River, the huge river-hugging pool, and the finest dining in town. This is more than just a charming place to rest your head: it's a historic destination in its own right.

Highs

  • The perfect base to explore ancient treasures of this former Imperial City
  • The riverside location is only 100m away from a dragon boat pier to the pagodas
  • Bags of character: lots of original features and paintings from the building's life as a former colonial residence adorn the walls
  • A heavenly retreat after a day's sightseeing, with an enormous outdoor pool, leafy gardens and a top-notch spa
  • Incredibly inventive food that's beautifully presented

Lows

  • There is ongoing renovation work taking place at the hotel. Some rooms will be impacted, along with the spa, fitness centre and swimming pool changing rooms
  • It's not cheap; expect European prices
  • Hué has notoriously high rainfall!
  • With 122 rooms, it's much larger than most i-escape hotels
  • It's a 15-minute walk to the nearest restaurant, and you’ll need to take a taxi or boat to reach shops and sights (or borrow a bicycle from the hotel)

Best time to go

The best time to visit is from February to May; temperatures can soar from April to August. The rainy season falls between November and February - be prepared for some flooding - but Hué suffers from the highest rainfall in Vietnam, so downpours can occur at any time of year. Between August and November, typhoons bring more torrential rain.

The biggest national holiday, Lunar New Year (Tet), runs over several days in either January or February (dates vary annually), with some services and sights limited or closed.

Our top tips

Request a river view room if you can; they are available in Superior and Deluxe categories and have gorgeous views from their terraces.

Bring waterproofs (including a jacket and shoes) for those rainy days, plus sunscreen and a sunhat for blistering hot summers. From December to February, evening temperatures can be cool, so bring a pullover or fleece - and don't count on using the pool.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 122
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry service
Room:

Rooms

The hotel has 122 rooms and suites: 10 in the original mansion and the remainder in the new wings. The former retain the different character and sizes of the French architect’s 1950s blueprints, while the 2 new annexes faithfully mimic the original building (you can hardly tell them apart), but some Superior Rooms are on the small side.

Decor is a beautiful blend of colonial charm and Asian opulence. Classic furnishings from the French-Indochina era include timbered floors, vintage ceramic-tiled bathrooms and cocoa-brown wood furniture; and there are elegant touches like pedestal sinks, Art Deco glass lamps and 1930s-style vanity mirrors. It's worth requesting a room (Superior or Deluxe) with those river views and wondrous sunsets.

Or, if your budget can stretch and you don't mind garden views instead, we loved some of the suites in the main building. One glorious first-floor Colonial Suite has a long curved wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool gardens, and a romantic netted four-poster. Some are themed (such as ‘Monuments d’Egypte’ and ‘Voyage en Chine’), with appropriate decorations like sphinx heads.

Commanding the entire upper-storey of the original building, the Resident Suite is spectacular and vast (72 sq.m.), with 2 high-ceilinged, curved-wall rooms and a palatial rounded terrace (the largest in the house) offering panoramic river and garden views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

Le Parfum has to be one the best dining venues in Hué. The cuisine is a mouth-watering mix of local, regional and international dishes which has justifiably won rave reviews, and it's some of the most imaginatively presented food we've ever seen - our scallops came on an enormous block of intricately carved ice.

The à la carte menu features international dishes with French overtones, but local cuisine is also well represented, in dishes such as goi cuon tom thit (fresh pork and prawn rolls with sweet and sour sauce). There are wines from both the Old and New World.

The extensive breakfast buffet has everything you could possibly think of: pastries and breads are freshly baked on-site, pancakes and eggs are cooked à la minute and there's a typical Vietnamese selection. Weather permitting, opt for the delightful Art Deco riverside terrace where you can watch the early morning traffic chug-chug along the river before the heat gets up.

There's also a seasonal riverside bar next to the pool, offering light snacks and sandwiches; and a wonderful Art Deco-infused lobby bar dubbed Le Gouverneur, which is great for lunch or pre-dinner aperitifs.

Hué is home to some of Vietnam's tastiest cuisine, so if you’re game it’s worth trying out local dishes at the small street-side stalls or family-run eateries in town.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: View from Perfume River

Activities

  • Take in Hué’s vast cultural heritage: walk, bicycle or hire a cyclo to the Citadel and Forbidden City, then take a dragon boat on the Perfume River to the Emperor’s tombs and mausoleums; the beach is only 15km away too
  • Other must-sees include the central market, the pagodas and the lovely garden houses
  • The huge riverside swimming pool is heaven after a hard day’s sightseeing. Armed with a mojito from the bar, you can watch the sun sinking into the Perfume River
  • If that's not enough pampering, book one of the spa treatments at award-winning Le Spa - choose from lymphatic treatments, Swedish massages or traditional Vietnamese healing therapies
  • Or try a cooking class with the restaurant chef, bookable the night before: you start by riding a cyclo to Ben Ngu Market to learn all about Vietnamese ingredients and spices; back at the hotel, you cook 3 dishes under Chef's supervision, and then tuck into them in the restaurant, before getting a souvenir cap, recipes and a certificate
  • Charter a traditional wooden boat for dinner, breakfast or sundowner cruises
  • The hotel organises exclusive Royal Theatre Dinners in the citadel’s old theatre (pre-booked in advance for private groups)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome at this quiet mini-resort, set in large gardens overlooking the Perfume River. There's a small shallow swimming pool for kids, note that the main outdoor pool is big and deep; both are unheated. Some parents may feel inhibited by the hotel’s elegant interiors, but we (with three under-10s) found the staff very welcoming, especially at breakfast. Children up to 5 years old stay free of charge (including breakfast) when sharing their parents' room. Babysitting and cots are provided.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Deluxe, Deluxe River and Suite rooms can comfortably take 1 rollaway bed. If you have 2 or 3 children you'll need 2 adjacent Superior or Superior River rooms (and note that twin-bedded rooms are limited).

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Kids menu available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Free tennis court (charge applied after sun down)
  • Kids swimming pool (unheated)
  • Bicycles to borrow
  • Table tennis
  • Half-court basketball
  • Boules
  • Billiards
  • Tours arranged by the hotel

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Sightseeing and shopping
  • River cruise
  • National park
  • Beach
  • Hot springs
  • Zip-line

Families Should Know:

The adult pool is deep and located next to the kids pool

Distances:

  • Airport: 20 minutes
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shops: 8 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

AZERAI - La Residence Hue is situated on the south bank of the Perfume River in the city of Hué, on Vietnam's central east coast.

By Air:
Hue Phu Bai (17km away) has regular services on domestic airlines from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Nha Trang. Da Nang International Airport (100km away) is linked to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Ban Me Thout, Pleiku and Quy Nhon.

If you're coming from Europe, you'll probably fly into Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. From these airports, you can either transfer onto an internal flight, or travel overland if you're planning a longer trip.

From the Airport:
We recommended taking airport transfers arranged by the hotel from Da Nang or Hué. Taxis from Hue’s airport cost from around US$12, but make sure the meter works and it’s a registered airport taxi. A taxi from Da Nang will cost around US$50.

By Train:
Vietnam is well served by trains. Take the Reunification Express train, which operates along the coast from Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang. See Seat 61 for more details. The train station is 200m from the hotel.

By Bus:
Long distance bus services go to Hanoi, Saigon, Da Nang and Hoi An.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Hue, Phu Bai 17.0 km HUI
  • Da Nang Airport 100.0 km DAD

Other:

  • Beach 14.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Beautiful Art Deco property in a spacious and pretty setting. Peaceful yet close to the town with lovely staff - a perfect place in busy Hue!

8/10,

Fabulous, atmospheric place. Killer cocktails. And excellent service. Wish we had booked more nights here.

10/10,

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