“A glorious Indochine-era residence on the banks of Hué’s Perfume River, with magnificent Citadel views, high-end spa and Art Deco rooms”
The hotel has 122 rooms and suites: 10 in the original mansion (including the Deluxe Colonials and Colonial Suites) 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. Flatscreen satellite TVs, safes, voicemail, bathrobes, hairdryers are there, and every room has a balcony or terrace of some sort.
It's worth requesting a room (Superior or Deluxe) with those river views and wondrous sunsets - ideally on the 3rd floor in the riverside wing. Deluxe rooms have a small sitting area which can house a rollaway bed.
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.
The Signature Suites get claw-foot bathtubs, colonial-style ceiling fans and four-poster beds, as well as artfully tiled bathrooms. Some are themed (such as ‘Monuments d’Egypte’ and ‘Voyage en Chine’ in the main building), with appropriate decorations like sphinx heads.
Commanding the entire upper-storey of the original building, the Resident Suite is spectacular and vast (76 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.
Le Parfum has to be the best dining venue in Hué. Successive chefs from as far afield as Germany and South Africa have been consistently innovative and passionate about their cuisine: a mouth-watering mix of local, regional and international dishes which has justifiably won rave reviews. Like the rest of the hotel, food is remarkably well priced.
The à la carte menu features international dishes with Mediterranean and French overtones, such as caramelised veal medallion capped with seared foie gras on black mushroom risotto. But local cuisine is also 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 should keep you fuelled up for sightseeing: 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, for maximum sunlight and garden views. At breakfast, before the heat gets up, watch the early morning traffic chug-chug along the river; in the cool of the evening, with only a canopy of twinkling stars, you can pick out a chorus of frogs or a distant sampan.
There's also a seasonal riverside bar next to the saltwater pool, offering light snacks and sandwiches; and a wonderful Art Deco-infused lobby bar dubbed Le Gouverneur. Cooking classes are also hosted (see Activities).
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.
Children of all ages are welcome at this quiet mini-resort, set in large gardens overlooking the Perfume River. There's a wealth of activities on offer at the complimentary Kids Club (some activities cost extra) plus 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 12 years old stay free of charge (including breakfast) when sharing their parents' room. Babysitting and cots are provided.
Deluxe, Deluxe River and Suite rooms can comfortably take one 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).
Available by arrangement
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The Kids Club is open 10am-10pm 7 days a week and offers fun and games such as board games, video games, traditional craft activities, cooking classes, embroidery, incense stick making and kite making
Kids menu available
The adult pool is deep and located next to the kids pool