One of the best things to do in Hue? Splurge on at least one night at the historic Azerai La Residence!
You guys know I love a gorgeous hotel with a story to tell, so I was pretty excited to be working with Azerai for the last few days of my trip to Hue! Leaving my friends who were returning to Saigon, I hopped into a taxi and emerged in front of what seemed like a white-washed Art Deco oasis situated along the Perfume River.
I had such a wonderful stay, so I thought I’d dive into what I loved as well as a total review to help you decide if you should splurge on a stay!
9 Unique Things I Loved About Azerai La Residence Hue
1. The staff
First and foremost, I was really impressed with the staff at La Residence! Everyone I met with was lovely and attentive without it feeling unnatural. I also found that everyone I interacted was incredibly on top of things. Like definitely one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in Vietnam in terms of communication and punctuality.
Apparently, most of the staff has been with the hotel for a long time and come from Hue, so they like to treat anyone staying here as guests rather than simply clients.
2. The Art Deco decor
La Residence has maintained the simple Art Deco style of the original mansion, giving it a spacious feel as well as a bit of old school elegance. Can’t you imagine the characters who made it through The Great Gatsby coming here for a month of rest and relaxation after too many NYC champagne parties?
3. The turn down service
At the beginning of this year when my friends and I stayed at the Britannia in Trondheim, I had no clue what turn down service was when they asked if I wanted it. Now I think it might actually be my favorite bonus when staying at luxury hotels!
At Azerai La Residence, they’ll have someone come in around early evening to touch up the room as well as get your bed ready and leave a little treat. I obviously kept the card above — it’s too pretty not to!
4. The pool
The pool here is saltwater and runs parallel to the river. This means you can watch the dragon boats float by and get the perfect view of the Flag Tower from certain parts. It’s also pretty long at around 40 meters, so great if you want to swim some laps (which is what I did).
I’d recommend spending your morning walking around the Citadel, grabbing lunch and/or afternoon tea, and then lounging by this pool in the afternoon!
5. Their location on the Perfume River
Seriously, the location is stunning. Apparently, one of the the special things about Azerai is its unique locations. All of the properties in Vietnam are in the most idyllic spots where you’re close enough for any sightseeing but far enough away to feel like an escape.
One thing to do in Hue that I didn’t get a chance to do is a boat cruise. Azerai offers their three different boat trips: a morning one, a sunset cocktail one, and a dinner cruise. Just ask them about it when you book your stay.
6. Their efforts towards sustainability
I feel like we’re at a time where every hotel should be doing something towards being sustainable, so I loved seeing what Azerai La Residence has put in place! Here’s just a quick look at some of their practices:
- Glass bottles in the rooms instead of plastic
- Glass bottles and paper straws at all F&B outlets
- Refill water stations in the lobby
- Biodegradable packaging for room amenities
- Signs encouraging towel and bed linen reuse
- Greenifying laundry services like pressing in-house, natural laundry bags, and returning clean clothes in rattan baskets
- Prioritizing recycled paper when needed
- Working with local suppliers who are committed to and certified in sustainability
- Focusing on seasonal foods for dining
- Cultivating an herb garden you can see from the dining terrace
7. The food, of course!
While staying at Azerai La Residence Hue, I had breakfast twice, a cafe dinner, and afternoon tea, so I like to think I got a good taste of what they offer foodwise! Hue is known for having some amazing Vietnamese cuisine, and Nguyen Dong Hai, or Chef Hai, absolutely helps maintain that reputation.
Chef Hai has been in the kitchen since he was a kid helping his mother and grandmother, and he even majored in Cooking at Hue Vocational College of Tourism at a time when it wasn’t common for men to pursue that field. He started working at La Residence back when it was a guesthouse for the Provincial People’s Committee, quite literally starting from the bottom doing grunt work!
His menus include a fusion of international and Hue specialities to create a gourmet experience. For breakfast, which was ala carte when I stayed but is normally buffet, I had a more continental option the first day and a Vietnamese one the next (banh mi op la, one of my favorite dishes).
For dinner, I got to experience one of their La Residence Café menus, which included fried spring rolls and fried shrimp with a sweet and sour sauce, a mushroom and seafood soup, a delicious roast duck over bok choy, and coconut tart cake.
For the Holidays:
If you’re planning to come soon, you’re in luck! For rest of January, you can still have their Christmas and New Years festive menu and then all of February will feature a special menu made with iconic Tet ingredients. Check here for their festive menus and activities.
8. The spa experience
I love the spa here. It’s located in the same wing as the gym and set away from the main lobby and restaurant, which gives it even more of a secluded, peaceful atmosphere before you even walk into the entrance.
The rooms, either single or double, have a shower and bathroom as well as robes, etc that you’ll need. Your masseuse will have you fill out a small form beforehand so they know what to target and will give you time to change and get ready.
This small thing doesn’t seem like a lot but when pretty much all my other spa experiences in Vietnam involve my masseuse just holding up a towel and having me strip, the privacy was very welcome!
9. Afternoon tea
Ok, you have to request an afternoon tea session when you stay. Imagine coming back from a morning of sightseeing to this little situation above!
Choose between tea or coffee and one of the three options: Sweet Temptations, Savoury Temptations, or a Combo of the two. Check here to see the full menu. I had some peppermint tea and the combo option. Definitely recommend taking your afternoon tea out onto the terrace if the weather is nice.
A More In-Depth Review
Okay so those were some quick highlights above about what I loved from my experience, but if you want to get even more in-depth about Azerai La Residence Hue this part’s all for you!
Azerai was founded only a few years ago by Adrian Zecha, a huge name in the hospitality industry. He has founded and/or developed a multitude of luxury hotel brands, though he is most well-known for his trailblazing work with Aman Resorts.
From 2017 onwards, he created the Azerai brand, which now has three properties in Vietnam. The name “Azerai” comes from Zecha’s initials as well as the Persian word caravanserai, which refers to the inns travelers would once find along trading routes like the Silk Road.
The aim of Azerai is to offer luxury accommodation with intelligent design in uniquely beautiful locations.
About La Residence
You guys know I love a bit of history and La Residence has plenty!
It started back in 1930 as a guesthouse for the French governor of Indochina. He had the mansion designed in the then popular Art Deco style right on the Perfume River.
The mansion would go on to survive through the decades of turbulence as government headquarters, a government guesthouse, and as a 3-star hotel until the Apple Tree Group took it over in the 2000s and turned it into a 5-star hotel under the design leadership of Brigitte Dumont de Chassart. It was here that the mansion was expanded to include one wing to each side so that the hotel, in total, holds 122 rooms.
With Azerai, it’s undergone another renovation between 2017-2019, re-opening in early 2019.
FAQ When Booking Azerai La Residence Hue
When is check in and check out?
Typically check-in begins at 2:00 PM and check-out is at 12:00 PM. Just check with them when you book, though, and let them know your arrival and departure.
Is there on site parking?
Yes, there is on-site parking available.
How close to the hotel to Hue?
Very close! If you wanted to walk, you could easily walk along the river and over to the Citadel side in around 20 minutes. Otherwise the taxi ride I took was a whopping 30k VND (aka like $1)
How far is it from the airport?
Phu Bai Airport is around 30 minutes from Azerai. You can either get a taxi (Grab will link you with a local taxi) or book a shuttle through them. I got a shuttle on my way back to the airport.
About the Room
What kinds of rooms are available?
- Superior Standard (Queen or 2 Twin)
- Superior River (Queen or 2 Twin)
- Superior Garden (Queen or 2 Twin)
- Deluxe Room (King)
- Deluxe River (King or 2 Twins)
- Deluxe Colonial (King)
- Colonial Junior Suite (King)
- Colonial Suite (King)
- Resident Suite (1 King + 1 Adult Roll Away Bed)
I stayed in the Deluxe River room which had the best little balcony view to watch the sunset from! My room also came with a little office/sitting area as well as the main bedroom and bathroom areas.
How’s the wifi?
Great! Same wifi for the hotel; if you need something more robust, you can use the mac desktop computers in their business section
What other amenities does the room come with?
A few glass bottles of water, which are restocked each day, some tea and nuts as well as a minibar. You’ll also, of course, find comfy robes and slippers in the wardrobe! If you need to do some ironing, staff can bring you a board and iron on request.
How often is the room cleaned?
The room can be cleaned daily (really twice daily as turn down service will tidy things up and take out the trash). If you want to reuse your bed linens and towels, just make sure to hang them up.
What amenities come in the bathroom?
All the typical amenities you’d expect — shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, bar soap, a hairdryer, and miscellaneous items you might need like Q-tips. All of it comes in biodegradable packaging.
How’s the shower?
Amazing! Excellent water pressure and I like that it’s in its own separate room. If you stay in one of the suites, your room also comes with a tub.
Is there breakfast available?
There is! Breakfast is available in Le Parfum and is either buffet style or ala carte depending. You can choose between a mix of international or Vietnamese and, if you’re wondering, yes you can get ca phe muoi.
What onsite dining options are there?
Azerai La Residence Hue has three dining options with Le Parfum, its main restaurant with formal dining, Le Gouvernor, its bar with drinks inspired by Hue, and La Résidence Café, a more informal but still elegant spot.
Is there a fitness center?
Yes, the fitness center is very new with state of the art equipment. The treadmills are the kind where you can pretend you’re running on a trail via the screen!
Is there a spa?
Yes, there is! The spa features massage rooms for either one or two people as well as a Finnish-style sauna area. In the sauna, you can find an ice fountain, and two steam rooms.
Is there a pool?
Yes, the saltwater pool is around 40m long facing the river. Features loungers all around and a pool bar.
How to Stay
Where to Book: On their site
Address: 5 Lê Lợi, Vĩnh Ninh, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế 530000
Offers & Packages
When it comes to booking hotels in Vietnam, I always recommend checking their websites first as they often have some really cool packages. Right now, for example, Azerai is offering a Fly for Free package that will give you airfare credit up to 3 million VND per room on a 2-night stay.
And there you have it! All you need to know about the beautiful Azerai La Residence Hue to help you decide whether to splurge or not on your next stay!
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I was a guest of Azerai La Residence Hue, all opinions are my own.