Thoughts of traveling in Southeast Asia, especially to Vietnam, might fill your mind with images of a rustic and authentic travel experience, offering such immersive delights as shopping at bustling markets and touring ancient pagodas, cycling through landscapes of rice paddies and rivers, or trekking off the beaten path to discover secluded beaches. Along the way, you're likely to learn about a rich history marked by a Communist revolution and an iconic, if regrettable, war.
To visit Vietnam is to embark on a journey of the senses and of the soul, in the spirit of the bestselling book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. So it's not often that we associate Vietnam with sensual indulgence or luxury travel.
However, a new Leading Hotel of the World — the Reverie Saigon — is changing all that. The Reverie opened last September as arguably the most grandiose establishment in an otherwise very modest country. Part of a $552 million development, the hotel engaged 17 different Italian design houses to collaborate on the palatial interiors. It was the only property in Vietnam to make Condé Nast Traveler USA’s ‘Hot List’ last year.
Now, the Reverie has released its first ever guest package aimed at the savvy traveler: a combination of a three-hour shopping experience in one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, with three spa treatments, and three nights’ luxe accommodation. But the spa is the real star here: the hotel’s sumptuous new sanctuary is 1,200-metre-square with 10 treatment rooms. Enter via the majestic white marble reception area to the soothing leather-clad interiors. Women enjoy separate facilities to men, and can linger in the Himalayan pink salt sauna or unwind in the color therapy steam room. A comprehensive spa menu features a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western therapies.
Choose from several massage styles, which may include the signature techniques of classic Vietnamese cupping, Thai Oriental deep and gentle massage followed by a Thai foot massage, aromatherapy incorporated into Swedish and deep-tissue techniques applied with a choice of signature essential oil blends and jade stones, Tibetan-style massage with a blend of five essential oils, or seaweed hot stones. Only organic spa products, oils, and herbal poultices are used. It's a sure way to rid yourself of Western tensions and relax.
Imagine following this indulgence with a professional and warm shopping guide from Trails of Indochina, who will escort you on a personalized shopping excursion scouting for arts, crafts and fashion. Maybe you'll have something tailor-made, or perhaps you'll discover a rare antique dating to the French colonial era. The package also comes with access to The Reverie Lounge, where a traditional afternoon tea is served daily and cocktails and canapés are offered at sunset.
Guests of Reverie's "Haute" package are provided with round-trip airport transfers in a luxury car, such as a Mercedes S-class or the latest BMW 7 series. Or maybe you'd rather upgrade to one of the hotel’s Bentleys or its Rolls-Royce limited edition Phantom Dragon.