Oakwood Residence Hanoi, a new serviced residence in the West Lake (Tay Ho) area of the Vietnamese capital, is on track for an end of September opening, the property’s general manager Humayoon (Tom) Shaikhzadeh has told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific in a telephone interview.
Oakwood’s third property in Vietnam and the first in Hanoi will offer 262 furnished serviced apartments with full-service facilities including a modern fusion restaurant, a residents’ lounge, fitness centre and an all-season swimming pool, he said.
Shaikhzadeh added that some unique features of the property include the fact that it will operate its own restaurant as well as have an indoor pool with a retractable roof.
Many other serviced apartments in the city contract out their food and beverage operations, and they also have outdoor pools that come with the downside of only being able to be used during certain times of the year, Shaikhzadeh added.
“For the F&B, while we feel that there are quality establishments out there, obviously when you run it yourself you have control over the food and service quality and flexibility in terms of pricing the package to entice more corporate customers,” he said.
In the guest apartments, Oakwood Residence Hanoi’s guests will all get Samsung smart TVs, as well as Nespresso coffee machines – which are Oakwood brand standard, along with amenities such as a dishwasher, and separate washer and dryers. Every room also has a balcony furnished with tables and chairs to enjoy the views of West Lake.
“We have some unique products as far as that goes, but are also catering more to the market here: every apartment has a bathtub and a washlet toilet – even our studio units,” he said.
Asked for a precise opening date, Shaikhzadeh said he has not yet set one as the property is still “looking for an auspicious date”, though he floated September 26 as a possible soft opening date.
“There have been some interested parties and we’ve committed that they can move in at the end of September. It’s probably going to be very low key for the soft opening and we’ll have the hard opening a couple months later.”
Shaikhzadeh sees stiff competition in the serviced apartment market in Hanoi, but has confidence in Oakwood Hanoi’s success due to the growing number of visitors to Hanoi coupled with popularity of serviced apartments among Asian family travellers.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific recently reviewed another serviced residence in Hanoi, the Somerset Grand Hanoi, which is owned by Ascott.
“I believe this segment is heating up. In Saigon, we definitely noticed that and I think as a business model serviced apartments offer great value to the customers,” he said (Shaikhzadeh previously opened Oakwood’s two properties in Saigon).
“I was a hotelier for 30-odd years and only fairly recently got exposed to serviced apartments, and I’m beginning to see the value proposition it offers travellers. Asian travel is often a multigenerational proposition: you’ve often got grandparents and grandchildren and the whole family staying together. Offering a larger living space and kitchen really caters to this market very well.”
On the subject of serviced residences, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific reported in June that serviced residence owners and operators are recognising a new trend among their guests at the higher end of the market: many are seeking out accommodation that offers a more luxurious experience.