Da Nang is a hive of luxury development right now, with work progressing well on most resorts; but that wasn’t the case in 2017 in the months before the Sheraton Danang Resort opened its Conference Centre. Project managers at other resort projects in the city still lament days of scarcity when practically all available labour, materials and tools were required for Sheraton’s site at Non Nuoc Beach to ensure the conference centre was ready to host the Apec 2017 leaders gala dinner that November. The property is under the investment portfolio of BRG Group, which is chaired by one of Vietnam’s most prominent female tycoons, Nguyen Thi Nga.
Where is it?
Non Nuoc Beach is along one of the most enviable stretches of sand in Asia. In the 1960s, US Marines came ashore to make Da Nang a strategic stronghold during darker days for Vietnam. Big names such as Four Seasons, Intercontinental, Furama and Sofitel are neighbours, while the picturesque town of Hoi An is a short drive to the south and the ancient capital of Hué about 93km north.
What's it like?
The “Grand” in its title is a well-deserved accolade: you’ve got two six-floor hotel blocks, a long swimming pool, and a palatial lobby adorned with chandeliers and a fountain. Guests can walk to their rooms or take golf carts. You may be in market-capitalist, tropical, coastal Vietnam, but you can’t get away from the impression that the architecture harkens back to the Soviet era, being grand in that robust revolutionary way.
The 258 guestrooms and suites combine the classic and resort feel. One set of rooms – Deluxe Pool View category – faces the garden area with a pool and events lawn that leads down to the hotel’s private beach. The Deluxe Bay View rooms show the ocean and plots of land ripe for development – but for the best angles, try one of the 24 Deluxe Corner rooms or, better still, a ground-level pool-view suite with its own private plunge pool. Even grander are a choice of
two family suites. For heads of state or other ultra-VIPs, there are the Ambassador (270 sqm) and Presidential (396 sqm) suites, the latter not too far from the block’s helicopter pad. The entry-level Deluxe rooms measure 47 sqm and come with high-speed wifi, a 55-inch flatscreen TV and work station.
Why would anyone need a lounge in a resort, when the whole place, except the meeting facilities, is a venue for unwinding? There are, however, seated areas above the lobby where regular business visitors to Da Nang can gather for meetings over coffee. But for now these and any beleaguered construction project managers are more likely to be seen recuperating on the sun decks at La Plage, the beach bar-restaurant at the top end of the pool.
Food and drink
There are an additional five F&B spots including the lunchtime favourite and all-day dining outlet Table 88, as well as The Grill with its option of a long table and an opening towards the Pool Lawn.
The two-level Conference Centre, christened with the Apec leaders gala, is set to make Da Nang a feature on the Asia meetings circuit thanks to increased flight connections. The priority, considering the furnishings in the first-level Hanoi and Danang rooms, appears to be for matters of state with the China-style U-shaped arrangements topped by twin armchairs. The facility has a separate driveway and the 1,267 sqm Sheraton Grand Ballroom can be divided into three junior ballrooms.
This new addition represents Sheraton’s – and Da Nang’s – forward thinking as it reaches out to the world while at the same time providing a symbolic statement of power when it comes to conferences and the traditions of architecture those in power expect when they meet. All this is wonderfully balanced with a resort equipped for both business and leisure.
Best for… Relaxing in the sun, team bonding on the beach and excursions to Unesco Heritage towns.
Don’t miss… A sunset cocktail at La Plage and the Shine Spa at Sheraton.
Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in a Deluxe Pool View room in February start from 4,389,000 dong (US$188) including tax and surcharges.
Contact 35 Truong Sa Street, Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District; +84 236 398 8999; marriott.com