HANOI (Reuters) – A five-star hotel in Vietnamese capital Hanoi has opened with a twist that it hopes will attract guests with intimately expensive tastes: gold-plated bath tubs, basins and even toilets, all housed behind a massive golden exterior.
The Dolce Hanoi Golden Lake Hotel has made the extra effort to bring visitors back to Vietnam where the tourism sector is slowly reopening after a three-month coronavirus lockdown.
The hotel, owned by Hoa Binh Group and managed by U.S.-based Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc, stands in stark contrast to its surrounding weather-worn Soviet-era buildings.
“At the moment, there is no other hotel like this in the world,” said Nguyen Huu Duong, majority owner and chairman of Hoa Binh Group.
Hotel facilities include a 24 karat gold-tiled infinity pool on the rooftop, while inside guest rooms, bathrooms are laced with yellow metal. From $250 a night, the hotel is in the same price bracket as rival luxury accommodation in the city.
“It has changed my mind about what luxury can be. Other luxury hotels usually use marble as tiles, but here everything is gold-plated down to the washing basin,” said 62-year-old guest Luong Van Thuan, himself a hotel owner.
Vietnam has been relatively successful in containing the coronavirus outbreak with only 350 or so cases and no reported deaths. Duong said if not for the pandemic, the hotel would likely be fully booked with international guests.
Around a tonne of gold was used to cover the hotel, said Duong, a Vietnam War veteran and former cyclo taxi driver who made his fortune in construction and property.
He is planning gold-plated projects in Ho Chi Minh City and a resort in central Vietnam.
(Reporting by Minh Nguyen; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Christopher Cushing)