The biggest name to be attached to a hotel project in Asia this year is Michel Roux, the three-star Michelin chef behind the hotly anticipated La Maison 1888 at the InterContinental Danang in Vietnam. Roux is the Johnny Depp of celebrity chefs: effortlessly cool, collected and always in demand. As the first chef of this calibre in Vietnam, Roux elevates the property to the top of the country's hospitality game. Opening night is Dec. 12, and the guest list is bound to be a who's who of lifestyle aficionados, celebrities and die-hard foodies.
Another major talent in the Danang lineup is Bill Bensley, one of Architectural Digest's top 100 designers. His vision marries traditional and contemporary design within a rolling landscape (the hotel is located in the verdant rain forest of the Son Tra Peninsula). Bensley's take on a stark black-and-white palette is bold, mixing ebony-hued woodwork with discreet touches of grey-green.
When it came to the Cheeky Monkey bar (still under construction), his team took a fun approach. "We ran with an unorthodox idea," he says. "What if a well-heeled monkey, from a family of great history and old money, were to design and build his own bachelor pad with a very generous budget? What would that look like? What would he have designed?" The public will find out when it opens early next year.
One thing Bensley was serious about: getting the most out of the scenic setting. The resort's rooms, suites and villas all have views of the Souh China Sea. A handful of penthouses crown the rooftops of the resort's highest buildings, offering private pools and panoramas of sky, sea and jungle. Plush interiors open to a sprawling terrace replete with two king-size daybeds and a terrace bar (including a wine fridge). A personal chef is always on hand to prepare a teppanyaki meal on the surfboard-shaped marble dining table.
For those seeking a heritage-centric outing, the UNESCO-listed Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary lie only a short drive away. Want a lazier day? The peninsula's beaches include Bai Bac, Bai Nam and Bai But – all stunning spots for splashing and sunbathing. Offshore, a myriad of coral reefs offer a lively diversion for diving enthusiasts.
To celebrate the opening, the resort is offering special rates on stays from now until Jan. 1, from $220 (U.S.) a night; 1-877-660-8550; danang.intercontinental.com.