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The Sofitel Dalat Palace in Vietnam Continues Transformation

DALAT, Vietnam (22 May 2008) — The hotel that inspired the development of an entire town almost a century ago is redeveloping its own image in one of the world’s most fabled colonial-era hill stations.
Last month, the Sofitel Dalat Palace hired Pascal Tadin as its director of food and beverage and promoted Thuy Thu Nguyen to public relations, communications and marketing manager.

Pascal Tadin and Thuy Thu Nguyen
The moves are just two of several that have been carried out recently by the venerable French colonial-style retreat, a fixture on Vietnam’s luxury lodging landscape since 1922. 
In January, Tony Chisholm took over as general manager. In February, free WiFi was installed in all 43 rooms. And in March, the tennis courts were completely refurbished and three new indoor public areas—a library, a private dining room and a billiards room—were created.
“These changes are just the tip of the iceberg, too,” said Chisholm, who came from the Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore, which he helped win “Best Venue for a Corporate Meeting” at the 2006 Singapore Business Events Awards. “We’ve got a lot more in the works and Pascal and Thuy will be influential in executing some of those plans.”
Prior to his appointment at the Palace, Tadin served as the food and beverage manager at the five-star Hotel de la Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. Before that, the Frenchman trained at some of his country’s most luxurious hotels, including Sofitel Mediterranee in Cannes and the Hotel Ambassador in Paris.
The Dalat-raised Nguyen joined the Palace staff in 1995 as a food and beverage assistant. She has also worked in the hotel’s guest services department.
The Sofitel Dalat Palace (originally Lang Bian Hotel) was built as the anchor to the fledgling colonial resort of Dalat, 300 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City in the temperate Southern Highlands. 
In 1991, Danao International Holdings (DIHL) initiated a multi-million-dollar resuscitation of the structure and two others—the adjacent 144-room Novotel Dalat Hotel and the lauded Dalat Palace Golf Club. 
The original vision for DIHL, and the revival of its current assets, was stimulated by Larry Hillblom, an American tycoon whose surname is the “H” in the express delivery company DHL.
Today, the Sofitel Dalat Palace is appointed with furnishings that amplify its regal stature. From chandeliers in the guest chambers, to Chesterfield leather sofas in the lobby and now vintage black-and-white photos on the freshly painted walls of its new library, it evokes a bygone era.
The restaurant, Le Rabelais, is even grander than its forebear, with tremendous views of Xuan Huong Lake and the city. Larry’s Bar, on the ground floor, is both rustic and cavernous, offering a welcome complement to the hotel’s otherwise refined ambiance.
Built in 1922, the Sofitel Dalat Palace has been for decades the most beautiful hotel in Southeast Asia. The hotel has been entirely restored to its former glory, with painstaking efforts made to preserve its colonial style and its singular status as a Vietnamese landmark.

Danao Resorts manages a portfolio of hotels, resorts and serviced apartments costing more than $100 million, including 5-star Dalat Palace Hotel Sofitel, 4-star Novotel Dalat, Dalat Palace Golf Club, 4-star Novotel Ocean Dunes Phan Thiet, Ocean Dunes Golf Club, and Riverside Apartments in Ho Chi Minh City.

Established a decade ago, Danao Resorts’ mission is to invest and manage real estate with the highest standards of quality, service standards, and professionalism that will result in sustained growth in sales and profits.

The company is committed to enhance the hospitality industry through active participation in national, regional, and local associations and strive continuously to improve its operations through innovation, staff development and new technology.

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Danao properties has offices in Phan Thiet, Vietnam

In 2006, Indochina Land, a division of Indochina Capital, acquired a majority interest in Danao, joining Dragon Capital as joint investors in the Danao portfolio. Founded in 1999, Indochina Capital ranks as one of Vietnam’s leading financial services firms, and also owns a significant share in Mekong Securities, a leading Vietnamese broker/dealer and investment bank. Dragon Capital was established in 1994 and is involved in raising and investing capital, advising both Vietnamese and international companies, and operating securities and asset management businesses.


Scott Resch
(+84) 093.848.1821

Also See: Tony Chisholm Appointed General Manager at the Sofitel Dalat Palace / January 2008


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