While the name Swiss-Belhotel International does have a decidedly Helvetian ring to it, this Hong Kong-based hotel management company’s 50 or so hotels and resorts are all located in Asia, the Middle East and Australasia, with the majority in Indonesia. This month sees the new 151-room Swiss-Belresort Tuyen Lam opening for business in an appropriately Alpine environment, albeit just outside the Vietnamese town of Dalat.
Surrounded by pine-covered hills and at about 1,500 metres above sea level, it claims to be designed in something called the “Anglo-Normand rural style”, and is next to an 18-hole golf course. Dining is provided by (and, in fact, limited to) the all-day Swiss-Café. Special opening rates and offers can be found at www.swiss-belhotel.com.
More historic and upmarket hotel choices include the Dalat Palace Luxury Hotel (which opened in 1922) and the Du Parc Hotel (1932). Both can be found at www.dalatresorts.com.
Dalat, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, was established as a cool escape from the hot and humid lowlands by the country’s French colonial rulers in the early 20th century. If you can’t make it all the way to the European Alps this winter, Dalat is well connected for a short break from Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific’s flight CX767 should get you into Ho Chi Minh City by 10.30am, and with a one-hour connection to Vietjet’s 11.25am, 50-minute flight to Dalat, you can arrive in time for lunch.