Architectural Secrets of Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô

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Opening on 1 December 2020 in the Phu Yen province of Central Vietnam, Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô is the latest property from Zannier Hotels. Set within 98 hectares of ancient paddy fields, verdant hilltops and groves of bamboo and palms, the secluded resort faces a kilometre-long white powder beach and has been created to be at one with its magnificent surroundings. Drawing on the artful simplicity of Vietnamese design to reflect a contemporary vision of traditional Vietnamese architecture, Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô provides a total immersion into this fascinating country.


Zannier Hotels is known for its timeless design. The collection of out-of-the-ordinary properties across Namibia, Cambodia and France, not only reflect the simplicity of their natural surroundings and landscapes but tell the story of the local history and customs. Created by Zannier Hotels as a tribute to Vietnam’s rich culture and history, Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô is no exception.

With a commitment to offering a true Vietnamese experience, the brainchild behind Zannier Hotels, Arnaud Zannier spent several months travelling around the country, learning about the different ways of life, local customs and traditional construction techniques before adapting them for Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô. Natural local materials such as wood, stone, bamboo and thatch form an integral part of the overall aesthetic, with artefacts accumulated from antique market and shops around South East Asia, adding to the resort’s sense of belonging.


The resort’s 73 villas are scattered along the crest of a hill and tucked into the valley below. Offering panoramic views of the sea or the dramatic hills, the villas blend into their natural surroundings, with their roofs barely visible above the tree line.

Inspiration for each of the four villa types – Paddy Field, Hill Poo, Beach Pool and Grand Bay Pool – is rooted in the Vietnamese tradition of architecture as an art form. A modern reinterpretation of the traditional abodes typically found in Vietnam’s tribal cultures, the villas have been ecologically built using age-old techniques to authentically replicate different architectural styles, whilst offering a more contemporary way of living. The pared-down interiors feature natural colours and textures, with a collection of Vietnamese paintings and silk prints gracing the walls. Soft furnishings incorporate traditional materials such as raw silk, woven rattan and hessian, whilst the elegant furniture is cleverly handcrafted from reclaimed wood and bamboo.


The 25 Paddy Fields Villas are inspired by the fisherman’s houses found in the nearby floating villages. Originally built as a place for returning fishermen to sell their fresh catch from the night before, the floating villages quickly became residential, with people living, eating, sleeping, working and socialising on these tiny, self-sufficient islands.

Designed to be a refuge amongst the paddy fields, the 49 square metre wooden villas have been built on stilts in the traditional style, with interconnecting walkways snaking through the greenery and expansive terraces making the most of the stunning countryside views. Inside, the blue walls echo the fisherman’s homes, with the interiors decorated simply yet effectively, creating a continuity between inside and out. Touches such as Non La (Vietnamese conical leaf hats) lining the walls and woven reed fishing baskets are a nod to the locale, whilst a daybed by the window is lit with a hessian lampshade to provide the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of the rice fields.


Sitting proudly on the hilltop, with panoramic views as far as the eye can see, the 25 Hill Pool Villas and 2 Grand Bay Pool Villas have been inspired by the longhouses of the Rade people (Ê Đê) who inhabit the Central Highlands. Typically, a succession of rooms, the ingenious architecture of the original longhouses allows for expansion as the family grows – another compartment is simply added, with some reaching up to 100 metres in length.

With their long shape, low tiled roofs and bamboo cladding, these pool villas draw on the distinctive elements of the traditional houses. The rustic interiors feature earthy tones throughout, with brushed stone walls, smooth bamboo flooring, beautifully weathered wood and lantern-style lighting. Unlike the Hill Pool Villas that feature one or two bedrooms, the Grand Bay Pool Villas are constructed on two levels and respectively possess 3 and 4 bedrooms.


Situated directly on the beach, the 21 Beach Pool Villas are inspired by The Chams (Chăm), who traditionally live along the central coasts of Vietnam. Traditionally, these single-level houses are built in very orderly rows, with a west-facing entrance. The Beach Pool Villas are no different in this respect. With thatched roofs, a wooden claustra to provide privacy and walls covered in cob, a natural material of clay, sand and straw, the villas have been designed to resemble a typical house of a Cham family. The Chams traditionally follow the matriarchal system with boys staying with their wive’s family. Hence, they usually live in those ground- type houses where family members build their houses close to each other.

Built on wooden stilts, the one and two-bedroom villas have their own pools facing the turquoise sea, with the powder white sand just steps away. The interiors evoke the Chams’ simple way of living, with a beige and cream colour tone, walls adorned with painted driftwood panels and cool cottons and linens creating a light and airy feel reflective of their beachside position.

Bà Hai Restaurant

Bà Hai not only provides an authentic culinary journey through Vietnam but is a breathtaking architectural masterpiece. Overlooking rice fields, the impressive 12-metre high building is a tribute to the beautiful architecture of the communal houses found in Bahnar villages. One of the most iconic sights of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, the towering communal houses sit at the heart of every village and can reach up to 30 metres in height. A place where locals can meet, solve disputes and host ceremonies and festivities; it plays an important role in village life.

Like the traditional communal houses, Bà Hai is situated in the centre of the resort and acts as a place for guests to come together to enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The towering structure is built on stilts and constructed using only grass, bamboo and wood from the Central Highlands, with the distinctive blade-shaped roof covered with thatched leaves. Inside, the extraordinary ceiling opens up to reveal the beautiful craftwork, with an intricate network of exposed wooden beams, whilst a large terrace extending over the paddy fields is an idyllic spot for alfresco dining.


You want to know more, have a comment or a question? Free free to get in touch with us and contact Quentin GUIRAUD, Head of Communications: / +32 (0)472 05 57 19.