The Intercontinental Da Nang, a luxury hotel nestled within a pristine nature reserve along Vietnam’s central coastline, has recently gained traction for its delicious snacks! Designed by the renowned architect Bill Bensley, every facet of this extraordinary hotel is exciting, from carpets with joyful monkey motifs to verandas overlooking the bay filled with greenery. Yet the highlight of this remarkable hotel isn’t the decor, the breathtaking vistas, or the amenities. Instead, it’s a modest offering found poolside: corn on the cob!
The Unexpected Star: Corn on the Cob
Like clockwork, every day between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. a staff member strolls around the pool’s edge, extending an unpretentious snack to the guests: a piece of corn on the cob.
This is no ordinary poolside treat, and it’s not garnished with extravagant toppings or bathed in butter. It’s a simple, two-inch portion of steamed yellow corn, still gently warm from cooking, presented without any fanfare or napkin. Corn on the cob might not strike one as an extraordinary choice for a poolside snack, but there’s something special about this Vietnamese offering!
Vietnam’s Love for Corn
Vietnam is a place where corn is considered an extremely common and popular snack. The bustling city streets are full of street vendors that sell bao nuong and bap hap, beloved local corn dishes. Scallion oil is the common topping option, unlike other places where melting butter is the way to go.
What elevates the steamed corn, whether by the pool or on the streets of Hoi An, to a culinary revelation is not the corn itself, which appears quite ordinary. The secret lies in the unique steaming liquid: coconut water. This infusion imparts a rich, buttery, and mildly sweet flavor to the corn, transforming it from a mundane snack into an extraordinary treat.
Luxury hotels don’t always need to be filled to the brim with high-end amenities or over-the-top entertainment. There are several unique stays across the world where luxury is actually the beauty of nature. A newly launched hotel in Southern Sweden promises such an immersive staying experience at the heart of a forest, where the silence, natural landscape, and simple architectural design have taken center stage.
Trakt Forest Hotel is a unique five-suite property, conceived by acclaimed Swedish architect Gert Wingardh. The distinct architecture of the hotel is inspired by traditional Swedish hunting towers, which are elevated from the ground for tracking moose. Retaining the architect’s penchant for dark bold tones and sharp geometric shapes, the forest suites of the hotel are built with locally sourced materials. The floating rooms are built on pillars, minimizing the environmental impact, and seamlessly blending the property with the surrounding tall trees.
As Wingardh explains, simplicity is the key to appreciating nature, and the hotel embraces this very ethos at its core. Located in the southern part of Sweden, the elevated design of the Trakt Forest Hotel suites invokes a sense of privacy and safety. With Scandinavian simplicity in design and custom accents like locally-made chairs, sleek sofas, and wood-burning fireplaces, the suits of the hotel ooze understated indulging luxury. On top of everything, oversized windows and skylights allow the guests to immerse themselves in the lush beauty of the forest.
The in-house restaurant, named Trakt Kitchen, is located in a timber house. Being true to the traditional culinary culture of Sweden, the restaurant specializes in authentic home-cooked fare prepared with locally sourced fresh ingredients. Mattias and Sandra Salleteg, the founders of the forest hotel, explain that they prefer to let their cooking take time, like making their own sourdough or smoking meat with patience. En-suite services are available for the guests, who can enjoy a breakfast basket or book a three-course lunch and dinner.