A culture of sharing and quiet pride
The Vietnamese character is proudly individualistic yet generously community-minded. Even as the country becomes a market leader in the region, the traditional values of respect (especially of elders), sharing and family dominate the culture. Relationships are key, and bonds are sacred.
Emerging from its turbulent past, Vietnam today is among the happiest places in Asia, according to the Happy Planet Index. What’s not to love? Mild climate, extensive coastlines, scenic mountains, lush rice paddies… its natural beauty alone merits recognition. Add in strong economic growth, a healthy culinary tradition and the world’s lowest obesity rate, and you have the formula for a country that is rightfully proud of its past and present.
Taste of Place
With an extensive coastline and a year-round growing season, Vietnam is blessed with abundance. The cuisine is centred around seafood, fresh vegetables and local fruits, seasoned with just-picked herbs and simple spices. Home-cooked meals are based on what is available at the market that morning.
This way of life is the mission of Grand Mercure in Vietnam: to gather guests around our table and nourish them with honest, soul-warming food.
A Vietnamese breakfast supplies enough energy and nutrition to last practically the entire day. Each region has its own version of a hearty noodle soup to start the morning – hu tieu in the south, bun bo in the centre and the pho in the north. But the choices don’t end there. Vietnam showcases a variety of xôi (sticky rice packets), steamed pancakes, banh mi sandwiches and so much more – all home-made and healthy.
Packing a bold punch, Vietnamese coffee is a glass of dark slow-drip brew made with a traditional phin filter. It is usually lightened with sweetened condensed milk and served over crushed ice. For more variety, try it mixed with coconut milk, yoghurt or even a whipped egg yolk. Savour this deliciously refreshing beverage in the morning or early afternoon, preferably while watching the world go by.
Local bites at Grand Mercure hotels in Vietnam is a celebration of home-made desserts. But unlike most sweet treats in the West, the Vietnamese variety is serious about health as well as taste. Fresh and preserved fruits, nuts and seeds with traditional medicinal value, dairy- and gluten-free, low in sugar and fat… these local bites are the original guilt-free, good-for-you indulgence!
Few things in life are more comforting than a home-cooked meal. Always balanced and healthy, the Signature Dish could start with a large bowl of noodle soup piled high with lean meats, crunchy sprouts and fresh herbs. Get ready for authenticity, freshness and a hint of surprise, just like at home.
Yin and yang are at the heart of the Vietnamese experience. A dash of sugar provides balance to salty fish sauce. Crisp herbs complements marinated meats and velvety noodles. The national flower, the lotus, is itself a study in contrasts: out of muddy waters arise the pristine blossoms. We invite our guests to (re)discover the interconnectedness of seemingly opposite elements – work and play, activity and rest, the bright light of day and the soothing darkness of night.
Lotus, bamboo and pomelo flower
The signature scent at Grand Mercure Vietnam is our interpretation of yin and yang. The heady, intoxicating fragrance of the lotus flower contrasts with the sweet purity of the pomelo flower. Harmonising with this floral bouquet is the delicate green scent of fresh bamboo. This unique combination evokes the memory of rural Vietnam, where all three of these elements are found in abundance.