La Residence's 'Big League' Spa Hires New Manager

HUE, Viet Nam (20 June 2007) - Le Spa at La Residence Hotel & Spa won high tribute as one of the best new spas in the world on Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List, but that doesn't mean the spa will rest on its laurels.
The hotel recently hired a new spa manager from Indonesia, added new, natural products as a complement to its Comfort Zone product line and began implementing a suite of new treatments to enhance the spa's repertoire.
"The recognition by Conde Nast was inspiring" said Carmen Marienberg, the landmark hotel's general manager, "but a spa must be both creative and dynamic if it's to be an exciting venue for guests. With our new manager, products and treatments, we're fulfilling both those obligations.

La Residence hired Novi Era Larasati to manage Le Spa, an exquisite, art-deco-inspired treatment facility staffed by more than a dozen therapists and spa associates. Prior to her appointment in Hue, Larasati was the training manager at the Mira Wellness Spa at Marty Myra Hotel in Turkey. Her previous appointments include stints at spas in Indonesia and Malaysia.
"I had a real desire to come to Vietnam," said Larasati. "I'd been several years in Turkey, and several years in Malaysia before that. For years, I've been hearing about Vietnam as one of the hottest new travel destinations, and I wanted to be part of that".

In Hue, Larasati quickly got to work on Le Spa's products and treatments. She complemented the Comfort Zone's scrubs with Javanese lulur, a natural fusion of rice and tumeric that's popular in her native Indonesia. From local markets, she obtained sea salt for an anti-oxidant scrub and coffee beans to use as a dry-skin treatment.
" Hue is a coastal city, and Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world," she said. "We're keen to use natural products that are unique to Hue and Vietnam, so that the experience at Le Spa will be one-of-a-kind".

Larasati is also supplementing her therapists' knowledge of Swedish and Balinese massage techniques, emphasizing long strokes, skin rolling and kneading as way to induce relaxation and more vigorous circulation.

Indeed, Conde Nast called out Le Spa's Balinese techniques and its traditional Vietnamese treatments for special mention in the April accolade. Though the hotel is but two years old, the magazine declared that Le Spa" vaults into the big league with a great treatment menu and a talented, hardworking all-Vietnamese team".

Also recognized in a separate listing on the 2007 Hot List, La Residence Hotel has quickly garnered acclaim as one of Vietnam's premier hotels. Set on a two hectare site with 200 meters of frontage on the fabled Perfume River, the hotel celebrated its grand opening in December 2005 after a painstaking restoration of the former colonial governor's residence. The hotel's distinctive bowed facade, its long horizontal lines and nautical flourishes are hallmarks of the streamline moderne school of art deco architecture.

Inside, the hotel's 122 rooms and suites, restaurants, lounges, bars and conference room are tricked out in complementary art-deco furnishings and décor that evoke both the 1920s and 1950s. The hotel's fine-dining venue, Le Parfum, serves Mediterranean and French cuisine, as well as dishes from a complementary Vietnamese menu.
The conference facilities, including board rooms, can accommodate 140 guests. The hotel provides complementary WiFi Internet access in the ground floor lounges and Le Gouverneur, the lobby bar that ranks as Hue's most sophisticated watering hole.

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