Forget the mini bar, the room service and the king-size bed. There’s one hotel luxury we’d all raid the bank to have at home: the fluffy towels. “Nice towels are something that is missing in Vietnam. You use towels daily, but it is almost impossible to find good ones here,” say Ina Stas and Tina Riehle, creators of luxury towel brand Bo Saigon (pronounced “beau,” meaning “beautiful” in French). Shopping at supermarkets like Co-op Mart and Citimart only yielded coarse polyester blended towels that left the skin irritated, so the two decided to upgrade the common household item into “daily treasures.”
“Our towels are practical but good to look at too, which don’t always go together, and because they are beautiful towels, they almost become like decoration when you see them hanging in the bathroom,” she adds. The towels are woven from 100 percent cotton, with an intricate, maze-like Vietnamese design for extra flair. The design is taken from a carving inscribed onto the side of a rice chest in Tina’s house. “We wanted to establish a connection with Vietnam so this [design] is a connection from us to the beautiful country that we live in.”
Vietnam has not only inspired them creatively but has also provided Ina and Tina with the perfect conditions to set up their business. “It’s much easier to access production and to develop, people are very gifted with their hands here.”
But aren’t all towels basically the same? Not according to Tina. “If you go to the beach, large towels are often super heavy. What distinguishes our towels is that they are lightweight, and take up less space as a positive consequence. They absorb very well and dry much faster than a heavyweight towel.”
While Bo’s towels look and feel lush, the designers are adamant the price tags do not reflect it. “You should have the feeling that it’s a really nice product, but at a fair price.” The large towels are priced at VND490,000, while the medium are VND190,000 and a pack of six small ones are VND260,000. “We are upscale in the display and the quality of the product, but not in the pricing,” Ina concludes.