Where money is no object
No longer are diamonds confined to the neck and fingers, and the concierge confined to the hotel reception. Vertu has combined the two at the touch of a button on the most breathtaking handsets ever created – the Signature Precious (pictured). Beautifully arranged from 18ct. yellow gold, black ceramic, the finest leather, full pave diamond bezel and even a glistening baguette diamond keypad, this is a handset for the people who do not try to be noticed, they just are. With a price tag of around US$114,000 it is an entry pass into the most exclusive phone club in the world. For the first two years after purchase the complimentary concierge service will arrange flights, dinner reservations, VIP passes and anything else you desire, picking up on your preferences along the way. iPhone has Siri but the Signature Precious has the real deal and more. Vertu, Rex Arcade, 141 Nguyen Hue, D1
Runway is a multi-brand luxury store that caters to all aspects of life with adult fashion, home wares, jewelry and junior clothes. This is where the posh modern family shops for the finest international brands. Adding to its impressive roster of names like Marc Jacobs and Jil Sander is Lanvin Paris’ collection for children. This refined brand matches the creativity of its adult collection with a more fun appeal for juniors. The Lanvin Paris Jupe a Volant black skirt (VND25,907,000) for girls is a must have for any petite fashionista. Runway, Vincom Center, Level M – 6, 70-72 Le Thanh Ton, D1
The most opulent in home dining is surely to have a world class chef preparing the finest wild Canadian lobster right in your kitchen. The people behind www.tomhumonline.com are doing their part to make this a reality by importing only the best, live Canadian lobsters from the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean straight to Vietnam. The key here is live lobsters, nothing frozen. With Chef Thierry at La Villa, Chef Richard of Ty Coz and Chef Tony from Ciao Bella (three of Ho Chi Minh City’s finest restaurants) all using these crustaceans in their restaurants, you just know that the quality is second to none. Then, being able to order their signature dishes, prepared by the chefs themselves, and have them delivered to your door is definitely a memorable way to dine. The chefs’ signature dishes sell at VND1.6 million/kg, with Canadian Lobsters being known to have grown in excess of 20kgs. Unprepared lobster sells for VND870,000/kg.
King of the Road
Italian designed Ducati motorcycles are renowned for performance, design and style. Imagine doing the seminal journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi astride 162 break horse power emitting from the Ducati Diavel Cromo (pictured below), the height of Ducati’s touring arsenal of performance bikes. If the irresistible specifications – 3 riding modes, lightweight 207kgs, 127.5Nm of torque – don’t get the motor oil coursing through your veins racing then maybe the chrome finish will seduce you. A brilliant looking motorcycle, available for VND726,800,000. Hanoi Highway will never be the same after this beast graces its tarmac. Ducati Showroom, 29 Ton Duc Thang, D1
Travel in Style
With an ever-increasing number of five star properties and new golf courses being designed by the world’s best developers, Vietnam is a prime location for the luxury tour market. Jean Wethmer of Cape Lux Travel provides “a customer focused travel service for distinguished travelers and special interest groups” accompanied by a 24/7 concierge or even a personal shopper. From food and cuisine touring, pilates/tai chi tours, sketching with an artist, French colonial décor enthusiasts to textile and crafts groups, photography… the list really does go on as special itineraries can be created for groups from two to twenty. In September the Feast for the Senses tour will venture through Vietnam and Cambodia accompanied by acclaimed author Kim Fay – 13 dinners, 7 lunches, cookery classes, five star accommodation and all top class travel included for US$4,350 – a trip your stomach will be eternally thankful for.
For Coffee Connoisseurs
Most people in this city will be at least aware of Kopai Luwak, if not by that name. The more commonly named civet or weasel coffee refers to beans that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet. This process produces what is widely acknowledged to be the best coffee brew money can buy. The best brews can be found at Trung Nguyen Online which offers a wide range of Kopai Luwak in whole bean packages sourced from the finest producers in Indonesia and the Philippines. Most of the civets producing these beans come from organic parks and farms and feast on the purest Arabica, Liberica and Robusta beans. Such a delicate process, however, commands a high price tag and with 7oz (200g) packets of whole beans around the US$100 mark, your morning wake up has never tasted so good. Philippines Kopi Luwak (Coffee Alamid) – Classic Civet Coffee 100g US$59.95 from Trung Nguyen Online www.trung-nguyen-online.com.
Right of Way
In Ho Chi Minh City it’s no longer uncommon to see Bentleys, Mercedes and Rolls Royces on the streets, and Porsche is keeping them company with a flagship showroom in District 7. Currently awaiting the arrival of the Porsche 911 GT3 (pictured), the city really does have a powerhouse heading its way. A top speed of 315km/h and reaching 100km/h in 3.5 seconds is all that needs to be said about its performance. With other models into the VND10 billion bracket it’s a cert that the 911 GT3 will set you back a pretty penny, but also set you miles apart from the pack. Porsche Centre Saigon, 802 Nguyen Van Linh, D7
A combination of suave Italian design and Swiss precision engineering means that Bulgari are at the apex of the luxury watch market. The subtle elegance of geometric patterns is what signifies its latest offering, the refined masterpiece, the Bulgari Octo (pictured right) . Circles and squares define the pure design of the Octo. Crafted for beauty and functionality the case is made from 18ct pink gold (a steel model is also available) with 110 different facets, finished by hand to give an effect both brushed and polished. Using a unique layered lacquer finish the dial exudes sheer excellence, highlighting the unmistakable Bulgari logo. And with the Bulgari Octo Pink Gold retailing at VND671,000,000, this is a timepiece that’s timeless. Bulgari, Rex Arcade, 4-6 Le Loi, D1