Unveil mystery of the Phoenix Legend in Ha Long Bay

By Giang Son - Mar 13, 2018 | 07:00 AM GMT+7

TheLEADER"Everyone loves high profit but for us, profit is not our top priority," Bui Quoc Hoan, Chairman of Thuan Phat Investment and Services Joint Stock Company, shared his opinion about the investment in Phoenix Legend in Ha Long.

Unveil mystery of the Phoenix Legend in Ha Long Bay
Phoenix Legend features a Phoenix couple which are cherishing their eggs.

It is a little-known fact that Hoan and his associates have gone through a challenging journey to kick off the Phoenix Legend on March 9, 2018. Just one year ago, the Quang Ninh provincial authorities directed to suspend and inspect two projects at Bai Chay tourist area, including Phoenix Legend Halong Bay Villas and Hotel and Ha Long Monaco Luxury Villas. The reason is that these projects are behind schedule.

Quang Ninh authorities have given the convincing reason because these projects have been delayed for many years. But in fact, for investors like Hoan, delaying the project is “reluctant”. Although the project has an investment capital of up to VND1.47 trillion (US$64.7 million), the reason the project is behind schedule is not due to either lack of capital or infeasibility in terms of business.

Last year, Do Thu Hang, Associate Director of Research, Savills Hanoi, said that the famous tourist areas in the north such as Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong city are developing more rapidly than ever. The transport infrastructure has been improved, such as the completion of the Ha Noi - Hai Phong expressway, the second phase of Cat Bi airport and the Tan Vu - Lach Huyen Bridge. Bach Dang Bridge and Hai Phong - Ha Long expressway which will be put into use this year will contribute to the development. In addition, the entertainment facilities are upgraded and expanded, typically Sunworld Halong Park invested by Sun Group in Ha Long.

According to Hang, investors from the north usually invest in the central, but due to the current changes, their views are changing. Hang’s point of view has been proven by the strong growth of hotel business as well as the increasing attractiveness of resort real estate projects such as Ha Long FLC and Citadines Ha Long in Ha Long city.

With positive business prospects, investors like Thuan Phat JSC will not want to miss the opportunity to invest in the potential market with the number of tourists reaching nearly 9 million in 2017. In addition to Phoenix Legend, some other resort real estate projects such as DoubleTree by Hilton or Ha Long Monaco all have started construction.

Make difficulties for himself

From Hoan’s point of view, the opportunity to invest in real estate in Ha Long is very open, but not easy. Not only the complicated construction procedures but also Hoan's perfectionism to create a unique and iconic architectural work for Ha Long led to the delay of the project.

Hoan met a specialist who is the only one in Vietnam to have successfully planted nearly 8,000 Japanese Cherry Blossoms in Muong Phang (Dien Bien province) to ask his support to plant 100 Sakura trees with the belief that there will be an annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Phoenix Legend.

Hoan said that he did not want to make profits at all costs, so he set the constant principles and the preconditions that the project must meet right from the planning and design phases. They are: Do not destroy the environment; the architecture is modern, however, it must contain the "spirit" of the traditional culture, in harmony with the natural landscape; Do not maximize profits by making use of and disrupting the local master plan; The landscape is beautiful with green and clean environment; and finally apply and integrate smart home technology in accordance with the world-class technology.

Recalling the initial idea for this project, Hoan said that in the summer of 2010, he stopped at the shore of Cua Luc Bay with a camera hold in his hands and looked at Ha Long Bay.

"When the sun is setting down, the islands on the bay are glowing in the afternoon sunlight. Suddenly I think if there was a land lot located in a very high altitude on the bay, I would definitely build an architectural project that is unique, symbolic and contributes to the glorious beauty of Ha Long Bay, a natural heritage, one of the seven wonders of the new world," Hoan recalled.

Three years later, Hoan arrived in Cappadocia which is a natural heritage area of Turkey and has something in common with Halong Bay. Although one is a maritime heritage and the other is the desert and mountain heritage, the residents living surrounding these nature reserves develop tourism in a sustainable way. Houses or hotels have been newly built in the traditional way by being chiseled or leaning into the rocky mountain like the way their forefathers had done for thousands of years.

"What impresses me is that these architectural blocks, despite being new, are extremely harmonious with the landscape, the environment and convey the cultural characteristics of this nature reserve," said Hoan.

One night at the bar, like all tourists, Hoan wrote in a note and then presented to the bar. Accidentally, a VND200,000 note fell out of his wallet, he suddenly saw the symbol of Ha Long Bay, Trong Mai islet. It was also the time when the idea of the project in Ha Long flashed through his mind.

Inspired by Trong Mai islet, Hoan decided to link the story of Dragon - Phoenix in the legend of Asia in which Dragons live in the water and Phoenixes build nest on high, which is set in the context of Ha Long Bay and the land where the project is located, creating the story of the Phoenix legend.

On an area of 3.5 hectares, he put the story of a Phoenix couple building nest on the top of the mountain, cherishing their eggs, which symbolizes the richness and flourishing. It is a couple of Phoenixes that are two 20-floor towers with the height of 143 metres of which tower A is a 228-room hotel and tower B consists of 200 apartments branded MGallery by Sofitel, the luxury hotel brand owned by the world's largest hotel management group - Accor.

Especially, tower B is the first MGallery Residence brand in the world. This is also the 79th MGallery hotel managed and developed by Accor.

Re-depict the colorful world of the Avatar movie

The architectural design of two 20-floor towers was commissioned by a well-known Spanish architect Salvador Perez Arrayo and architects from S-Design. Architect Arrayo is also the designer of iconic works for Quang Ninh and Ha Long such as the Quang Ninh provincial Museum, the Welcome Gate, the Clock Tower and especially the Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Centre.

Architect Arrayo has designed a gorgeous Sky Bar that is characterized by the astounding effects of a colorful world in the Avatar movie on top of tower B with a swimming pool reaching out to space at the height of 143 metres.

Inspired by the Avatar movie, the top of Phoenix Legend is designed following the Sky Bar concept with jellyfish- and lavender flower-shaped roofs which are illuminated in colors. The Sky Bar overlooks the infinity pool and oversees the entire Halong Bay, Bai Chay Bridge, Cua Luc Bay and sea cable car route.

"The two high-rise towers of the project are inspired by the noble image of Oriental culture - Phoenix. 26 villas underneath which represent the Phoenix's 26 eggs are skillfully placed in a Japanese Cherry Blossoms garden, representing the Phoenix’s nest, which envelops the whole project. This is not only a dream living space but also a work of art that is subtle and meaningful," the Spanish architect shared.

In addition, Hoan and his associates have spent huge time looking for solutions to the project's vision when the project will be built on a hill with typical and complicated geology. The solution given by the best construction consultant group is the construction of an extremely modern embankment system to form a stable and strong foundation for the project. The villas are located on the panorama of Cua Luc Bay, Bai Chay Bridge and part of Ha Long Bay.

"Everyone loves high profit but for us, profit is not our top priority. My constant expectation is that investment projects will combine three elements: Architecture - Arts - Business," Hoan expressed.

Hoan's view is highly appreciated by the consultants. Hang from Savills said that with the recent improvement in hotel business activities, the success of the resort real estate market in the north now just depends on the idea, design, landscape and way of operation.

These are also the issues that Hoan considered as the core foundation for the success of a resort real estate project so he paid his attention in details and carefully from the stage of ideas to design regardless time- and cost-consuming to make a difference.

"The biggest challenges and complicated procedures we have almost gone through. Now it is time to accelerate to the finish,” expressed Hoan.

It is less than two years to make the story "Phoenix Legend" become real, but Hoan believed that the construction of a work of Architecture - Arts - Business will not be too difficult any longer....