The Empress is a small hotel situated on the side of a hill overlooking Xuan Huong Lake and thus has a pleasant view across the water to the Dalat Palace hotel.
It's a sturdy stone building, a legacy from the French colonialists who developed Dalat into a mountain resort. Inside, it's redolent of a small Viennese chateau with decor to match, mounted hunting trophies being prominent. The hotel has fewer facilities in comparison with similar establishments in other areas, but Dalat's all year round cool climate makes amenities such as swimming pools superfluous.
Rooms are a surprise - comfort bordering on luxury. They are arranged around a courtyard, and most have lake views. Suites are impressive - sunken baths and Jacuzzi under a high ceiling, marble floors, antique phones and rattan furnishings.
Deluxe rooms are less opulent, but are spacious and airy with plenty of windows and polished hardwood shutters. Down another step, Superior rooms are smaller but still have a good range of facilities and well-appointed bathrooms period fittings.
A small bistro-style restaurant combines Western and Asian cuisines - the dining area includes an open-air garden courtyard overlooking the lake. Further down the slope is a large outdoor cafe/bar.
The Empress is clearly one of the hotels that belie their star ratings few three-star establishments would come near its facilities and friendly, efficient service. However, its quality combined with a mere 19 rooms means early booking essential!.
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