INSIDE tries to have something for everyone interested in interior style and design - even for those of more minimalist taste - but we have to admit that we lean towards the maximalist look and we love a tiger, particularly a Tibetan-inspired tiger.  Gorgeous to look at, these ancient symbols of power and protection are surprisingly modern, too. 

We were fortunate enough to spend last weekend at a lovely hotel at Yen Tu in Northern Vietnam.  The sacred Yen Tu mountain is one of the most important Buddhist sites in Vietnam. 

This is what the hotel has to say about itself:

“Inspired by Yen Tu’s ancient architecture and designed with meticulous attention to detail, Legacy Yen Tu is a strong, yet humble testament to Vietnam’s past. The property features handcrafted materials and ancient construction methods by nearby villagers living in the surroundings for generations, creating a harmonious and pure atmosphere right from within the local community”.

We planned a weekend of meditation (FAIL), yoga classes (FAIL), healthy eating (sort of TICK, but slightly led astray by some complimentary canapes) and abstinence from alcohol (FAIL, thanks to some amazing cocktails).    

Hiking in the mountains was a TICK, here’s me wondering just how many more bloody (excuse my language) steps were needed to get to the summit. 



We did not plan on succumbing to the activity suggested by several online reviews:

“Every corner offers a perfect scene for Instagram!”

Major FAIL.  As you can see.  It really was irresistibly photogenic, both inside and out.

We’re not sure if the12th century King-turned monk who founded the original retreat had social media in mind, but spectacular architecture, art and design have gone hand in-hand with religion for centuries, and perhaps he would be delighted by this 21st century interpretation of his Buddhist retreat by the founder of Bangkok and Bali based Bill Bensley, the renowned architect, interior designer and landscape gardener, known for his love of colour and flamboyant maximalism.  We certainly were. (For a glimpse into Bensley’s spectacular Bangkok home, see this article in Tatler Asia ).

And we were delighted to see the tiger motif appearing all over the place in this hotel – rugs, cushions, wall decorations, paintings, and very timely for us as we are shortly introducing another tiger rug to our collection and expecting a small new delivery of one of our existing designs.  The rugs are hand-woven in the Tibetan style in Nepal, and each rug takes up to four weeks to make.   We think they are very special and hope you will love them too.

September 15, 2023 — Olivia Maitre