Dechiu Hotel is a passion project (and 12-bedroom boutique hotel) in Hội An, a unique part of Vietnam known first for its preserved Ancient Town but also a beautiful stretch of coast.
“Dechiu is not Vietnamese in style, but everything I have used is Vietnamese. Things from the past are repurposed for the present. I prefer to use things that have already had life, they already have a spirit. I find beauty in imperfection – a chair may be old and broken, but I can see a lasting memory so I use it in my own way and give it a new life.” - TheO
In between taking photographs and absorbing everything this extraordinary, family-run space has to offer, I learnt about TheO, the Vietnamese woman behind it all. She was born and raised by the ocean, away from busy towns and cities, in a traditional Vietnamese home designed and built by her father - a telling influence that would later inspire a career in architecture and interior design, one that she pursued not because of a degree but as pure passion.
“If you have a passion for something, you have many ways to study. Architecture is a feeling.”
After decades of dreaming, planning, collecting vintage furniture and Vietnamese artifacts, reclaiming wood to create new furniture, and sourcing magnificent fabrics, not to mention finding the right space to bring her vision to life, Dechiu Hotel now lives on a quaint stretch of coastline, away from the crowds and tourist traps of Hội An and De Nang. It is still only 5km from Ancient Town however, making it a calm and restorative place for travellers who want to experience this popular part of the country but who also really appreciate design and modern Vietnamese food, and desire a peaceful retreat at the start and end of each day.
"Dechiu is a space to make people feel balanced. In a lifetime inevitably filled with both happiness and sadness, Dechiu gives us all a reflective space to become aware of both, to accept both - to feel balanced. I believe people are the best version of themselves when they are balanced.”
Dechiu Hotel is also home to Gieo Café. The menu takes inspiration from traditional Vietnamese home-cooking and food is lovingly prepared every day by members of TheO's family.
"I always feel my family with me at Dechiu.”