Story by DLX special correspondent, David Latt.
Need to escape to someplace completely new? Try Nha Trang in Vietnam.
The city was recently selected as one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 Destinations on the Rise – Asia.” Only an hour by plane from Saigon, the city faces a half-moon bay that is one of Vietnam’s premiere vacation destinations.
A KILLER VIEW.
Get above the city hustle by taking the elevator to the forty-third floor on the top of the Best Western Havana Nha Trang and hang out at Skylight: 360° Skydeck & Rooftop Beach Club.
Standing against the railing on the Skydeck, you can sip the tropical cocktail you ordered at the bar. The 360° view will take your breath away. The city is spread out below with the islands just off shore and the surrounding mountains (Long Son, Sinh Trung, Trai Thuy and Hoa Son) hovering nearby.
After you finish your cocktail, go for a swim in the pool at the Beach Club before ordering snacks from the bar menu and settling onto a comfortable couch to enjoy the afternoon and watch the magnificent sunset.
How to improve a rooftop lounge with an amazing view? Bring in DJs and mixologists from around the world. Launch a first class restaurant with chefs from Asia, Europe and the U.S. because Skylight wants to make sure everyone is having a great time.
The bar food at Skylight hits all the right Pan-Asian-French-Latin notes. Vietnamese spring rolls. Charcuterie. Chips and guacamole. Sesame prawn crostini. Hong Kong salt-and-pepper chicken wings. Adding to the bar menu, guest chefs create new dishes to feed the hungry party goers who visit the rooftop deck seven days a week.
Los Angeles based taco master TJ Hyunh shopped in the open air markets where he was inspired by the local ingredients. From his pop-up kitchen in the bar, he used Vietnamese marinades, spices and vegetables to add bright new flavors to his crispy beef tacos, prawn ceviche cocktails, pork ribs, hosin shrimp toast and pan seared ahi tuna.
Adding a fine dining restaurant, Skylight: Chef’s Club will serve continental dishes with Vietnamese influences. Visiting chefs will take over the kitchen for a day, a weekend or a month and create tasting menus.
Iron Chef Vietnam Michael Bao will launch Chef’s Club.
The tasting menus will offer a heightened pairing of French and Vietnamese flavors like chef Bao’s crab meat mille-feuille with jicama, avocado, pink grapefruit, sea grapes with a yuzu chili dressing and his bouillabaisse with snails, razor clams, mussels and prawns.
With good food, you need great drinks. Key to the unique quality of Skylight’s bar is the Los Angeles-Nha Trang connection.
Partners Cyrus Batchan, TK Nguyen and Dru Nguyen met in LA. Cyrus and TK opened Lock & Key, a Korea Town speakeasy well known for classic cocktails and wildly inventive ones like the mescal Shady Schemes spiced up with pineapple, pepper and apple.
Mixologists from Lock & Key come from LA and work with their Nha Trang colleagues to create cocktails that use ingredients unique to Vietnam. Come with a crowd so you can order one of the flaming punch bowls large enough to entertain half a dozen friends.
When the sun goes down, Skylight lights up like a Roman candle. Colored strips of light outline the floors and walls. Spotlights on the Observation Deck fire shafts of light into the dark night sky.
There are DJs from Nha Trang like Ziddo, No and Dada and ZS and Phat Beats from Saigon.
Nha Trang is popular with Russian tourists, so Storm and Altabasov bring the beats from home. And there are always USA DJ’s like Fingaz, DJ Sean G and D-Roc.
LIVE MUSIC AND SPECIAL EVENTS.
So when you get to Nha Trang, check the Skylight website for the DJ and live music calendars so you don’t miss special appearances of local pop stars like Thao Trang.
And check out the event calendar. There’s something for everyone on Game Night, Ladies Night, Hip-Hop Wednesdays, Movie Night and Ice Cream Sundaes Night.
For more information, visit Skylight.