HO CHI MINH CITY -- Even as its borders have remained closed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam has inaugurated the world's first hotel with gold-plated walls in capital Hanoi.
Hotel Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, which on Thursday received a certificate from the World Records Union accrediting it as the only hotel in the world with walls gilded with gold, has around 120,000 square meters of its facade covered with the precious metal.
The owner of the hotel, Nguyen Huu Duong, said on Thursday that a large part of the interiors of the property - which was opened in July - has also been covered with gold, such as the showers, washbasins, baths and toilets of some rooms and the shower area close to the swimming pool.
Moreover, the doors of the elevators have also been built with five tons of gold, a lavish display which helps the hotel aim to be the "most luxurious in the world," according to its proprietor.
Duong said that his company, Hoa Binh, had wanted to open the hotel in time for the Formula One Grand Prix that was scheduled to be held this year in the Vietnamese capital but was subsequently canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hotel aims to make the unique luxury experience available to the general public with a minimum tariff of $250 per night.
Tourism, which accounts for 9 percent of Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP), has suffered a 70 percent drop in the number of visitors this year due to the country closing its borders since March to prevent the spread of the virus.
Vietnam is one of the countries in the world that has best managed the COVID-19 pandemic, accruing just 35 deaths and 1,300 positive cases since January, but this has been accompanied by one of the strictest travel restrictions worldwide.
The country closed commercial flights on Mar. 25 due to the spread of the virus and since then has only allowed the entry of charter flights for the repatriation of Vietnamese abroad and for international skilled workers apart from establishing restricted travel bubbles with a few Asian countries.