“I’m excited,” Louise Doan Viet smiles as we enter the Wink Space at Wink Hotel Saigon Centre. “It’s the first time this kind of concept has come to Vietnam, so I’m really intrigued to hear the guest feedback,” she adds. The sleep experience is definitely going to be a talking point. That’s thanks to Wink’s collaboration with Catherine Denoual, where Louise is brand manager.
Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt
Catherine Denoual have been creating luxury linens since 1998. You can visit their Catherine Denoual Maison store at 38 Ly Tu Trong. Or book a room at Wink Hotel Saigon Centre. There are Catherine Denoual linens in every one of the 237 rooms. It’s part of Louise and team’s bid to bring the brand, and better sleep, to a bigger audience. “I think sleep is important. And good bedding is an essential part of that…”
Customer feedback so far for Catherine Denoual Maison’s sheets suggests that Wink will offer a dreamy night’s sleep. “People often say that once they sleep in Catherine Denoual Maison sheets, they can’t ever go back,” Louise continues. “I even heard from a few of our customers that they travel with their own sheets and pillows from us because they could not bear sleeping with anything else.”
Louise, can you tell us about the secrets to a good night’s sleep?
I think there are five tips we can all benefit from. Make sure where you sleep is completely dark, fit blackout blinds or whatever you need to do. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is secreted more during nighttime hours. Try an eye mask if you’re on the road when the room is brighter than you’re used to.
Your sleep routine is important too. Establish a calming routine. Try to go to bed at regular times, even at weekends, and play some relaxing music, something ambient or some natural sounds like rainfall. And think about what you consume before sleeping. Obviously, a cà phê sữa đá is off the menu well before bed. And a heavy dinner too. I try not to eat too late. And even innocuous-sounding drinks like a warm cup of green tea can contain lots of caffeine. Try peppermint tea or camomile tea instead.
Also, be mindful of screen time. It’s so easy to check social media, even in bed – I know I often do! There was some interesting research published by Harvard in 2014. They discovered that the sleep cycle of screen users (rather than people reading a book or newspaper) was delayed by more than an hour. Finally, bedding, pillows and a good mattress make a big difference. Bedrooms should be a cocoon of calm, so add some plants and scented candles while adhering to all of the above!
Tell us more about the power of good bedding…
There are lots of ways to measure the quality of bedding. The quality of the raw material is the first important factor and then the weaving technique used with the cotton or linen, which gives us a ‘thread count’. This measurement has become synonymous with quality, but there are lots of other factors. There’s the fabric finishing and production, and more. To me, quality depends upon the entire process from raw material to finished product. Catherine, our founder, has spent her entire career in textiles, so she’s well versed in the technical aspects of producing quality fabrics.
Which hospitality brands do you partner with? And how did the Wink Hotels collaboration happen?
We work with quite a diverse range, from 5-star resorts to modern prestigious boutique hotels, groups like Amanoi, the Fusion Group, and Zannier. Personally, I love making a vision come to life. Being involved at the concept stage and then seeing the products delivered to the hotel is the best part even if it’s simply white sheets or embroidered napkins.
We’ve been following the Wink Hotels project since construction started on the first one here in Saigon, Wink Hotel Saigon Centre. I think the Wink Hotels team recognized our professionalism and commitment to quality, and we were excited to partner with the brand in stripping away lots of surplus things from a hotel experience while doubling down on the important things like the sleep experience.
We visited your factory over in An Phu a few months ago. How did you build such a strong team there?
Actually, the factory is divided into smaller teams. There’s the sewing team, the embroidery team, the cutting team, the quality control team and so on. Each team works in tandem with each other to produce the products in a timely manner. And team leaders watch over the process every step of the way. Team leaders have usually worked with us for a long time so they know our process deeply. I think each team leader has been with us for over 15 years…
Ms Du, our production manager, is a good example of our commitment to developing our staff. She started out as an assistant something like 20 years ago when the brand was just beginning. Now she runs the entire factory and is the second most important person in the company after Catherine. Three years ago she was made a partner in the company which was so great. A true success story!
What initiatives has Catherine Denoual Maison taken towards sustainability?
We’re doing everything we can to be sustainable. When we cut fabric, for example, we carefully create cutting maps beforehand, so we reduce waste. And we carefully choose the suppliers we work with. They have to be OEKO-TEX 100 certified, which guarantees that the threads in the textiles are not harmful.
Finally, what do you dream about?
I have a recurring dream that I can fly. But each time the dream changes and I fly to different destinations and find myself in different situations. I wish I could do that in real life…
Photos by Nghia Ngo for The Dot Magazine