Although Da Lat remains less known to foreign travellers, it’s a popular destination among the Vietnamese, who come to honeymoon, play golf and escape their teeming metropolises; it’s also becoming a popular place for a second home. Founder and CEO Barry Israel of Dai Phuc Development and his wife, Le Ngoc Khanh Tam (a Da Lat local) were among the first to jump into the budding property market by developing Da Lat’s first enclosed community of luxurious, Western-style houses.
The housing development sits on a wonderful vantage point, overlooking lush farmlands and the rolling hills in the distance – though when they first discovered the plot, it was less than ideal. “It was a bare piece of land with a 45-degree slope from the top of the property to the bottom,” recalls Tam. “I remember Barry saying, ‘This is where we should start.’ It was hard for the rest of us to understand what he saw in it. But as we worked on the infrastructure, using retaining walls to level out the property, we all eventually saw his vision.”
The grassy lawn looks out onto the rolling mountain range and the farmlands in the valley.
The sunken entranceway is fringed by blossoming plants. The terrace’s graceful arches and vine-covered stone walls were inspired by colonial French designs.
The terrace on the main floor is the perfect place to have breakfast with a view.
The fireplace is the centrepiece of the master’s bedroom. The elegant all-white kitchen is bathed in natural sunlight; the couple’s dogs Rambo and Biz pose under the breakfast bar.
The interiors are adorned with treasured pieces including rugs from Afghanistan.
The couple often enjoys sundowners from their bedroom’s balcony. One of the guest bedrooms on the main floor features a reading nook.
Photography: Edgar Tapan
Styling: Soraya Froissart