émai dalat

About Us

Our Story

All of our love for Dalat lives here.

Nestled in Vietnam’s most romantic city, émai is a dream born out of a small family’s love for Dalat, nature, beauty, and good food — all housed together in a rustic little garden home.

Emai cafe entrance to dining room

I. Our Dream

The truth has grown undeniable: a heart-rending injustice is befalling the breath-takingly beautiful Dalat.

Once a simple paradise, the stunning city of “Old Dalat” now lives in but dusty photobooks and fading memories. The antique architecture and abundant nature that once gracefully flowed through it are fast disappearing, and taking their place are the mass consumerism
and soulless urban architecture of profit-driven industrialisation as the city cashes in on its booming tourism industry.

As a result, new developments continuously encroach upon the spaces that once honoured the sublime beauty of the city’s surrounding lakes and mountains, of its idyllic weather, and its once slower, more peaceful way of life.

What can one do in the face of this sadness?

Our family realised that we cannot simply stand by and mourn how beautiful Dalat city could have been. We must do all that we can, with what power we have: to create a homely and beautiful little corner of our own.
Despite the new developments, Dalat still remains one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam – if for nothing but its majestic, awe-inspiring natural beauty. To honour that, we set out to create a space of exquisite food and warm comforts, of beautiful music and natural beauty, one with which to tell you: this is how beautiful Dalat truly is. All of our love for Dalat lives here.

To create a space, tucked cosily in the heart of the city, as heart-warming as a misty Dalat forest dawn – that was our dream.

II. Coming Home

Our love for exceptional food began when the founder, Phuong, had a taste of how extraordinarily delicious food can really be. It happened one summer in the idyllic Tuscan hills of Italy in the 1980s, during which she learned the Italian customs and secrets that we still use today. With a palate indulged and refined by 20 years spent living in Europe, she came back to Vietnam seeking to share and make accessible this most honest joy of life – to deliver truly unforgettable dining experiences.

With initially only 4 members in our family team, we leased a 20-year-old wooden Dalat house, with creaky floorboards and overgrown shrubs. There, we put all our dear savings into a simple idea: to once again bring out the inherent beauty of the town of Dalat – and the beauty of life itself.

Bit by bit, as we adorned the house with floral arrangements, candles and rose plants, the antique charm of this old Dalat house truly blossomed. In this way, when one enters our house, one truly and naturally feels at peace at heart and soul. Today, our pleasant, intimate ambience truly expresses at once the romantic elegance of old Dalat, as well as the gentle beauty of nature.

It is as we always wished Dalat city would be.

III. The True Beauty of Dalat

At émai, we wish to change what it means to getaway. Rather than being yet another concrete hotel, we wanted to create a space that takes you into a different, more beautiful world. Rather than a vacation, we wish to provide you with an experience that reinvigorates your joy of being alive, that reminds you of the beauty that exists all around you.

Our passionate coalescence of Italian homecooking, personal selection of jazz and classical music, garden flowers and candles have all been handpicked to give you a true and poetic atmosphere of warmth, togetherness and gentle beauty. We invite you to bring your
favourite book and sit by one of our windows overlooking our lush gardens as you enjoy our soothing music and our most heart-warming dishes and treats. Or you may wish to come back to us after a long day of exploring Dalat’s stunning surrounding mountains, forests and lakes, and cosy up in our heavenly soft bedsheets with a warm hot chocolate listening to the
pitter-patter of the gentle mountain rain. Whenever you feel the need to getaway, or simply to be reminded of the beauty of life, we hope you will your find second home in Dalat with us at the cosy little émai home. We will always welcome you with open arms.

Because we truly believe that here is where you can deeply exhale and be reminded that everything is okay – that, whatever is going on in your life, you can always find the calm you need to be yourself among the true beauty of Dalat. Émai’s greatest reason for being is simply to bring pure beauty into your life. We do this by nurturing a space in which the true beauty of Dalat may radiate and blossom in the hearts of Vietnamese and international visitors alike. No matter what happens, here, the beauty of
Dalat will always live on, and will never be forgotten.

With warmth and gratitude,
the émai family