It all began in Sapa
In 2011, we opened the first Hill Station in the mountains of Sapa, in Lao Cai Province. Because we only had room for a small kitchen, we decided to open as a European deli, selling imported cheese, cold cuts and wine, as well as homemade baguettes and paninis, Italian coffee, cakes, and specials. A year later we added our Hmong menu, showcasing food from the ethnic minorities of Northern Vietnam.
The Hill Station in Sapa grew into a popular establishment in town. Trekkers returning from the mountains would relax with comfort food from home, craft beers and wine, and chats around the fireplace. Expats in Sapa also found their way to the comfortable armchairs at The Hill Station. Then in late 2015 we saw an advertisement for a colonial-style house for rent in Hoi An.
A house in
The UNESCO-listed Hoi An Ancient Town is full of old houses, but the one at 321 Nguyen Duy Hieu stands out. The building's gracefully aging facade, gently arching windows, and French shutters speak to its long history. Downstairs, warm wood and dark walls create a cosy atmosphere, while upstairs the second level is bright and airy, with a smooth timber floor and long balcony.
Within a month of viewing the house, we launched the Hill Station Hoi An, offering the same deli concept and bistro-style experience as in Sapa. We left the house untouched for customers to admire the old structure as it is.