The story of The Morin’s begins classically. At the end of 19th century, Arthur Morin and his Arborist brother, Aimé Morin went to Bac Ky (Northern Vietnamese) for military service. They are the older in a poor pleasant family which has seven children living in a small village Mesnay near Arbois, Jura, France.
Expiry of the army, Morin brothers decided to stay at Vietnam to establish their business. After their death’s mother, Arthur Morin and Aimé Morin decided to take their sisters and brothers to live in Vietnam. Emile Morin and Laure Morin came to Vietnam firstly; then in 1898, Wladimir Morin and Amélie Morin came later.
Early, Morin family drowned in many difficulties, two brothers and two sisters employed in businesses with only a few Indochina dollars of salary: in Hai Phong with Honoré Debeaux’s store and in Hanoi with Godart's store. Emile Morin, a police officer in Hanoi, must also contribute his own resources into activities of the family. The difficult situation arose the friendship and cohesion among members of the family, and that is one of the most highlights of Morin family.
In 1902, Emile Morin and Wladimir Morin with their two sisters Laure Morin and Amélie Morin brought their capital to live in Tourane (Da Nang) to join their relative’s power called "father Gassier" along Han River. It was also time to bear Morin Brothers Collective Company (Société en nom collectif Morin Frères). Wladimir Morin has qualities of an organizer, a negotiator and is particularly innate sense about the most outstanding business. The company was very prosperous and they became the owner of Grand Hôtel Guérin de Hué.
Regarding as the unique hotel in Hue at that time, the building was built in 1901 by Mr. Bogaert, a French businessman. He ran his business by being the owner of Long Tho cement factory. This factory produced the building materials for most of the monuments in Hue during two decades. He used his money to build “Grand Hotel de Hue” in 1901. This hotel welcomed the engineers and technical analysts working in Hue station.
Wladimir Morin bought the hotel from Guerin in 1906 despite of the heavily damage by the century typhoon in 1904.
In Hue, Wladimir Morin met Derobert, the industrial businessman of Lyonregion, whose wife is a Vietnamese person and Chinese origin. Wladimir Morin was acquainted with this family and had deep feelings with their only daughter, named Jeanne Pauline. They got marriage in 1914 and continuously made the Morin’s company more prosperous.
The bases of Morin brothers from Da Nang and Hue have expanded its forces with more hotels at Ba Na, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang and Bach Ma; diversified business in the fields of hotel, restaurants, tourism, entertainment and even mailing. The success has helped Morin family gradually own more and more European architectural style works of cities. During the decade 1920-1930, it was not certainly exaggerate to say that almost all French people living in Central Viet Nam and tourists to come here more or less had to use Morin family’s services
Morin hotel rapidly became the centre of commerce, culture and tourism in Hue city under Nguyen Dynasty. It’s is the fact that the hotel location was a key element of success. The hotel was situated at the centre of Hue city, facing to Huong River and Truong Tien Bridge. It took only a short walk to the public buildings, Western leisure centre, sport club, Indochina bank, etc.
Since the demobilization in 1918, Wladimir Morin has made the quality of hotels change so much with the broken through services. Morin family decided to make a supermarket that can meet all needs of local markets through hotel consumer goods general agent, with an impressive motto is "people can be born in a cradle of Morin and died in a coffin of Morin "(On peut naitre dans un berceau Morin et mourir dans un cercueil Morin).
Even the commemorative golden book of Morin Hue Grand Hotel used to rewrite comments and signature of many prestigious names such as Marshal Joffre, the Marshal Foch, the writer André Malraux, the Orientalist Sylvain Lévi , Rev. Léopold Cadiere, Governor Pierre Pasquier, the comedy king Charlie Chaplin, Lao King Sisowath, the scholar Louis Finot, the archaeologist JY Claeys, the Governor Catroux, the politician Paul Reynaud ...
The first Cinema Morin in Hue was in this hotel (the meeting room at present). The library here also attracted many readers in town
His sister, Amélie Morin got married to the doctor Albert Sallet - Cham Museum Director and Ba Na weather station founder. Since 1920, Wladimir Morin has participated in Association for Hue Friends (Association des Amis du Vieux Hue) and Morin Hotel accordingly was also Association’s activity headquarters, one of two locations publishing Journal of Hue Friends (Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hue)
Moreover, Morin Hotel is also the place where the official travel agency of the area, correspondent office of the tourism in Indochina was in.
In 1925, Jeanne, Wladimir’s wife, passed away when she was 29 years old and buried at Phu Cam cemetery whereas Wladimir Morin went to forever sleep under rows of casuarinas in 1943 (64 years old)
Three sons of Wladimir Morin and Jeanne including Henri, René and Edmond succeeded Morin family's work with the respective positions, Director General, Deputy Director General and Technical Director, but in the face of difficulties and pressure from World War and the occupation of the Japanese in Indochina.
From December 20th 1946 to February 5th, 1947, Morin Hotel happened the bloody fighting between Viet Minh forces attacked from the outside and the French army defended inside. Morin Grand Hotel was partly damaged and burned by the fighting.
In July 1951, Henri, Rene and Edmond represented Morin family signed the deed of transfer of rights and legal interests for a Vietnamese businessman, formally ending the business of Morin Group in Hue as well as Central provinces.
From 1951 to 1995, the building is continuously ruined by the weather and war, no renovation at all. Especially in Tet offensive in 1968, the hotel is the place which is first recaptured by US army after under control of Vietnam liberation front army for nearly one month. In 1957, the building is used to house Hue University, close to the US military command centre. In 1989, Morin hotel was transferred to Thua Thien Hue Tourism used as a hotel. At that time, the deluxe hotel was the most popular with back-packer tourists.
After massive renovation, the hotel reopened in 1997 and renamed to "SAIGON MORIN". The hotel now has 180 guest rooms, 4 restaurants and recreations. Since its reopening, the Saigon Morin has been widely acknowledged as the most luxurious hotel in Hue and welcomed many celebrities and distinguished travelers on their visit to Hue.
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