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Uploaded on Nov 19, 2007
When construction of this monumental hotel (then known as the 'Lang Bian Palace') was completed in 1922, it immediately became the nerve-center for 'proper' French colonial society in this chilly mountain resort.
It survived the French-Indochina and American Wars, but fell into disrepair after 1975.
When Vietnam re-opened to foreign visitors and investors in the late 1980's among those who came to Vietnam was Larry Hillblom, the co-founder and the "H" of express-delivery company DHL.
He fell in love with Vietnam and the Palace hotel, spending $40 million of his fortune to restore the run-down 43-room hotel.
Tragically, Mr. Hillblom died when his vintage seaplane crashed on a flight from Pagan Island to Saipan on May 21 1995.