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The waiters are neither nonplussed nor unruly. At the restaurant, dine Indian, Vietnamese, Italian or International. There are chefs from all over. Do too many chefs spoil the broth? They get the job done, in palate-zinging style. The villas offer split-level accommodation with timber flooring, white linen, inviting plump beds on raised plinths and plantation-house window slats blocking or permitting light from all sides.
The gauze drapes surround the entire bed ensemble including the bathtub and desk in the centre of the room. The Four Seasons has taken the white drapes and added burgundy-pink and turquoise 'stockings' like they've been neatly dipped in ink. This adds some colour lift. The grey tile floor leads to an open-plan bath area.
Indeed the sunken bathtub is right behind the bed and next to the Japanese-style work desk with sunken footrests so you sit floor level flush with the bathtub. Floor lights leap awake as your feet hit the timber. There is much here to distract those discerning of taste. Take the Krups coffee maker for example, the high ceilings with fans, the iPod with dock, flat-screen TV, Bose sound system, gauze mosquito nets that drape the beds in a dreamy Arabian Nights haze, the outdoor shower, indoor rainshower, the hand-held rod shower and pressed-silk glass doors for toilet privacy.
The sq m Pool Villa interiors are again set on three levels — the bathing area, the bed, and the living area with deep divans looking out at the views. You would never guess it but the sunken bathtub is lined with dark gold beaten egg shell as are the twin vanities. It is an eye-catching finish that successfully combines a sense of tradition with a contemporary twist.
To unwind — or wind up — choose from the Spa Pavilion with treatment villas, tennis, badminton, basketball, and gym. And the Montgomerie Links Vietnam www. The Nam Hai features in our exclusive by-invitation Top Asian Hotels Collection , featuring the best Asian hotels, resorts and spas in a printable A4 page with stunning visuals. It is spectacularly sited on a bend in the Do River with unsullied horizons and lush green paddy fields on the other side.
The Nippon rooms have low seating though the Japanese have grown a fair bit in the last century while the Vietnamese rooms feature wooden parquet flooring and tasteful furniture. There is an in-room safe. All rooms come with balconies, some with excellent river views.
Deluxe rooms have CD players and flat-screen TV. The resort offers boat trips and a daily shuttle to the beach, one kilometre away. There's a nice riverside pool too with an irregular pattern blue-tile finish. Massage service is available. This is a nice Vietnam boutique resort with local flavour. They have an atmospheric restaurant by the same name in Hoi An too.
Try the cooking tour, which includes a trip to the local food market and cooking lesson. Another Vietnam resort option further downriver, closer to the beach, is the room Hoi An Beach Resort. It is not entirely true to say the place is on the beach, but it is close enough. Cross the road and head up the dunes. This place is more "resorty" and spread out. It is neat and modern with a large and brightly-tiled infinity pool but it lacks the greenery and cosy charm of the Hoi An Riverside Resort.
The villa rooms are spacious and comfortable. Climb up the steps to enter the resort through a Chinese gateway festooned with silk lanterns. There are rooms in all and the signature accommodations to plump for are the beachfront bungalows or Victoria Deluxe Beach Front rooms as they are called. The resort loves red and has splashed it liberally on several walls to good effect. The restaurant bar is a good example. The vegetation is sparse but well cared for.
At night the pool area is lit up in red and green hues, a bit Love Boat , but the guests seem to enjoy it. This interesting confection throws together two villas one with four bedrooms, another with three , bungalows and contemporary Resort Rooms.
The Four-Bedroom Riverside Villa is decorated in creamy silks with gold-hued pillows on the inviting bed, darkwood lattice work and full-length darkwood window frames that are welcoming of both light and breeze. There are green views, a small alfresco pool and a kitchenette to satisfy late night cravings. The combination of dark stained wood floors and cream upholstery creates a faux -Dior impression that is regal in its simplicity. The Three-Bedroom Riverside Villa has Vietnamese cadences with slim rectangular darkwood furniture, cream chairs, and powder olive cushions.
Expect an indoor plunge pool. The clustered bungalows work well for families while the Resort Rooms offer a modern spin on things. There is a restaurant serving up to in case you're in for a meeting or conference at the resort venue , and a spa is on hand to soothe apres-sightseeing muscles and tired legs. If you need a Vietnam resort that is larger and more structured, this could be it.
The lowrise development is on a prime stretch of Cua Dai Beach not far from the heart of Hoi An and around a minute drive from Danang Airport. Well appointed rooms offer international comforts like TV, individually controlled air-conditioning and complimentary coffee and tea-making facilities. Deluxe rooms are a generous 45sq m and Beach Front Suites go up to 90sq m. Expect roomy interiors, light-wood parquet flooring, dark-wood cupboards and cabinets, a large box TV, lounging sofa, armchair, and work desk.
In addition to a broad range of cuisines on offer, the Golden Sand Resort has extensive sports and recreation distractions — including a vast array of swimming pools along the seashore — to keep the most eager fitness enthusiast occupied. Try the m seafront pool, outdoor whirlpools, tennis, cycling, beach volleyball or just laze on the beach.
The spa offers single and two double treatment rooms. Those keen on staying in touch can avail of WiFi. The resort hosts ample meetings facilities and the Grand Banquet Hall can handle up to persons. Also on Cua Dai Beach is the Palm Garden Beach Resort set in five hectares of garden with semi-detached bungalows set around a central free-form pool. This is a convivial child-friendly Vietnam resort with family friendly features and space for rough and tumble.
The resort is neat with a low-rise format, the bungalows spread out so accommodation is not check by jowl. There are rooms in all, starting at 32sq m and going up to the 96sq m Palm Garden Suites with red ceramic tile floors, queen beds, small work tables, flat-screen TV, small garden patio with rocking chairs, a semi-alfresco bathtub near the entrance, and an electronic safe. Friendly and neat but unspectacular. The low-rise French colonial-style buildings house a range of rooms that are simple and unassuming but well lit, with cream walls, earth-tone furnishings and bright orange cushions for distraction.
Rooms are split-level with a sitting area below and a queen bed or twin arrangement above. The upper verandah balustrades catch the sunlight and make for excellent viewing platforms if you wish to peruse river life chugging by. The resort does not offer a beach on site, but white sands are just a short bicycle or boat ride away. For a taste of Vietnamese culture, guests can attend language, cooking and lantern-making classes or simply explore the historic streets of Hoi An.
Expect mixed design with lots of orange ceramic tiles, villas with red-tile roofs, and a small garden stretch along the sea front with a breezy pool. There are both two-storey accommodations as well as private villas with wooden floors and bright yellow walls to ensure you stay in the mood. A spa is on site too. Timber and ceramic-tile floor rooms are neat and simple but stylish with a lot of attention to detail.
Expect clean lines, lots of natural light and dark-wood trim to hold everything in place. Rooms range from 35sq m to 45sq m and some have balconies. Learn about chi and yourself in the process at this stylish Vietnam spa resort. That's the way to travel to this ancient silk town that has been tastefully restored. Ask for an introduction to 'kundalini' yoga. It's not all wellness though.
Food features items from Vietnam, Japan, and Europe and, yes, there's a bar. Almanity is an excellent none-too-expensive choice. The airport is tight with carry-on baggage so be careful with your art purchases and hand-carry items. Foreigners are usually left alone, airport staff venting their ire instead on hapless Vietnamese travellers. The town actually looks like a seaside resort with a long breezy marine drive dotted with palm trees. There are public beach areas with nice thatch-palm umbrellas and endless views.
En route to Nha Trang is the spread out Diamond Bay Condotel Resort , a collection of bungalows and low-rise blocks with hotel-style rooms and free Wi-Fi. The semi-detached bungalows are neat but not upscale. The Miss Universe contestants have passed through and, capitalising on this, the bungalows are each named after a world beauty.
I got to meet Miss Mauritius who turned out to be something of a plain Jane. There are two to four bungalows per unit with a shared porch. Inside 61sq m rooms find red ceramic tile floors, a TV, a notebook-size safe, a sunken bathtub and shower set below a skylight. The 37sq m hotel rooms are contemporary with multi-pin electric sockets, a work desk, bathtub with shower, safe, and a balcony looking onto trees and hills. The resort lacks a natural beach though it offers a blazing artificial white sand stretch with kayaks and a huge sunny pool.
Its main claim to fame is the hole golf course , the first in this area. There is a driving range too. Nha Trang is a bit like the Pattaya of yore, minus the sleaze, the drug-laced transvestite nipples, the sanitation problems, the crime, the bars, the neon and badgering trinket vendors. Diving is popular, if unexceptional, in Nha Trang and a plethora of spa treatments abound. There is some amount of commerce in town though much of this bustle is around the big shipyards near Cam Ranh Bay.
The Anam 26 April , on Cam Ranh Bay, is a high end escape with contemporary villas with strong accents of Hue, 96 rooms, and a prime stretch of beach dotted with thatch-roof sun shades. Pick an Ocean View Pool Villa to really enjoy the space - luxe bathroom with sunken tub and rain shower, cool ceramic tiles underfoot mixed with wooden floors, and comfy sofas. Two expansive Private Pool Villas are set in a secluded area within the spa premises and these offer the ultimate in wellness pampering and more.
The villas come with two complimentary spa treatments per day for the guests. Enjoy a spa with 10 treatment rooms, three restaurants, two bars for breezy sundowner tipples, and a 3D cinema room. Conference facilities include a ballroom and children are catered for at the kids' club. Will three swimming pools be enough for you?
Rooms range from 50sq m to sq m, ample for any manner of family rumpus, wedding, small corporate meeting or romance. Cable-cars dangling from high wires cross to the private island with its amusement park and rides while the resort runs fast boat ferries at regular intervals from a dedicated pier. It takes 10 minutes to cross. This humongous all-in-one playground boasts a guest Grand Ballroom, bars, nightclub, vast swimming pools, spa, marina, tennis and diving.
The resort complex is on a grand scale. The place may not appeal to all tastes but as an all-inclusive, private, Club-Med-meets-Universal-Studios sort of escape, it will find its fans. From the Vinpearl jetty on the island, a trolley bus carts you up a low hill and down the other side to the resort itself, set in two wings — the Deluxe Building and the Executive Building with larger rooms and more classic upscale facilities.
Both five-storey wings look onto the 5,sq m free-form swimming pool. On the far side is a bar and cafe area with chairs on a timber deck below which is an arcing beach within a small bay. The Deluxe Room is spacious enough with wooden floors, a sitting area with sofa and two chairs, a writing desk, WiFi and Broadband, and a white-linen bed with cream runner.
In the bathroom is a tub, a separate shower cubicle and a separate spare toilet. Expect coffee and tea-making facilities and a HUGE safe. This is a popular MICE venue and Vietnam conference hotel given its secluded location and range of facilities but it is also a family-friendly resort with lots of fun activities for children. As would be expected, this beautiful garden property features a Six Senses Spa set in its own private enclave at one end of the property.
There are treatment rooms for couples with sunken Jacuzzis. Choose a package or go a la carte. If you're not warm enough by the beach, head for the sauna and herbal steam, then ponder the spelling and pronunciation of words like kinesiology. The spa is airy and bright with pleasing garden features. One of the best Nha Trang resorts by a mile, Evason occupies a prime stretch of beach. Ana Mandara runs long rather than deep, along the promenade drive — with a hilly backdrop — making it a brief skip from villa to beach.
The cottages are roomy, the largest being the 65sq m Beachfront Ana Mandara Suite with private walled garden and four-poster bed. Expect a flat-screen TV, DVD player, gauzy mosquito net, wooden furniture, almirah, work desk with two multi-pin electrical sockets, a bathtub with a window looking onto garden and free WiFi. Villa bathrooms have been extended to include sunken bathtubs with rain showers and twin vanities featuring beaten silver metal wash bowls.
The complex has two swimming pools one deep enough for diving lessons , tennis courts and a super romantic dining spot on a wooden jetty, right above the sea. Sort out your "I dos" here under a full moon. Its top-drawer sibling Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is on a neighbouring island, a minute boat ride from a jetty up the coast. This resort features just 58 pool villas looking onto an arcing bay and pristine sand. This is rustic chic at its best with good use of natural wood to create villa designs in harmony with nature.
Expect lots of hand-tooled wood displaying various shades and grain, thatch roofs, timber floors, bamboo four posters and white netting, extensive latticework screens to keep out excessive sun but let in the sea breezes, wooden bathtubs, open-view verandahs, driftwood tables and sensuously sculpted swimming pools perched on promontories.
This is a honeymoon idyll with service, style and a great spa. It is indeed one of the best Vietnam luxury resorts. New kid on the block is the room InterContinental Nha Trang 15 March , a contemporary construct with plenty of natural light splashing across cool stone interiors and grey cubist rock-cut sculptures and tables.
Rooms are spacious, airy and bright with lively blue bed runners offsetting cool flat-tone pastel interiors. Find a patterned carpet and silver-grey cushions atop a plump white bed facing a humungous flat-screen television.
Breezy balconies serve up uninterrupted - and very welcome - views of Nha Trang Bay. Expect an iron and ironing board, fast internet access, a DVD player, a work desk with adapter plugs and a soaking tub to end, or start, the day. For small corporate meetings and the like there are seven function rooms with 11,sq m of event space. As with other hotels on the Nha Trang strip, you need to cross the main road to access the sand.
This is a breezy and panoramic setting for tanning or reading a good book. Hold on for dear life if the wind is up. For meeting planners and business travellers there is 1,sq m of function space while the Sheraton Club floors offer access to the Club Lounge. The 33sq m Club Ocean View Rooms with pale mustard-yellow walls are minimalist, spacious, bright and welcoming in an understated way.
A cheeky glass partition looks onto the bathtub while at the other end of the room light spills in from a triangular balcony where spectacular views can be had. There is a long working desk with multi-pin sockets, a inch flat-screen television, and a laptop-size safe.
Expect an iron and ironing board too in the sliding-door cabinet. And to get that grey matter working, the Connexions bar leading to the beach street serves up martinis by the litre. This is a contemporary address, not out of the ordinary, but it succeeds at making a bright statement without unduly contorting its hotel chassis to do the hula.
Close to the beach and in the heart of the city, the resort is conveniently located a minute drive from Cam Ranh Airport. Done up in faux -colonial style, the hotel is surprisingly pleasant with service to match. There is an annexe as well. Deluxe Rooms offer carpet underfoot for a change, a balcony with massive sea views and a Jacuzzi for some configurations, hair dryer, boxy TV alas, a compact bathing area with just a glass shower cubicle, classical silk lampshades, a small desk with mirror and free Wi-Fi and Broadband.
This is perhaps a Nha Trang specialty but the in-room safe is of micro proportions. No getting large electronic equipment into this box. Wraparound views from the 10th floor Sky Lounge are terrific and you can sit in deep chairs by the breezy balcony perusing the circular pool below — ringed by Roman columns for some reason.
There is a beauty salon and spa and the hotel can rustle up meetings for up to guests. An interesting choice if you prefer a functional modern beach hotel to a villa. It is housed in a compact high-rise along the marine drive, set away from the beach like the rest. It is neat nevertheless and the rooms are smart with purple cushions and sea-facing balconies with flat-screen TVs and complimentary Internet. There are iMac stations in the lobby should you have forgotten your laptop.
If it's raining, bargain, bargain, bargain. Another good value and fairly cheap Nha Trang hotel is the Nha Trang Lodge Hotel with standard and superior rooms in twin or queen configurations. Plain but clean and uncluttered and with floral bedspreads and large box TV sets to make you feel at home. A newer, more intimate offering is Mia Resort Nha Trang , with 50 rooms set on a private beach just outside the city.
In-room design is bright, fresh and breezy, and all rooms include free WiFi, widescreen TV, iPod docking stations, safe, mini bar, plus the thoughtful amenities of mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Decide for yourself, but at the very least there is a nice terrace to dine on, lapping waves to listen to, and a rising moon to look for. The resort offers a myriad of water-based activities plus yoga classes, cooking lessons and sightseeing trips.
If all that activity gets too much, then the Xanh Spa is on hand to provide relaxation and rejuvenation galore. The style is rustic, if not blotto wet and wild, and there is ample stretch space over 70 acres of garden. The resort is sited on a long strip of white sand. This is an informal hangout with beach volleyball, biking, snorkelling, jogging and kayaking. A range of cottages work their way down the slope to the beach and a timbered patio deck hosting a pool with breezy sea views.
A thatch-roof Lagoon Villa serves up a living room and lounge opening onto a lagoon deck with plunge pool. Expect WiFi, mini-bar, in-room safe, hairdryer, aircon in the bedroom, and open views. There are 35 villas in all with smaller units facing the hill and three larger An Lam Lagoon Villas with rich wood finish, large glass window frontage and neat interiors. No dearth of activities here.
Start with scuba diving and snorkelling and move on to to the resort spa for a range of wellness workouts. A well regarded stylish and contemporary escape. The four-hour drive from Nha Trang to Phan Thiet is on an excellent two-lane highway with little traffic, hard shoulders and smooth black-top all the way. The countryside erupts in unbelievable shades of green during the rains.
The road passes paddy fields, quaint farmhouses, cows, dogs, chickens, geese and the ubiquitous policemen who specialise in setting sudden speed traps for unwary motorists. This makes progress unpredictable, if adventurous. At many places there is not a road sign to be seen for miles yet "tea money" is being earned by the bushel by hard-working men in uniform. About a half hour south of Cam Ranh , the hills recede, yielding views of vast golden fields and patchwork green.
This really is a lovely drive. You won't be behind the wheel as foreigners aren't really encouraged to wander the roads so sit back and take it all in. Make sure the driving is during daylight hours as nightfall significantly increases your chances of meeting chickens and a procession of beasts, humans and vehicles that suddenly decide to cross the road.
The Nha Trang area has some of the better beaches of Vietnam though the sand is sometimes a touch more coarse than at Phan Thiet and Mui Ne. The Phan Thiet pronounced "fun-theet" area includes the popular Mui Ne and Ham Tien beach strip along some fine stretches of white-sand beach that compare favourably with the best in Phuket and the Philippines.
The air is laid-back and unhurried to the extreme. And the food, as everywhere in Vietnam, is cheap and teeth-grindingly good. This is where the fabled round wicker-basket boats originate. How fishermen manage to get to sea - and back - in these contraptions with a single paddle, God alone knows. Equally strange are the soaring sand dunes that threaten to overwhelm hutments, barely constrained by ubiquitous retaining walls.
The main street has a fair selection of large and clean thatch-roof restaurants. There are Internet cafes, spas, massage parlours, and tour agencies. Nightlife is not particularly bawdy, the roadside bars more relaxed and welcoming of families than elsewhere in Asia. The offerings are spread out and not cheek-by-jowl so drive around, or pedal, till you find the right spot for a chow down. At one end of this Muine strip, not far from the dunes, is the four-star Pandanus Resort , with low-rise blocks and red-brick bungalows scattered about well manicured gardens.
Expect complimentary wine and cheese at reception, live music, and free Wi-Fi throughout. This hotel covers 10 hectares and is set on a private m stretch of beach. Walk out from the lobby lotus ponds to a bungalow offering twin and king-size beds, neat tile floors, large sunning patio, decent hairdryer, work desk, a notebook-size safe, clean bathroom with shower curtain no tub and plenty of light.
There are hotel-style rooms housed in four low-rise buildings. The bungalows set closer to the beach. There is a large free-form pool, floodlit tennis court, a business centre, spa, gift shop, as well as a myriad activities to keep all ages busy. Bicycles are free for guests to explore the surrounding area. Nearby is the room Malibu Resort , again a mix of red-tile-roof bungalows and gardens.
Find a freeform pool, motorbikes for rent, free bicycles, and water sports. The units here are on a smaller scale but clean and well finished. Friendly and uncomplicated, choose from 12 bungalows and 24 rooms. Correspondent Kate Springer suggests a well maintained, intimate choice is the room Grace Boutique Resort. On the outskirts of town, this family-run property prides itself in great service and warm atmosphere.
Rooms are tidy and decorated in sunset hues and hand-made furniture produced locally. Expect friendly faces, free WiFi, and private balcony with bay views. This is a low-key, good-value hotel, with spacious rooms and attentive staff. The colour combinations — stark white paint and striking turquoise pool — mirror the clear blue skies, rolling waves and good cheer found here. Choose from seven large apartments and four studio rooms, all with comfy beds, beige decor, tile floors, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, pool and ocean-views, and either rain shower or three-seater Jacuzzi tub.
Some have breezy terraces, while others have direct access to the pool and bar, where friendly bartenders pour half-off drinks at happy hour. Breakfast is included, and includes continental fare, made-to-order eggs and a must-try banana crepe. The resort does not have a beach in low season, as the tide rises too high. Just beware of kite surfers. The large and manicured room Saigon Mui Ne Resort has much to recommend it.
The extensive lawns are welcoming, signage is crisp, there's a nice infinity pool and accommodation ranges from rooms to bungalows. This is officially a four-star resort like many of the others in Phan Thiet but the product is good. Rooms have tile floors, smart blue-tile toilets with mirrors at wacky angles and a shower cubicle no tub , a hair-drier, small TV, a laptop-size safe, balcony, ample wardrobes, a work desk and two-pin square plug sockets.
In-room WiFi is free and there is a business centre with a computer should you require it. There is lots of garden and the nice cottages, bordered by flashes of bougainvillea, are well spaced out. Interiors are cosy and well thought out. Expect cable TV, aircon with fans , phones that work, a free-form pool, a beach bar, and fusion food.
Bungalows offer spacious balconies with sun loungers and rough-hewn balustrades that meld with the land. Long mosquito nets drape the beds with their soft pillows and silk cushions. Pick a spoiling Deluxe Beachfront Bungalow. Those in search of good Vietnam spas for authentic pampering can make for the Xanh Spa that offers a range of wellness treatments and massages using natural oils. Water sports options are varied and catching on with the hip set is kite-surfing and of course diving.
Play chess, or a read a book. A business centre is available. The Blue Ocean Resort features rooms and bungalows and one of the largest infinity pools in the area. The grounds are pleasant and grassy. Standard rooms offer a balcony, work desk, small notebook-size safe, and a bathroom with shower. Wi-Fi and Internet is free throughout the resort.
Some bungalows have plunge pools. The Blue Ocean Spa offers a variety of massage and beauty treatments. Not far from here are the stilted wooden bungalows of the Coco Beach Resort. The room resort starts rather abruptly with just an Alamo-style wall facing the main road and not much signage, but once past the defences, the ambience is appealing and friendly.
There are bush-lined walkways, a modest pool, gardens with crab grass, plenty of flowers and gleaming freshly-varnished cottages next to a terrific stretch of soft creamy white sand lined by the resort's hallmark yellow-cone umbrellas. The sand beats China Beach and Nha Trang hands down, but the gradient is steeper. This is a lovely Vietnam beach. There's a restaurant by the sea. This is one of the older resorts here and is run by the hands-on owners — Jutta and Daniel Arnaud — who set the ball rolling in The small wooden rooms and furniture are upgraded regularly.
Bungalows offer mosquito net drapes, a dolls-house raised verandah, and bathrooms with small shower cubicles. Lighting at night can be a bit dark so get your bearings during the day. There is no distraction of a TV and, to protect your small kids, the owners will arrange safety nets around the raised verandah.
Internet is available at the resort office and WiFi is now beamed to rooms. Coco Beach is a quaint, unpretentious and charmingly rustic resort. It is one of the more accessible and homey Vietnam child-friendly resorts on the strip. There is much happening along Mui Ne nowadays with resorts springing up everywhere.
Every home with a chair and a coconut tree has billboards at the entrance proudly advertising a resort and spa. At the upper end, look out for the serene Cham Villas that run along a narrow plot from the road to the sea. The gardens are lush, the foliage reassuringly dense, with four-poster-bed bungalows lining the tiled walk leading past an outdoor thatch-roof massage pavilion and a striking green-tile pool to the crashing surf. Statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities litter the lawns. Champa was, in fact, a Buddhist and highly Indianised kingdom.
There are just 18 villas and WiFi is free. Walk up the steps to a contemporary lobby. Hotel room wings adjoin the lobby while two-level and single-level bungalows are set in the gardens leading to the free-form pool, beach bar and beach. The villa walls are in yellow mud-finish plaster.
Inside find gleaming timber floors, large work desks and flat-screen TVs. Furniture and cabinets are in stained black wood. There is a HUGE flat safe. The Two Bedroom Residence Pool Villa offers a master bedroom with a four-poster king arrangement along with a garden courtyard, plunge pool, and standalone tub in a semi-alfresco black-tile bathroom.
Unfortunately privacy is an issue and in certain areas you are overlooked by first-floor rooms. Expect free WiFi, a spa, a gym and classy dining with a grand piano to boot. This is a tasteful high-end retreat that sets the benchmark as a top Mui Ne resort. The bungalows serve up ceramic floor tiles, flat-screen TV, a desk, and small safe.
The gardens are attractive with ponds and water features. The resort also offers 59 low-rise hotel rooms, a gym, tennis court, free cycles, a spa, and complimentary Internet and WiFi in-room. The gardens are mature. There are simple rooms and cottages as well as two 60sq m grey-stone bungalows near the beach with classical Chinese furnishings and timber floors.
These are quite nice. Walk over a small bridge, past the lotus pond to your villa on the sea, literally. Expect a large flat-screen TV, eye-catching driftwood furniture, ornate carved Chinese chairs, ceiling fan, hairdryer, slippers, a small safe and a BIG bath with skylight and Jacuzzi. Oddities are littered around the lawns, from eccentric laughing-Buddha statues to horse carts.
The resort has an airy lobby, manicured gardens, a relaxing spa, and decent nosh. It is very much a Phuket or Bali-style resort with cottages and two swimming pools. The one fly in the ointment is the rocky beach which is less-than-inviting at low tide. There are connecting family duplexes here for those large family gatherings and the food is a notch above what you might expect elsewhere in the area.
The sea view bungalows are the pick of the lodgings. Also find babysitting services, volleyball, horseback riding, table tennis, a fitness centre, billiard table, bicycles, and Petanque for the incurably French. Close by Victoria is the unassuming and friendly Takalau Resort with its large free-form pool, gardens with bursts of pink bougainvillea and coconut trees, and accommodation ranging from 47sq m Deluxe rooms some with sea views to spacious four-bedroom Residences with sunning decks and private plunge pools.
A 77sq m Grand Suite serves up cool ceramic tiles underfoot, a king-size bed on a raised plinth, a separate living area with sofas, a flat-screen television, free-standing bathtub and twin vanities for him and her. Red tile roofs and gardens lend the place a homey feel that goes down well with guests.
One of the best places to chill out if you have a family in tow, is the four-bedroom Villa Myosotis with its generous pool and sun deck set in verdant sea-facing surrounds. WiFi is free and the master bedroom features silk duvets, gleaming timber floors and a painted ceiling with blue sky and peach blossoms. On a lazy afternoon, visit the Tea Leaf spa for a nice rubdown or something more exotic.
This is a resort with charm and rustic appeal. Ending the strip is the room Phu Hai Resort , a large and bold melange of twee European statues, fountains, waterfalls, artificial rocks, pink stucco walls, and all manner of fantasy settings including a giant Angkor face looking out from one of the walls in the bar. The pool area is fun for children but all-in the resort is a rather muddled affair.
At night things sober down and with the lights on things are rather more beckoning. Rooms are well fitted, if plain. The resort runs down a hillside to a huge pool area. All rooms have ocean views, and villas have private pools. This place prides itself as a quality Vietnam spa resort. Expect a Russian invasion in season.
Set some distance away from the Mui Ne beach strip, the Ocean Dunes Resort formerly DuParc is your average Joe-Blow concrete Asian resort with a ship-bridge building, a beachside setting, massage, sauna and a riot of water sports. But its ace up the sleeve is a golf course — on site — as well as quality service.
Rooms, some with wooden parquet flooring, have colourful cushions and sea-view balconies. The hotel has its following but the food reviews are mixed. From Amanresorts, an essay in stylish understatement with expansive views of lakes, national parks and the sea from timbered sun decks and 31 roomy pavilions as well as five Aman Villas , at Amanoi in the southern Ninh Hai District just north of Phan Thiet. A low-slung futuristic Beach Club with scenic windows casts its slender curves above a swimming pool facing the pale sand beach and blue waters while higher up the craggy limestone hillside, an Aman Spa awaits with lotus ponds, treatments rooms for couples and acres of contemplative garden space.
This is a mini-destination in itself. The 31 Pavilions, several with private swimming pools are all in a similar design, welcoming of light and with open views in all directions. Expect the de rigueur Aman-style open plan bedroom-living mix with a timbered sun deck. Beds are vast and bathrooms spoiling with soaking tubs and the usual lux paraphernalia to pamper travel weary limbs. In-room find a perky espresso machine for your morning cup of Joe, a flat-screen TV to plug in to the world - but is that really necessary?
Pen a civilized postcard or stab your iPhone on WhatsApp. This is a quiet, minimalist hideaway with clean straight lines and an uninterrupted field of vision that brings real luxury to this less trodden coast. But before you leave, visit the dunes. Huge, red and ochre sand dunes straight out of the Sahara. Here, 20 minutes from Phan Thiet, you can boogie-board down the sands chased by urchins, or head further by four-wheel-drive to the heart of dune country.
En route, stop by the fishing village with its bright red and blue boats and savour the sights if not the smells. The culturally inclined can visit the Cham ruins nearby. Pick up a four-hour tour to the dunes and White Lake with coffee break and lunch. Slightly farther is the giant sleeping Sakiyamuni Buddha. The drive from Phan Thiet to Ho Chi Minh City Saigon is a reasonably untaxing three hours but evening traffic and the unyielding press of heavy trucks can add an extra sixty minutes.
Stop at one of the wall-to-wall roadside stalls selling dragon fruit — the local speciality. The road winds along a blustery coast pounded by breakers. It is a rough, rocky coastline with scrub grass and soaring humps of sand with occasional stretches of beach hosting small local resorts seemingly in the middle of nowhere. In the shadow of a lighthouse built by the French in with a fishing village at the far end of the bay, the resort is sited on a broad, undisturbed swathe of sand that slopes gently into the sea.
Given the mayhem en route it is surprising to see the waters becalmed and learn that this is actually a very safe swimming area. The shallow incline affords easy wading which perhaps makes it easier for families with kids in tow. This is however an upscale sanctuary for the well-heeled and much in love, starched white with straight clean lines, none of that irksome tropical resort fuss, and dollops of splendid understatement.
A ginger garden lends its aromatic scents to the breeze. Lush eye-soothing foliage and brilliant blue pools offer a dramatic counterpoint to the dazzling white low-rise villa structures. The piece de resistance is surely the unadorned deep-blue rectangular swimming pool that runs along the shoreline, ringed by flaming magenta bougainvillea.
In front is the beach, and at its back is the colonnaded lobby and a timber-deck restaurant. This is a modern construct that blends well into the surrounds with 48 colonial-style villas, four swimming pools and a spacious 1,sq m spa with 10 treatment rooms.
Service is brisk, welcoming and attentive. Vincent Koh, the interior designer of the Park Hyatt Saigon, has fused French colonial with Oriental chic laying down a style that is easy on the eye yet distinct. The Mandarin Villas offer 75sq m of stretch room with the usual mod-cons like flat-screen TV and Internet. Expect light pastel hues, big divans, cane chairs, large working desk, cream tile flooring and free WiFi throughout the resort.
The hotel can loan guests a laptop if required. The lounge has an Internet station as well. The bathing area is well lit and spacious with a sunken tub and separate shower area. The sq m Princess Villas offer a plunge pool, four-poster beds, open bathing area with alfresco bathtub, a separate rainshower cubicle, twin vanities and lots of light. The top-line Empress Villas there are just three serve up a more-than-generous sq m in a two-storey configuration with a private pool, a huge bed in the upstairs master bedroom on a raised wooden plinth, rich wood parquet, long glass work desk, lots of windows to let in light, a divan, large flat-screen TV with DVD player and funky sound system.
The bedroom leads onto a sun-drenched verandah with ocean views and sun loungers. The bathroom is huge with twin vanities and separate rainshower. The living room downstairs features an eight-seater dining table, plenty of seating and a spare bedroom. It is the second Alma Resort brand to be opened by Serenity , following success of its flagship resort Fusion Maia in Danang. Villas and bungalows are scattered over the slopes of a hillside with a range of accommodation with balconies for taking in ocean or garden views.
Ocean Pavilions and Garden Studios have double or twin rooms. Ocean Terraces have spacious double rooms in large cottages. Families are well catered for with the suitably-named Ocean Family Pavilions. Most accommodation options have outdoor baths, as well as the modern necessities of life such as espresso machines and Bluetooth speakers.
For a little more luxury, choose one of the five villas, each with private pool. This is a Vietnamese-style low-rise construct where all rooms have a balcony looking onto garden or sea, air-conditioning along with ceiling fans, electronic safe, satellite TV, hair dryer and free Internet access.
Seaview Bungalows fronting the beach offer a king or twin-bed arrangement, a walled garden with outdoor shower, a bathtub, and a four-poster bed with gauzy mosquito net drapes. The Aurora Spa is on hand for treatments and massage. Expect the usual raft of activities from kayaking and fishing to billiards and kite-flying. A neat and clean escape. This is modern, low-rise construct, creatively imitative of a fishing village, and mightily welcoming of breeze and light.
Expect 50 villas with private pools, running up to four bedrooms if elbowroom is your thing. Set on a bay amid mangroves with low hills providing a backdrop, the resort fronts a kilometre of powder sand. Also expect the usual spoiling distractions of a Six Senses Spa, a front-row seat to the annual turtle nesting, and all-day access to the Children's Club. This room mega resort in Vietnam's first casino hotel development and features everything from a nightclub to shopping esplanades, plus nine restaurants, three outdoor pools, a swim-up bar, beach cabanas, and a long stretch of coastline.
Expect another hotel rooms with the second stage. Inside the plum and ruby-hued Grand King rooms, look for inch TV, touch-screen phones, free WiFi, plush beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and romantic balconies. The marble bathrooms are spacious and opulent, with stand alone bathtubs, plush toiletries and separate rain showers.
MICE goers may want to take note of 2,sqm of convention space, including a 1,sq m pillarless, soundproof Grand Ballroom that can seat up to 1, guests as well as five smaller meeting spaces. The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip golf course designed by Greg Norman no less offers 18 holes of links style golf, plus hospitality outlets, driving range, and golf instruction. Be quick though — the island is set for heavy development. Accommodation ranges from back-to-basics bungalows on the beach to a couple of resort-style options.
Meanwhile, Younger star Hilary couldn't stop raving about the range during an interview with the New York Times , saying: It smells so good! My son smelled it the other day, and he goes, "Mom that smells like Hawaii. The brand's latest sold-out product, however, focuses more on creating a luminous glow on both the body and the face - and beauty lovers eager to lay their hands on it shouldn't panic about its unavailability just yet; the product is due to return to the Sol de Janeiro website on April 27, and will also be released on the Sephora website on May 1.
The website described the product as 'sensual, and irresistible — from day to night'. The Ipanema Sunset has a translucent champagne shimmer, according to Sol de Janeiro. It's also the perfect Brazilian secret to accentuate 'your curves and highlight your best features'. Perfect for all skin tones, the skin softening dry oil has just the right amount of shimmer to reflect light beautifully on all color shades. Both products come in a 75ml liquid container and can be applied to both the hands and face.
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