Fusion Resorts in Vietnam Helps Guests Ring-in 2019

By: City Pass Guide

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (14 Nov 2018) - Fusion’s all-spa-inclusive beachfront resorts and all-suite city hotels throughout Vietnam are ushering in the festive season with lavish buffet spreads, live music, and entertainment from caroling and cocoa to DJs and dancing.

fusion resort

“We love giving our guests a memorable, surprise-filled experience whatever time of year it is”, says Atilla Erda, Fusion’s Chief Operating Officer, ”but the Christmas period is our chance to really do something special”.

Here’s what will be happening around the country at Fusion’s properties:

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

Despite its tropical location, Christmas at this all-spa-inclusive resort on Phu Quoc will be a traditional affair. Christmas Eve will bring cookie decorating during the day and cocoa and carols, or stronger tipples for adults, at sunset. A gala evening dinner will follow, featuring a festive-themed buffet with live music and free-flow drinks for an extra fee. On Christmas Day the breakfast buffet will run late, till 1pm, to give guests time to enjoy the morning. To end the year Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is going “Around the World” with a global-themed party of cocktails, live music and a DJ, and an international buffet. The breakfast buffet will also stay open late on the first day of the year for guests who prefer to relax in their private pool villa or start the year with a complimentary yoga class.

fusion resort

Fusion Resort Cam Ranh

On Christmas Eve Fusion Resort Cam Ranh will celebrate a “Rustic Winter” with an extensive evening buffet of Vietnamese and international dishes accompanied by live acoustic music. For New Year’s Eve the theme switches to “Forest Magic”.

Cocktails and canapes by the pool will lead to an indulgent banquet, with a carving station and live seafood barbecue section. Free-flow wines, beers and soft drinks will be available at both and the year-end party will feature a magician, live acoustic music, and a DJ and dancing later in the evening. The all-spa-inclusive resort near ancient cultural sites and world-class diving spots features private pool villas, spacious open-plan suites, a kids club, kids pool (and playground), and several dining options.

fusion resort

Fusion Maia Da Nang

Fusion Maia’s Christmas party, “Orient Empress”, begins with exotic cocktails and canapes on the terrace followed by a vast Asian-inspired buffet. Guests can also expect live performances and a DJ spinning the sounds of the Orient. Come December 31st there will be a “Wild Jungle” event with jungle-themed cocktails and appetisers and a “Jungle Feast” buffet and barbecue, along with a live DJ. Post-party guests can book treatments at the peaceful Maia Spa that has the capacity for up to 400 treatments a day, or unwind next to the plunge pool in the garden of their private pool villa.

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Fusion Suites Da Nang Beach

Fusion Suites Da Nang Beach will hold an intimate VIP Christmas event for its Zen Club guests. A Zen Club upgrade can be added to any reservation for around USD20 per night, and for the extra charge guests get a premium rooftop breakfast buffet, daily afternoon tea, free-flow rooftop cocktails at sunset, and a flexible check-in/check-out service. For the New Year’s Eve three-course dinner, the doors will be open to all. Both events will be held at the rooftop restaurant and open-air lounge, Zen, with its stunning panoramic ocean views. Live music and a lucky draw will precede the all-important countdown.

fusion resort

Fusion Suites Sai Gon

For those staying at Fusion Suites Sai Gon on Christmas Eve, complimentary cocktails and canapés will be served in the ground-floor lobby, with Fresh Restaurant’s local and international dining menu available for those wanting a night-in. In-suite dining is also available at no extra cost and can be enjoyed in Fusion’s cosy, almost Scandinavian-style wood-clad suites, that are reminiscent of Christmas in colder climes.

fusion resort

WHERE OTHERS FOLLOW, FUSION LEADS

Since its launch in 2008, Fusion has become a leading innovator of wellness-inspired hotels and resorts and is now the only fully vertically integrated hospitality company in Southeast Asia. Under one roof, Fusion conceptualises, designs, builds and manages beachside resorts and city hotels through its uniquely branded hospitality concepts. Fusion has opened five resorts and hotels in Vietnam so far, with a team now boasting more than 1,600 employees, including 300 spa specialists. At present, guests can experience Fusion’s original “all-spa inclusive” concept, and “breakfast anytime, anywhere” service, along with its inventive approach to the hospitality sector, in Da Nang, Cam Ranh, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc. The Fusion catalog of brands currently includes:

fusion resort

Fusion Resorts: Where contemporary original design meets traditional Vietnamese charm. Home to Fusion’s unique “all-spa inclusive” service, Fusion Resorts fully embrace the combination of ultimate wellness with a rejuvenating and down-to-earth lifestyle, all in natural, picturesque surroundings.

Fusion Suites: With well-located city hotels in key business and tourism hubs, Fusion Suites redefine holistic living and bring a wellness-inspired vacation experience to today’s urban adventurers. As 21st-century city life continues to accelerate, Fusion Suites aim to bring balance and harmony to the urban jungle through healthy and nutritious food and drink options, daily spa journeys included in the room rate, and original and rejuvenating interior design.

Fusion Originals: The individually branded Originals do not share a consistent style. Instead, Fusion tailors each hotel to evoke the life and times of a pioneering artist, inventor, scientist or social leader. Originals aim to provide a fun, fresh, and 100% unique hotel concept each and every time.

Image source: Fusion Resort


Falling in Love with Vietnam All Over Again at The Island Lodge

By: Leroy Nguyen

An Eco Friendly Tropical Hideaway

Get the Blood Pumping and Experience the Real Mekong Delta

East Meets West at the Culinary Table

Relax, Recharge, Rejuvenate

I have lived in Saigon for a little over a year now. And in that time I have seen all the main attractions. From the majestic limestone Karsts of Ha Long Bay, and the romantic charms of Hoi An Old Town, to the instagram haven of Da Lat, and the heavenly beaches of Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. These are all amazing destinations and I do highly recommend to see all of them, but at times it can seem as if the rest of the world has the same idea, and are scrambling to visit these popular locales also.

For a truly exclusive, tranquil, and rejuvenating getaway many seem to overlook the grand Mekong Delta. Only a 2 hour drive from Saigon just over the Rach Mieu Bridge and tucked away on the edge of Unicorn Island in the sleepy town of My Tho, you’ll find one of the most unique eco lodges in Vietnam. The Island Lodge is a charismatic and inviting Mekong hotel with all the charm and personalised service to match any of the best boutique hotels in Vietnam. 

The Mekong Delta is usually reserved as a day trip for locals and tourists alike, only to return home exhausted from a jam packed schedule and the usually steamy weather. I’m not interested in this type of go-go-go non-stop travel. In an area with so much to see and with so many secret charms to discover The Island Lodge is the perfect overnight escape from Saigon. Whether you’re craving a quick getaway during the week or want to plan the perfect weekend away somewhere near Saigon, a stay at The Island Lodge is a convenient choice that goes above and beyond all expectations.

An Eco Friendly Tropical Hideaway

Upon reaching Unicorn Island and leaving the main highway, an intricate network of narrow roads lined with lush green grass, overhanging trees, and brightly coloured flowers instantly transports me to a foreign land that is worlds apart from bustling Saigon. The grounds are so remotely located that the only way to access the main entrance is via golf buggy. The Island Lodge is hidden behind tall, perfectly manicured hedges and upon pushing open the heavy wooden doors I am blessed by a secret sanctuary that is so completely unexpected.

Quiet smiles of warm local staff welcome me and I am ushered to a seat and encouraged to sip on freshly pressed juice whilst savouring gourmet hors d'oeuvres throughout the entire check in process. I have only just stepped foot inside and already I feel as if I am being treated like royalty. My luggage is kindly brought up to my room and the rooms do not disappoint. 

The Island Lodge

Eight Mekong River View rooms are perfectly suited to accommodate couples or solo travellers. Amply sized with giant beds, custom made locally sourced furniture, whimsical mosquito nets, and handsome ensuite showers all in accents of bamboo, wood, rope, and woven straw makes it feel as if I am staying in a gorgeous and luxe Balinese bungalow. The highlight of the room? The generous private terrace with heart tugging views of the Mekong River. Sinking into the deep terrace seating and staring out onto the fishing boats as they slowly drift by, this really does feel like a true escape, and I forget that I am mere moments away from Saigon.

Four additional Garden View rooms are privately located away from the rest of the living quarters and are ideal for families or larger groups. Bathrooms come complete with lavish his and her sinks and deep stone baths accommodating for those that love to soak their stresses away, or who have children that need bathing. Cots are also available upon request. 

The Island Lodge

A personalized note on my bed has me beaming as I read of how The Island Lodge is admirably adopting eco-friendly actions towards a brighter future for our planet. 100% pure and natural toiletry products are provided in refillable handmade earthenware pots to help reduce the use of single use plastics, and two glass bottles of purified water are refilled daily in an effort to do the least possible damage to the environment. Mini Bar fridges have been skipped entirely to greatly reduce energy waste, and even the coffee pods provided in each room are 100% compostable.

Get the Blood Pumping and Experience the Real Mekong Delta

After a deep and heavenly sleep, wake up bright and early and start your day off right with Muscular Awakening along the Mekong River. A 6:30 am call time is usually a big ‘NO’ for me, but as soon as I exit my room I have no regrets. The sky is an exquisite mix of pale French blue and creamy peach, and the central garden of densely packed coconut trees and frangipanis makes my senses sing. This is going to be a good day.

I am greeted at the edge of the quiet river by my local instructor Miss Ly, a bright and bubbly beauty who instantly energizes me with her effervescent attitude. An hour of simple stretches, light cardio, core training, and breathing exercises gets the blood pumping and gives me the tenacity to face the rest of the day’s exciting adventures. Miss Ly is very responsive and is happy to amp things up or tone things down in terms of intensity and makes sure to enforce the necessary time out to admire the captivating sunrise and sneak in a few cheeky holiday snaps.

The Island Lodge also offers a list of incredible bicycle tours that are not to be missed. For me, these tours are the main drawcard of the lodge and truly provide an immersive, ‘off the beaten track’, authentic local experience of real Mekong Delta living. Choose your style of bike, Classic, Mountain Bike, or Electric, and take a scenic boat ride down the Mekong River to Ben Tre province. From here follow your friendly tour guide and sit down to a Vietnamese breakfast in a bustling street market, visit a fish farm and learn of the laborious 2 year process from sociable and talkative local farmers, or visit a cacao farm and dive deep into the familiar and intoxicating aromas of coco as you follow the entire process from cultivation, harvesting, fermentation, and drying.

The Island Lodge

Ben Tre province is also known as the ‘Coconut Kingdom’ and a memorable bicycle ride to one of the local coconut farms has me literally dodging low hanging pomelo fruits and overgrown tree branches. The wildness of it all, the narrow unbeaten paths, the laughter that ensues from riding through nature’s untamed obstacle course, this is exactly the kind of invigorating experience that my soul has been pining for, these are the memories that I will remember and laugh about decades from now, this is an adventure that is so unique from other destinations I have visited and stayed at.

I have fallen in love with Vietnam all over again.

East Meets West at the Culinary Table

Michel and Francoise, a delightful French couple with a reserved demeanour and an infectious passion for laughter, opened The Island Lodge five years ago. Decades ago Michel’s grandparents were in fact based in Ha Long for work, and his own father was born right here in Vietnam. Having grown up in Alsace himself, Michel recalls fond memories of his grandmother teaching his mother the secrets to making the perfect Pho and demonstrations of how to correctly use chopsticks.

The Island Lodge

This colourful family heritage is particularly evident at Le Comptoir de Marthe et Edouard, a brasserie style restaurant affectionately named after Michel’s grandparents. Here, local chefs provide an extensive menu of authentic French and Vietnamese signatures to please any palate, any time of day. 

For breakfast guests are generously offered an all you can eat a-la-carte menu. Start your day with a local specialty, Hu Tieu from My Tho, a flavoursome noodle soup generously filled with thin rice noodles, slivers of pork, and juicy prawns, or a hot toasted Croque Monsieur alongside a basket of French breads, pastries, and jams all expertly made in-house, and an assortment of vibrant tropical Vietnamese fruits.

From the lunch and dinner menu my personal favourite is the Avocado Tartare with Crab Meat, which is all at once fresh, bright, creamy, and light. The delicate richness of the avocado and quail egg compliments the dominant sweet crab meat that has me reminiscing of the abundant seafood markets and summertime in Lyon. The signature Quiche Lorraine comes highly recommended and indeed hits the spot. The large slice is thin and served hot, but don’t let it’s simple appearance fool you, the lashings of melted French cheese and rich buttery handmade tart pastry makes this dish definitely ‘good for the soul’. Fully live out the summer holiday vibes and sip on French rosé or order a refreshing ice cold glass of Apple and Ginger Organic Craft Cider proudly made in Saigon. 

The Island Lodge

I wander around the restaurant space and find precious vintage photographs of the Scour family from 1937 swimming in Ha Long Bay, as well as framed passports and educational transcripts that date back to 1949. Michel’s adoration of his family and love for his heritage rings clear and The Island Lodge is a celebration of everything French and Vietnamese.

Relax, Recharge, Rejuvenate

For a lodge that houses only 12 rooms, the grounds are truly expansive. The enormous residence and limited occupancy means that my every need and want is well attended to and my stay feels incredibly exclusive. This getaway has been a great way for me to switch off from my everyday city life and the perfect opportunity to slow down and focus on me. In this fast paced digital age it is so important to take the time out to reset your frame of mind, away from the pressures of work and deadlines.

If you’re not so actively inclined, then there really is no need to leave the lodge grounds at all. Everything you need is right here. The Island Lodge Spa is ready to knead and stretch out every knot you may have, and if your reflection in the mirror is looking rather dull of late, the expert therapists will leave you glowing and quenched with all natural pure cosmetics in uplifting exotic aromas of cinnamon and star anise. 

The Island Lodge

In the centre of the lush gardens sits Le 10° 19′ 44”, a tropical bar that focuses on Michel’s other passion… rhum. I saunter over post massage, past the regal koi fish pond and towards the enchanting hut that sits centre stage. During Happy Hour the bar offers a Buy-1-get-1 deal that is too good to resist. The Ti Punch in particular, regarded as the national drink of Martinique (of which Michel’s partner Francoise calls home), is an addictive mix of Martinique Rhum, sugarcane syrup, and lime juice that is dangerously easy to down and will have you licking your licks whilst fast ordering the next round.

My favourite area of the lodge? The grand infinity pool with ample sunbed seating is the perfect spot to laze the day away with a good book, but is best savoured during my favourite time of day… sunset. After an eventful day full of physical activity and local adventures I dip myself into the gorgeous pool, look out onto the Mekong River and exhale. The Island Lodge offers total serenity, with only the trill of cicadas and the chirping of swallows floating into twilight. The clear evening sky is an alluring dance of mauve and fairy floss pink that darkens into tones of aubergine as night falls. I have never seen a sunset quite like this in Vietnam. It takes my breath away and I will remember this moment forever.

The Island Lodge

Despite the gorgeous well appointed rooms, the divine menu of French and Vietnamese delights, the spectacular vantage of Mekong River, and offshore adventures into local villages, the greatest feature of The Island Lodge for me is the staff. All locally appointed, the service at The Island Lodge is faultless, quiet spoken, happy, and genuine. I can sense that the staff at The Island Lodge are all happy to be working there, from the receptionist who gladly shows me around the grounds as we talk of his past travels to Australia, to the personable massage therapist who politely enquires of how I find living in Saigon, the yoga instructor who loves to talk of her passion for photography, and the energetic gardener who remembers my name and is eager to strike up conversation every morning, The Island Lodge holds many charms. Charms that will surely have me coming back. Charms that make me fall in love with Vietnam all over again.

The Island Lodge

390 Thoi Binh Hamlet, Thoi Son Village, My Tho City, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam
For reservations, email The Island Lodge directly:
reservation@theislandlodge.com.vn
The Island Lodge offers guests a Privilege Transport service. A private, no-fuss, safe, door-to-door transport option with wi-fi. 7, 16, and 29 seater options will have you and your group travelling comfortably and in style straight to the lush grounds of The Island Lodge. The Privilege Transport service is available for guests anywhere within the Mekong Delta area and covers as far north as Da Lat. Contact The Island Lodge for further information: contact@theislandlodge.com.vn

Image source: The Island Lodge


Vietnam’s New Position in Affordable Hospitality

By: City Pass Guide

Vietnam really is an astonishing country, its people are resilient, cheerful and welcoming. When you consider that they have spent a millennium defending themselves from various incursions, it is remarkable that they are so accepting of foreigners. The giant neighbour is something of an elephant in the room, but that apart, they welcome strangers here more so than most countries. They remain industrious, peace-loving and one of the most driven people we have met. They are also quick to forgive and forget as the many American’s living happily here will bear testimony.

Growth and More Growth

A 2006 study by Agence France-Presse, the third largest news agency in the world, placed them as the happiest race on the planet. By 2016 they have become even more satisfied as the country enjoys a growth of GDP in excess of 6.5%. Their excellent work ethic coupled with good planning has them performing better than any of their Southeast Asian neighbours, who are achieving about 4.4% growth. The future looks good as well, with the World Bank, last year, saying that these factors have meant a developing confidence which will hold them in good stead for the mid term.

Photo by: Bear Beer Photography

Country Director for Vietnam for the Global Bank recently said, “This is a good time to solidify macroeconomic stability and rebuild policy buffers, including through decisive efforts to rein in fiscal imbalances and tackle remaining vulnerabilities in the banking sector.” The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) has also been improved by a raft of recent trade deals, adding further to the improvement of Vietnam’s standing among ASEAN countries. Turnover in total exports was up 9.2% over this period due mainly to a large increase in mobile phones, electronic equipment and computers.

TPP and Lifted Bans

Further good news comes in the form of the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement: analysts are stating that Vietnam will be the biggest beneficiary of the 13 nations involved. The signatories of the TPP account for 40% of global GDP and Vietnam could see theirs increase by as much as 8%. At the same time it is expected to add 17% to real exports and 12% to its capital stock. The ASEAN group is looking healthy from Vietnam’s point of view as the association is now the country’s third largest export market following USA and Europe.

Photo by: UN ISDR

There have been significant changes in foreign ownership and share trading recently. This will stimulate growth and investment, and reduce sectors where foreign investment was banned from 51 to only 6. This, in addition to the abolition of the 49% cap on foreign ownership of shares on the stock exchange, will now allow foreign investors to fully acquire listed companies, excluding, of course, the banking sector.

A New Class of Travellers

Vietnam’s affordable hospitality sector is set to take off with news that low cost carrier, Vietjet has just added two new routes. They now have connected Ho Chi Minh City with the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Tainan City in Taiwan. More routes are planned as well.

Photo by: DAIHYUN JI

Millennials are being seen as a new class of traveller. The Vietnamese are prudent by nature, meaning that the cheaper hotel accommodation sector is likely to find a new home in the country. The new brand of cheap hotels offer good Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning that young business people are taking advantage of a good deal as well as the more expected backpacker crowd. The Malaysian experience bears this out with the mid-priced hotel brand “Vivid”, set to open in Georgetown by 2018. Penang is predicted to enjoy something of a renaissance in the M.I.C.E. business with the addition of two new convention centres.

Photo by: Ronald Tagra

Malaysia’s MM2H visa is valid initially for a period of ten years, depending on the validity of the applicant’s passport, and is also renewable. Penang is now seen as an exciting potential growth area for Vanguard Hotels. Together with other on-going projects in Kuala Lumpur, this adds up to US$40 million worth of investment in Malaysia for the Vanguard Group. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recently released a new consumer research report which they called “Stepping Out of the Crowd: Where the Next Generation of Young Asian Travellers is Heading, and How to Win a Place on Their Travel Itinerary”. This examines travel trends of young Asians and explains how secondary destinations and further attractions will benefit from the rise in outbound travel from Asia.

It looks highly likely that the $60-80 hotels will be seen as sensible choices for travellers in Asia. Vietnam looks to be a prominent player in the new market of affordable hospitality in Asia.


Top 7 Honeymoon Spots in Vietnam

By: Aleksandr Smechov

We list the best of the best for honeymoon destinations in Vietnam. Any of the luxury resorts below are also great to celebrate wedding anniversaries or vow renewals.

The term “honeymoon” sprouted sometime in the 1500s, and meant the wavering affection (honey) of a married couple was analogous to the periodic phases of the moon. Later, the term came to mean the span of time after the wedding signifying the “indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newlywed couple.” Again, the moon referred to the marriage’s predilection to be “no sooner full than it begins to wane.”

Etymologically a half bittersweet, half cynical term, the word grew into its more optimistic counterpart during the Belle Epoque, the 40-year period in European history characterized by the burst of artistic endeavors, scientific discoveries and new technology.

The modern interpretation has come to mean plunking down serious cash for an exotic heaven-on-earth where you’re treated like Saudi royalty. So why not choose the best of the best, in one of most affordable honeymoon destinations on earth? Vietnam’s rich flora, kind smiles and great food make it a great choice to spend the sweetest epoch of your marriage.

Ana Mandara Dalat Honeymoon

Who is it for: The older couple; fans of woodland solitude and cool weather

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: This is as authentic as it gets in Dalat. While the city has its fair share of kitsch (eerie swan paddle boats, anyone?),  Ana Mandara has managed to hold on with dear life to the most romantic aspects of the 1930s, when weary French officials retreated to the pine-covered highlands for some seriously meditative R&R.

Since these were personal villas, each room has its own unique furniture setup, layout and ambiance. The wooden floors, antiquated furniture and canopied beds makes your dwelling feel like a secret forest cabin you and your lover are using to escape from the tumultuous world outside. Except instead of broken plumbing and wild animals you get a heated pool, clawfoot bathtub, rain shower and panoramic views of a colorful Franco-Vietnamese city.

How long should I stay: Three days and two nights should be enough time to explore the grounds and try the excellent breakfast buffet, get a massage at La Cochinchine spa, and head down and explore the city center.

Offers: Being the city of fatalistic lovers (most of Dalat’s lore ends in a Romeo and Juliet scenario), much of Dalat is geared towards honeymooners. Ana Mandara is no exception, and offers a really well put together package that includes one night in a Villa Room, daily breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, a city tour by vintage car, a candle-lit dinner, an hour long body massage and further discounts for just VND 3.9 million per person. Not bad at all. City Pass also offers a 30% off voucher.

Six Senses Con Dao Honeymoon

Who is it for: Anyone who can afford it

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: This is Brad and Angelina’s turf (well… they stayed there once in 2011, but it was big news in the tabloids). It’s a 45-minute flight by charter flight that takes you directly from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao Island, where a Mercedes van picks you up and drops you off at Six Senses.

You are taken to what might arguably be one of the best beaches in Vietnam. The sand is flat, firm and stretches out for a few kilometers. The water is beautiful and snorkel-worthy. The private villas all come with an infinity pool and butler. Movies are projected nightly in the open air, the F&B is excellent and the service is meticulously geared towards pleasing literally every need. Understandable considering you’re paying around VND 12 million per room. But for that you get stuff like a pre-check-in checklist offering anything you might need on the house, from razors to nail clippers to scented pillows to snorkeling gear, and even the type of music you want playing upon entering your private villa for the first time.

The island is nice, and you can visit a prison (not very romantic but fascinating nonetheless), snorkel or dive in the clear waters (this is Vietnam’s best diving spot), hike for hours at a national park, or rent a catamaran and languidly paddle about the sea. But keep in mind shis is the kind of place where you indulge in the ambiance of the resort, have fun with your large bed and politely ask your smiling butler to get you those nail clippers.

How long should you stay: you’re spending a few hundred just on the charter flight there, so might as well stay three or four nights before you head back. This is a premier honeymoon destination – you’re going to want to stay as much as you can reasonably afford.

Offers: While there are no honeymooner-centric packages, they do offer discounts ranging from 10% to 28% for early, non-flexible and extended stays.

Princess D'Annam Honeymoon

Who is it for: Honeymooners with kids; boutique hotel lovers

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: Not too far from Phan Thiet, Princess is a 3-5 hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, making it the closest beachfront resort on the list. The hotel is sleek, private and remote. You get your own villa, 24-hour service and some pretty sites: the East Sea, canyons, dunes and a nearby village where you can get some local fruit and coffee for cheap.

Princess has an excellent kids club, and provides adults some decent entertainment like cooking classes, football, fishing, karaoke, surfing and other fun diversions. If you’re tugging along some little ones for the “familymoon,” Princess is probably the best option on the list. And it’s on the lower end of the luxury price spectrum (around VND 5 million for a private villa at a luxury boutique resort reasonable).

How long should you stay: Three to four nights should do it. It’s a small, relatively secluded area, so you might want to make some taxi trips to Phan Thiet to check out the city, or just explore the surrounding area. The resort is very well-constructed, well-maintained and quite beautiful overall, and should do well if you only stay there the entire time.

Offers: Citypass offers a 25% off voucher.

Bassac Cruises Honeymoon

Who is it for: The older couple; river cruise lovers

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: You don’t typically imagine barges floating along rural Vietnam as romantic. Bassac turns the notion on its head. You get on one of three fully-equipped boats constructed in the style of a traditional rice barge, traveling overnight from Can Tho to Cai Be. And when we say fully equipped, we mean it. Soundproofed cabins for lengthy “bed testing,” AC, hot and cold water, three inclusive meals with superb food and knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions about the Mekong Delta or Vietnam. It’s quite pampering for such a rustic context, but not distastefully extravagant. Costly, but well worth it.

The project is headed by French engineer Benoit, whose meticulous attention to details is unprecedented. Every aspect of the boat is made to take you away from daily stress and place you in a serene, culturally-conscious environment. You float by rice fields, sugar canes, a floating market, and the Delta’s various flora. You see the difficult life of farmers and reconsider your own situation. It’s quite eye-opening. And it’s quite romantic.

How long should you stay: The set overnight itinerary should be enough time to experience riverfront life in the Mekong, and indulge in the barge’s services.

Offers: City Pass offers a 15% off voucher.

Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang

Who is it for: Beachfront lovers; couples who want to be close to the action

Why it’s an ideal spot for a honeymoon, a wedding anniversary or a vow renowal trip: Don’t confuse this one for Ana Mandara Dalat mentioned earlier – it’s quite different in style. This one is for the beach lovers who don’t want to stray too far from the busiest coastal city in Vietnam. It’s also the only resort actually situated on the beach in Nha Trang, instead of sitting across the road.

It’s a great hideaway, despite its proximity to the city. The noise levels are sufficiently low, and the gardens, the dedicated beachfront and the sleek pools all magnify the serenity. Ana also features one of the best breakfasts you’ll find in the region. If you’re the fancy-dinner-by-the-pier type, the resort can set up a table at the end of long wooden pier, which is quite nice when the starts begin to show face.

On a side note, the resort is managed by Six Senses, known for their world-class spa facilities. Do yourself a favor and visit the spa if you’re staying here.

How long should you stay: Two or three nights should be sufficient if you’re just there for the resort. If you want to explore Nha Trang – and the city has a good deal of landmarks and restaurants to discover – you may want to opt for up to a week. With a voucher or 3rd party site, you can get each night for under VND 5 million for lower end rooms and around twice that for more luxurious options.

Offers: The Six Senses website is featuring a honeymoon package for three nights that includes airport transfer, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate and tea, fresh fruit on arrival, and a departure gift. You also get your room set-up for the honeymoon, a sunset cruise for two complete with champagne on the deck, a 50-minute massage in a couple room, and a three course dinner on the beach, with the option to create your own signature menu. City Pass also offers a 30% off voucher.

The Nam Hai Honeymoon

Who is it for: Luxury-minded older crowd not into loud partying, but still looking for something sleek and sexy to slip into

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: The Nam Hai has five bubbles on TripAdvisor. And that’s with over 1,200 reviews. It’s difficult not to rehash what’s already been said. But based on our time there, here’s a few relatively objective observations: the rooms are very well decorated. Sleek, sensual and with a nice view of the beach meters away. Lounging by the pools is idyllic, and the beach sand is spotless. It is easily one of the best hotel in Vietnam.

Service in general is top class, as is the steep price (US$ 500 and up). Every private villa gets a butler who obliges your every whim. Little details like staff using electric buggies and bicycles to lessen the noise and pollution of the resort push The Nam Hai over the edge and into veritable 5-star territory. They’re genuinely inclined to give you a world-class treatment.

On a side note, the resort is close to Hoi An, a quaint city that’s quite romantic. It’s 15 minutes by car and worth a stroll through.

How long should you stay: At least two nights. If you can expend for more, go for it. Two nights to a week is best.

Offers: They have a Romance in Style package running until the end of 2015. It includes airport transfer, a welcome bottle of champagne, a private BBQ dinner, a love bath ceremony and special honeymoon amenities and souvenir. City Pass also offers a 15% off voucher.

An Lam Saigon River

Who is it for: jungle paradise lovers; riverside enthusiasts

Why it’s an ideal honeymoon spot: There’s nothing quite like it in Vietnam. A boutique resort with only 19 villas, An Lam Saigon River is only a few years old, but it’s already butting heads against superstars like The Nam Hai and Six Senses.

You begin with a 20-minute boat ride along the Saigon River. It’s pretty unassuming until you approach the smiling staff greeting you with welcome drinks along a remote, jungle-like pier. Palms, bamboo and other tropical flora grow naturally around the grounds. The resort itself is small, but the owner, a polymath of sorts, single-handedly designed the 19 unique villas himself, which are worlds of their own.

Each villa is a fusion of the best elements taken from luxury coastal hotels, a sort of beautiful hodgepodge that works synergistically to literally uplift you as you walk into the room. Each room, despite being wholly different from the next, is arranged to produce a seamless flow, an organic feel that meshes with the wilderness outside. It’s modish, it’s wild and it’s romantic, no matter what villa you stay in.

How long should you stay: Two nights minimum are a must. A day lounging around your room, the pool, the restaurant or anywhere else on the grounds is a wholly different experience than any hotel in the country can provide.

Offers: There are no offers at present.

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Mercure debuts in Hai Phong, Largest Port in Northeastern Vietnam

By: City Pass Guide

Mercure Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of its first midscale property housed in a 28-storey mixed-use development in northeastern Vietnam. Located in the central business district, Mercure Hai Phong is the tallest building in the city and is located within SHP Plaza shopping centre.

Mercure Hai Phong

Ideal for both short-term and long-term stays, Mercure Hai Phong boasts 176 spacious guest rooms and suites as well as 57 one to three-bedroom serviced apartments perfect for short term and long term stays. ItsDeluxe Suite features a separate living room while the Presidential Suite offers a panoramic view of the city.

“Whether in the heart of a bustling city or nestled amidst tranquil mountain scenery, Mercure offers unforgettable stays and authentic experiences. The opening of Mercure Hai Phong offers guests a great city centre location where they can explore nearby attractions, including Lach Tray football stadium and Lach Tray Street and enjoy a range of street food options to live like a local”, said Mr. Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Mercure Hai Phong

Dining options include two restaurants and three bars. The all-day dining Flame Grill & Bar, located on the 6th floor of the hotel, serves the best of international and local flavours with à la carte and buffet menu choices, while Cuppa Café offers a selection of special coffee and tea brews with daily fresh bakes. The first roof bar in the city that overlooks the skyline of Hai Phong on the 28th floor, Cloud28 Sky Bar & Lounge offers a range of special signature cocktail concoctions, wines, mocktails and light snacks. Guests staying on the 25th to 27th floors of the hotel can enjoy breakfast, evening cocktails and complimentary access to the meeting rooms at the Privilege Lounge.

For pampering massages and facials to rejuvenate the body and soul, Bloom Spa offers a range of signature herbal bath and aromatherapy treatments. Other leisure facilities include a 24-hour gym and an outdoor infinity pool. For meetings, events and weddings, the hotel boasts six meeting rooms all equipped with modern technology, including the city’s largest grand ballroom that can cater for up to 380guests.

“We are excited to the first midscale hotel in Hai Phong. Travellers coming to the city can take part in the festivities that take place all year round or climb the rocks and visit the caves and grottoes of Cat Ba and Voi Mountain”, said Mr. Marcus Wirsching, General Manager of Mercure Hai Phong.

With over 790 hotels located in 63 countries, each Mercure offers its own style and personality with a classical modern twist and contemporary design decor that creates an authentic and inspiring experience. Whether by the sea, in the city or up in the mountains, each stay at a Mercure hotel is a new experience whether it’s in Indonesia, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria or France.

Enjoy a Superior Room stay at VND 2,290,000++ with breakfast for one from 8 November to 8 December, 2018. Accor Plus members enjoy a rate of VND 1,504,800++ per night for a Superior Room.

For reservations, please email H9183@accor.com, call +84 225 3 240 999 or visit www.mercurehaiphong.com or www.accorhotels.com for more information.

With Mercure, AccorHotels offers hotels that are all different and locally inspired.

Mercure is the only mid-scale hotel brand that combines the strength of an international network with a strong quality commitment and the warm experience of hotels that are rooted in their local community. Mercure hotels are managed by enthusiastic hoteliers and welcome business and leisure travelers across the world. Mercure has over 790 hotels in 63 countries. They are ideally located in city centres, by the sea or in the mountains.

AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.

Image source: Mercure Hotels & Resorts


Victory Road Villas: Luxury, History & Serenity in Quang Binh

By: City Pass Guide

Welcome to Victory Road Villas

A historical region

Unique accommodation

Located in Phong Nha Village, overlooking the peaceful “Song Son” river, and close to the gateway for exploring Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Victory Road Villas Resort is perfectly situated for exploring the timeless charm of Quang Binh Province. A small but luxurious retreat in rural Vietnam, where staff pride themselves on providing exceptional facilities and service, Victory Road Villas is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. 

Victory Road Villas

Fusing contemporary, western elegance with localtraditions, Victory Road Villas is a boutique residence that embraces both Annamese and Tonkinese architectural styles. The combination brings an artistic, luxurious atmosphere to your visit . Surrounded by a ruralvillage and the jungle-clad karst mountains famous to this part of Asia, Victory Road Villas’ unique villas are rooted in Indochina’s culture and traditions, whilst offering the best in modern service, amenities and luxury.

The surrounding area is steeped in natural beauty and history. Victory Road (“Duong Quyet Thang”) is the name given to Highway 20 by the localpeople of Phong Nha. Part of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail, Victory Road was used by the North Vietnamese Army(NVA) to provide supplies for the war efforts in the south between 1967 and 1975. Trucks crossed the Son River (“Pha Xuan Son”) in Phong Nha village, bringing personnel and equipment through from Hai Phong Harbour, near Ha Long Bay. The supplies were used to support the war efforts in the south, where the NVA were trying to help the Viet Cong guerillas liberate that part of the country from the SouthVietnam Government, South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) and their foreign supporters. Located on Victory Road, just 400m from the historic ferry crossing, VictoryRoad Villas are well placed to support a few days exploring this fascinating area. 

Victory Road Villas

After exploring, relaxing back at Victory Road Villas is next on the list of priorities. The Victory and Family villas of 95 and 100 square meters are located around the swimming pool, each with a private entrance leading into the villa’s lounge area and kitchen. Inside, guests are provided with a spacious bedroom with a king size bed, walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite bathroom. The Villas also come equipped with a courtyard and outdoor bathtub to enhance the sense of being back in a natural environment, and each bedroom connects to a beautiful terrace overlooking the village, pool and garden, the perfect location to relax and unwind with a coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine at sunset!

Victory Road Villas

Perfect for couples, but also capable of accommodating families and additional guests on a sleeper couch in the lounge area, Victory and Family villas are the perfect choice for a getaway.

If you are looking to take a break with a larger group, the 3 bedroom River View Penthouse offers sweeping views of the “Song Son” river and the local village from the balcony and from the private Jacuzzi. At 180m² the Penthouse is ideal for those looking for privacy and space on their vacation. Guests in the Penthouse can enjoy the large double height living room and open plan kitchen and air conditioned indoor lounge area with a large television on the upper level and a large balcony overlooking the river. From the Kitchen, step onto the balcony that overlooks our private garden and swimming pool view allows the guest to appreciate the views in all directions. 

Victory Road Villas

Each of the 3 large private bedrooms has a king size bed and an en-suite bathroom with a walk in rain shower and the spectacular family size jacuzzi that boasts glass walls and a view to the Son river with the mountains behind is sure to make your stay a memorable one!

Victory Road Villas

At The Villa Restaurant, a small, but delicious menu allows us to offer you our very best while, still catering for everything from tasty snacks to a great dining menu for you and your friends. With an emphasis on casual friendly service The Villa Restaurant is the perfect spot to relax, treat yourself and enjoy the Phong Nha views.

Victory Road Villas are located 45 kilometers from the transport hub of Dong Hoi. It will take around 50minutes to reach Phong Nha from Dong Hoi airport or train station. Transportation by car from Hue, Danang, Hoi An is also available. Our reception team are always happy to help plan transfers to the villas and are also very experienced in arranging excursions to the surrounding caves and jungle. If you are unsure what to do when you visit Victory Road Villas, our staff can help with trip planning, motorbike/motorcycle rental, spa services, restaurants booking, taxi services.

For all quotations & booking enquiries, please contact us on info@victoryroadvillas.com or on our hotline 0886 199 599

Image source: Victory Road Villas

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