Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu Quoc

By: Angee the Diva

Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam has long been a romantic destination for couples or a relaxing retreat for people wishing to get away from the chaos of the big city. However, with the increase in flights to the island, new hotels and more investment in infrastructure, Phu Quoc is quickly becoming a coveted destination for family friendly travel as well.

When looking for the best hotel for families in Phu Quoc, you need to consider a number of factors, including comfortable and spacious accommodation, activities for kids and adults, appropriate food options for all ages, and a welcoming staff. With all this in mind, we outline our picks for the best family friendly hotels and resorts in Phu Quoc.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: phuquoctravel.info

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Đường Bào, Phú Quốc; +84 93 292 9496

For those looking to have a fun and carefree family friendly holiday in Phu Quoc, head to the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc. Whether you decide to stay in the resort’s comfortable suites or the expansive villas, a full range of amenities for adults and children, a fantastic beach location and stellar views await.

The Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is a wonderland for kids. What family friendly holiday is complete a swim in the sunshine? The resort has two shallow kids pools, a lovely regular swimming pool, and a wonderful, meandering lagoon pool (the longest in Vietnam) that traverses the length of the property. Take a lazy ride on one of their complimentary floaties and soak in the sun and water.

When seeking a more active time for young family members, perhaps the kids would like to spend the afternoon running around their outdoor playground. You can also take the children to the beach for a fun day of swimming, kayaking, and boogie boarding.

When parents need a getaway, send the kids to the resort’s colourful Nemo Kids’ Club with friendly staff on hand, while the parents enjoy a visit to the spa or the CView Sky Bar. These spaces are just for adults, so parents get a chance to relax while the youngsters are having their fun.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

For all the family together, parents can sip on a cocktail in the swim-up bar at the Oasis Pool Bar while the young ones splash in the adjacent children’s swimming pool. Have a delicious meal at the same venue before or after your dip in the water. There’s really something for everyone to have a brilliant family vacation at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc.

Most Unique Feature: The resort has a “Kids Stay Free” policy. Up to two children (under 16) can stay for free in the room with their parents, when using the existing bedding. They also get to have breakfast for free daily. This can really help families maximize the value of their holiday.

Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

Bãi Trường, Phú Quốc ; +84 297 397 8888

For luxury travelers with kids in tow, Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is a no-brainer. The property is set on a beautiful stretch of white sandy Long Beach about 15 minutes from Phu Quoc’s central area. As per Intercontinental’s high standards, they have pulled out all the stops to ensure everyone in the family has a great stay.

Kids can spend hours in the massive kids’ room, complete with books, computers, toys, and a caring staff who are ready to play with your little ones. There are planned activities for tots to teens from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

Right next to the kids’ room is a fanciful pool with a waterslide and water play structure. Parents can also take a break in the comfortable loungers while keeping a watchful eye on their young ones in the shallow kids’ pool.

Take a moment to explore the family friendly aspects of the property with the complimentary bikes in a range of sizes for the entire family. Be sure to head down to the beach and take advantage of snorkeling, boogie boards, and kayaks free of charge. Or perhaps burn up some energy with a game of beach volleyball or football. A stay at the Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long can surely be action packed or totally relaxed for the whole family.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

Most Unique Feature: The Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort has a movie theatre that is free of charge for all guests. The movies vary from kid-friendly animation to blockbuster hits, so this is a great place to entertain older kids and teens as well.

Mango Bay Resort

Cửa Dương, Phú Quốc; +84 297 398 1693

If your idea of a family friendly holiday is a bit more rustic, natural and unplugged, then Mango Bay Resort Phu Quoc is a great choice. The bungalows and villas are seamlessly placed into the natural landscape of the area, making it feel almost like luxury camping.

The focal point of Mango Bay Resort Phu Quoc is definitely the beautiful beachfront at Ong Lang Beach. Families can enjoy activities like badminton, volleyball, beach ball, cricket, kite flying, and sand castle building - all free of charge. For a fee, snorkeling the protected reef, kayaking, and canoeing are also available. Be sure to take note of the conservation efforts of the resort to preserve the reef for future visits.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: Mango Bay Resort

Most Unique Feature: The beach bar is the ultimate casual spot for families who don’t want to worry about their children being “seen but not heard”. Parents can lounge on the beach deck while children are fully visible as they play in the volleyball court or on the sand. There is also a good selection of board games available for older kids and parents to partake in together.

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc - MGallery by Sofitel

Trần Hưng Đạo Street, Phú Quốc; +84 297 398 2988

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc is a beautiful boutique resort in the epicentre of Phu Quoc’s Duong Dong Town. Though the resort wraps guests in pure elegance, it’s still a great place for family friendly travelers. The rooms are comfortable and spacious enough for families, and there are a host of activities on the property to enjoy.

Older kids will enjoy table tennis in the game room as well as kayaking and body boarding on the beach. Children of all ages can spend time in the kids’ room with a selection of lego and games, plus they can enjoy playing field games like giant checkers and tic-tac-toe on the grass.

The pool is a fantastic lounging area for the whole family. You can even have an epic game of hide and seek while meandering through the garden pathways that traverse the property.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc

Most Unique Feature: The staff at La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc take care of guests of all ages equally. Kids will find just-right-size slippers and robes in the rooms. At night, watch their little eyes sparkle when they find monogrammed cookies and milk before bed. It’s the little touches that will make all members of the family feel special.

Fusion Resort

Hamlet 4, Vũng Bầu Beach, Cửa Cạn, Phú Quốc; +84 297 369 0000

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is a private and personal wellness oasis on the northern coast of Phu Quoc Island. With top notch service and a beautifully appointed property, families on holiday can release all of their worries and cares.

The hub of your family friendly holiday in Phu Quoc is your choice of expansive villas separated by high walls throughout the property. Though there are 130 villas, the property never feels overcrowded. Guests have the option of villas (from one to five bedrooms) with all of the amenities of home, each complete with comfortable beds, lounge areas and a private pool. And with Fusion Resort’s “Breakfast Anytime, Anywhere” policy, families can have their meals served in the villa, at the main pool, or just about anywhere else they fancy.

Guests can explore and travel from villa to venues in the property by cart service provided by the resort. Families should be sure to visit the Kids’ Room, which is unique in that activities are both scheduled and on demand. The room is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, however parents can request for children to stay longer or hire a babysitter for extra time away from the little ones.

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc has plenty of options for older kids too, like complimentary beach volleyball and river kayaking with a guide. Guests can also borrow a bike free of charge to explore the private bicycle trail down the beach and through the jungle, also with a guide if required.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: Fusion Resort

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc definitely hasn’t forgotten about the parents either. Included in each booking, guests receive complimentary luxury spa services for each night’s stay per person. Parents can rest assured that their children are well taken care of in the Kid’s Room while they take a break to recharge with one of over 30 treatments at the spa.

Most Unique Feature: Upon check in, each booking is assigned a Fusionista - a private butler, concierge, and human Google all in one. Whether you need to know where to take an excursion or where on the property to find the best sunset view, your personal Fusionista is just a call or message away. Fusionistas are available 24 hours a day via your choice of message service and speak any language you are comfortable with.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

An Thới Town, Phú Quốc; +84 297 377 9999

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is a fantastical village set on the south side of Phu Quoc Island. Designed to resemble an 1890s French University, the theme is maintained throughout each of the 234 uniquely decorated rooms and suites. And for families, it is a playland!

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Across the sprawling JW Marriott Phu Quoc Resort, families can take a dip in one of the three swimming pools or play on the pristine white sand beach. Young guests will enjoy spending time in the expansive kids’ room with ball pit, reading nooks, TV, and endless activities. Perhaps your family would like to partake in some of the fitness activities, like kayaking, biking, and snorkeling or take a run around the regulation running track. Whatever takes your fancy, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is sure to make your family friendly holiday extra special.

Most Unique Feature: Your family vacation can turn into a learning experience with the JW Marriott Phu Quoc’s Flora and Fauna Tour. Learn something new and interesting about endemic and introduced species on the island.

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island

Trần Hưng Đạo, Phú Quốc; +84 297 399 0011

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island is another top contender for luxury family-friendly travel. The suites and villas are spacious and comfortable for families. All rooms have the option of two double beds or a massive king-size mattress for families with small children.

Don’t forget to take a dip in the pool. There’s a shallow kids’ pool for very young children and a regular one for everyone else. Beach-goers will be happy to note that the golden sands on the private beach are perfectly clean (no plastic litter here!) and the waves are low.

For the little travellers, the small kids’ club is a fun stop with art projects and age-appropriate movies. Tiny diners will enjoy the kids’ menu in all the restaurants but the real stunner is the daily buffet breakfast. Everything a child could desire: bottles of chocolate milk, freshly made crepes, waffles and pancakes, crispy bacon and juicy sausages, plus an excellent selection of healthy fresh-pressed juices and fruit platters to check the healthy-eating box that all parents attempt to fill.

Best Family Friendly Hotels & Resorts in Phu QuocImage source: Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island

Most Unique Feature: The staff at Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island will send their littlest guests to sleep with sweet dreams with huggable Salinda Phu Quoc stuffed dogs. What a nice and comforting souvenir!

Banner Image source: phuquocdaytrips.com


Vietnam’s Longest Lagoon Pool at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

By: Alex Gordillo

Read all about the beach resort’s record breaking Lagoon!

At Best Western Premier Sonasea, the entire family will be happy.

Phu Quoc, the “Pearl Island” of Vietnam, is renowned for its beautiful beaches, delicious local food options, a range of natural and manmade attractions, and easy access to major cities across Asia. Phu Quoc can now also boast many top accommodation options fitting for such an in-demand tourist destination.

Lagoon Pool at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc beach resort offers guests a complete island vacation experience for any kind of traveller - families, couples, groups of friends, and business people are all wonderfully catered for here. In addition, the resort is also home to the longest lagoon pool in Vietnam and one of the longest of its kind in Southeast Asia. The appropriately named “Sonasea” resort, which means “Sonata” or “Song of the Sea,” received Dotproperty’s nod for Best Landscape Design, demonstrating the property’s ambitious architecture and water-inspired design.

Water-inspired, Award-Winning Design in Vietnam

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc’s remarkable design mirrors the magical allure and colorful elements that are characteristic of Southeast Asian islands. Inspired by Phu Quoc’s crystal-clear blue sea, white sand, and stretches of green coconut and casuarina trees, designers were intent in emulating nature in the resort’s architectural layout, making a beautiful mosaic of various green and blue hues. The resort’s lagoon and swimming pools resemble the sea, its roads play as the beach’s white sand, and its gardens create a protective canopy of trees.

Lagoon Pool at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Overlooking the vast turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand is a private beach of white sand that offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure along with gorgeous golden sunsets. And yet, it’s The Lagoon, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc's centrepiece pool, that makes its guests marvel. The Lagoon is a destination in itself!

This lagoon-style pool flows through the resort, cascading all the way from the main building down to the beachfront and passing through a wide circular fountain as well as seven smaller landscaped circles, which mimic the archetype of Mandalas. The crystal blue lagoon waters come complete with a built-in underwater current and the whole pool measures 148 metres on each side, totaling over 300 metres in length all around. This equals over 3 Olympic-size swimming pools - more than enough to delight the resort’s guests. The Lagoon pool is truly a gorgeous way to swim, paddle, or float your way around the resort, basking in the sun or finding little pockets of cooler shade.

Lagoon Pool at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Perfect Phu Quoc Experiences For All The Family

Family travellers with younger guests will be delighted to bring their children to the kids pool, which is conveniently situated next to the children’s playground. Its location allows parents to easily supervise their young ones or drop them off at the Nemo Kids Club, which offers babysitting services and a full schedule of activities.

As guests continue down towards the beach, their path flanked by the soft currents of The Lagoon on either side, the Oasis Pool Bar awaits, offering the young (and young at heart) a fantastic opportunity to splash away in a tropical paradise. Measuring 4.7 x 15.9 metres, this pool is open from 06:00 - 20:00 and offers Aqua Dance and Aqua Gym workouts during sunset, four times a week.

Lagoon Pool at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

With little doubt, Oasis Pool Bar is Best Western Sonasea Phu Quoc’s definition of cool. As part of The Lagoon and with its delightful proximity to the sea, this venue offers the perfect mix of elegance and refreshment, offering guests a laid back place to enjoy their island vacation. The allure of Oasis Pool Bar lies in the variety of experiences offered. Whether families gather for a swim while enjoying the music and beachside scenery, or couples want to spend some alone time cooling off, the ambience at Oasis is like no other. There's no need to even exit the pool for a refreshing drink - the swim-up bar takes you straight to the barman for your choice of quality beverage.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc takes no shortcuts when it comes to its water-inspired design, represented wonderfully by the marvelous Lagoon pool - sure to enthral first-timers and repeat-guests alike.

Image source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc


Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc & Sustainable Tourism

By: Alex Gordillo

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc not only focuses on setting the standard for comfort and exceptional service, but also leads the trend for sustainable tourism.Best Western Premier Sonasea wants to be Phu Quoc’s first plastic-free resort. As The World’s Largest Hotel Chain®, with over 4,200 hotels worldwide and over 70 years in the hospitality industry, Best Western Premier takes pride in making upscale hospitality a sustainable and successful business model. With Green Hotel Design and development prototypes that use locally-sourced products in order to boost the local economy, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc seeks to be an eco-friendly and socially responsible resort.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is familiar with the challenges facing this pristine island that makes part of an ecologically diverse 28-island archipelago in Vietnam. As such, the resort has planned in advance with sustainable measures in an effort to be a leading, positive influence on the island, rather than a neutral one.

When it comes to sustainable tourism, the three main challenges facing Phu Quoc island are: leveraging green practices against the rapid growth in the tourism industry; lack of available and qualified local residents to take on jobs in the hospitality sector; and waste management throughout the island.

Aspiring to be the first plastic-free resort in Phu Quoc and the leading example of a Green Resort on the island, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc’s key areas of focus are:

1) Partnership and collaboration with local and national authorities to advance eco-tourism and environmentally conscious practices and awareness in the hospitality sector

2) Economic workforce development with an emphasis on benefits for local residents

3) Reduction and management of waste as well as reduction in the usage of valuable resources while maximizing efficiency.

Top Tourist Destination Means Increased Social Responsibility

Vietnam was named “Asia’s Leading Destination” at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Hong Kong. Furthermore, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) representatives recently participated in the 39th International Tourism Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain in January of 2019.

It’s clear that Vietnam has become internationally known as a highly desirable tourist destination. As such, a commitment to eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable tourism is paramount in Phu Quoc island’s development, as one of Vietnam’s top three tourist destinations. With an added focus on attracting tourists comes corporate and social responsibility.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is proud to partner with local and national authorities and support Kien Giang province’s eco-friendly initiatives to make Phu Quoc island the number one tourist destination in Vietnam. In 2017, local authorities opened a Waste Treatment Plant in Bai Bon. While Phu Quoc island does not yet have a recycling plant, there are plans for the construction of a new waste treatment plant in the near future. Best Western Premier Sonasea is keeping abreast of these initiatives and taking full part in them wherever possible.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc and Local Workforce Development

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc takes pride in its commitment to improving the lives of all employees and contracted workers. Whether they are local residents, from other parts of Vietnam or international staff, under the leadership of The CEO Group, this outstanding beach resort has provided work for 1,795 builders from four different construction companies (Hoa Binh, Alliance, Serifico, and Nem).

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

The hotel’s fully operational workforce will include 420 employees from over a dozen provinces across Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Danang, Vung Tau, An Giang, and of course, Kien Giang province. The international staff hails from countries such as France, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and India.

While providing desirable jobs, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc offers training for the development of local residents as well as the local business sector. With new investment comes a new network of partners, developers, and local entrepreneurs. Establishing supply chains of locally sourced products and agriculture, along with improved import and export infrastructure, helps Phu Quoc’s economy to thrive in the short-term as well as the long-term.

Employees Are Well Taken Care Of At Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc realises that employee benefits packages need to be competitive and responsive to the needs of all of its great staff. Employee Benefits include free meals and accommodation, as well as three types of insurance: social, unemployment, and health. In addition, there is personal accident insurance for all employees, plus private health insurance for those travelling overseas.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

For employees that come from other provinces in Vietnam, relocation costs are covered and the hotel also provides a return ticket as an added convenience for those visiting their families. Staff are offered bonus allowances during special events such as birthdays, weddings, and Best Employee awards, while also treating employees’ families to discounted stays and other perks.

Taking employee retention seriously, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc aims to provide working conditions that emphasise teamwork, professional development, and self-improvement. All employees receive assistance in creating their own Personal Development Career Plan which provides them with mandatory and supplementary training opportunities and incentives, along with clear paths towards promotion.

The staff’s General Training and Orientation includes 11 modules on safety, hospitality, customer service, brand awareness and plenty of hands-on technical training. With team-spirited support, the company values mean that employees are trained not just on how to deliver great service, but also the reasoning behind the methods.

Whether the focus is on how to document a guest complaint or on best practices for food hygiene, BWP Sonasea Phu Quoc believes that quality training involves analytical thinking by employees. Further, by creating mentorship opportunities within the workplace culture, a friendly working environment is created that focuses on caring family values, not just an employer-employee relationship.

Best Western Sonasea Phu Quoc Is An Eco-Friendly Beach Resort with a Proactive Approach to being Plastic-Free

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc operates under the belief that more is not necessarily better. As such, the resort’s sustainable practices send a clear message of awareness and conviction to its guests. Capital investments in the management of waste is championed through a dynamic approach in the reduction of plastic throughout the resort. An emphasis on local sourcing of ingredients and products, such as pepper, fish sauce, seaweed and bamboo, helps create a sustainable destination for both local visitors and guests from around the world.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc’s aim to maximize the comfort of guests while keeping balance with environmentally conscious practices means that its rooms are almost 100% plastic free. With the exception of water bottles and basic amenities, there is a strict policy on plastic use that is positioning this hotel to become Phu Quoc’s first 100% plastic-free resort.

Each room comes with a standard offering of two Dental Kits, a Vanity Kit, a Sanitary Bag, and the resort’s signature soap, while other plastic amenities (such as combs, shower caps, and shaving kits) are available upon request to reduce single-use waste. This sends a message to our guests that “less is more” and that the best in comfort is not about quantity but about quality. Creating awareness takes time but, by taking incremental steps to provide quality, sustainable accommodation, BWP Sonasea is clearly stating its position on the environment for all to see.

The upscale room amenities are proof that Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is focused on the details. Following a green policy for the laundering of sheets and towels, the process is done in-house with the aim to reduce emissions. In addition, all nail files are wooden, not plastic, while the exclusive soap is palm-free and cut in a traditional non-factory brick-cut. Handmade, the soap is made from locally sourced lemongrass and recycled coffee as an exfoliating feature.

Vanity Kits and all dry amenities have cardboard packaging, including soaps, toothbrushes, and earplugs. Instead of providing guests with single-use plastic bottles, resin dispensers are filled on a daily basis from large 20-litre containers that provide guests with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion.This means that Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc saves four plastic containers per room per day. At full capacity, that amounts to a saving of over 2,200 plastic bottles per day or more than 803,000 bottles per year!

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Other plastic reduction features include non-plastic ear plugs and straws - both made from locally-sourced bamboo. There are no plastic bags in the resort and it provides reusable woven beach bags to guests while the staff make use of paper bags for all operations. In addition, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc has a polystyrene-free agreement with local food delivery companies, which it is hoped that other resorts and hotels will follow, creating a positive ripple effect that will be felt across the island.

Waste Management and Reduction at Best Western Sonasea Phu Quoc

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc has regular garbage collection throughout the resort and regular sorting of aluminum cans, cardboard paper, and plastic bottles - all of which are recycled.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Food

Biowaste from food is collected in the kitchens and used for pig farming, while cooking oil is recycled and the collection of grease must be placed in grease bins. There are upcoming plans for a vegetable garden that will be used for food composting and, as and added benefit, for enhancing the ingredients available for seasonal fine-dining.

Electricity

BWP Sonasea keeps the use of electricity to as reasonable a limit as possible with energy-efficient LED light-bulbs installed throughout the resort and managed on a strict schedule. All guest rooms contain air conditioning systems which feature an automatic turn-off cooling system that turns off automatically if the balcony or a window is opened. Additionally, high quality insulation of the hot water and AC networks throughout the main building are in place in order to minimize heat loss.

Water Usage

A new sewage treatment plant was recently built with a number of chambers in the ground which will put water through a filtration system containing sand and charcoal to help filter the water to then be used for irrigation. Water regulation technology includes low-flush / high-flush options throughout the resort along with water regulators in bathtubs that reduce water usage without affecting speed or pressure for the maximum enjoyment.

Furthermore, a sprinkler system in the ground gardens as well as the balcony gardens on each floor is set to water plants at night in order to maximize water use. Finally, there is the use of recycled water, also known as “grey water”, for irrigation, gardening, and watering. Rainwater is collected from villas to enhance the resort’s irrigation system.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is proud to embrace environmentally conscious business development principles to the finest of details. This can be seen through strategic partnerships and local workforce development, the use of locally-sourced products, as well as dramatic reductions in plastic use, waste management, and resource reduction practices. All of this hard work, points clearly to Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc as an industry-leading resort in eco-friendly hospitality and sustainable tourism in Phu Quoc.

Image source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc - by Mervin Lee


A Weekend in Paradise at Novotel Phu Quoc Resort

By: Jamie

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Novotel Phu Quoc Resort for a media familiarisation, and can truly say that it was an unforgettable experience.

At the airport arrivals hall we were greeted by the Novotel shuttle bus for the 9 km journey to the resort.

Novotel Phu Quoc resort

It now being lunchtime, the group was told that we would be having lunch after a quick freshen-up. It’s the little things that make a big difference, so the complimentary fruit platter with personalised welcome message and bag with some local specialities provided a sense of personal service for such a large resort. After a quick rainfall shower and change of clothes it was time to come to grips with what else the Novotel Phu Quoc Resort had to offer.

First Culinary Impressions

Seated at a lovely pool-view table in the all-day dining restaurant, Food Exchange, it was time for the indulgence to begin. Food Exchange offers an extensive buffet selection as well as an a la carte menu. There were many stations around the restaurant serving Western, Asian and Vietnamese fare, with the famous Phu Quoc seafood featured in many of them.

Novotel Phu Quoc resort

As a seafood lover, I wasted little time in sampling some of the freshest squid, shrimp and scallops I have tasted in Vietnam. I’m not a big lunch eater, and diligently restricted myself to a frugal three plates. My favourites were the seafood curry, Hungarian potato salad, seafood pasta and the refreshing variety of salads.

Pina Coladas by the Pool

After a satisfying lunch, we were given an opportunity to relax and enjoy the resort’s facilities. First stop for me was a quick retreat to my room to get some work done. I was lucky enough to have been given a Superior Suite on the third floor. If it wasn’t for the sun shining in a cloudless-sky and the temptation of a pina colada by the pool, I think I may have not left the room for the rest of the stay.

The suite featured a separate living room, standing bathtub, rainfall shower and a double-sized balcony with spectacular views over the pool, surrounding villas and all the way to the Long Beach area. The design of the resort aims to maintain the feel of a traditional Phu Quoc fishing village, with the smallest beachfront buildings being the One Bedroom Villas with private pool that resemble traditional fishing huts. Away from the beach, the buildings become progressively larger until you reach the main building housing 366 rooms.

On my way to the beach, I passed the spa and decided to grab a nice cold drink at the beach bar to enjoy while sunbathing. There I noticed the fantastic range of homemade ice creams for only VND40,000 per scoop. Being adventurous with ice cream flavours, I tried the blackcurrant and Phu Quoc pepper. It first gave the tongue a kick of the hot pepper, then instantly soothed by the cold blackcurrant creaminess. Perched on a lounger under the merciful shade of a well-manicured palm tree, I enjoyed a few hours of swimming, relaxing and reading – an idyllic afternoon.

A Sunset to Remember

As the sun began to set, we were lured to the beach-bar area by the enchanting melody of the in-house band that performs six nights a week. We were treated to some simple yet delicious Vietnamese-inspired canapés to accompany a few glasses of wine whilst watching one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen.

Seafood Sampler

That night we would be dining al fresco at the beautiful Phu Quoc Seafood Restaurant. Sampling the island’s best catch is obligatory for any selfrespecting seafood-lover. We were each given a cold, refreshing towel scented with lemongrass and ginger, which truly awakened the senses.

For starters, we were silver-served a tangy salad followed by a smooth and creamy lobster bisque. After selecting our items from the a la carte menu, they were exquisitely presented on a haring platter. Shrimp, squid, scallops, whole crab and cobia (also known as black salmon) were all on offer, but my hands almost subconsciously reached first for the Oysters Kilpatrick, which didn’t disappoint.

A very relaxed and conversation-filled meal ensued, enjoyed at a leisurely pace with some of the group beginning to fall into a siesta in the large, comfy chairs. To round off the evening, we were served a scoop of the homemade vanilla ice cream served on a bed of honey-drizzled mango and a master-crafted sugar tuile, which again sparked the table back into conversation.

Champagne Breakfast

The following morning, we received an a la carte champagne breakfast back at the Phu Quoc Seafood Restaurant. Not being one for morning alcohol, I started the day with my routine ca phe sua da while enjoying the fresh fruit platter.

A Sunday breakfast in a 5-star hotel on Phu Quoc is always a treat and this was no different. After considering a few options, I settled for one of my favourites (which, no matter how hard I try, I have never been able to perfect at home): eggs Benedict. Being from Scotland, my preferred accompaniment would have been smoked salmon, but sadly I was informed that it was not available. An alternative offer of smoked ham turned out to be a more than suitable substitute.

As most of the group were booked on earlyafternoon return flights, the hotel organised a whistle-stop tour of Ho Quoc Pagoda and the famous Phu Quoc Market.

Massage

After two strenuous days of relaxing, sunbathing, wining and dining, it was now time to relieve those niggling aches and pains with a rejuvenating massage at the hotel spa. I decided to go for the sports massage and a facial. The massage was exactly what the doctor ordered: firm, focused and just the right amount of time spent on each area. This was my first ever facial, and I couldn’t stop laughing when the products were being applied: they felt ticklish and made me giggle like a little schoolgirl; even the therapist, Ms. Huong, had a chuckle to herself.

Some people might feel the prices here are high compared to their normal VND250,000 massage in a local Ho Chi Minh City spa, but you cannot compare hamburgers with Kobe beef. Novotel Phu Quoc Resort has searched far and wide to employ only the most highly skilled professionals. My masseur at the spa, Mr. Quy, has 15 years’ experience in the industry and was hired from Saigon. My therapist has six years’ experience and relocated from Binh Thuan. For me, anything to do with your body and well-being should focus on quality over price. I’m sure we’ve all heard about someone’s horror massage that left them walking like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

What Could be Improved

With an unobstructed view of the sky and ocean, my room enjoyed the sun non-stop from dawn till dusk. Even with the A/C on maximum setting and net curtains drawn to block direct sunlight, it felt too warm.

However, when the sun relented on the second day, so did this small issue. On the first night of our stay, the hotel was hosting four corporatefunction events entailing a gala-dinner and musical entertainment, which can be a bit noisy if you are in relaxation mode.

Contact information:

Address: Duong Bao Hamlet, Duong To Commune, Phu Quoc

Email: h9770@accor.com

Phone: +84 7 7626 0999

Website: www.novotel.com/PhuQuoc


Best Western Premier Sonasea, the Best Family Friendly Resort in Phu Quoc

By: Angee the Diva

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is a brand new resort fronting a beautiful stretch of beach in the Sonasea complex area. No matter what time of day, the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is a premier family friendly resort with a host of options for a comfortable, relaxing and fun stay on Phu Quoc Island.

Bed Time at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

One of the most unique things about a stay at the Best Western Premier Sonasea is their “Kids Stay Free” policy. In every room, up to two children under the age of 16 can stay free of charge as long as they use the existing bedding. Additionally, the children get to enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet each day during their stay. This special feature allows families to truly maximize the value of their vacation at this family friendly resort in Phu Quoc.

The entire range of accommodation at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is consistently comfortable, sleek and spacious. Featuring several classes of rooms, including suites and villas, this is an especially attractive family friendly resort. Each of the expansive and modern family suites boasts a balcony with a view of either the calming ocean or lush mountains of Phu Quoc's Western coast. Guests will enjoy a cozy night’s sleep with plush bedding in either the king or twin bed suites. All rooms are also furnished with a chaise lounge that children could comfortably use for sleeping, with extra bedding provided by the resort, if required.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

The two to five bedroom villas are like a home away from home. Sprawling across two floors, guests can enjoy space and privacy that isn’t available in a traditional hotel room. Each villa includes a full kitchen, relaxing living area and well-appointed bedrooms. In addition, all villas come with their own private pool for swimming anytime of the day or night. For longer stays and multi-family travel, the level of comfort in a villa is second to none.

The family suites and villas at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc include a kitchenette with a state-of-the-art cooking hob, microwave, and mini fridge that families can use to prepare meals. With a quick call to the operator, housekeeping will gladly bring a complete set of kitchen materials for use in the room. Please note that the use of the kitchen incurs a cleaning fee, and cooking of malodorous food (durian, seafood, etc.) is prohibited to ensure the comfort of all guests.

Family Pool Time with Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Upon walking through the double doors from the beautiful lobby, guests are dazzled by the expansive pool and glistening lagoon that traverse the length of the property. In the main pool, there is a shallow kids’ pool on the right side and a deeper pool on the left, separated by a partition. The stylish lagoon pool, which meanders down the centre of the property between the villas, is a fun and fanciful feature. Two-person floaties, giant inflatables, pool rings, and long lounge inflatables can be borrowed from the activity desk free of charge for use in any of the pools for enjoyment with all the family.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Near the end of the lagoon, parents can enjoy a drink at the Oasis Pool Bar swim-up bar while the young ones splash in the shallow kids pool nearby. Guests will relish the opportunity to capture gorgeous family photos from the picturesque walkways down the midline of the pool and lagoon.

Another incredible feature of this family friendly resort in Phu Quoc is the aqua aerobics classes for adults and kids. Why not spend some time getting fit as a family in a fun way? Families can have a blast in the pools every day from 6:00am to 8:00pm.

Beach Time for All the Family at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

The powdery sand beach fronting the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc welcomes visitors of all ages with warm waters and calm seas. Families with even the youngest of children can relish a carefree day of fun in the ocean. This proximity to the ocean is another feature that makes this hotel a great choice for a holiday with kids in Vietnam.

To promote safety, there is a roped area for swimming, life jackets are provided for adults and children, and the floaties are available for use in the ocean as well. Please note that there is no lifeguard on duty, however in the event of an emergency, the beach attendants are available to call for help.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

In fact, the delightful beach attendants are available all day to provide guests with sturdy lounge chairs and shady umbrellas to keep guests cool from the tropical sun. They also are on hand to help guests enjoy all of the complimentary services on offer beachside at the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc. If older kids are feeling a bit adventurous, they are sure to love the free use of kayaks.

Take a break from the water and enjoy a leisurely ride around the property of the spacious resort on bicycles available for use free of charge. Perhaps a fanciful photo opportunity is in order on the beach side swings. Just ask one of the accommodating staff to snap a pic or two.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc Offers Fun Play Time For Kids

If your children are craving more play time during your family vacation in Phu Quoc, perhaps a visit to the colourful kids’ activity room, named Nemo’s, is just what’s needed. Parents can stay in Nemo’s Kids Club with their children, or jovial attendants are on hand to keep a watchful eye on the younger guests. As an additional service, the attendants will help occupy the children for hours with a variety of games and activities suitable for toddlers to young adolescents. The delightfully bright playroom is outfitted with tot-sized tables, chairs and toddler play equipment, as well as cushy safety mats - just right for energetic youngsters. Nemo’s Kids Club is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily and offers the perfect place for children to enjoy a fun-packed stay in Phu Quoc.

Adjacent to the main pool is a larger outdoor play area suitable for children to socialise and a grassy area for them to run wild and free. With a play structure, mini carousel and swing set, this is a great option for kids to burn off some energy in the sunshine.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Delicious Mealtimes For Kids with Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Besides the “Kids Stay Free” buffet breakfast, children are welcomed in both restaurants for lunch and dinner as well. The restaurants at the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc have a child-friendly menu that includes comfort foods like french fries and fried chicken, as well as healthier options. Encourage the little ones to sit at the cute kid-sized tables and parents can enjoy a quiet meal to themselves.

Parent Time at Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

A family friendly holiday in Phu Quoc isn’t complete without a little time and space away from the little ones for the parents. There are two main areas in the Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc that are strictly for adults. When parents need a bit of a break to relax, they can book one of the highly qualified babysitters, for an additional fee, to wrangle the kids for a few hours.

Perhaps some time at the spa is just what the doctor ordered. Massage away your worries and scrub away your cares in the full service spa on the property. After a few hours of relaxation, parents will be energized and ready to tackle all the chaos of parenting.

Alternatively, parents can enjoy the calming energy of the beautiful sunsets of Phu Quoc from the vantage point of the CView Rooftop Bar. The stress of the day will melt away as guests enjoy signature cocktails and light snacks in this romantic and serene spot.

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

When travelling with a group of loved ones, a family friendly resort can make all the difference in a highly enjoyable vacation for guests with children. Whether you are an energetic family looking for a holiday filled with activities, or parents wanting to destress while the children are happily occupied, a stay at the Best Western Premier Sonasea is a fantastic family friendly resort in Phu Quoc well worth considering.

Image source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc - by Mervin Lee


The New Phu Quoc

By: City Pass Guide

The Phu Quoc development plan announced by the government in 2004 and adjusted in the summer of 2015, makes provision for a massive investment and a huge development of large parts of this idyllic island. In the revised plan, land dedicated to tourism will cover 40 sq km; land for mixed tourism and housing 33 sq km, whilst forestry gets 374 sq km. In addition there is a 66 sq km buffer zone with close on 40 sq km given over to agriculture. This is not a small development. At the end of 2014 there were just 1,500 rooms for rent on the island, by the end of 2017 that will have risen to 10,000, with many more planned over the next 15 years.

Phu Quoc lies off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. It is a mere 10 km from the Bokor National Park on the outskirts of Kampot. It is the largest of Vietnam’s islands with a total area of 593 sq km and one that has been the cause of constant argument of ownership between Vietnam and Cambodia. The capital of the island Duong Dong is situated on the west coast of the island at about the north-south mid point. This town will change beyond recognition as part of the development plan.

The government has decided that Phu Quoc is to become the biggest island destination in the whole region and they are pulling out all the stops to make this happen. It seems inconceivable that this beautiful island could become the next Bali or Phuket, but that is what they want. The resort style developments are already starting to arrive and are totally taking over the west coast of the island. From the enormous Vinpearl hotel and resort in the north to the newly opened Novotel in the south, huge swathes of land and being carved up and built on.

Broadly speaking the island’s development is being handled by two groups. Vinpearl will take on the north of the island, whilst responsibility for the south falls to the Sun Group.

Already open in the north is phase one of the Vinpearl hotel and resort, Vinpearl Land amusement park, Vinpearl Safari Park, the Vinpearl Golf Phu Quoc and the Vinmec Phu Quoc International Hospital. Impact on the local ecology has been huge. Local people are seeing big increases in the local economy and most seem content that this is good for the island. To the north of these opened attractions, the second phase of the Vinpearl development is underway, with one of the biggest building sites on the island just opening up. Based around a 17 hectare lake, it is simply massive. Whilst slightly south another huge development for Grand World has begun. It is rumoured that the country’s second giant casino, after the the Grand Casino at Ho Tram Strip, will be built here.

VinPearl Phu Quoc Resort & Villas on Long Beach, Phu Quoc - Source

The southern development along Long Beach is slightly different. The hotels and resorts here are generally speaking smaller and more eco-friendly, though this certainly depends on your definition. On Phu Quoc anything is classed as an eco-resort as long as less than 50% of the land is built upon. This of course raises as many questions as it does answers. No provision is made for sustainable building materials in the definition.

The Mercure Phu Quoc Resort & Villas at the northern end of the southern development has at least tried to make their resort genuinely eco-friendly. The impact on the local ecology here has been positive. This small hotel is virtually invisible until you arrive at its door. The 67 bedrooms are by way of individual villas, dotted around beautiful gardens, rich with trees and greenery. They even grow their own vegetables in and around the villas, supplying the kitchen with pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes and other ingredients.

Moving south from the Mercure, you’ll find the Sunset Sanato resort and Luxury Villas (under construction); the Pullman hotel and resort (construction soon to start); the Novotel Phu Quoc (opened in February 2016) and the 17-storey InterContinental (under construction). The Sofitel is also coming here. The whole of Long Beach is being snapped up by developers who are facing a backlash from locals demanding access to what are, after all, public beaches. The government has said that some kind of access road 50 metres from the beach has to remain in place, but in some cases clearly no provision has been made for this. The famous pearl farm here is on borrowed time.

Moving across the island to the eastern beach area of Bai Khem, work is well underway on the large JW Marriott hotel and resort. This 5 star luxury resort will forever change this small but beautiful beach. The plans for the it do look beautiful and tastefully done. The Marriott is in the process of building a new road to the resort.

There is also a cable car ride being built connecting the island’s second largest town of An Hoi with the island of Hon Thom, also called Pineapple Island. The 8 km ride will be the longest aerial ropeway cable car in the world. As it passes over the islands of Hon Dua and Hon Roi, the towers will reach 160m in height. Construction started in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2016 with the ride being fully operational by 2017. It will be capable of carrying 3,500 people per hour to the so far undeveloped Pineapple Island.

Many resorts are being planned for long Beach, including the Vinpearl Premium Villas - Source

Development on this scale of course requires a huge change to local infrastructure. New roads are planned and a widening and upgrading of existing roads is underway. The island currently has two landfill sites, a large one in the north and a smaller one in the south. At present the island manages all its own electricity needs but this is about to change.

Building an incinerator to fuel the island is planned, but this is fraught with difficulties: the island doesn’t create enough waste (yet) to keep an incinerator going full time. However an underwater cable is also being built to the mainland and the national grid; this was started in 2014.

In 2012 the new Phu Quoc International Airport opened its gates to the public. Short-lived flights to Singapore and Siem Reap were soon shelved, but new international flights are planned for 2017.

Phu Quoc International Airport - Source

All this large-scale change will inevitably affect the micro economy on the island. Small bars will undoubtedly spring up everywhere, local restaurants will increase in number and probably quality. Phu Quoc is already famous for its amazing seafood and of course locally grown pepper.

Regardless of anyone’s opinions on the relative merits or disadvantages on the future of Phu Quoc, this tiny tropical island will never be the same again. Life for the 100,000 inhabitants is about to change, irrevocably.

IS THERE A STORY OR TIP

YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

GET IN TOUCH