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 Luxury Resorts on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

By: Stuart Miller

Phu Quoc island has seen a rapid rise to become one of Vietnam’s most popular vacation destinations and a rising star amongst Southeast Asia’s finest islands. It’s easy to see why - if you’re looking for some of the best beaches in Vietnam, alongside beautiful nature, delicious seafood, fresh ocean breezes and gorgeous sunsets, then Phu Quoc should be your first port of call when travelling to Vietnam. Phu Quoc attracts visitors of all types and the ‘Pearl Island’ also offers plentiful attractions and activities.

In recent years, the dramatic increase in Phu Quoc’s luxury accommodation options has meant that discerning travellers are now spoilt for choice when selecting a top class resort on the island. To prepare for your next stunning beach vacation, read on and discover some of the very best luxury 5-star resorts on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

www.bwpremier-sonaseaphuquoc.com
Duong Bao, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3546 666 | Email: reservation@bwpremier-sonaseaphuquoc.com

Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc is one of the newest luxury beach resorts on the island. Located around 10 minutes south of the airport and overlooking a lovely beachfront along Phu Quoc’s gorgeous western coast, this thoughtfully designed resort boasts excellent options for any traveller, from romantic couples and families, to business people travelling to Vietnam.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

Enjoy accommodation from modern guestrooms and comfortable suites to stunning three-to-five bedroom villas with their own private pools, all with quality furnishings and luxurious amenities. For families with younger children, there is a brilliant deal where two kids (under 16) can stay for free in their parents’ room, including the daily buffet breakfast.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

A fine variety of delicious international and Vietnamese cuisine is served at the resort’s Essence Restaurant and Oasis Pool Bar (with swim-up bar), and you mustn’t miss the stunning sunset views across the island and ocean with refreshing cocktails and delectable food at the romantic rooftop CView Sky Bar.

In addition to the two main pools and two kids’ pools, Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc resort offers fun beach activities, the tranquil Thala spa, Nemo kids’ club, complimentary bicycles, modern fitness centre, free airport transfer, and excellent business and meeting facilities.

What’s special?

Best Western Sonasea Phu Quoc’s magnificent lagoon pool is Vietnam’s longest. At 300 metres, it is the gorgeous centrepiece of the resort for you to relax and float around in true luxury and enjoy one of the best accommodation options in Phu Quoc.

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

www.fusionresorts.com/fusionresortphuquoc
Hamlet 4, Vung Bau Beach, Cua Can, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3690 000 | Email: reservations.frpq@fusionresorts.com

This peaceful spa resort is a perfect getaway to experience the height in personalised luxury in Phu Quoc island. Upon arrival, you will be assigned your very own “Fusionista”—an attentive point of contact (read: butler) for all your needs during your stay.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is an all-villa resort with each one of the stunning villas enjoying highest quality furnishings, a private garden and its own pool for secluded relaxation. Pick from beachfront or riverside views to complete your getaway amongst Phu Quoc’s nature.

As an “all-spa inclusive” resort, Fusion Resort Phu Quoc uniquely offers guests complimentary treatments per night’s stay at its fully equipped spa and wellness facility, certainly one of the best on the island. The extensive spa menu helps you find the perfect route to relax and reinvigorate while enjoying this luxury resort in northwestern Phu Quoc.

Other facilities include an oceanfront infinity pool, tennis court, fun kids’ club, beach games and a multi-purpose room for meetings or weddings. Families can enjoy an active time together exploring Phu Quoc with the chance to ride bicycles along a well planned cycling route.

Whenever your appetite calls, Fusion Resort Phu Quoc offers outstanding culinary options. Dine in style in your villa, at the spacious Secret Garden or the seafood-inspired, ocean-facing Pezca, or kick back with a refreshing drink at Soul Kitchen. The Beach Bar is the perfect spot for cocktails and a gorgeous sunset with the sand of Fusion’s 2.5km beach at your feet.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

What’s Special?

Start off your day the right way with the complimentary “Breakfast Anywhere, Anytime” service. Just as it sounds, enjoy a delicious and nutritious breakfast from the comfort of your private villa or garden, across any of Fusion Resort Phu Quoc’s lovely dining venues, or even on the beach!

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc - MGallery by Sofitel

laverandaresorts.com
Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Beach, Phu Quoc Island
Tel: +84 (0)297 3982 988 | Email: contact@laverandaresorts.com

Set in a magical French colonial seaside mansion, La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc’s setting evokes posh garden parties and leisurely afternoons spent sipping wine and gazing at the sea from under a wide-brimmed hat. The saltwater swimming pool is surrounded by greenery and winding garden pathways and features a large children’s pool that is the perfect depth for little ones to splash in. The resort is part of AccorHotels group’s exclusive MGallery Heritage Collection.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc

One of La Veranda’s main draws is its world-class Peppertree restaurant, which is rated as the best restaurant on Phu Quoc island and #4 in all of Vietnam by TripAdvisor (at the time of writing). The restaurant combines the techniques of gourmet French cuisine with the spirit and recipes of a traditional Vietnamese kitchen. La Veranda’s famous breakfast includes crowd favourites like the made-to-order waffle/pancake/crepe bar and fresh smoothies that change daily. Weekly F&B events spice up the evenings with special seafood beach barbecues, complimentary wine tastings and afternoon tea services - all fantastic ways to enjoy the best in food and drink in Phu Quoc.

Each garden or ocean-view deluxe room, suite or villa at La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc has a story to tell. Historically accurate paint colours, furnishings and artwork, as well as personal touches added by the resort’s creator, Madame Catherine, create a personalised feeling in the rooms. Luxury service touches, such as the nightly gifts and handwritten letters at turndown, go above and beyond the typical resort experience.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc

What’s Special?

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc will soon become the top destination in Vietnam for health and wellness travellers with the inclusion of its signature Wellness Center due to open in 2019. The center will include spa treatments, day passes and all-inclusive wellness packages combining health-centric food options, meditative activities and classes related to mindfulness for true relaxation and pampering during your Phu Quoc vacation.

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island

salindaresort.com
Cua Lap Hamlet, Duong To Commune, Phu Quoc Island
Tel: (84-297) 399 0011 | Fax: (84-297) 399 9911 | Email: contact@salindaresort.com

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island epitomises tropical luxury. The resort is enclosed in a lush landscape featuring more than 100 types of trees and flowers, giving an atmosphere of an enchanted garden complete with butterflies and birds. The greenery goes all the way down to one of the nicest private beaches in Phu Quoc, where mango trees help block strong winds during the rainy season. The best place to truly experience the beauty of Salinda Resort is from the infinity pool where you can gaze out at the calm seas in true luxury. The pool itself is naturally treated with activated carbon and salt without unnecessary chemicals.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Salinda Resort Phu Quoc

Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island offers a selection of deluxe rooms, suites and villas. From the private balconies, guests can take in the setting sun as the evening sky is filled with a spectacular array of sunset colours. Premium linens, bathrobes and luxury beauty products make the experience one of pure comfort.

Salinda Resort is also known for its world-class F&B options, rated as some of the best on the island. Namaste India is Salinda’s finest dining option with Chef Liladhar preparing gourmet dishes from his native New Delhi. The atmosphere is all about candlelight, jewel-toned linens and top-notch service. Casa Italiana brings authentic Italy with perfectly prepared pizzas, pasta and wine. Salinda Restaurant showcases a stunning display of Hoi An silk lanterns on an open-air patio. The restaurant serves some of the best traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Phu Quoc during the evening, and an unbelievable breakfast buffet complete with sparkling wine.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Salinda Resort Phu Quoc

What’s Special?

From minimum plastic to eco-friendly pesticide and a chemical-free swimming pool, Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island is very much in the leading pack in terms of sustainability and environmental awareness in both Phu Quoc and all of Vietnam.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

www.phuquoc.intercontinental.com
Bai Truong, Duong To, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3978 888 | Email: Reservations.ICPQ@ihg.com

The InterContinental brand’s reputation is splendidly maintained with this beautiful beachside resort only a short drive from Phu Quoc International Airport. The “InterCon” is a class act throughout, from the comfort of its accommodation and high-class dining options, to its excellence as a family vacation and its wide range of excellent facilities - a true destination resort in Phu Quoc.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

From a range of spacious rooms and suites in its resort wings, resident-style accommodation in the Sky Tower, and ocean-view villas, the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort invites you to live in the lap of luxury with no detail left to chance.

For foodies, the InterCon’s five stylish venues provide fantastic choice, including fresh seafood, Japanese-Viet fusion, classic Italian and beachside barbecue on Phu Quoc’s western coast.

Facilities feature four swimming pools (including one separate kids’ play pool), 24-hour fitness centre, large kids’ club, a range of daily activities for all, wedding ceremony planning and indoor event/business venues. The soothing lagoon setting of the spa is perfect for re-energising your body and soul after a day exploring the resort or Phu Quoc island.

The expansive InterCon resort benefits from superior quality decor and impressive attention to detail. There is little need for anything other than exploring Phu Quoc’s attractions.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

What’s Special?

INK 360 is the breathtaking sky bar at Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort. In fact, it is the highest sky bar in Phu Quoc and the place to survey spectacular sunset views with exquisite craft cocktails, accompanied by sundown beats and party tunes.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

www.jwmarriottphuquocresort.com
Kem Beach, An Thoi, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3779 999 | Email: mhrs.pqcjw.reservations@marriotthotels.com

Previously a 19th-century French university, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa retains a classic design alongside all the 5-star comforts and modern conveniences you could need for your beachside vacation in Phu Quoc. This majestic resort features a wide range of rooms and suites, gorgeous private pool villas, and even an incredible seven-bedroom oceanfront residence with its own infinity pool facing the sea. All accommodation types display a unique character with plush furnishings, high ceilings and bright, spacious layouts.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

As a fantastic family resort in Phu Quoc, there is a huge variety of scheduled daily activities from morning till evening for adults (bike tours, lantern-making and cookery classes) and children (dancing, painting, magic shows and treasure hunts).

More laid-back travellers can take it easy at the three beautiful swimming pools or enjoy a dip in the ocean and the JW Marriott’s private beach. Enjoy deeper relaxation by indulging in the soothing class of the Chanterelle Spa.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

The JW Marriott Phu Quoc features its very own walking street, Hoi An-style, where guests can wander around at their own leisure. Here, you can peruse the classy selection of shops, visit the spa, or dine at the resort’s several F&B venues, featuring fantastic views of the island with options of fresh seafood and French cuisine, tasty tapas and signature cocktails.

Video source: Great Tours

What’s Special?

The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa seems almost like a fairytale village, with its colourful building facades and mini castle-like structures that offer a fantasy-style vacation in beautiful Phu Quoc.

Nam Nghi Phu Quoc

www.namnghiresort.com
Hamlet 4, Cua Can Commune, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3891 234 | Email: booking@namnghiresort.com

If you’re looking for a secluded resort to escape in luxury in Phu Quoc, there are few better options than Nam Nghi. Set in a private location on the north-west coast of Phu Quoc, this gorgeous resort will surround you with lush greenery, breathtaking views, natural wooden architecture and stellar service.

If you prefer a spacious villa, there is the option for ocean view or a tranquil private garden view. All accommodation is tastefully designed with luxurious touches and natural materials used with sustainable design in mind to help preserve Phu Quoc’s inherent beauty.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Nam Nghi Phu Quoc

Nam Nghi Phu Quoc is around 30 minutes’ drive from the island’s main Duong Dong town but a free shuttle bus service is provided. In the peace and quiet of this hideaway resort, there are plenty of facilities and activities to enjoy. Sunbathe on the lovely private beach, take a dip in the ocean or the beautiful pool, go kayaking or snorkelling, use the well-equipped gym or indulge in a treatment at the restful spa.

When you’re hungry, Nam Nghi Phu Quoc resort doesn’t disappoint with its top quality offerings, from the excellent breakfast buffet to exquisite cuisine at the fine-dining TreeHouse Restaurant.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Nam Nghi Phu Quoc

What’s Special?

Nam Nghi Phu Quoc’s very own private island offers a delightful little beach and the exclusive Rock Island Club bar—a sublime spot to take in a spectacular sunset with a refreshing cocktail.

Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort

www.premiervillage-phuquoc.com
Ong Doi Cape, An Thoi, Phu Quoc
Tel: +84 297 3546 666 | Email: HB2R4@accor.com

Nestled at the south-eastern tip of Phu Quoc, the 5-star pool villa resort of Premier Village is draped over a large expanse of natural beauty, where guests, families or larger groups can enjoy true seclusion and luxury.

Each one of the Premier Village’s stunningly designed pool villas includes a private infinity pool, generous living areas, and elegant, modern decor with plentiful natural light from the floor-to-ceiling glass doors and panels.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort

Premier Village’s extensive facilities include numerous bright turquoise swimming pools and a white sandy beach with loungers and hammocks, as well as kayaks and paddle boards for active guests. Beyond the pools and beach, children will be entertained by the fun kids’ club and bicycles to offer a great family vacation in Phu Quoc. The resort’s spa offers a huge treatment menu for soothing relaxation. Situated on the side of an ocean view hill, it is also a great place for amazing sunset views.

Whether it’s the excellent international and Vietnamese cuisine at The Market restaurant or the fresh Mediterranean menu at Corallo, Premier Village offers delicious culinary options for all. Enjoy a swim and a drink at the Pool Bar or savour the self-explanatory Sunset Lounge’s location with a delightful drink.

Best Luxury Resorts Phu QuocImage source: Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort

What’s Special?

If you choose a beachfront villa at Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort, be sure to take advantage of the private chef barbecue service just for your group—perfect for celebrating your special island vacation in mouthwatering style.

Banner Image source: InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort


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


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.


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


Reserve Your Green Escape at Pullman Phu Quoc Beach Resort

By: City Pass Guide

DONATION FOR TOKI TOKI

On the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Pullman Phu Quoc Beach Resort brought happiness to kids and their families at ToKi ToKi, a charity project for underprivileged kids on Phu Quoc island, Vietnam. The Resort called for donations in any form among their Heartists, in-house guests and partners. Besides, Pullman Phu Quoc Beach Resort collected various items to raise funds at their first Charity Bazaar.

pullman

The donation resulted in around VND 5,000,000 of cash, canned soft drinks, dry food and snacks. As every action counts, the modest contribution given with all our hearts to improve ToKi ToKi's weekly "Food Package" project in supporting kids and their families during this challenging time.

PULLMAN PHU QUOC BEACH RESORTS ROLLS OUT BESPOKE LINE OF SUSTAINABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY GUEST ROOM AMENITIES

Last month, Pullman Phu Quoc Beach Resort officially introduced its exclusive eco-friendly in-room amenities of 99.9% petroleum plastic-free. Being the pioneer within Pullman properties worldwide, this newest island playground provides guests with plenty of biodegradable amenities such as; wheat husk toothbrushes, a wooden comb, cornstarch razor and paper stick cotton buds wrapped in non-woven packaging. The new collection of amenities is a firm commitment to preserving the island's naturally beautiful environments with sustainability initiatives and brand promises to ensure the resort is positively impacting the planet.

pullman

In addition, the resort has implemented the exclusion of single-use plastic products such as straws, mineral water bottles or take-away bags since its opening in August 2020. For the subsequent move in its ample environmental footprint, the management plans to replace plastic bathroom amenities containers with refillable dispensers in early 2022.

BOOK YOUR GREEN ESCAPE AT PULLMAN PHU QUOC BEACH RESORTS WITH SPECIAL OFFERS

Book your holiday with confidence at the Pullman’s newest playground on Phu Quoc. Pullman Phu Quoc Beach Resort is offering funtastic deals from day passes, short breaks, workations or all-inclusive.

pullman

1. 'Stay More Pay Less' – the long-stay package is available from now until 4 January 2022 inclusive:

- 7-night stay at only VND 11,375,000 Net,additional night at VND 1,625,000 Net

- 14-night stay at only VND 21,000,000 Net,additional night at VND 1,500,000 Net

- 30-night stay at only VND 40,500,000 Net, additional night at VND 1,350,000 Net

These packages include:

- Island-inspired Superior room

- Daily breakfast 

- Airport transfer shuttle service

- Housekeeping services twice a week

- Water set up in your room

- Minibar set up upon request and charges apply

- 10% discount on Food and Beverage for minimum 14 nights stay (*)

- Other Facilities: Free Wi-Fi for all over the resort, usage of swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts and lifestyle programs.

2. For ‘Holiday Escape’ package, you will get an instant 40% discount on every second night, at only VND 1,770,000 Net until 4 January 2022, including:

- Island-inspired Superior room, free upgrade to next category (subject to availability)

- Daily breakfast for 02 adults & 2 kids up to 12 years old

- Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)

- Free return airport shuttle service (with 24 hours advance reservation)

- Free shuttle bus to Duong Dong town (1st come 1st serve basis)

- Free daily scheduled lifestyle activities

- Free access to Pullman Fit & Swimming Pool

3. Get an ‘All-inclusive’ package with your name on it at only VND 4,500,000 Net per room per night until 4 January 2022, including:

- Island-inspired Superior room 

- Breakfast (6:30AM – 10:30AM)

- Lunch (11:30AM – 2PM)

- Afternoon snack (2PM – 4PM)

- Dinner (6PM – 9PM)

- Unlimited alcohol & non-alcohol beverages (10AM – 10PM)

- Daily turn down amenities

- Return airport transfer 

- Early check-in & late check-out

- 20% discount on all items at Mad Cow Phu Quoc

4. Discover superb facilities and activities, where you are and on your schedule with our Pullman Daycation passes from now until 4 January 2022:

SIM DAY PASS

- 1 guest: VND 725,000 Net / 2 guests: VND 1,050,000 Net

- Usage of resort facilities from 8AM to 8PM

- Breakfast & 01 x Meal voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

*3rd guest surcharge: VND 325,000 Net

PEPPER DAY PASS

- 1 guest: VND 1,125,000 Net / 2 guests: VND 1,450,000 Net

- Usage of resort facilities from 8AM to 8PM

- Breakfast & 01 x Meal voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

- Spa voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

*3rd guest surcharge: VND 325,000 Net

PEARL DAY PASS

- 1 guest: VND 1,350,000 Net / 2 guests: VND 1,750,000 Net

- Usage of Superior Room & resort facilities from 8AM to 8PM

- Breakfast & 01 x Meal voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

*3rd guest surcharge: VND 400,000 Net

PULLMAN DAY PASS

- 1 guest: VND 1,750,000 Net / 2 guests: VND 2,150,000 Net

- Usage of Superior Room & resort facilities from 8AM to 8PM

- Breakfast & 01 x Meal voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

- 01 x Spa voucher valued VND 500,000 Net

*3rd guest surcharge: VND 400,000 Net

Terms & conditions apply to all package, for further information, please call +84 (0) 297 267 9999, visit www.pullmanphuquoc.com or email to ha248@accor.com

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