Very rarely do you find an integrated holiday resort that has everything at your doorstep. At Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, there is nothing lacking; it is an all-encompassing experience that leaves all your cravings satisfied.
Opened since a year ago, Radisson Blu’s first resort in Vietnam has been chalking up high occupancies due to its reputation, service and proximity to all the facilities that a discerning holidaymaker would expect.
It has some of the best beachfront villas on the island – 10 Beachfront Pool Villas featuring two, three or six bedrooms at total built-up sizes of 165 sqm, 255 sqm and 635 sqm respectively.
Each villa comes with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, huge separate living area, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, luxurious bathroom, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.
What distinguishes these villas are the magnificent space and beautiful landscaping as well as luxurious fittings (mostly Kohler) and superb views of the beach. The 2-bedroom villa even boasts a two-person bathtub and huge double volume ceiling for a romantic getaway second to none. A stay here can easily turn your average holiday into a honeymoon!
Behind the villas is the magnificent ovalshaped swimming pool that is a delight to swim in. It’s divided by a bridge that you can walk across to reach the restaurant from your room.
The rest of the rooms at the hotel building have a contemporary flair which is complemented by sweeping views of the ocean. You never feel far away from the ocean wherever you are within the resort.
Adjacent to the resort is a water park (free for guests), an 18-hole golf course, safari conservation park, gym, spa, convention centre and an amusement park. The resort also hires out kayaks where guests can use to paddle to the nearest islet for snorkelling. I did exactly that and had a wonderful time.
A casino at an adjacent building can be accessed by an indoor passageway. Across the casino, stands a theatre and a food street that has restaurants offering Japanese, Thai and Italian food. It also has a fountain that lights up at night and is where the New Year’s Eve party is usually held.
Phu Quoc’s dining scene caters to every budget and preference – from street food to western restaurants in five star hotels. At Radisson Blu, I tried the all-day restaurant, Avenue, and was pleasantly surprised by the delectable offerings.
Head Chef Michael Muir from Australia whipped up a delicious salmon steak which was perfectly done rare while the squid and fish reminded me why the island has a reputation for having the best seafood in all of Vietnam.
Even the ice cream was presented so exquisitely it was a sin to eat it. And when you do, the taste was heavenly. The Vietnamese fare like beef pho was equally mouth-watering (and authentic). It makes you want to return again and again to the restaurant which I did in the following days.
Luxurious room, resort ambiance, beautiful beach, spectacular sea views, romantic sunsets, cocktail by the poolside bar, swimming and kayaking at the lagoon, free use of bicycle, three bars for your drinking pleasure and a 24-hour restaurant – you don’t even need to venture far from the resort at all.
FUSION OF EAST AND WEST
Overlooking the northern stretch of Vietnam’s most stunning beach, Bai Dai, the 514-room resort prides itself in its top notch service and facilities.
Its design is a captivating fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics; striking artwork adorns the resort including abstract sculptures crafted out of Vietnamese marble and vertical pressed panels referencing the lotus flower, palm fronds and more native Vietnamese flora.
There are also spectacular lighting installations such as a melange of glass seaweed and schools of glass fish that appear to swim swiftly past smooth eggshell white columns, greeting guests in the capacious foyer and lobby areas.
Neutral palettes of marble, high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels that take advantage of the stunning natural surroundings and abundance of sunshine create a refreshing ambiance that keep guests in a state of bliss.
With so much going for it, Radisson Blu doesn’t disappoint, in fact, it exceeds expectations right from the start. Apart from the hotel’s limousine, there is also a shuttle bus that can take you to and from the airport with stops at Phu Quoc’s main town, Duong Dong where you could explore the town’s market and do some retail therapy. The island is renowned for its iconic fish sauce and black pepper.
And if you are feeling adventurous, you can book a local tour to other idyllic but just as stunning beaches, a UNESCO-listed national park, traditional villages, pagodas, markets and even other unique luxurious resorts, funky bars, and quaint cafes along the southern and northern coastlines. Or, like me rent a motorcycle to explore the entire island at your own pace.
Located 30 kilometres from Phu Quoc International Airport, the resort is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and beyond thanks to numerous arrivals and departure flights daily. The island can also be reached via the scenic Ha Tien Ferry. Unlike the rest of the country, Phu Quoc offers a 30-day visa waiver program.
As a result of Phu Quoc’s increasing stature as ‘Vietnam’s answer to Phuket’, more visitors are expected in the coming months. No doubt, they are mesmerised by what has been described as ‘a tropical island setting that comes right out of a storybook’.
Not content with just impressive aesthetics and first class service and facilities, Radisson Blu is also in the forefront of sustainable practices. Within the resort, only eco-friendly electric vehicles like scooters, buggies and small trucks are deployed.
The hotel uses straws made from locally sourced bamboo, with plans to set up its own bamboo straw farm in the near future. Also on the cards is a water bottling plant which would enable them to avoid using plastic bottles.
The resort is practically paperless; its Press Reader application, for example, offers more than 5,000 magazines and newspapers in various languages.
Another initiative is partnering with hygiene and cleaning solutions company Diversey to recycle used hotel soap through the help of the local community. The locals are taught how to use a simple cold-press process that requires no water or electricity and which takes under 10 minutes to recycle the soap into reconstituted bars. The fresh soap is then distributed to communities lacking soap or sanitation.