“An idyllic island hideaway: barefoot luxury perched on the edge of a beautiful national park”
There are 50 villas in total, all built from locally sourced teak and antique carved wooden panels from old Vietnamese homes. They are arranged in 2 rows looking down onto the beach, and all have a sea view.
The row of villas back from the beach are the cheapest (Ocean View Duplex Pool Villa), but they were actually our favourite rooms. All split-level, they have a massive bedroom with the most fantastic view and a balcony upstairs, then an enormous bathroom downstairs. Out front there's a chill-out area and a small but enticing plunge pool.
There are also a few larger villas in this back row: Ocean View 4-Bedroom Villas and Ocean Front 2- and 3-Bedroom Villas, all of which are stunning. Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, and the villas also include a full kitchen, living spaces and a plunge pool outside; Ocean Fronts have a lap pool, too. They're great for a family or group of friends and one of the bedrooms can be twinned.
The front row of villas are on the edge of the beach. Half of these are split-level (Ocean Front Duplex Pool Villa ), but a few are slightly smaller single-storey buildings (Ocean Front Deluxe Pool Villa), which are essentially the same design but arranged over one floor so better if you’re with young children. Sitting by your plunge pool right next to the beach with the tide coming up to your wall is very special, but we actually preferred the villas behind; we found them more private and loved the higher view of the sea.
Whichever you choose, all villas are incredibly well thought-out with blissfully comfortable beds clad in scented linens, floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open, every bit of technical kit you might need, and cupboards stocked with mosquito repellent and the like. Bathrooms are heavenly, too, with twin sinks, an indoor tub and an outdoor shower, plus bathrobes and complimentary toiletries.
You enter the hotel through the 'market area', where there’s a fun bar (Happy Hour from 5-7pm is a great way to spend sundown), a deli (incredible sandwiches, homemade ice cream) and a cool Vietnamese restaurant. By The Market is set up as market stalls, some serving noodle dishes, others curries, others a vegetarian option or elaborate canapés.
In addition, the hotel has a proper restaurant, By The Beach. The menu is impressive - we had delicious beef carpaccio then lobster and scallop green curry. We ate out on the terrace, which is right on the beach, lit by an enormous moon and cooled by the sea breeze. The day after there was a 'sushi night', with a mind-blowing choice all beautifully laid out on marble slabs in a chilled room.
Breakfast is phenomenal, too: everything you could imagine from obscure fruit juices and milkshakes to Vietnamese omelettes and fish.
Room service is extensive and it's nice to have lunch or supper ‘at home’ one day. The service really is incredible - burgers were brought to our plunge pool in a wooden basket and unpacked onto a perfectly laid table with ketchup, mustard and linen napkins; all immaculately done, and with the burgers still hot and very tasty. If you'd prefer to cook, the 3- and 4-Bedroom Villas have kitchens with hobs, ovens, microwaves and fridges.
You can also have dinner at the chef’s table and get an eye-boggling behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchens and cellar; this is a serious operation
This is a great place for children with a general barefoot and chilled atmosphere. There's a playroom, a kids’ club every day with different activities (painting, jungle explorations, decorating cookies), plus workshops kids can participate in. Every evening they show a film on the cinema screen and all the children eat supper together while watching it. An extra bed in the villas is free of charge, breakfast is charged for older kids. All rooms and villas have a bathtub. And the beach is ideal for families as the water is shallow.
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
All the villas have 1 or 2 daybeds, which can be converted into beds. For families with 1 child, the Ocean View Deluxe, Ocean Front and Ocean Front Deluxe villas will suit and have daybeds in the bedroom. For 2 kids the Ocean Front Villa category works well. There are 3- and 4-bedroom villas for larger families / families with older kids, and 1 bedroom in each villa can be twinned
English-speaking babysitters available any time, including overnight. There's 'evening camping on the beach' for kids, so 6-12 year olds can spend the evening watching a movie and playing games and parents can have a quiet dinner
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Food is available all day either in By the Market, which is set up with market stalls, or in By the Beach, which is more of a straightforward restaurant. The latter can cater for special mealtimes on request and there is a kids menu available. Bottles can be warmed up on request. Under 6s eat free; ages 7-11 are charged at 50%; ages 12+ are charged adult prices