The Aman’s first foray into Vietnam, Amanoi is a resort like no other. It oozes refinement and luxury, providing a retreat like setting and a return to nature for those seeking an incredible getaway. Hidden within the untouched coastal forest of Nui Chua National Park, and right on the sparkling waters of Ninh Tuan Bay, the reserve encompasses more than 24,000 hectares of rocky mountainous area and jungle, and is inhabited by an array of protected indigenous plants, animals and marine life.
The property is set on over 42 hectares, and with only 31 pavilions and 5 villas, guests are treated to ultimate privacy. The scenic contrasts of sea, mountain, forest and red earth clays are reminiscent of landscapes in Sardinia, Tuscany and Colorado, all somehow combined and transposed to rural Vietnam. Cascading hills are dotted with huge boulders perched precariously atop one another, seemingly placed by an invisible hand. Large cacti line the winding paths, and the sounds of nature are ever present, as a constant yet soothing cacophony of Cicadas and chirping birds simultaneously reverberate through the area.
A lotus-filled lake sits at the center of the resort, and is lined with impressive bungalow pavilions that provide blissful privacy and seclusion. There is something indescribably special about the experience of staying here that cannot be properly conveyed by mere words on a page. Swimming in the 20-meter clifftop infinity pool while watching the sun set over the peninsula is truly an unforgettable experience. This intimate privacy allows one to drift away from city-life stress, and it is this sense of isolation that makes Amanoi so special.
The accommodation is designed in contemporary Vietnamese style, the only sign of its existence are the multi-tiered roofs that peek out above the treetops – each a mini Emperor’s palace hidden amongst the forest. The pavilions are almost 100m2 of combined living space with equal portions devoted to living, sleeping and bathing. No expense has been spared to create a luxurious and calming abode in which to relax and unwind. The stone finishings and wooden furniture throughout have been gracefully designed with balance and harmony in mind, and the attention to the smallest details creates a sense of calmness and serenity.
Over 200 local staff are employed to maintain the resort, and the exceptional quality of service is the standard to which all hospitality companies should aspire. They take care of every small detail, displaying an almost eerie knowledge of the needs and wants of each guest. Arriving at a minute’s notice to ferry you in quiet electric buggies across the resort, they have a command of English rarely found in SE Asia. Staff will slip in while you are out in the resort to touch up the rooms and surprise you by leaving delicate, hand-written notes and gifts of special teas, which really adds to the sense of personal service. This extends even to the billing system, of which there is none to speak of. When ordering food or extra services, it is added quietly without any paper trail or signature required.
There are 3 dining areas on site comprising the beach club restaurant and 2 more near the lobby. The cuisine is exceptional, marrying both international and Vietnamese dishes created by its internatioanal chef. Try taking lunch at the beach club just off the sandy beach that extends into the bay, and dinner on an open-air garden terrace overlooking the inky black sea, illuminated only by the lights of local squid boats out for the evening’s catch.
Sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding are all available from the main beach area and staff is available to take you on the excursion of your fancy. The mountainous terrain is perfect for active travelers, and there are numerous hiking and cycling trails of various difficulty levels. A true retreat would not be possible without relaxation services, and this is where Amanoi cements its status as a world leader. The on-site spa is staffed by renowned experts in yoga, meditation, massage therapy and rejuvenation techniques, and holds regular retreats for the luxury traveler seeking to restore their equilibrium and balance.