The Anam: A luxurious getaway in Vietnam
VIETNAM'S newest luxury beach-front resort is already attracting Australian guests in droves. Ann Rickard checked-in to The Anam in Cam Ranh to see what it was all about.
These are her 10 favourite things.
1. Luxury: Vietnam is opening to tourists at a giddy rate, yet it is still very affordable. You get a lot of bang for your buck in in this beautiful country and none more so that at the 18-month-old The Anam, Vietnam's first five-star colonial-style beach resort. Better still, Jetstar will fly you comfortably there for small cost. Win. Win.
2. Location: Away from the frantic pace of nearby Nha Trang, the resort sits on the pristine shore of Long Beach on the Cam Ranh Peninsula. A 40-minute fight from Ho Chi Minh gets you to Cam Ranh, from there a 15-minute drive to the resort. Easy.
3. Atmosphere: Mist-shrouded mountains swathed in jungle-greenery form a verdant backdrop for The Anam. Add a few hundred palms swaying among the lush gardens, hand-cut green lawns as smooth as bowling greens, glittering pools and tinkling water features at every turn, and the stage is set for resort hedonism. With more than 300 sunny days each year...well...icing on the tropical cake.
4. Food, food and more: With a carefully planned variety of restaurants, the exhilarating flavours and exceptional freshness of local produce, eating is a priority. From fine dining at The Colonial to fusion dining at Indochine Restaurant, to classic Vietnamese dishes at Lang Viet Restaurant & Bar overlooking the beach, the choices are myriad. Then there is afternoon tea (scones anyone?) in the Saigon Bar, and the extravagant buffet breakfast at Indochine with its Asian and Western offerings. Mix it up...try everything.
5. Mama's Cooking: Twice a week, Mama's Vietnamese buffet presents a limitless range of diverse specialities in the airy Lang Viet Restaurant & Bar. Adding to the overwhelming choices, mamas and aunties from nearby villages come in to bring a street-food atmosphere, cooking satays over hot coals, making traditional pancakes, and dishing up the omnipotent noodle dishes. A contrast, an insight to street-food. A highlight.
6. Pamper and polish: You deserve coddling, and there is plenty of it at the resort's Sri Mara Spa. "Is the room temperature and lighting to your liking?" you will be softly asked by one of the therapists as you quietly recline on the table with the fragrance of lemongrass and the sounds of trickling water in the air. "Everything is to my liking," you'll reply before drifting off beneath the ministrations of soft hands massaging, soothing, easing. Spa products are organic tea-inspired known for their textures and antioxidant and regeneration properties.
7. The Saigon Bar: Between 5pm and 6pm the cocktails flow freely. Yes, that is free drinks for an hour, from local beers to international wines and an excellent cocktail list. Drink eat complimentary snacks and listen to cool piano music, either on the terrace overlooking the pool or inside with its welcoming sofas and black and white photography.
8. Accommodation: You choose: terrace sea views, balcony garden views, ocean front, pool villa, three-bedroom suite. Everything is covered in the resort's 117 villas. Warm timber, mosaic tiles, sofas, cushions, ceiling fans, open bathrooms, luxury products...you get the picture.
9. Warm Vietnamese service: From the General Manager and his team strolling the property to ensure everyone is happy, through to the cheerful house-keeping staff, to the calm, soft-spoken spa attendants, to the smiling gardeners, everyone makes you feel special. You are a VIP here.
10. Go touring: Shuttle buses will take you into Nha Trang if you can bring yourself to leave the open-arms of The Anam. From cultural and adventure tours to the daring Nha Trang By Night tour on the back of a motor scooter, you decide.
Jetstar International gets you to Vietnam for such modest cost, there is plenty left to indulge in the affordable luxury of The Anam, go to jetstar.com. The Anam welcomes with a variety of accommodation packages, for more go to theanam.com.