Authentic but more so, the boutique hotel takes all the best bits of the local culture, smoothing over the hard parts, to deliver a holiday experience that feels suspended in a vintage Vietnamese silk painting – if the masters had a way with kombucha and oversized bathtubs.
The boutique resort comprises 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas. Fourteen are right on the private sandy beach, the rest are set back in the jade-green hillside and seem suspended over the inky-blue South China Sea. All villas have their own glittering sunlit pool, which would be the holiday trump card if it wasn’t for the complimentary “maxi-bar”: all the beer, wine, spirits, canapés, chocolates and ice cream you could possibly eat and drink, restocked daily.
The look is Cham-Dynasty chic, nodding to the area’s 11th-century origins in a modern kind of way. Hand-carved timber screens and silk cushions star within otherwise sleek indoor/outdoor pavilions, and local granite sits well within the cli side environment.
Beyond the room, food options include all-day dining restaurant Sea Fire Salt and a swim-up bar at the main pool, and private dining ranging from island picnics to beach barbecues and shing-trawler expeditions. And between the spa, cooking classes, hat making and martial arts, you could easily ll a few days without leaving the resort. But real Vietnam awaits.
Despite this glistening new holiday haven arriving on Quy Nhon’s shores, local life still rolls along at a sleepy pace. Things get real at the town’s central market. Conical-hat- wearing farmers and shermen spruik their wares and the freshest seafood is served up with mountains of herbs and loaded banh mi in little red plastic baskets. The tide is turning in Quy Nhon. More hotels are under construction but, in its last few moments o the radar, it remains an untouched treasure.
Get into the holiday spirit with sunset hues and a luxe beach vibe.
Tigerlily necklace, $79, tigerlily.com.au
Matteau swimsuit, $300, matteau-store.com
ASOS bucket hat, $28, asos.com
Pippa Small earrings, $200, matchesfashion.com
Johanna Ortiz wrap, $365.75, net-a-porter.com
Photography by John W. McDermott: Antal Gabelics; Courtesy of Antara Quy.
This story originally appeared in the October issue of marie claire.