by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 16, 2018
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Phu Quoc Hotels – Tips and Advice
- This long and narrow island (about 50km from north to south) is actually closer to Cambodia than the mainland of Vietnam. It is still being developed as a major tourist destination, so roads and other infrastructure are in the process of catching up to the fast-paced construction of hotels and resorts.
- Almost everyone arrives by air, with flights on several airlines many times a day from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), and less frequently from Hanoi (HAN). By 2018, direct flights from Bangkok (BKK) are likely (with a free 30-day visa on arrival), and chartered flights from northern Europe are usually offered in peak season (May-August and Christmas).
- Phu Quoc’s airport (PQC) is new and astoundingly oversized, clearly preparing for an expected bulge in tourism.
- Some hardy souls catch a boat from mainland Vietnam, but this is only practical for anyone also wanting to explore the Mekong Delta before or after. Boats, confusingly, use several ports around the island – another reason to fly in and out.
- Many hotels – as opposed to upmarket resorts – are based in and around the main town of Duong Dong, which is a good base and only 5km from the airport. Directly south, Long Beach has by far the largest range of mid-range hotels, bars, cafés and shops.
- Many top-end resorts are in spectacular, but isolated, regions, such as Sao Beach on the southeast tip (arguably the country’s best beach), Ganh Dau to the northwest (still mainly a fishing village), Ong Lang (only a couple of kilometers north of Duong Dong), and Vung Bau (a delightfully undeveloped and broad bay).
- Stock up on essentials if staying outside of Duong Dong; a grocer or pharmacy may be 10 minutes by taxi from a resort, and may not stock what’s needed.
- There are plenty of taxis around Duong Dong and Long Beach, but they need to be specially ordered for travel to and from remote resorts. Many resorts offer free airport transfer.
The 7 Best Hotels in Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Rustic, remote, and eco-friendly. The open-air lobby/café/library for this friendly and family-run bunch of budget-priced cottages sits on a sandy beach of sloping palms and swinging hammocks. Most cottages are barely five meters from the sand; the rest are not much farther. All are fully solar powered, and though none have a TV or air-con, windows and sizable balconies let in plenty of breezes, and the fans are effective. The beach here is narrow and shady, with a nearby container terminal that somewhat detracts from the idyllic setting. Offered activities include film nights, free yoga, and lessons in Vietnamese language and cooking. Located on Vung Bau bay, a 30-minute taxi trip from the airport, with a few eateries nearby.
Hotel phone: +84 297 2810 345
Notes on Bamboo Cottages
- Remote, but idyllic; sloping trees on the beach, white sands, open-air breezy thatched-roof cafe/lobby/games room (with pool table) and lounge/library; friendly and convivial feel.
- Vietnamese family-owned with an American manager.
- Eco-friendly, claiming to be the only 100% solar-powered hotel on the island.
- Located about 30 mins by taxi from the airport, along a dirt road and near a new container terminal, which detracts a little from ambience, views, and serenity.
- Gorgeous narrow beach, plenty of shade, cute little bridge over creek, islets just off-shore; beach is shared with only a couple of small places nearby, so it’s nearly private.
- Buffet BBQ (specializing in seafood) two nights a week; other night, meals shared at a large family table.
- There’s no air conditioning, but fans and and breezes are suitable to keep cool.
- Offers classes in cooking and Vietnamese, free yoga, film nights, and excursions to bird watch, snorkel, and fish.
- About half of the cottages have direct ocean frontage, barely 5 meters from the sea, while others, called “sea view” are only 10m further back – still very close, but with inferior views.
- Cottages are detached or semi-detached, made of wood or brick; include an old fashioned icebox (not fridge), mosquito net, outdoor-style bathroom with hot water; large tiled balcony.
- Only one villa has a television, with sofa and corner lounge.
- There are no specific family amenities, but the gorgeous beach and many activities offered make this ideal for families who like the idea of roughing it a little.
- Bottom Line: Charming rustic getaway, convivial and eco-friendly, great activities offered.
Charming, unpretentious, and nicely located. One of the first hotels in the region, Cassia Cottage distinguishes itself from the other (oversized) resorts. Service is personable, and most rooms are comfortable but unremarkable, with TVs deliberately not provided. Premium Rooms share a wide balcony and feature stylish four-poster beds and spacious bathrooms; Beach Houses are ideal for groups or families. There are three pools, and a section of beach that’s fenced off for privacy. Located on a quiet laneway, only a short stroll from the main road through Long Beach, the island’s most developed tourist area.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3848 395
Notes on Cassia Cottage
- One of the first in the area, with the original cottage over 20 years old and undergoing extensive renovations.
- The rest of the hotel consists of red brick 2,3, or 4 story buildings, facing a garden and lawn.
- Cottage area has two small pools, and a 3rd is found in front of the guest room buildings.
- Sits in a decent enough location, a short stroll to the main road’s tourist facilities.
- Small and personable, doesn’t feel like just another chain.
- Almost all rooms overlook the garden, with a mix of tropical and other plants – including some organic vegetables; a creek meanders through the garden.
- Private fenced section of sand is strictly for guests, while the rest of the narrow stretch of beach is public.
- There’s a library and nice garden chairs for chatting; the old fashioned original cottage remains.
- Premium Rooms – Housed in a building with shared wide terrace; inside there’s tiled floor, stylish four poster bed, desk, chairs; spacious bathroom with two sinks – and outdoor tropical shower on the ground floor; no TV; full length windows/doors to balcony/veranda; none of these have direct sea views.
- Deluxe Seaview Rooms – Similar to Premium, but claims ocean vistas; “sea views” are decent enough but blocked to some degree by trees; high ceilings; stylish and plenty of luggage storage.
- Cottages – Not detached. Being renovated in 2017, some with 2nd bathroom and separate lounge/TV area.
- There are no specific family amenities, though families are welcome.
- Bottom Line: Pleasant, small, cozy, and in a good area.
Sparkling new and chic pool villas, in semi-secluded clusters of four. They differ by size – (one, two or three bedrooms) and views (private garden, river, or seafront). All are modern and spacious, with plenty of windows, sunken wood-lined Jacuzzis, and private swimming pools; larger villas also have a lounge/dining area. There’s a massive communal pool, a glistening white beach, three restaurants, and a fabulous spa – with all treatments included in the room rate. Activities like yoga, snorkeling and cycling are offered for all ages, and there’s a supervised kids club. Located on Vung Bau bay, about 40 minutes by hotel bus from the airport.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3690 000
Notes on Fusion Resort
- Completed in early 2017, so garden and trees are still growing/getting established.
- Spacious, secluded property; a 40-minute drive from the airport – airport transfers included.
- All villa resort; each with a private pool, all similar inside inside but differ in size (1,2, or 3 – each with ensuite bathroom) and views (garden, river, or ocean – only meters from the sand).
- Serene location, along a remote and astoundingly undeveloped section of beach, furnished with lounge chairs and umbrellas.
- Private swimming pools are just that – not tiny plunge pools. Shared hotel pool is round, with no shade, but a bar and cafe alongside, and close to the sea.
- All Villas – Private, modern, spacious, bright, and airy. Floor to ceiling windows lead to the private pool, which is lined with a double loungers and double swinging chairs; pleasing contemporary decor. Open-plan bathrooms, with sunken wood-lined Jacuzzi, wall-less shower, and cubicle toilet. Adjustable TV allows viewing from lounge chairs, bed, or even the Jacuzzi; plenty of luggage space.
- Larger villas – Have lounge/dining area, corner sofas, sunken outdoor lounge attached to pool.
- Amenities for families: Small but supervised kids club; plenty of open space; activities offered all day every day: snorkeling, yoga, beach football, cycling, sand-castle making, origami, and kite-flying; kids meals on all menus.
- Bottom Line: Lovely, new and modern villas; excellent beach; remote location.
Cozy and beachside, with flourishing gardens. Rooms are dotted among thickets of palms and ferns, in buildings reminiscent of French colonial mansions. Deluxe ones have balconies overlooking jungle-like gardens. Adjoined villas are large enough for extra beds, and feature their own private gardens – a few are sea-facing. There’s a narrow and shady beach, and a sparkling blue pool. Other attractions include a modest games room, stylish courtyard café and free yoga lessons. In addition to a kids’ pool, club, and playground, their Very Important Kids program organizes fun activities like children’s cooking classes. Located at Long Beach, with cafés and shops within an easy walk.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3982 988
Notes on La Veranda
- Under the management of MGallery by Sofitel; boutique style with only 70 rooms.
- Reminiscent of a French colonial style mansion, surrounded by lush tropical gardens; so many lovely shady palms and ferns.
- Modern Vietnamese twist in decor, which is thoughtfully designed and maintained.
- Two-story buildings; white railings, terraces, and mustard-colored walls.
- Well located near pleasant and affordable cafes/bars on the lanes off the main road (5 minutes walk); also a few along the beach, and inside the hotel grounds.
- French themed restaurants and organic gardens; free yoga lessons.
- Lovely beach; narrow and with a bit of slope –it’s public, but quiet and shady.
- Sparkling eco-friendly pool faces the sea, overlooked by gorgeously terraced French-style colonial restaurants.
- Modest games area with chess and ping pong.
- Deluxe Rooms – Mostly garden views, only very few have sea views; tastefully designed and decorated with old world colonial charm, without seeming old fashioned or outdated; overhead fan; balcony overlooking thick jungle-like gardens; soothing tiled floor.
- Villas – Not detached, just larger than the rooms; sizable balconies/verandas extend into lush private gardens; long desk; two double beds; colonial in style; marble bath.
- Great for families, with a playground, kids club and pool, and many fun organized activities. Some rooms have connecting doors, and villas are large enough for two double beds.
- Bottom Line: Elegant French colonial style in a top location for bars/cafes; cozy and welcoming; good beach.
Serene and remote, with great restaurants. Spread across substantial grounds with water on three sides, this former military complex offers spacious one- or two-bedroom suites with lounge areas and wide sea view balconies. The extended rocky shoreline is dotted with villas, many raised for maximum sea views or even perched above the waves. All are secluded behind lofty walls, and feature contemporary kitchens and lengthy balconies. The on-site restaurants are exceptional. There’s a small beach opposite the gorgeous infinity pool, and a private beach club on a Crusoe-like islet that’s accessible within minutes by hotel boat. Very tranquil, it is also very remote: at the end of the delightful Vung Bau bay, about 45 minutes from the airport by taxi.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3788 889
Notes on Nam Nghi
- 3 story building houses guest rooms and 1 or 2 bedroom suites; lots of seaside villas, all opposite rocky beaches.
- Modern and stylish decor; spacious.
- Located on a remote part of the island, 45 minutes from the airport; on an isthmus with rocky beaches on both sides, with only a tiny cove of white sand.
- Beach Club is on a small island that’s almost a swimmable distance, but accessible by boat.
- Infinity-style pool with edges that drip into the ocean; faces a lovely calm – but small – cove, plenty of umbrellas and lounge chairs.
- Excellent restaurants.
- Great gym and water sport/bicycle rental.
- Spa with skin treatments, yoga, and meditation.
- Hotel Rooms – In a 3-level building; all rooms on upper floors have great views, as there is sea in two directions; appealing modern decor; stunning views from a huge balcony; separate lounge with TV; gorgeous bedroom with desk and more views and balcony; ceiling fan; bright and breezy.
- Villas – Dotted along both coasts, all overlooking rocky beaches; some raised for maximum views above the rocks, some set back a little, some with only garden views (these are quite serene); all villas are private and detached, secluded behind walls. Available with 1 or 2 bedrooms. Tiled floor; kitchen with state of the art appliances; appealing modern decor; lengthy balcony; dining table; bathtub with garden views; plentiful sofas and luggage space.
- Families will appreciate the 2 bedroom suites, 2 bedroom villas with kitchen and dining table; some rooms and villas have connecting doors for a 3-bedroom option. Rooms are spacious and there is plenty of space to run around, and a nice small beach. There’s also a supervised kids club.
- Bottom Line: Beautiful and serene, but remote and isolated; for those who truly want to get away from it all.
Vast grounds, colonial design, first-rate location. Spread across extensive gardens, Richis’ low level rooms, villas, and bungalows feature a pleasing Quasi-colonial design, with whitewashed walls, wide terraces, and chunky balustrades. Stylish Deluxe Rooms are spacious, with endearing old-world furniture and a sizable garden-view balconies; only those on the top floor have sea views. Bungalows offer more seclusion and privacy. The lagoon-shaped pool features a swim-up bar and is lined with palms, and the broad beach is immaculately maintained. Other attractions include free bicycle hire and an adorable terraced café overlooking the ocean. The grounds stretch from the sea to the main road in central Long Beach, convenient to shops and cafés.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3845 188
Notes on Richis
- Spread over extensive grounds, with plenty of space and gardens; only 141 rooms in low level blocks of a stylish quasi-colonial style, with wide terraces and chunky balustrades.
- While large, the property from the main road to the beach is somewhat narrow, so any rooms near the road might be noisy.
- An open-air lobby sets the tone with elegant decor, high ceilings, dark-stained furniture; very welcoming, leading to ornate Vietnamese-style gardens with a temple surrounded by lotus ponds.
- Offers a range of rooms, villas, and bungalows, in a comfortable 4-star standard.
- Hotel rooms are in 2 or 4-level buildings; only those on the 4th floor offer any real sea views, albeit at a distance of about 100m.
- Built in 2015, so new-ish, but the garden is fully established.
- Near the main road, with plenty of shops and cafes in both directions, and others on the beach.
- Free airport transfer; free bicycle hire; small golf teeing area.
- Adorable colonial-style breakfast cafe on a wide tiled terrace, sea-facing and overlooking the pool.
- Pool is lagoon-shaped, with plenty of palms offering welcome shade; swim up bar.
- Beach is wide, white, shady, and immaculate; more inviting than others nearby including those at the larger resorts.
- Deluxe rooms – Elegant but unpretentious; large enough for queen and single bed; charming old-world furniture, but modern amenities; large balcony with excellent garden views; tasteful design and decor; particularly lovely bathroom.
- Bungalows – In a separate building, on upper or ground floor, offering some privacy; large balconies offer views of particularly lush gardens; marble bathroom with free-standing tub and twin sinks; very elegant and thoughtfully designed; four poster bed; sofa; tiled floor; dark wooden furniture.
- Baby-sitting is available for families, and there’s a tiny playground, plenty of space for kids to explore, great beach, nice large pool, and shops and cafes along the main road.
- Bottom Line: Luxurious and new, colonial-styled, in a good location for shops; immaculate beach; luscious gardens.
Personable and affordable – not another generic mega-resort. The Tropicana caters mostly to Vietnamese tourists, so it’s a bit more affordable, though the service and facilities may not entirely match western expectations. Most of the resort’s spacious rooms overlook the pool and gardens, and also offer sea views (albeit distant); others are semi-detached or in rows facing the lawns. All are comfortably furnished, with full length windows and smallish balconies. The pool is surrounded by palms, and the beach is clean and shady. Located in the center of Long Beach, with ample facilities within walking distance along the main road.
Hotel phone: +84 297 3847 127
Notes on Tropicana
- One of the first built on the island in the area, in the 1990s, but extensively renovated in 2015; doesn’t seem outdated.
- 3-star boutique style, small and personable; serving Vietnamese so priced accordingly,
- All 3rd level rooms have sea views, albeit at a distance of up to 100m; rooms not in the main building are semi-detached or in rows facing a garden path that stretches from the lobby to the sea.
- Pleasing overall design, with white-washed walls and dark wood railings and columns.
- Decent location; in the middle of Duong Dong town with some decent cafes and tourist facilities nearby; on Long Beach, the longest and most popular in Phu Quoc.
- Hotel rate includes free airport transfer.
- Rooms – Floor to ceiling windows lead to small balconies; long desk; welcome sea breezes. All rooms are similar inside, only differing in setting and views, whether in the main building with some sea views or in single rows facing the garden. Those on the 3rd floor of the main building have distant ocean views and also overlook the pool surrounded by garden.
- No special amenities offered for kids, save a tiny play area; the setting and space would better suit those with older children.
- Bottom Line: An affordable mid-range option in a good location; not a pricey mega-resort, but better than a budget backpacker place.
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