The fascinating make up of Vietnam continues to intrigue many until this day, with each region boasting its own personality. Northern Vietnam has the strong-headed Hanoi, while the south has laid back Ho Chi Minh City. Then there’s central Vietnam, oft forgotten while standing behind the spotlight of her two sisters. But like most middle children, she is venturing out of the shadows.
Made up of Hoi An, the ancient town; Hue, the imperial city; and Danang, the third largest city in the country, central Vietnam has steadily gained traction and popularity with international tourists. To complement tourism efforts, the government set up Central Coast Vietnam (CCV) to further market the region as a destination, encourage international airlines to fly to Danang and Hue airports, and work with beach resorts to push for further development of the area.
One such development propelling this initiative is Banyan Tree Lang Co, located on the fringe of Hue. What once stood as an empty plot of land only accessible by boat has since been transformed into a world-class beach resort.
Opened in 2013, the all-villas resort offers three rooming options, and like every new-age resort, each comes with its own lap pool. Both the Sanctuary Pool and Beach Pool villas sit on ground level, and while the latter is the smaller of the two, it offers direct access to the beach. The Hillside Pool villas are perched on a hilltop at 25m and 68m above sea level, accessible by a short winding buggy path. While the former two villas are only available as single rooms and for hotel bookings, the Hillside Pool villas come in one-, two- and three-room configurations, and are available for both bookings and purchase.
The villas, which are built on demand, take between seven and nine months to construct. Out of the 54 plots of allocated land, 11 villas are completed and in operation, with an additional two acting as show villas. Seven more have been structurally completed, for prospective owners who would like to cut short the waiting time.
Upon completion, owners are allowed 60 days of complimentary access to the villa each year, out of which 15 days can be used at other Banyan Tree resorts. At all other times, Banyan Tree Lang Co takes over the management of the property. Depending on the view, prices start from US$850,000 (RM3.58 million) for a one-bedroom villa and go up to US$1.5 million (RM6.3 million) for three bedrooms.
Says Mikal Zitek, area general manager of Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts, “I like the (villas which are) set back in the hill. You can see the village below, and you still get the view of the beach, bay, and beyond.”
Most of the owners purchase the villas as a form of investment, with many hailing from the neighbouring countries like South Korea, Japan, Brunei and Singapore. Investment returns average between 40 to 50 per cent of combined revenue generated from the Hillside Pool villas each month.
All guests and owners have access to facilities of the resort facilities, which include a yoga pavilion, spa, three restaurants, a bar-cum-library, and a plethora of water sports.
Because of the resort’s secluded location — transfers include an hour-long car ride or a 17-minute helicopter ride from Da Nang International Airport — places of interest are easily at least an hour’s drive away. Shuttle buses are provided to Hue and Hoi An, where you can join guided tours and learn about Vietnam’s rich history. Private car rentals and tour guide packages are also available.
The resort is connected to the neighbouring Angsana Lang Co by the beach, and you may dine at the restaurants, participate in activities and take a dip in the 300m serpentine pool that snakes throughout the property. Golfers can also tee off at the 18-hole, par-71 championship course Laguna Lang Co Golf Club, designed by Sir Nick Faldo.
To ensure sustainability, Banyan Tree Lang Co has designated a nearby plot of land to be used as an organic farm. Apart from making its own compost, the farm grows organic vegetables and herbs, which are used in the resort’s restaurants. The estate will soon be joined by at least six more properties, some of which will be available for purchase. “The developments will bring more life to Lang Co, which in turn would help in the development of the destination, as much as the properties itself,” says Zitek, who is also the chairman of CCV. “As central Vietnam becomes more understood and easily accessible, there’ll be a global reach as opposed to just a South-east Asian reach.”
With Banyan Tree Lang Co, Angsana Lang Co and CCV working closely together, it won’t be soon before central Vietnam steals the spotlight from its siblings.
Banyan Tree Lang Co
Cu Du Village, Loc Vinh Commune,
Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province
Tel: +84 54 3695 888
Banyan Tree Lang Co