anantara ventures into a less-known corner of vietnam
Quy Nhon is not the kind of place you go for a see-and-be-seen beach getaway. There are no buzzy waterfront clubs, no Michelin-starred restaurants, and no stretches of beach packed with one over-the-top resort after the next. Instead, the southeastern Vietnamese city is intoxicatingly sleepy — there are miles and miles of golden-sand beaches to lay out on and tourist-free temples to explore. Think Phuket nearly half a century ago.
But now, the stretch of coast halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is receiving its first luxury inroads courtesy of Anantara, which is readying to open the Anantara Quy Nhon Villas resort in November. As the name suggests, the property — located on a private beach about 20 minutes from the city centre — features just 26 villas, half perched on the hillsides overlooking the glittering South China Sea and half smack on the sand, just steps from the water. Each villa features now-standard cues of Southeast Asian luxury: low-slung architecture, creamy white linens, freestanding soaking tubs, and subtle decor (think carved wooden screens and pops of jewel tones) that puts the focus squarely on the sweeping views outside. The star of the show is undeniably the sleek infinity pools each villa is outfitted with — which often cantilever over the palms, making them the perfect perch for watching the waves and the wind tousle the property’s 17 acres of lushly landscaped tropical gardens.
If you can tear yourself away from your private pool, head down to the beach for world-class snorkeling (or you can flag down a speedboat or grab one of the resort’s kayaks and head out to the nearby islets, which are teeming with virtually untouched reefs and beaches). Get a taste of local culture by strapping in for a motorcycle tour of the glowing red ruins of Cham temples scattered throughout the surrounding Dinh Binh province or by booking a lesson in Vietnamese martial arts at the spa.
Come dinner time, you can settle in at Sea Fire Salt, the resort’s signature restaurant where salt and wine gurus are on hand to guide you through the Vietnamese-inspired menu. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can snag one of the property’s bikes and peddle into the surrounding villages for fresh seafood (your personal butler will take the guesswork out of the equation by providing a tailored map). Or, if you’d like to go really further afield, you can arrange for a Castaway Sunset Dinner on a nearby deserted island or cap off a day of ocean fishing with a gourmet dinner prepared with the day’s catch.