The Nam Hai is probably Vietnam’s most famous beach resort, but it’s a little perplexing that the country’s sandy attractions have not received as much love as the more crowded stretches in, say, Thailand or Malaysia. With the unveiling of JW Marriott’s new Phú Quốc Emerald Bay Resort, it could well be that Vietnamese beaches are finally getting their moment in the sun, as it were.
The 243-room property on Phu Quoc island is the work of architect Bill Bensley who has apparently imagined the resort as a kind of Hogwarts where each building is modeled after a ‘mythical department’. Which really translates into an early Victorian pastiche of bell-towers and interiors of dark woods, cool stone floors, four-poster beds and light touches of Chinoiserie by way of silk lanterns and carved columns.
The biggest attraction, of course is the jade-green bay, its splendid panorama best enjoyed at the, ahem, Department of Chemistry, aka the Destination Bar, though the Spa by JW works hard to tempt with three or six day wellness journeys centered on yoga, meditation and body treatments. Meanwhile, executive chef Satoru Takeuchi presides over Tempus Fugit, a collection of eateries that includes a beachside seafood grill and Cantonese restaurant.