“Danang is the largest city in central Vietnam with a population of roughly one million.”
Met by a uniformed young lady with a broad smile we were escorted to a waiting car. The journey to the resort in Vietnam took roughly 1 hour climbing up the mountainside passing through the longest tunnel in SE Asia – 6.3kms on the main north to south highway QL1.
We arrived at the Laguna Lăng Cô resort owned by The Banyan Tree Group where 2 resorts nestle side by side to form one of three Laguna estates worldwide. Laguna is a combination of the 5 star plus Banyan Tree, renowned worldwide for its exemplary levels of hospitality, service and accommodation, plus the more family orientated 5 star beach resort Angsana.
The Laguna Lăng Cô complex is situated on a 280 hectare site with an 18 hole golf course of which Sir Nick Faldo is ambassador and is fronted by a 3kms private beach. The 223 apartment Angsana sits on the beach and the 49 lagoon and beach villas of the Banyan Tree sit at the foot of the mountain with the luxury hill villas perched on the hillside.
The room in the Angsana was akin to a well equipped and furnished apartment with everything that one would want for a short or long vacation. It has been designed for families – the majority of its rooms come with a swimming pool on the terrace and are luxuriously appointed. Of course being part of the Banyan Tree Group the Angsana has first class spa facilities. Generally the service, facilities, environment and the ambience were all what you would expect from a Banyan Tree Group property – beyond expectations.
For those wanting an adventurous holiday, besides the 18 hole golf course, the resorts provide a host of water sports – jet ski’s, kayaks, windsurfing and snorkelling, to name but a few, but we chose the quiet life and drank in the serenity that the destination offered. We sampled the spas in both hotels and were pampered as only Banyan Tree could provide. A choice of relaxing and invigorating therapies made us even more chilled than we were before.We were lucky to be able to enjoy both resorts during our 5 day stay but as a couple we much enjoyed the sheer luxury, serenity and solitude of the Banyan Tree.
Perched on a forested hillside in central Vietnam 50kms outside Danang overlooking the beautiful Chan May bay watching the rain clouds subside. Who had the vision to build a 6 star resort here where the majority of the luxury accommodation is built on stilts or secluded villas in the green and verdant gardens embracing nature?
We had room 302 high on the hillside overlooking the bay. It was like waking up to a picture postcard with the beach stretching out before us. Listening to the surf constantly embracing the granite boulders below, the clouds so low you felt you could almost reach them.
“The population of Vietnam is 90 million – 10M each in Hanoi the cultural and political capital and Ho Chi Minh the economic centre.”
Both resorts offer guests the option of buying the apartment enjoying up to 60 days stay and then renting it out through the company receiving the lions share of its income. Their Sanctuary Club’s Exchange programme allows you to choose from at least 12 other destinations within the group whilst potentially reaping the benefits from the appreciating asset for years to come.
We were taken on 3 excursions from the hotel. The first to a local fishing village, I thought to observe, but we were actually taking part! My partner went out in a boat with our guide Hung, who I thank for all the facts that he provided me for this article and the fisherman’s wife in a coracle (a round 1.5 metre bamboo boat coated with tar to waterproof it). and I accompanied the fisherman in a long narrow boat and we laid out the net.
The second to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An 80kms away where we toured the ancient town on foot, parts of which date back to the 17th century. The Japanese bridge, old houses, temple, Assembly House and market. It was an hour and a half drive there and back to the old city and it gave us an insight into life in central Vietnam.
The third excursion was to the ancient cultural city of Hue 75 minutes and 65kms away. Its vast, 19th century Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City, once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theatre.
“Vietnam is the 3rd largest rice exporter in the world after India and Thailand. The 2nd largest coffee exporter after Brazil and the largest exporter in the world of cashew nuts and peppers.”
We enjoyed the time alone in the luxury of our eerie in the sky overlooking the bay. Each time you looked there was something else to see, to focus on, in the ever changing landscape. We swam in the private swimming pool on the terrace and enjoyed the hot tub/Jacuzzi – the rest of humanity seemed so far away.
On the last night we were treated to a barbecue cooked on the terrace at our villa. It was raining so we stayed inside but two uniformed staff arrived, set up and proceeded to cook a feast for us and served it to us as we sat at the dining table in our villa. The food was delicious and the sheer indulgence of having a private chef serve you at the table was a pure delight and something which brought our stay at Banyan Tree to a perfect end.
Our stay at Laguna Lăng Cô was over far too quickly. I could become accustomed to the stunning views, the luxurious room and apartments, palatial surroundings and the ever present attentive staff. We checked out the following morning and were chauffeur driven the return trip to the airport in silence as we watched the sights of central Vietnam out of the window.
We flew to Danang with Bangkok Airways, Asia’s boutique airline, from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Danang and the journey took roughly one hour forty minutes.` They fly to the destination four times a week as one of the 14 international destinations that they now serve and 10 locations in Thailand. www.bangkokair.com
Angsana Lăng Cô www.angsana.com/en/ap-vietnam-lang-co
Banyan Tree Lăng Cô www.banyantree.com/en/ap-vietnam-lang-co
Cu Du Village, Loc Vinh Commune
Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam tel: +84 54 3695 800