If you follow this blog or any other of my social media accounts, you will more than likely know that I just got married and went on Honeymoon to Ninh Van Bay. Actually it was our first wedding, we are heaving another later in the year, and thus we decided to have two honeymoons too. I have labelled this one the mini-moon as we only had 5 days and wanted to travel locally so we weren’t wasting our time travelling on buses and planes. I scoured the internet looking for locations, but most direct flights out of Seoul were to big cities that we have previously visited and didn’t have the honeymoon relax factor that we were looking for. Finally I stumbled across An Lam Retreats and I knew it would be perfect, I also managed to negotiate a press rate which afforded us a much nicer villa.
An Lam retreats is located in Ninh Van Bay, which is on a peninsula only accessed by boat just across from Nha Trang. We flew their directly with Vietjet for a very reasonable $350 USD from Incheon airport. We then took a taxi ($50) to the ferry jetty, where we were welcomed by the An Lam staff before being whisked away on a private boat to take us across to the resort. Once we were back on dry land, we were welcomed by our private butler (all the rooms come with one) with cold towels and a refreshing cold drink. We had arrived early in the morning but thankfully we were able to check straight into our room. At first they told us there would be a charge for this but when we said we would be happy to hang out by the pool until check in time they told us it would be fine to go straight to the room.
After much consideration, we opted for the bay view room, however we were upgraded to the beach side villa which is the same size but right on the water front. The villa was absolutely spectacular. We have stayed in some very nice places over the years but this had to be the best yet. The room was just flawless, and looked exactly like the pictures. We had a lovely big terrace for us to chill out and read on, our own private pool and two sun loungers with direct access to a tiny slice of beach. The main room had a gigantic white bed in the middle of it, which had been decorated with a large heart and rose petals upon our arrival. The main living space was huge with a TV, fridge, tea and coffee and a chez lounge big enough for two. The bathroom was really impressive, a huge wooden bath tub, rain shower, double sink and even a little day bed, it was bigger than the Blue Banana!
Once at the resort, you are pretty much stuck there, unless you want to pay $100 to take a boat across back to the mainland. Being extrememly lazy people, and having been to Nha Trang before we were happy to stay put, but this is something to bare in mind. If relaxing and eating and drinking doesn’t fill your days then the resort offers several free classes and paid excursions. One class that seemed right up our ally was the Vietnamese coffee making class. I love Vietnamese coffee and it was nice to learn about the different aspects of making it more intently. There is also a cooking class offered once a week which we would have loved to have taken part in but sadly it was on the day we left. The excursions are skewed towards romantic boat trips, candlelight dinners on the beach, however I preferred to spend the extra $ on some luxury treatments at the spa. I had a two and half hour facial, massage and body scrub package for $130 USD, they also threw in an extra 30 minute foot massage at the end. The spa was wonderful and very luxurious like the rest of the retreat. While you could get this for a fraction on the price on the mainland, it was much cheaper than Seoul and I considered it quite the bargain.
Breakfast is always one of my favourite times of the day when staying at a luxury hotel or restaurant. I just adore any meal which is plentiful and allows me to indulge as much as I want. For our first morning we went down to the restaurant and were given a menu of items, of which we were able to choose as many as we liked. There was a good mix of local and western breakfast treats. I think by the end we had ordered more or less everything, I think I considered it to be quite the challenge. We adored the fresh juices and basket of freshly baked pastries (especially the sausage rolls), along with the Vietnamese coffees. On the more substantial side we liked the Eggs Benedict, bircher muesli, make your own breakfast platter, Vietnamese steak and eggs and the french toast. The only dish we didn’t really care for or order again was the Pho, which was a bit of let down especially with us being in Vietnam. However one morning they had two special soup noodle dishes that we enjoyed a lot more, and they seemed to do an extra special dish each day. However probably the best thing about the breakfast is that you could have it delivered to your room by your butler for no extra charge, and you were still allowed as much as you wanted. There really was so much to choose from and we weren’t in the least bit bored with the choices.
For lunch and dinner you could again choose to eat at the restaurant or have room service, we did a mix of these two things and found the pricing to be the same. The menu is large and varied, and if you don’t eat as much as us you’d struggle to get through even half of it. Considering you are stuck eating there the prices are quite fair, only the items like the steaks and high end meat and fish menu items were expensive. Most of the other dishes were $10-$15 each. We mostly went for the Vietnamese items like the fried noodles, spring rolls, bahn mi and the Vietnamese salads. There is also a full bar menu and cocktail menu available, you are encouraged not to bring your own drinks to the resort, though we picked up a bottle of vodka at duty free which we were able to enjoy in the room along side the mixers in the mini bar and they happily brought us ice and lime at no extra charge. The bar also offers a happy hour every day with 1+1 drinks which we made more than enough use of. The cocktails weren’t mind blowing but they were decent and good enough to keep someone as fussy as myself happy.
Overall we had a perfect mini-moon, it was exactly what we wanted. The resort itself was very luxurious and we only had a few very minor gripes. They definitely made us feel special, and we loved the small details of having a butler, breakfast in the room and the free afternoon tea. If you are looking for somewhere completely relaxing that it is easy to get to from South Korea, you couldn’t find anywhere better than this.
An Lam Retreats is located at Hon Heo Peninsula, Tan Thanh Commune, Ninh Ich Ward, Ninh Hoa Town, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam. Rooms start from $275 USD per night. For more information you can contact them via their website.