Last April & May, I enjoyed a great holiday in Vietnam, where some resorts far exceeded my sky-high expectations (and rank among the best hotels I have ever stayed at). You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Düsseldorf to Singapore
- Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City
- Review: The Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
- Review: Anantara Mui Ne
- Review: Vietnam Airlines ATR-72 from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao
- Review: Six Senses Con Dao
- Review: Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang (today)
- Review: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
- Review: Amanoi
- Review: Avani Quy Nhon
- Review: Anantara Hoi An
- Review: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An
- Review: Banyan Tree Lang Co
- Review: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
- Review: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Hong Kong to Düsseldorf.
Today (August 2, 2017): Review of Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang (Vietnam).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: Beachside Tran Phu Boulevard, Tp. Nha Trang, Vietnam
- Hotel website: Evason Ana Mandara
Evason Ana Mandara is Nha Trang’s only in-town beachfront resort, nestled between a magnificent bay and a bustling coastal street. The resort’s 74 guestrooms are set in semi-detached garden villas offering classic Vietnamese touches amidst a tropical oasis. Dining options include Vietnamese and international cuisine, with many ingredients sourced from local markets. A superb spa presents an array of specialty treatments, traditional therapies, beachfront aerial yoga and sensory journeys, providing truly relaxing and revitalizing wellness encounters. The family-friendly resort, which is managed by the famous Six Senses brand, offers a diverse range of excursions, beach volleyball, water-activity, PADI dive center, and the Kid’s Club.
In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most famous resort town thanks to its magnificent stretch of gold sand. However, if you dream of going from your plush bed straight into the East China Sea for a swim, you can only do that at Evason Ana Mandara, since that’s the only hotel in downtown Nha Trang located directly on the sand. All other hotels – including the more recently built InterContinental Nha Thrang resort – are separated from the beach by the busy Tran Phu Boulevard.
- The informal beach resort stretches along 0,5 km (0,3 mi) of palm-fringed beach, and is tucked away in lush gardens, shielded from the traffic noise and lively streetscape of Tran Phu Boulevard. Although the bustling city is in the hotel’s backyard, a peaceful and secluded sanctuary will await you the moment you enter the resort grounds. The property offers a level of tranquility that’s not matched by any other hotel in Nha Trang city.
- The resort features a low-rise concept, reminiscent of a traditional Vietnamese village, which is a welcome alternative for the high-rise buildings that now dot the shore in Nha Trang. Natural materials have been used to build the resort and decorate the interiors, with rattan chairs, wood loungers, whitewashed bar tables, stone foundations, and terracotta tile roofs fusing traditional Vietnamese accents with contemporary design.
- At the hotel’s heart is a breezy reception pavilion, which is an open-sided space with dark wood cushioned chairs and tables under a high ceiling. The lobby overlooks a lily ponds packed with exotic koi fish and a small wooden bridge in the lush gardens. The lobby space also houses several on-site boutique shops, the activity & excursions center, a bar, an art gallery displaying works of local painters, and a charming library, which features a large choice of newspapers, magazines, and books. The lobby is also connected to one of the resort’s two dining venues, Pavilion restaurant (more on that below).
- Evason Ana Mandara offers 74 semi-detached suites and guestrooms within 17 traditional Vietnamese-style villas, which are set in the lush, tropical gardens on each side of the lobby. The resort accommodation is evocative of a traditional, serene Vietnamese village blended with modern refinement. During my holiday, I stayed in a so-called ‘deluxe sea view room’, which had French windows that opened onto a cozy, shaded terrace with partial views of the sea. The room, which came with two single beds in mosquito netting, featured a cottage-style decor, with high thatched ceilings and rustic Vietnamese hardwood furniture above the tile floor. The ensuite bathroom featured two sinks, a toilet, a full-sized bathtub, and a rain shower.
- Resort guests are spoilt for choice with two generously sized, beach-front pools. The pool near the lobby, which comes with a jacuzzi, is perfect for families with younger children. The far end of the property features an even larger pool, which has an inviting drop off blending with the horizon of the East China Sea. Daybeds and cushioned lounge chairs with umbrellas are set around both pools and encourage poolside relaxation.
- The property – a wholly Vietnamese owned enterprise – is managed by Six Senses, one of my favorite luxury hotel brands in the world. Six Senses is a hotel and spa management company that currently comprises 10 resorts and 28 spas under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas. Each of the Six Senses properties is supported by a leadership commitment to community, sustainability and wellness. Six Senses operates two other properties in Vietnam as well: ultraluxe Six Senses con Dao and – my favorite – Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. It’s important to know that Evason Ana Mandara is the least exclusive of the 3 Vietnamese Six Senses properties, reflecting the more budget-friendly character of the Evason brand.
- The seaside Six Senses Spa Nha Trang offers specialty treatments together with an extensive menu of traditional therapies, providing a truly relaxing and revitalizing experience to rejuvenate the senses. Skilled therapists create sensory journeys for guests, with a range of holistic wellness and pampering treatments using only natural products. The spa also offers Aerial Yoga which brings together stretching, breathing and meditation with gymnastics and aerial arts.
- The resort has two excellent beach-front restaurants. The Pavilion restaurant is located near the lobby and serves gourmet dining focusing on local cuisine. Once a week, it is transformed into a street market, highlighting authentic regional Vietnamese food from around the country. Each morning, the Pavilion restaurant is also the scene of a terrific breakfast buffet, which comprises several food stations. The other dining venue – Ana Beach House restaurant – is located along the infinity pool and specializes in seafood and Mediterranean fare.
- The hotel is located right on Nha Trang’s famous golden sand beach. The beach itself is fully public though it is far enough away from the main drag that few venture here. Several sun loungers under thatched umbrellas are available to hotel guests only. Remarkably, before sunrise and after sunset, it are mainly Vietnamese people who make use of the beach and swim in the sea, while European and Russian tourists largely outnumber the Vietnamese nationals during the day.
- There is a host of activities for the whole family at Evason Ana Mandara. The resort offers tennis, biking, gym fitness, beach volleyball, exciting moonlight cruises and much, much more. On Evason Ana Mandara’s tranquil beach, you will also find a onsite five-star PADI accredited diving center where the experts know many great diving and snorkeling sites. The islands surrounding Nha Trang offer exciting, adventurous trips and fishing excursions. Close by is some of Vietnam’s astounding countryside, with steep mountains and plush green paddy fields seemingly electrified by the sun.
- Eco-friendly and sustainable policies are at the core of the resort’s business, serving up organic, locally sourced food where possible, recycling and offering free bicycles for touring, employing local staff, and running charity schemes to improve locals’ quality of life.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The 5-star Evason Ana Mandara enjoys an excellent reputation as the only beachfront property in Nha Trang town. It’s the perfect choice for a family holiday. There are some things you need to know though when considering a stay here to make sure that your expectations are met:
- The 74 rooms and suites are housed in 17 villas, which are located quite lose to each other. However, the tropically lush vegetation offers a high degree of privacy, so there’s not really something to be worried about.
- Although the hotel is right in the middle of a town, you will not notice that as the hotel is tucked away in a lush oasis of tropical vegetation. However, although the resort is a tranquil spot, hotel areas and rooms closer to the busy Tran Phu Boulevard behind the property may pick up a bit of street noise.
- Nha Trang’s beach is very busy and crowded, although the stretch of public beach in front of the hotel feels more quiet and more exclusive.
- The property is less luxurious and also considerably cheaper when compared to its more famous Six Senses sister properties. Although managed by Six Senses, the Evason brand is more budget friendly and caters to a different public, although there’s no denying that the property is still 5 star and does not compromise on comfort. However, if you expect the same level of luxury as at other Six Senses hotels, you may end up disappointed.
- Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang is an older property. It opened 20 years ago, in 1997, and although facilities are very well maintained, the rooms and communal areas could use a little refurbishment in certain areas.
- Location: 7/10
- Design: 7/10
- Pool: 8/10
- Rooms: 7/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting best deal at a luxury hotel like Evason Ana Mandara. Book a room at the cheapest price and/or receive many free perks!
- Request a room away from the busy coastal street behind the hotel.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Like most of Southeast Asia, Vietnam varies from warm to very hot throughout the whole year. There are four annual seasons: cool and dry between November and February; (very) hot and dry between March and May; hot and wet between June and August; and cool and wet between September and early November. The best time to visit is the cool and dry season, when the weather usually benefits from a pleasant dry heat and the surrounding countryside is still green from the rains. In general, autumn travel in Nha Trang is not recommended as heavy rain, tropical storms and typhoon may occur.
HOW TO GET THERE
Nha Trang is situated 840 miles (1,350) kilometers from Hanoi (HAN) and 280 miles (450 kilometers) from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN). Vietnam airlines operates flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang (DAD) on most days, according to schedule. Upon arriving at Cam Ranh Airport (CXR), it takes approximately 30-minutes by car to Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang. Guest with reservations will be met at the airport by a resort host. Cam Ranh airport transfer fee to and from resort by shared van are $25 USD per room per way. Guests also have the option of private transfer at $61 USD for two to three persons per way, per vehicle.