A couple of weeks ago, 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 Resort & Spa
- Review: Vietnam Airlines ATR-72 from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao
- Review: Six Senses Con Dao
- Review: Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang
- Review: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
- Review: Amanoi, most exclusive resort in Vietnam
- Review: Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa (today)
- Review: Anantara Hoi An Resort
- 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 30, 2017): Review of Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa (Vietnam).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: Ghenh Rang, Bai Dai Beach, Tp. Qui Nhơn, Bình Định, Vietnam
- Hotel website: Avani Quy Nhon
Sheltered by a golden beach and soaring cliffs, Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, located along Vietnam’s south central coastline, offers a tropical beach and spa retreat generous in spirit and beauty. Upon arrival, guests have a seamless view of the deep blue ocean. Colorful, wooden fishing boats anchored in the bay add to the exotic ambience. This is pure Vietnam – unpretentious and alluring. The spacious comfort of each of the 63 Avani Deluxe Studio Rooms and Avani Junior Ocean Suites comes with muted shades of mint and white with splashes of aubergine that offer a soothing palette and contemporary comforts. Apart from visits to the 11th century Champa ruins, divine spa treatments, and long siesta’s, there is little else to do other than stroll and swim.
Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Vietnam.
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
*** Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Vietnam with my online Vietnam travel guide ***
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Avani Quy Nhon enjoys a somewhat off-the-beaten-path location just outside the town of Quy Nhon on Vietnam’s south-central coast. Still untouched by mass tourism, Quy Nhon is a pleasant, lively and very clean city, featuring grand boulevards and a lovely seaside promenade. Although largely ignored by most first-time visitors to Vietnam, Quy Nhon enjoys a great and convenient location when you are touring the whole country, since the town is located halfway between the popular resorts towns of Nha Trang and Hoi An, making the area a great place for a one- or two night stay to break up the otherwise nine-hour over-land journey between these two towns.
- The resort enjoys an idyllic setting, nestled between a pristine beach and orchard covered mountains. The hotel buildings are located on a rocky promontory overlooking a wide and very picturesque gold-sand beach, which is the most stunning beach in the vicinity of Quy Nohn, an area not particularly known for the beauty of its shoreline. Although the beach itself is not private, it’s somewhat sheltered from the outside world since the beach is located in its own cove and surrounded by large boulders, so you won’t encounter a lot of locals or tourists here. A couple of very comfortable loungers on the beach are reserved for hotel guests only.
- Avani Quy Nhon is an intimate boutique resort, featuring a simple but convenient layout due to its small scale. The L-shaped main building houses the lobby, a sitting lounge, a fancy bar, and the main restaurant. Below the lobby, you find a well-equipped gym as well as a play room, which is the place to hang out for teenagers who want to brush up on their ping-pong and snooker skills, or play PS4 game consoles with friends. The lobby building embraces a lovely courtyard with reflecting water pond, that gives way to a timber pool deck overlooking the sea and beach. Only a short stroll from the lobby, the accommodations are located in three low-rise wings set along the beach. The spa (cf below) is set back in the forest behind the resort.
- The resort’s decor underwent an extensive overhaul in 2015, so everything looks fresh and new. The arrival lobby, restaurant and bar, and all guest rooms and suites were all refurbished to meet the Avani brand’s contemporary image. New walkways and decking were installed all around the resort and the pool. The high-ceilinged and open-space lobby is especially beautiful because of its rather sleek design, making a dramatic first impression when you arrive at the resort, an experience enhanced by the views of the reflecting water pond, the vast infinity pool, and the shimmering ocean at the horizon.
- The resort features 63 Deluxe Studio Rooms & Junior Ocean Suites, with all accommodations enjoying views of the ocean and beach. The Deluxe Studio Rooms are located on levels 2 and 3 of the accommodation wings, while the Junior Ocean Suites are located on the ground floor. During my holiday, I stayed in a Junior Ocean Suite. Simple but functional in design, the room featured a queen size bed, a separate sitting lounge, and a balcony with a hanging basket seat, perfect for soaking in the views. The bed, albeit small in size, was perfectly positioned to watch the sun rise over the South China Sea each morning. The open-plan bathroom could be closed off from the bedroom with a curtain and featured 2 sinks, a toilet, and a rain shower with an oversized glass bay window overlooking the beach and sea.
- The resort’s only swimming pool is an oval-shaped, fresh water pool, positioned on the edge of the promontory. Although it fools yourself into thinking it’s an infinity pool, it’s not a true infinity pool since there’s still a deck with dining tables behind the pool. Nevertheless, the impeccably clean pool enjoys stunning vistas of the ocean and the beach below. A dozen loungers with soft cushions are set up along the pool, some of them shaded by overhanging vegetation, and there’s a separate kids pool on the side.
- The treehouse-esque spa is nestled on the forested slopes of the hills behind the beach. Flowering trees and greenery abound, guests walk along a stone path towards the spa’s reception although the hotel staff can also drop you there by buggy. The spa boasts five outdoor treatment bungalows and three indoor treatment suites set amid the lush gardens. The spa also has a Japanese dry sand and salt sauna, and holds yoga and tai chi sessions on its deck.
- Dining at the resort is always a satisfying pleasure. Overlooking the ocean, Tre restaurant is the resort’s only dining venue. The space was completely redesigned during the resort’s refurbishment in 2015 and upgraded with brand new features, furniture, lighting and kitchen facilities. The indoor space flows into a lovely outdoor terrace with some dining tables from where to enjoy al fresco dining accompanied by terrific ocean views. The restaurant serves both asian and western cuisine. In the morning, breakfast is served here as well, either in the form of a small buffet complemented by an a la carte menu (in case of low occupancy) or a large buffet with live cooking stations.
- The resort offers a host of leisure activities and excursions including Vietnamese cooking classes, sea kayaking and deep-sea fishing. Guests can also enjoy a tailor-made picnic lunch with a leisurely stroll, swim or spot of snorkelling at the resort’s private island, only a 10-minute journey away via a traditional coracle boat.
- The Avani brand is part of the Minor Hotel Group, which also manages the more famous and luxurious Anantara brand. The Minor Hotel Group was founded by US born William Heinecke, who entered the hospitality industry as a minor, hence explaining the name of his company. The Bangkok-based company currently has more than 140 hotels, resorts and serviced suites in 22 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South America, African, and the Indian Ocean. The Minor Hotel Group is one of the largest hospitality and leisure companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Avani Quy Nhon is currently the best resort in Quy Nhon and surroundings, although that may change when its brand-new Anantara sister resort – Anantara Quy Nhon – opens next door in 2018. Besides its two properties in Quy Nhon, the Minor Hotel group also manages 3 other hotels in Vietnam: Anantara Mui Ne, Anantara Hoi An (which I will review next week), and Avani Hai Phong.
- The Avani brand focuses on a younger public, offering a stylish and modern resort experience at budget-friendly rates. It’s not different at Avani Quy Nhon, which is one of the most affordable luxury properties in Vietnam. With room rates often under $200 USD per night, the resort offers great value for money.
- Peppering the hillsides and valleys around the city of Quy Nhon in central Vietnam are venerable relics of the lost Champa civilisation that dominated the country’s centre and south between the 2nd and 15th centuries. Despite the towers’ status of an architectural marvel, the temples’ remoteness means that travellers venturing further afield to explore them are likely to have the spectacular sites all to themselves. Guests staying at the Avani Quy Nhon resort can take advantage of a full-day Champa tour conducted by a local travel guide, either perched on the back of a motorbike in true Vietnamese style or in the comfort of an air-conditioned car.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Avani Quy Nhon is a great five-star hotel, perfect for spending a few days chilling along the pool or on the beach, especially when you want to break up the long journey between Nha Trang and Hoi An or when you want to explore a lesser know corner of Vietnam. However, the resort may not appeal to everyone and you need to know the following before considering a stay here:
- While the resort is undeniably five stars, it’s not as exclusive and luxurious as most other properties I have previously reviewed on my blog, including the best resorts in Vietnam. That said, the resort does not pretend to be among Vietnam’s elite resorts and it only charges a fraction of the price that you will pay for Vietnam’s top-end properties. The price you pay for one night in Amanoi could get you one week in the Avani resort.
- While enjoying an off-the-beaten-path location in Vietnam, the hotel does not offer a remote experience. A busy coastal road runs behind the property (causing some traffic noise that can be heard inside the spa, which is located closest to the road), and there are hundreds of fishing boats present in the bay in front of the hotel, although this adds to the charm of the location. More troublesome is that two tall antennas are clearly visible at the horizon, indicating that you are close to a city although the city itself is out of sight.
- During my visit, a dozen loungers were set up along the pool and another dozen on the beach. I assume that there may be not enough loungers to accommodate all guests when the resort operates at full occupancy, although it may be that the staff had stored most loungers during my visit, since I stayed during the low season when only few other guests were present at the hotel.
- The spa offers terrific, reasonably priced treatments. But although I enjoyed the massage, I kind of felt exposed and not at ease since the open-sided treatment room was located close to and in plain view of guests and staff members present in the spa’s reception area and/or walking on the paths around the spa.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 8/10
- Pool: 7/10
- Rooms: 7/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 8/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 10/10
- Value for money: /10
- Overall experience: very good: 8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Avani Quy Nhon, whether it’s booking a room at the cheapest price or receiving complimentary VIP perks (e.g. upgrade, breakfast, resort credit, etc …).
- Save money: Avani Quy Nhon guarantees that every reservation booked through the Minor Group hotel website will have the lowest room price (including all taxes and fees) publicly available on the internet. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of making a booking, the resort will be happy to match the rate and give you an additional 10% discount on your stay. All you need to do is submit a claim form.
- Room tips: all the rooms have beautiful ocean views, but the rooms on the highest (3rd) floor have the best vistas and come with high ceilings. Those on the ground floor come with more space (suites) and have a balcony. Views from some rooms, however, are blocked by coconut trees.
- Vietnam travel guide: get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Vietnam with my online travel guide.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Central Vietnam, where Avani Quy Nhon is located, experiences a weather pattern that is influenced by both the North and the South. The wet season starts in September and continues through January, after which the dry, sunny weather returns. Quy Nhon is surrounded by green mountains though on three sides and the ocean on the fourth, which protect the area from the effects of the worst typhoons that batter the coast further north in the rainy season.
For more information on the best time to visit Vietnam, visit my Vietnam travel guide.
HOW TO GET THERE
Quy Nhon Airport, or Phu Cat Airport as it is known locally, is a 50-minute drive from the resort, and operates daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Click here for a list of airlines that have direct flights to Quy Nhon Airport. You can also catch daily trains from Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, or take the regular bus service from Nha Trang. The hotel can arrange pick-up service:
- Airport Resort Transfer USD 65++ one way for up to 5 guests with luggage in luxury van
- Train Station Transfer USD 65++ one way for up to 5 guests with luggage in luxury van
Transfer price above is inclusive of WiFi, mineral water and light snacks. Booking this transportation easy – just e-mail the hotel on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +84 56 384 0132, preferably at least 24 hours before you arrive.