Anoasis Resort at Long Hai
Our only overnight excursion during our Vietnam stay was a three day trip to Long Hai, a resort area on the east coast. About two hours from Ho Chi Minh City is the Anoasis Resort. The resort was founded by a former French national who operated a helicopter service. Purchasing the estate of a former royal ruler, she turned the place into a resort. The resort still reflects both worlds, Vietnamese style buildings with French accents. Access is gained via a long, winding road to the hilltop entrance, offering views of the resort and ocean (photo to the left). The photo to the right shows the entrance to the main office area of Anoasis. The architecture of that particular building was very similar to those found in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Anoasis consists of a series of bungalows, perched on a hill overlooking the South China Sea. They sported thatched roofs and wrap-around porches bursting with bougainvillea. Our bungalow commanded a spot near the top of the hill, which gave us a commanding view, but longer walks to the pool and restaurant. The photo to the left shows an exterior view of our bungalow, including the wrap-around porch and bougainvillea. The interior was roomy, with tile floors and white walls; all the furniture was rattan or bamboo. The living area was triangular in shape, and featured a comfortable day bed, a wardrobe, television and refrigerator, as well as a small writing desk. Both walls had long windows. This area is shown in the photo at the upper right. The photo at the bottom left shows the rest of the room, with another day bed, a king-size bed with mosquito netting, as well as a small bureau. The room was air-conditioned, and the outside temperature certainly required it. It was a cool haven when returning from the sun of the pool. The bathroom was also spectacular, with a large garden tub with Jacuzzi, shown in the photo at the lower right. It was beautifully tiled and roomy.
the resort at about the same level as our bungalow is the Anoasis Resort's main
restaurant. It has an Italian feel, a large al fresco dining area with a
roof over the patio. It looks out over the remainder of the resort and the South
China Sea. The restaurant featured Vietnamese dishes (especially seafood dishes)
as well as continental cuisine. American breakfasts were also served there in
the morning. When we dined there, the entire outdoor area (there is an indoor
dining area as well, decidedly less popular among the patrons) was decorated for
Christmas. The photo to the left shows the entrance to the restaurant, while the
photo to the right shows the al fresco dining area in the evening, all
decked out for Christmas.
From the restaurant/bungalow area, a tree-lined path descends to an outdoor recreation area (photo to the left). Between the hilltop buildings and the beach is a sandy area which serves as one of the resort's primary recreation areas. The photo to the right shows an outdoor lounge area, with chaise lounges, chairs and tables. Behind this area is a pavilion with pool and ping-pong tables. To the left of the main building is a series of smaller pavilions that offer massage and reflexology, with the sounds of the water in the background. The photo at the lower right shows the massage/ reflexology area.
Across from the outdoor recreation area is the heart of the Anoasis Resort, the pool area. The Anoasis features a large Olympic-size pool, which is fronted by an open-air bar and restaurant area. Surrounding the large pool are chaise lounges, while behind these are numerous cabanas. When we visited, this area was always heavily subscribed, as was the restaurant, which made passable club sandwiches. The pool area proved to be more popular than the nearby beach.
Above the pool area is a promenade overlooking the beach. It is a largely open area, with a smattering of plastic tables and chairs and plants at regular intervals. However tastefully landscaped, it offered very little shelter for the sun. The exception was the bar area, shown in the photo to the left. It served drinks and snacks to people on the promenade as well as the beach cabanas below. The beach itself was soft sand, and the water reasonably clear. Much like our stay at the Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei, the water at Long Hai tends to be a bit murky, and the consistency of the sand a bit muddy. So, while not really a swimmer's beach, it was a wonderful place to take walks, especially as the sun set in the evening.
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