Hotel brand Regent brings its legendary hospitality to the up-and-coming island of Phu Quoc and within the vicinity of a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve. Yanni Tan reports. By Yanni Tan
One of the best-kept secrets in Southeast Asia today has to be the breathtaking seaside destinations of Vietnam. With the rise of the country as a nascent economic powerhouse in the region, comes a slew of luxury resort developments that look set to elevate its status as the next “it” tourism hotspot.
For holidaymakers who love sun, sea and sand, Vietnam’s attraction as a beach resort destination will only continue to soar. The fourth largest country by land area in Southeast Asia, the nation boasts a jaw-dropping 3,260km of coastline, which does not include over 3,000 large and small islands. Among the biggest hospitality brands to launch a flagship resort, there is the Asia-born Regent Hotels & Resorts, under the IHG Hotels & Resorts group, which has recently opened its luxury-redefining Regent Phu Quoc.
Located off the southwestern coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is an idyllic island where almost 80 percent of the land mass of Singapore. Boasting a 150km coastline surrounded by calm, turquoise waters, it is nicknamed “pearl island” thanks to its gleaming white sand beaches and the local fishing and pearl-harvesting industry.
In fact, more than half the island is part of Phu Quoc National Park, which has been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve since 2006. Regent Phu Quoc offers guests the best of nature: an exclusive seaside location on the southern end of the island, as well as easy access to the reserve’s untouched jungles, mountains and wildlife in the north.
Opening its doors in April, the all-suites-and-villas resort is situated right on the water’s edge along the stunning Long Beach. Catering to the modern, sophisticated traveller, the property combines exceptional design with state-of-the-art technology to deliver a seamless, unforgettable guest journey that is both serene and sensational at every turn.
The resort’s general manager, Juan Losada, offers an idea of just how incredible the property is: “Regent Phu Quoc will surely be a brand-defining resort in Vietnam and Southeast Asia that will deliver a truly captivating interpretation of the Regent experience, marrying the calming, the imaginative and the extravagant.”
Luxury like no other
Transforming Regent Phu Quoc into a sight to behold was the achievement of the renowned BLINK Design Group, which is responsible for conceiving some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Spectacular large-scale installations are used to heighten the sense of extravagance and add a layer of uniqueness to the guest experience.
Stepping into the resort lobby is an awe-inspiring moment in itself. For instance, Charming Deeps, a bespoke bohemian hand-blown crystal art piece by Czech-based lighting company Lasvit, recreates a stunning composition of the coral reefs that surround the island. It has been designed to work in harmony with the architecture to stimulate the senses, spark conversations and captivate the imagination with artistry.
As for the 176 suites and 126 villas hidden beneath the shade of palm trees, BLINK fused traditional Vietnamese architectural elements with contemporary interiors decked out in a soothing colour palette. Expansive windows and verandas invite natural light in, transforming the suites and villas into bright, airy private havens complemented by views of verdant landscaped gardens or panoramic seascapes.
Relax and recharge
For the traveller seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of big-city living, Regent Phu Quoc has all the answers with distinctive new service hallmarks. One of them is Personal Havens, which offers indulgent private moments such as a signature bath ritual within the villa. They provide daily beverages and gourmet snacks from the Refreshment Gallery, along with complimentary daily breakfast buffet at Rice Market, pressing and laundry as well as unpacking service. Regardless of what your heart desires, the Regent Experience Agent is ever-ready with a meticulous curation of experiences that will surprise and delight.
With the importance of self-care today, The Spa at Regent Phu Quoc highlighting a holistic approach to mindful wellness will not disappoint. Its philosophy is rooted in three distinct pillars of high touch, high frequency and high energy, while its practice combines natural time-honoured remedies with innovative techniques and enveloping comforts. The comprehensive facilities also include The Health Club, which features a fitness centre, meditation studio and rooftop yoga pavilions. Guests could also opt for a highly personalised wellness itinerary guided by the resident Holistic Wellness Coach.
For the ultimate in bespoke experiences and privileges, The Regent Club is it. Based in a stately yet intimate venue onsite, it offers artfully crafted spaces including a private rooftop infinity pool, where an array of curated dining and activities can be arranged. In addition, there is a host of indoor and outdoor event spaces for meetings, social gatherings and weddings. The resort’s very own catamaran, Serenity, is also available for scenic trips out to sea.
Certainly, dining is not far from the minds of the well-heeled. Regent Phu Quoc’s Taste Gallery showcases six world-class restaurants and bars featuring signature dining and cultural exploration that goes beyond epicurean excellence. Helmed by executive chef Bruno Anon, the gastronomic experience here is based on innovation, immersion and reinvention.
How so? For starters, Rice Market invites guests to discover the locally inspired and reinvented classic dishes of Vietnamese-Chinese cuisine doled out by the live kitchens. Ocean Club, the only luxury beach club in Phu Quoc, presents an assortment of local and Mediterranean cuisine, a menu of rum-inspired cocktails, a sophisticated wine selection and a live in-house DJ. This Balearic-inspired beachfront venue transforms after sunset, offering cinema nights and a seaside grill. Oku is the resort’s signature restaurant featuring an Omakase Atelier and Salon de Boeuf, and serves contemporary Japanese-French cuisine.
Unwind in style at the art-filled Lobby Lounge, which is a relaxing foyer parlour serving refreshments and beverages including international and artisanal local spirits throughout the day. For chilling out to sweeping island views, head for Fu Bar, a sky pool terrace and bar specialising in gin-focused cocktails along with craft beers. Those who prefer an intimate venue will adore Bar Jade, a speakeasy showcasing fine artisanal spirits and custom cocktails mixed with fresh local herbs.
For travellers seeking new luxury experiences in a new destination, there really is no better place to be than Regent Phu Quoc. To discover more, visit phuquoc.regenthotels.com.
This story first appeared in the July 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.
(Main and Feature Image Credit: Regent Phu Quoc)