Breaking the Mould
Breaking the Mould
Simon Stanley gets an exclusive preview of Phu Quoc’s first beach and river-front “all-pool villa” resort, where breakfast lasts all day, where the spa is all-inclusive, and where the luxury resort concept gets a 21st-century facelift.
Even with a delay at Tan Son Nhat airport, we’re still up, down, and stepping out into Phu Quoc’s clean coastal air in less than an hour. Passing through arrivals, I quickly find myself wrapped in the arms of Fernando Arroyo, the General Manager at Fusion Resort Phu Quoc, who has brought along a handful of his team to greet us. To spread the word about this brand new resort, they’re offering “free hugs” to everyone and anyone exiting the terminal, whether
they’re a guest or not. Even a passing pilot and his crew get the Fusion welcome. The nearby ‘meeters and greeters’ for the island’s other luxury resorts all seem rather austere by comparison as they idly wave their name boards.
For Fusion, now with six hotels and resorts in operation across Vietnam, that’s exactly the sort of contrast they’re aiming for. “We want to offer a different kind of five-star experience,” explains Fernando as we make the (complimentary) 40-minute transfer to the property. “We’re aiming for something more down-to-earth, more personal, without the fuss and formalities of a traditional hotel or resort.”
One of the best examples of Fusion’s fresh and unique approach to hospitality is their team of ‘Fusionistas’ who are also here to welcome us for this sneak peek of Fusion Resort Phu Quoc.
“Your Fusionista is there to guide and support you for the entire duration of your stay,” says Fernando. “They’re warmer and friendlier than a butler, but also much more creative than a concierge. We understand that travelers visiting Phu Quoc today want more than the standard tourist-bus excursions to the fish sauce factory, for example. They want a more personalized vacation experience. This is where the Fusionistas come in.”
So, whether we want to organize a private tour of a black pepper farm, says Fernando, if we want to arrange a seafood barbecue on the beach one evening, or if we simply want some insider information on the local area, our personal Fusionista is there to help.
From the zen-like reception to the giant circular pool overlooking the beach, Fusion Resort Phu Quoc cries out for relaxation and rejuvenation. This expansive low-lying beachfront plot in the north of the island boasts 97 stylish yet rustic thatched villas, each immensely spacious and each opening out onto its own private pool, garden and outdoor dining and lounging area.
To watch the waves from your terrace, upgrade to one of the gorgeous beachfront villas, or, for a lazy few days lounging out with a book and a freshly pressed juice, the breezy river-front options are ideal.
While my one-bed garden villa is more than ample for a two night stay—offering oodles of natural light, a catalogue of original design features and soothing natural materials, plus a sunken wooden bathtub, and a quirky rotating TV for movies in the bath or in the giant kingsize bed—families and groups of friends can opt for two or three-bedroom villas with private en suite bathrooms throughout.
For the ultimate indulgence (or for the ultimate party pad) the five-bedroom “Grand Beach Villa” is straight out of a
James Bond movie.
With a strong focus on health and wellbeing, each Fusion Resort proudly offers a unique “all-spa inclusive” service,
guaranteeing each guest at least two ‘spa journeys’ per day, at no extra cost, in their private 20-double-room facility with a verdant pepper orchard at its core. There’s also daily yoga, meditation, and tai chi lessons, plus a modern fitness center and personal trainer service.
Life can’t be bad when the toughest decision of the day is whether to stay glued to the swaying rope lounger and finish my book, or head to the spa instead and get the resort’s signature Natural Living Pepper massage, featuring Swedish massage techniques and Fusion’s homemade black pepper oil.
I opt for the latter, and oh, wow. It’s going to be a good weekend.
Wine & Dine
Just to amplify the stress-free vibes here, Fusion offers a unique approach to breakfast time. You know how it’s
sometimes a chore to drag yourself out of bed before a hotel’s breakfast cutoff? Not here.
While they still serve an enormous international buffet each morning, served in the beautiful Secret Garden restaurant, Fusion’s “breakfast anytime, anywhere” concept means you can literally get your croissant and cappuccino or your banh mi and ca phe sua da at any time of the day or night. You can also enjoy it anywhere
you please, be it the bathtub, the beach, or the bar.
For evening meals, Secret Garden becomes a relaxed restaurant serving Vietnamese specialties and international
favorites with seating both indoors and out.
Phu Quoc is famous for its beaches and its seafood. Enjoy them both at Pezcá, a casual seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean. “We’re serving lots, and lots of local seafood here,” says the resort’s head chef. “We’ve got
lobsters, crabs, clams, oysters, smoked and grilled fish, sea urchin, and much more. Oh, and lots of cold beer too, in the traditional Vietnamese way.”
At the pool’s edge, Soul Kitchen knocks out healthy smoothies, juices, and snacks by day, and transforms into a laidback open-air bar by night – the perfect spot for signature sundown cocktails.
For guests unable to leave the blissedout bubble of their private terrace, invilla dining is also available.
It’s Sunday now and only on my last morning do I check my phone for the first time since leaving Saigon. There’s wifi throughout, of course, but disconnecting from the mainland (and the real-life stresses and strains that reside there) is what a trip to Phu Quoc is all about. Fresh emails and text messages have been filling up my inbox all weekend, and yet I’ve felt zero guilt in ignoring them all.
My flight leaves in five hours, so there’s still time for one last trip to the spa, one last dunk in the pool, and one final stroll along the beach. For me, “I was on Phu Quoc” is still a perfectly acceptable excuse for dropping off the grid for a while, and Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is filled with reasons to do exactly that.
Fusion Resort Phu Quoc
Address: Vung Bau Bay , Cua Can village,
Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province.
Phone: +84 297 3690 000
Images Provided by Fusion