in luxury, naturally
Bay has it all: mountains, ocean, breakfast at 3pm.
Surrounded by mountains on one side and a white, sandy beach on the
other, Bai Tram Hideaway is a truly secluded vacation spot. — VNS
Photos Hong Vo
food: A floating restaurant in a fishing village near Baii Tram
Hideaway serves fresh seafood and local rice wine.
Leaving the airport near
the city of Qui Nhon, we embarked by car on National Highway 1A southward to Bai
Tram Bay in Phu Yen Province, a central coastal area famed for its seductively
It was early morning and
the road was all but deserted. The surrounding countryside was a sparkling, lush
green and we could feel the freshness of the ocean air.
Before reaching Cu Mong
Lagoon in Xuan Tho fishing village near the bay, we decided to stop at a small
roadside restaurant to stifle our hunger pains.
The dishes – green bean
and pork porridge, boiled liver, and organ meats served with banh hoi
(rice noodle), herbs and sweet and sour fish sauce – were tasty treats that no
traveler should miss.
We continued our journey
on the 5km road leading to Bai Tram Bay in Xuan Canh Commune about 30km from Quy
Nhon. Though the road was steep and winding, it offered a glimpse of the area’s
natural beauty and local traditions.
The surrounding landscape
of the village market, rice fields and shrimp and green mussel farms all created
a vivid picture of the area’s rural lifestyle.
Here, tourists can sleep
overnight in a simple homestay or relax at Bai Tram Hideaway’s luxury villas,
a newly opened five-star resort.
From Bai Tram Bay, the
entire area below the Cu Mong Pass, which is a gateway to the central coastal
region, can be explored.
Overlooking the ocean, the
resort Bai Tram Hideaway is nestled inside a 900m crescent-shaped beach
surrounded by verdant mountains.
The resort’s entrance
offers guests a splendid view of the entire area, including sandy beaches and
Developed and managed by
the Amsterdam-headquartered La Perla International Living, the resort consists
of 200 villas designed in a Vietnamese style, spread over 90ha of land with a
secluded beachfront, giving the place a true hideaway sensation.
"All of the villas
were designed to ensure that visitors enjoy the ultimate beachfront lifestyle in
a tropical ambience, where the daily stress of modern living can be
forgotten," Khanh Van, marketing manager of La Perla International Living
(Viet Nam), said.
"We focused on
building an environmentally friendly resort so the villas were built with a
coconut-leaf roof and clay walls, keeping it natural, though the interior is
equipped with modern facilities to ensure the best comfort," Van says.
|Leaving Phu Cat Airport
in the central coastal city of Qui Nhon, about 700km from HCM City, take
National Highway 1A southward to Bai Tram Bay in Song Cau District, Phu
Yen Province. If you are staying at Bai Tram Hideaway, the resort will
pre-arrange your transport by car
Stephen Post, La Perla
International Living’s hospitality director, says the concept of Bai Tram
gives guests the opportunity "to recharge their batteries in a short time
with a long-lasting effect."
The main building of the
resort, which overlooks the ocean, has a lounge, restaurant, bar and swimming
Entering the building,
guests walk down a small path that crosses a rice field and fruit and herb
garden, which are taken care of by locals and farmers who work as resort staff.
The organically grown
rice, vegetables and herbs provide the resort’s kitchen with a wealth of fresh
food for use in local and international dishes.
"What you eat in Bai
Tram is healthy and of high quality. We use these ingredients in our cooking
classes," Stephen says.
Sascha Spiegel, the resort’s
acting general manager, says guests, especially children, can learn more about
rural life by working in the fields and garden or taking part in the cooking
classes held in a cottage in a rice field.
Bai Tram is famous for its
lobster fishing, and freshly caught grilled lobster is a specialty of the
restaurant, Sascha says.
Meal times at the resort
are flexible, unlike many other hotels.
"We have a no time
limit policy," says Stephen. "That means if you want to have breakfast
at 3pm, it’s not a problem. Guests can choose their favourite location to
enjoy a meal. It can be near the mountain, on the beach, in the rice field, or
in the villa, the restaurant or beside the lap pool."
Taking advantage of all
the resort has to offer, we warmed up in the early morning by swimming in our
villa’s private pool while other guests took to the beach after climbing up
the hill to watch the sun rise.
Exploring the bay’s
surroundings is an alternative for those who are more physically active.
In the late morning, we
chose to walk while other guests rode motorbikes. The trekking offered us
interesting insights into the local culture.
By late afternoon, we
departed by boat from the beach to view the sea, rocks and shrimp farms around
the Cu Mong Lagoon.
We were astonished to see
how blue and clean the deep sea was and were excited to spot a few local
residents netting fish in the ocean.
Although some of the
resort staff were with us, we were still a little frightened as it was the first
time that some of us had been offshore in a boat.
In the late afternoon,
guests can opt to go fishing in the lagoon while watching the sun set behind the
The resort’s kitchen
staff is available for most of the day and evening to prepare dishes made with
freshly caught fish.
Before having dinner, our
group visited a small fishing village in Xuan Binh Commune, about a 20-minute
drive from Bai Tram, an area famous for its seafood, particularly snails and
Surprisingly, there were
no tables at the floating restaurants in the village, so we all sat down on a
floor mat. It was the freshest seafood that I had ever had, two-thirds the price
of similar dishes in HCM City.
After a hard, long day of
touring and trekking, we opted for a facial and foot treatment late at night.
The spa and massage treatments at the resort were a stimulating but soothing end
for our weary city souls. — VNS