Where’s Brando at?
Amanoi Resort is a 32-hectare, 200-staffed, five-star-luxury estate — ranked in the top four resorts in Vietnam. It’s dotted into the sandy hills off Vinh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuan Province, not long before you reach Cam Ranh Airport, 30km south of Nha Trang. A relatively inconspicuous roadside entrance belies what comes after, but once you’ve been taken on your first of many golf-cart rides through the property (past cacti, tennis courts and a fleet of bullet-proof land cruisers), you’ll realise that you’ve just moved up in the world. But don’t stop congratulating yourself there.
Give yourself at pat on the back at the main reception, where you’ll be met by ‘amanoi ginger juice’ and a staircase that says “movie stars live here” — though you could never accuse Amanoi of showing off without reason. Take the 31 private luxury pavilions and villas, all with their own stunning ocean or park view (the villas come with their own pool). Now these are something worth bragging about. Sleeping on the 1000 percent ‘downe’ pillows and a billion thread-count cotton sheets, waking up and looking into the bay from your room’s balcony, you can’t help but feel at ease with how your life’s panning out.
Also included is access to the cliff pool (I recommend a few laps in this before breakfast), the spa and gym, a beach club and an F&B department serving up world class cuisine on the ocean view deck. For a dinner that lives up to expectations, I recommend the 100 percent New Zealand beef claypot. Just delightful.
Cat Man Do
All of that aside, what’s really classy about this place is that the resort acts as a complement to nature. The design is intuitive, privacy is built-in, and its warm, earthy vibe, exposed timber finishes, Buddha-inspired décor and soul-quenching sea breezes immediately put you at ease.
From the moment you arrive to the second you depart, nothing is too hard for the staff. Want a private catamaran to a floating seafood restaurant? Can do. Tick. Cliff-top walks offering 360-degree panoramas of the coast? Absolutely. Tick. Complimentary lakeside yoga sessions? Lemme think about that. Tick.
That’s right, life at Amanoi is all about about ticking some serious boxes. That and completely letting go of what’s going on in the world beyond.
Doing exactly that when we were there were Barry and Amy Finegold from Boston, and I’m giving them the final word. “We’ve been fortunate to have stayed in some amazing places over the years,” started Barry, “but this is easily the best.” — Jon Aspin
For more information visit aman.com/resorts/amanoi