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Amanoi (Vietnam) - Trip Report

Amanoi (Vietnam) - Trip Report

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Old Jul 22, 18, 3:54 am   -   Wikipost
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Old Jun 20, 18, 5:59 am
  #571  
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My little video of Amanoi:

Full report should be up in a week or thereabouts. FlyerTalk will get the preview of course
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Old Jun 20, 18, 6:00 am
  #572  
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Originally Posted by 5khours View Post
Just as a point of reference, if you are looking for a great burger or a great massage, VN should not be on your itinerary. On top of that Noi is in the boonies. If you're looking for a receptionist with posh English or a concierge who can pop out for toiletries or opera tickets, you're at the wrong resort.
Agree with @Aventine here - the burger was decidedly average, which considering how absolutely excellent all the other food was is a surprise.

I do agree on the whole - however it's always a constant struggle and surely a top notch resort like Amanoi (which excels in so many other ways) should be able to get a burger right?. It's certainly not make or break, it's just surprising that they made a mess of probably the simplest item on the menu.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 7:54 am
  #573  
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Full report should be up in a week or thereabouts. FlyerTalk will get the preview of course
Terrible! So glad I may sit in my office at the moment and mustn´t be there.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 8:32 am
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Good grief - in the intervening years since we’ve been, it’s absurd - and saddening - to read Noi *still* cannot train/bring in good therapists.

The massages we had there ~ 4 months after opening we’re absolutely dreadful.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 10:14 am
  #575  
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Agree with @Aventine here - the burger was decidedly average, which considering how absolutely excellent all the other food was is a surprise.

I do agree on the whole - however it's always a constant struggle and surely a top notch resort like Amanoi (which excels in so many other ways) should be able to get a burger right?. It's certainly not make or break, it's just surprising that they made a mess of probably the simplest item on the menu.
I only ordered it to see if they would do it better? The Vietnamese food from the menu were all done spot on and very delicious. The only thing they didn't do was make my buncha special order the way it's done in Hanoi. Was a bit hard to communicate the style I preferred and they did the southern way they knew.

Originally Posted by aa213bb View Post
Good grief - in the intervening years since we’ve been, it’s absurd - and saddening - to read Noi *still* cannot train/bring in good therapists.

The massages we had there ~ 4 months after opening we’re absolutely dreadful.
It's become even more important now since Noi is one of Aman's premiere spa resorts.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 10:34 am
  #576  
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Hotel Review: Amanoi, Vinh Hy (near Nha Trang), Vietnam

DISCLAIMER: I was hosted by Aman for the duration of the stay and paid some incidentals.

So here it is as promised. As always, if you have any questions at all, let me know.

Overview: One of my favourite Amans now (lagging just behind Amankila, Amanpulo, Amanjiwo). The service is almost there but still needs a bit more refinement, but that hard product is just WOW.

One thing I will point out though is that while I did love the spa houses, I'm still struggling to see value (but I guess there are some people out there who, as a couple, enjoy 3 hours of spa treatments DAILY? They do say the wellness programmes are quite popular). Just as a point of note, we didn't actually try out the spa itself.

More photos, including 360s of some of the rooms (I have some more 360s I think - if you want any particular ones let me know and I'll put them up - just trying to find the balance between clogging up the load time and providing as much as I can) are available at https://www.thesuitelife.com.hk/aman...-hotel-review/

VIDEO

PHOTOS

Amanoi overview





Amanoi Ocean Pool Villa





Ocean Pool Villa


Room interiors



Residence



Cliff Pool




Spa / Spa House



Twilight Lounge

WHAT I LOVED

  • Location. The resort is now officially the 'closest Aman from Hong Kong' since Hong Kong Express started operating direct flights multiple times a week in and out of Cam Ranh International Airport, primarily to service the busy beach town of Nha Trang. Amanoi is a world away though, 60-90 minutes by car in the opposite direction from the airport, set within a secluded Nui Chua National Park draped over the jagged cliffs. A small Vietnamese fishing village at the northern end of the resort provides a sense of place amid stunning scenery.
  • Design. This is a Jean-Michel Gathy Aman - elegant and sleek yet drawing little bits of inspiration from local structures. The individual villas are certainly Vietnamese in styling and structure, along with the interiors, but the clean, contemporary lines found throughout the resort from the room interiors to the Beach Club are signature Gathy.
  • Rooms. Some of Aman's finest hard product with spectacular rooms, featuring Lake, Mountain and Ocean views, and each with its own private pool counterpart. The interior of the individual standalone pavilions/villas is practically identical in terms of design, and the space various slightly but offers a spacious 95 sqm/1,022 sqft-125 sqm/1,346 sqft across the categories, with the only difference being the view, the size of the terrace/outdoor deck, and whether your villa comes with pool/sans pool. The villas with pool feature a lengthy 12m pool, perfect for short laps. The two Amanoi Ocean Pool Villas (#1 and #3) near the main pavilion and restaurant are real stand-outs, featuring an extended private infinity pool that juts out into the ocean, with extra deck space for lounging and gazing outwards. The residences offer multi-bedroom options with a private chef, but note that not all residences come with expansive ocean views.
  • Excursions and experiences. For a secluded resort that could arguably be perfectly used just to lounge around and do nothing, Amanoi has some curious excursions.
    • Twilight Lounge. We were actually guinea pigs for this excursion, among the first to try it out. You're led by boat to a rocky cliff on the opposite side of Amanoi's beach club, where it appears there isn't much happening, until you see the rope ladder which you climb that takes you up to the custom-built wooden platform, set securely among the intimidating rocks. If you have tried Amanpulo's Kawayan Bar, I would liken it to this - a very unique and cool experience to enjoy snacks/canapes and a coconut or cocktail of your choice.
    • Goga Peak. A short (45 minutes to 1 hour) but moderately difficult hike in the early morning takes you to the summit of the hill across Amanoi, where you can enjoy a private breakfast picnic on a wooden platform as the sun rises and makes the resort glow. With 29,000 hectares of national park, Nui Chua National Park has several hikes for those interested in the more active side of things, including a vast range of flora and fauna.
    • Watersports. Of course, there are complimentary (non-motorised) watersports on offer including kayaking, which is perfect to explore around the cliffs.
    • Be sure not to miss out on the wildlife often found at the resort itself - from a myriad of bright, colourful lizards and geckos to stunning flora.
    • Although we did not get a chance to try it due to limited time, there is much more to do in the region, among which include enjoying a feast at the local fishing village, cycling to Thai An through wilderness and local villages, discovering Cham heritage and enjoying local Vietnamese streetfood in Phan Rang, Ninh Thuan's capital. On the sea, there are catamaran excursions as well as a range of various motorised and non-motorised watersports. Many of these can be combined with special lunches/dinners or light picnics in unique destinations or secluded bays.
  • Food. We primarily stuck to Vietnamese (why wouldn't you?). The banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiched served in a single baguette) and bun ca (fish soup) were most excellent - we ordered at least one or the other nearly every single day. Vietnamese cuisine is generally quite light and subtle, and provides a series of condiments so you can cater the dish to your taste on the table. Some other highlights include:
    • Sacred Cham dinner - the Cham is an ethnic minority group local to the region, with around 70,000 still residing in the area today. The private dinner held at a quiet nook within the resort (following a long walk in the dark) offers a taste of regional Vietnam, with the highlight being the young tamarind broth with chicken, char-grilled angus beef with local herb and braised fish with turmeric, lemongrass and peanut. I was also skeptical about the pumpkin custard but it was truly a highlight dish.
    • In addition to the banh mi and bun ca, we also very much enjoyed Vietnamese spring rolls and various foods (tuna, beef) wrapped in betel leaf - very subtle yet tantalising.
    • Fruits. In a tropical destination, fresh fruits always rule. More so at Amanoi, where we had some delectable mangoes and pineapples. What surprised us the most was the dragonfruit - a fruit I'm typically hesitant about (I don't mind it, it just usually doesn't taste of much) but here it was very sweet and we finished a couple or more every day.
    • Seafood. It's a coastal country - so naturally seafood is a real highlight here. On our final night, we were treated to a live barbecue seafood dinner lakeside, with pomel salad, BBQ scallops, king prawns, squid skewers, sea bass and lobsters, and every dish was an absolute knockout.
    • Private dining options - in addition to the Cham dinner at the secluded nook, Amanoi has plenty of evening private dining options including:
      • By the beach/beach club
      • Cliff Pool
      • Yoga pavilion lake-side
      • Picnics at secluded beaches and bays
  • Spa. While the older Amans suffer from adequate but rather bare spa faciliites (for a resorts of their standing), the recently built Amanoi has really gone all out and rectified that. The main spa is set around the lotus lake and features a spectacular yoga pavilion along with several treatment rooms in the main structure. The real highlight here though is the two 'spa houses' which you can book on a half-day usage or even overnight as accommodation. Set around the lake and mountain-side, these are a first of its kind for Aman (and reportedly the first of its kind within Asia) - dedicated two-storyed spa suites that feature living space on the upper floor, and lounging and spa facilities on the lower floor including a 15m long private pool, a double treatment room, a Hammam or wooden-clad Banya, relaxation deck, outdoor dining area, steam room, cold plunge pool and Jacuzzi. When booked overnight, the spa suites offer complimentary three hour spa treatments a day, along with daily breakfast and choice of lunch or dinner.
  • Beach and beach club. The beach is set in a secluded bay and is, for all intents are purposes, private. The stretch of sand is small but adequate for the resort. The sand is somewhat rough to touch and does get extremely hot during the day. Reports say there is good snorkeling around the area but we didn't get a chance to try. The beach club serves light snacks and food during the day, perfect for lazing around.
  • Pool options. Staying in a room without a private pool? Not to worry - in addition to the 50m-long beach club pool by the beach, Amanoi features one of the most spectacular infinity pools, just below the Central Pavilion. The Cliff Pool is a 20m-long gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the bay and the cliffs beyond, with adequate loungers with varying views, as well as washroom facilities just below. As it is often empty, service can be sometimes difficult to come by although staff will usually arrive soon after they notice someone is there. As an often empty space, also watch out for the many little critters that scurry back and forth across the area, including taking quick dips in the pool (we found a very cute but extremely bright-looking lizard taking a dip).
  • Service and the team. Led by Nicolas and Joy, the Amanoi team epitomises the Aman DNA, thoughtful, kind, cheerful and friendly. Service at the resort was consistently excellent.
    • Our dietary needs and requirements were taken care of throughout appropriately, and we hardly ever had to remind the team. At the Cham dinner, they proactively crafted separate courses for my mother who does not eat beef.
    • As is customary with Aman, we were never asked for our room number during our stay.
    • We also never ran into the amazing Aman housekeeping ninjas, who ensured that our room was always refreshed even when we stepped outside for a 2-hour break midway through the day, after housekeeping hours.
    • Turndown service was always thoughtful, with little gifts or edible items kept bed-side. Our favourite treat was a packet of roasted Vietnamese coffee
    • By the beach club, I fell asleep for a while almost every day, for a good long nap. Each time I woke up, without asking, a staff member would whisk by within a couple of minutes of waking up bringing me a refreshing ice cold ginger beer, made locally.

POINTS TO NOTE

  • Lack of shaded areas at the beach. There are plenty of sunloungers at the beach and the beach club, however, apart from a couple of loungers just under the shade of the beach club structure, the rest are out in the open - with the ever-shifting gaze of the sun, this can be difficult to deal with with regards to the heat. A couple of locally-inspired cabanas (similar to the bales found at Amankila) would have been perfect for lounging in the shade.
  • Western food options. As with many Amans, beyond the local delicacies, we did find any Western options to be somewhat considerably average. Any non-Vietnamese breakfast we ordered was generally good but not outstanding, and we did order a burger on the last day before leaving that was rather dry.
  • Beach service. While beach service was generally excellent, those accustomed to Aman perfection may be surprised to find out that the towels were simply thrown over the sun loungers rather than neatly tucked in as at many of the best Amans.
  • International electrical outlets? For a newly built resort, it was surprising to find that the electrical sockets had not been installed with international pins so we did to have request for several international adapters which the resort staff duly provided.
  • Wind factor. This region enjoys a surprisingly arid climate for a tropical destination, so rain isn't a huge factor (although showers can be heavy). However, the region does have seasons with very strong wind which make being outdoors difficult. While most of our stay was perfect, the last afternoon it did get surprisingly windy which meant we had to retreat back to the villa instead of staying out by the beach club.
  • Distances. This is a large resort in terms of footprint, perhaps one of Aman's largest stretching long distances from point to point (nearly 1km from end to end, as the crow flies, not accounting for road/driving distance), winding roads and also across differing altitude. With about 100 acres to serve across difficult terrain, be patient with regards to the buggy and don't underestimate the time it takes, both for the buggy to arrive and for it to take you to your next destination.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 12:01 pm
  #577  
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Fantastic review.

the spa houses also seem to be puzzling for me. I loved Amanois spa but would come all the way to Amanoi to spend the time getting spa treatments. I could do 1 a day. They also seemed quite exposed. When I expressed unhappiness with our pool temperature they did offer to move us to a spa house which I declined. Did you use the whirlpool/sauna houses? Those were quite nice to use and given advance notice they’ll fire them up for you at no charge.

Great great photos. We loved how large the property is. We walked everywhere; which justified the excessive food we ate. Your review brings me back. We’ve been looking to visit HKG so the new flight will make a great combo...

fdw
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Old Jul 22, 18, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
One thing I will point out though is that while I did love the spa houses, I'm still struggling to see value (but I guess there are some people out there who, as a couple, enjoy 3 hours of spa treatments DAILY? They do say the wellness programmes are quite popular). Just as a point of note, we didn't actually try out the spa itself.
You'd be surprised...... Spa? All day, every day... bring it!
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Old Jul 22, 18, 1:00 pm
  #579  
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
You'd be surprised...... Spa? All day, every day... bring it!
Just bring me Puri therapists or some better trained Noi ones!
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Old Jul 22, 18, 6:58 pm
  #580  
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
Fantastic review.

the spa houses also seem to be puzzling for me. I loved Amanois spa but would come all the way to Amanoi to spend the time getting spa treatments. I could do 1 a day. They also seemed quite exposed. When I expressed unhappiness with our pool temperature they did offer to move us to a spa house which I declined. Did you use the whirlpool/sauna houses? Those were quite nice to use and given advance notice they’ll fire them up for you at no charge.

Great great photos. We loved how large the property is. We walked everywhere; which justified the excessive food we ate. Your review brings me back. We’ve been looking to visit HKG so the new flight will make a great combo...

fdw
Originally Posted by scented View Post
You'd be surprised...... Spa? All day, every day... bring it!
Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Just bring me Puri therapists or some better trained Noi ones!
Thanks chinmoylad for the TR & great photos !

FYI , Puri has a new set of therapists , still good but we did not have our usual daily sessions this past week ..
Perhaps when the new Wellness Retreat opens in a couple of months & these therapists are more seasoned , we will resume our “ usual “

Glad for the direct connection from HKG for others but it is LCC so rules us out .. perhaps another soon .

Figuring out when to return to N’oi .. or just only stay with Galla / Wella , ��



Last edited by FlyerEC; Jul 22, 18 at 7:08 pm
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Old Jul 22, 18, 9:44 pm
  #581  
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spa house daily treatments include 1 hammam / banya
2 dedicated therapists, if they were great this is valuable
(id consider for great therapist regardless of amount used)

from >
1150 mountain pool
1250 ocean pool
1800 amanoi ocean pool
2000 spa house (must have single occupancy discount?)
2900 2BR residence (was gone for a bit)
accommodation / packages / exclusives >
three hours of spa treatments per day, including a Hammam or Banya
reservations >
daily Hammam or Banya treatment...daily Aman or Vietnamese massage
originally >
daily hammam / banya and 90 min massage (x 2 = $292 in early 2017)

$552 = 4 x $138 60 min amanoi
$358 = 2 x $179 90 min amanoi / vietnamese
noi packages / exclusives - choose between inclusions or free night

noi wellness guest profile likely different vs bagh, puri, nemu

also just a few examples >
hotel industry often offering daily treatment packages
existence of destination / med spas (that arent 'hotels')
massages can be after plane, hike, bike, ocean, tour
not the first to have treatment room in hotel room
spa houses can be primarily used as treatment rooms
may be used by owners of amanoi, or be sold
spa house treatment room could be turned into 'den'
what percent of noi guests are long haul ?

Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Shinta Mani Wild
Unlimited Spa treatments
Originally Posted by dodgeflyer View Post
pen [bkk] ... We managed to get a great rate direct on their website which included daily massage per person.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jul 22, 18 at 11:13 pm
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Old Jul 22, 18, 10:20 pm
  #582  
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
Fantastic review.

the spa houses also seem to be puzzling for me. I loved Amanois spa but would come all the way to Amanoi to spend the time getting spa treatments. I could do 1 a day. They also seemed quite exposed. When I expressed unhappiness with our pool temperature they did offer to move us to a spa house which I declined. Did you use the whirlpool/sauna houses? Those were quite nice to use and given advance notice they’ll fire them up for you at no charge.

Great great photos. We loved how large the property is. We walked everywhere; which justified the excessive food we ate. Your review brings me back. We’ve been looking to visit HKG so the new flight will make a great combo...

fdw
Thanks all!
I didn't use the whirlpool/sauna houses.

Yes, they are very open (at least the lake one, I didn't visit the mountain one) - I can see them as great half-day usage (especially if you aren't in a private pool, want to enjoy some spa but by yourself/with your partner). Not sure about using them as accommodation but hey ho! I guess some people just love their spa haha.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 3:32 am
  #583  
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I was in Amanoi Ocean Pool Villa #1 . I think I highlighted the differences between #1 and #3 before.

Basically, #3 has a more open sea view. #1 has a view of mountain-rock and sea. #1 also has the rock towards the end of the pool, and the lounging space is its own separate area at the end (lower level) of the pool.

The Ocean Pool Villa above is #1 2. I also saw Mountain Villa (Pavilion?) #1 9 but didn't like the view much (although I understand some of the Mountain Villas have nice views).
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Old Jul 24, 18, 5:50 am
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Originally Posted by Chinmoylad
The real highlight here though is the two 'spa houses' which you can book on a half-day usage or even overnight as accommodation. Set around the lake and mountain-side, these are a first of its kind for Aman (and reportedly the first of its kind within Asia)
How would these compare to the Spa Lagoon villas at Intercontinental Da Nang? They're also free-standing accommodation around a lagoon incorporating spa treatment room.

Not wishing to take this thread off-track, was just wondering.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 6:30 am
  #585  
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Originally Posted by passionforhotels View Post
How would these compare to the Spa Lagoon villas at Intercontinental Da Nang? They're also free-standing accommodation around a lagoon incorporating spa treatment room.

Not wishing to take this thread off-track, was just wondering.
No idea! Hence the 'reportedly'. The Amanoi Spa Houses have a private pool.

Anyone?
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