by: JC S. Vargas
I’ve always loved spending quality time with my family. Sometimes-when we’re lucky, we go somewhere outside Saigon. The best one where we went to in 2012, in my opinion, was at Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang. The best as in services, facilities, food and experience.
Nha Trang has always been the locals’ and foreigners’ favorite beach destination. As of writing, I’ve been to Vietnam’s version of long beach for five times and as mentioned earlier, it has been, by far the best. I have to admit I’d known only a little about the hotel-slash-resort before I arrived at the reception- partly because it was my wifey (@herdailydigest) , who got the voucher from City Pass Guide and took care of the booking and all. Cliched it may seem but “I fell in love” with it “the first time I saw” Ana Mandara.
The entrance combines exquisiteness, intimacy and warmth. Two well-guarded gates, a round-shaped dropping area for vehicles, elevated steps towards the reception, antique and native-themed decore, and a couple of smiling and English-speaking receptionists: that’s what I’d rather call a dramatic entrance. Upon checking in, I looked around and was more impressed with the mini-ponds, the small museum, the dining pavilion, the pool and of course, the jetty-connecting the white sand beach and the scenic Nha Trang bay. That part alone has given me a sense of relaxation and at the same time, a dreamy feeling as though I was transported to another world.
Well, I did manage to compose myself and take my family to our room. We walked through a garden, passed by a couple of villas and Voila! the Ana Mandara Suite-out home for the weekend. The room is beyond compare, I tell you. The accommodation boasts of its 50 sq.m area including the balcony, an exclusive garden with two beach chairs and an umbrella, and just 30m from it is the private beach. The interior is equally amazing- a king-sized bed with mosquito net, a sitting area, a wardrobe, a bath tub, two showers: indoor and outdoor (bamboo-fenced), and of course, the usual 5-star amenities. What’s outstandingly memorable about the room is the architecture. I don’t think I’ve been to a room where I felt I was in another era- every single thing was either wooden or antique-and later I found out Champa-inspired.
As for the services, I don’t think there was anything we needed they hadn’t provided. First, I asked if they had bike rental services. No, they didn’t. They got bicycles and cyclos which are free for guests. So borrowed to mountain bikes, rode along Tan Phu St., checked the nearby mall-Nha Trang Center, and did some people-watching at the park. We also went to the Six Sense Spa and the Just Kids area of the resort. The infinity pool was what caught our kids’ attention and we had a great time there. The waiters were very accommodating and the life guard was keen enough to make sure everyone was enjoying the pool, at the same time keeping kids safe. The morning after was probably the climax. We had the best breakfast outside home at the Pavilion. International buffet, beachfront terrace, beautiful weather and free-flowing natural fruit juices- that was heaven, especially for foodies like us. At some point, the kids went to the billiard hall next to the café and played pool- assisted by a kind staff of the resort.
Again, getting out of that area was a struggle- it’s just too good to leave. But hey, the beach was too tempting so off we went to the jetty. The pier reminded me of many scenes in Hollywood movies and I took the liberty of playing Warhol the photographer. Then there’s the hammock tied between two coconut trees and again, the silence. The aloneness was too much to bear we felt like we were the only people on a deserted island. Good thing I managed not to play Richard of Blue Lagoon! We played in the sand instead and ate then played again. Finally we hit the infinity pool and took pictures and videos. We met another family-this time Asian. There’s this Japanese couple with their two young kids and a few minutes later, two German boys. And the rest of the weekend getaway was about the laughter and fun!
Here’s their contact info:
Beachside Tran Phu Boulevard, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
Tel: (+84) 58 352 2222 Fax: (+84) 58 352 5828
Reservations Department :
Tel: (+84) 58 352 4705 Fax: (+84) 58 352 4704
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org