Vietnam’s Beachfront Retreat: The Alma Oasis Boutique Resort Review
I’m sitting outdoors at the lounge next to a beautiful reflection pool with purple lilies and a gurgling water fountain. Just beyond the lawn there is the wide expansive beach. As the waves roll in, the sound of their repetitive crashes is soothing and peaceful. I watch the fishermen go about their daily work on the sea. Around me there are bougainvillea everywhere with their beautiful flowers bursting with colours of white, fuschia and orange. It is then that I realize that I am in a haven-like corner of the world. The location is Long Hai, Vietnam in a boutique beach resort called the Alma Oasis.
The Alma Oasis is a collection of whitewashed bungalows on a hillside facing the sea. The colours are cerulean blue, white washed surfaces and natural wood touches. The pool is magnificent, huge, and of course blue. There’s an expansive bar with a cheerful and nattily dressed barman who chatters away with guests as he prepares the day’s libations from the chic bar. 30, 40, and 50 something couples from Europe and Asia laze the day away around the pool on chaise longues under opened umbrellas or on white shrouded gazebos. The music playing is chillout lounge music and adds to the sexiness here. I recognize one of the tunes from Blue Six.
The ideal location was once the summer home of the Vietnamese Emperor Bao Dai. It is 90 minutes and a world away from Saigon’s frantic pace and a coveted and peaceful setting with copious amounts of fresh air.
The hotel features several room categories from bungalows and pavilion rooms to the four bedroom beach villa. Interiors are white with aqua blue soft furnishings and gossamer bed canopies setting a romantic ambience. In room entertainment features smart televisions with a good collection of movie titles. The bathroom features an over sized sunken tub and overhead rain shower.
The dining experience is lively and interactive with a focus on the fresh catch of the day from the ocean which is just beyond your table. The fare is a delicious menu of Vietnamese, Thai, and Mediterranean with copious amounts of seafood. The French chef combines his advanced preparation and presentation skills with fresh local ingredients for a haute culinary experience.
The Alma Oasis also likes to let the guests get in on the act with cooking classes. A great way to take a new skill back home matches guests with rice paper, bean sprouts, shrimp, lettuce and a sweet peanut and bean sauce to create a fantastic spring roll.
One of the highlights of the stay is a visit to their spa and their three part Spa Journey concept. The journey is not just the treatment, it is a new way of looking at the spa experience that ensures guests get the most out of their time at the spa.
The spa itself is beautiful with a Koi pond and a calming and natural setting. After the consultation and refreshment, my Spa Journey begins with a Thai Chi lesson to get the circulation moving and to teach me about how to relax and get in tune with my body. From there I spent time in the sauna to relax muscles and release those nasty toxins.
The next stage was the bamboo treatment and it was fantastic. It began with a shiatsu treatment with the sharp pushing of thumbs and fingers into pressure points and areas where soreness hid deep in my muscles. My therapist then gave a massage using various fragrant oils. This was followed by the warm and soothing bamboo which she rolled and pushed to get deep into the muscles releasing pain and tension. Neck, shoulders, back and legs were all subject to her rolling and pushing. After the treatment, I felt renewed and rejuvenated and loved the new me.
There’s a lot to do around Alma Oasis from dance classes, Zumba or water aerobics lead by Katerine, the effervescent activities director, or a long walk on the beach with your loved one. Long Hai is a small town and a 30 minute bike ride away and the hotel has bikes that you can borrow for the day. In the village there’s an awesome market selling every type of exotic seafood as well as the latest iPhone. The ride back through the countryside is wonderful as well.
The resort is fun and alive and great for a weekend break from Saigon or for a week of warmth and relaxation for guests coming from Europe or other parts of Asia. They named it Alma Oasis and that is not a mistake. It is an oasis from whatever one may seek to escape. Cold of winter, stress of work, or the pressures of home are all left behind to allow couples some much needed rekindling and closeness.
Address: Tinh lo 44 Long Hai, Long Hải, Long Điền, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu 650000, Vietnam
Phone: +84 64 3662 222