Our six week Vietnam adventure came to an end on the beautifully tropical island of Phu Quoc, the perfect place to spend the last few days in total relaxation, which was exactly what we were looking for when we checked into Hong Bin Bungalow, the “upper luxury hideaway”.
A picturesque resort of white walls and red tiled roofs, Hong Bin Bungalow is set on a hillside above Duong Dong, affording splendid views of the ocean and the spectacular west coast sunsets, as well as of the lush greenery of the island’s interior. Décor throughout the resort is simple, modern, light and airy. Colourful tropical flowers and gently swaying palm trees complete an aesthetic of exotic luxury, while the interior of our room, a Superior Double, was clean and cool, with marble tiles and a brilliantly comfortable bed. While the décor of the room itself was perhaps a tiny bit on the simple side, and the view from the window left something to be desired, we were able to relax in total comfort, and it was what was outside the room that really made this resort.
The location of Hong Bin is fantastic; close to a strip of lively bars and restaurants and just a few minute’s walk to the centre of Duong Dong, the island’s main town, you’d think Hong Bin would be overwhelmed by the noise and crowds of the nearby areas, but being set just one street back from the main road and slightly uphill, the resort felt as completely secluded as if we’d driven to the other side of the island. It was the perfect mixture: a quiet, peaceful resort which was still in easy reach of the fabulous Long Beach and all the local activities.
With some of Phu Quoc’s best tourist attractions and beaches within walking distance, and motorbike rental bringing the rest of the island within easy reach, the location was ideal. But for those who, like us, don’t fancy leaving the resort, there is plenty on offer to keep guests there all day. The beautiful outdoor pool, deliciously ice cold against the boiling hot weather, was set towards the top of the resort, which is laid out over the slopes of a hill, so we could make the most of the gorgeous views whilst swimming or chilling out on the sunbeds. But the icing on the cake at Hong Bin was the Sunset Rooftop Bar, settled on the top of the mountain and offering a panoramic view right out to sea; the perfect place to sip cocktails and watch the incredible sunset. The cocktail menu was recently revamped by the bar staff, and it’s very hard to resist the temptation to spend a night sampling every single one; must -tries include the Lychee Martini (my favourite) and the Mango Colada!
Hong Bin’s bar staff definitely have a gift for composing cocktail menus, but in general the staff across the resort were fantastic. Everyone had a welcoming smile to greet us, the reception staff were beyond helpful, and manager Anh-Hoa was so wonderfully friendly that I couldn’t help feeling like I’d known him a lot longer than a day. If you’re looking for more action than the pool and bar, he’s the man to speak to; in the two days we were at Hong Bin he invited us to a karaoke night with some other guests, drinks at a bar down the road, and a boat trip he’d organised. I was very sorry that our return flight time meant we couldn’t join in with it all, but thankfully the incredible pool more than made up for it.
Food at Hong Bin was also fantastic. The bar serves snacks and light meals, so you really can stay there all night watching the sunset and counting the billions of stars as they come out above Phu Quoc, and breakfast in the restaurant is a small but well stocked buffet with a great mix of Vietnamese food and western staples like pastries, eggs cooked to order, and pancakes. Like all good resorts, things are set up here so that you really never have to leave unless you want to; but if you do want to get out and explore the island has plenty of treats on offer, from massages on the beach (highly recommended), to waterfalls and forest walks, to boat trips, kayaking and snorkelling. Speak to the staff at Hong Bin for tips and help arranging things, and find Anh-Hoa for some restaurant recommendations; he sent us to a fabulous local place for some of the best seafood we had on the island.
Hong Bin Bungalow is a fabulous resort that brilliantly lives up to it’s very fitting slogan of “the upper luxury hideaway”. A beautiful, luxurious little resort set up above the main strip of Long Beach, on a small mountain which really feels cut off from the rest of the island, in spite of being a few minute’s walk from town. It’s a resort which combines the best of both worlds, and it was the perfect place to spend the last two days of our trip, relaxing in complete luxury and comfort. Highly recommended – even if you just stop in for a cocktail or two in the rooftop bar. You’ll never want to leave!
Hong Bin Bungalow – tel (84-077) 3 99 33 39 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Room rates start at 2,068,000 VND for a Standard Garden View double room.
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Disclaimer: Although I received a complementary stay at Hong Bin Bungalow in exchange for this review, that hasn’t influenced my opinion anyway. All information above is correct and based on my own experiences and thoughts.