Photo by Trung Del

La Veranda smells like lemongrass. It feels like the home of French aristocrats in 19th-century Vietnam. Fitting, as this Accor-managed, four-star resort on a private strip of Phu Quoc’s Duong Dung Beach was built 12 years ago by a French-Indochine family with four generations of history in Southeast Asia. The resort’s 70 rooms face west onto the Gulf of Thailand, which translates into idyllic tropical sunsets.

 

You will instantly understand what it feels like to be a person that uses words like ‘veranda’, enjoys freshly baked croissants at the breakfast buffet, and sips handcrafted cocktails in the sea breeze at night. And though it’s easy for these kinds of treatments to feel too lofty, La Veranda manages to keep a foot on the ground.

 

It’s the little things that make this place cozy. Like the kind face that delivers homemade cookies to your door at 7pm, just to say goodnight. You can take a lavender bath in your clawfoot tub, then have a drink in your own personal backyard, enclosed by greenery and bright birds of paradise. Even the landscaping here is intimate. All the walkways are nestled between tall stalks and bushes, so your walks across the grounds are secluded and peaceful.

 

Once you find your way through the maze of natural hallways, you’ll encounter a saltwater pool rippling in the multi-coloured blues of its beautifully-tiled bottom, just a hop and a skip from the ocean. A sprawling manor next door houses the bar and the Pepper Tree, La Veranda’s in-house gourmet dining restaurant, where you can lounge on a wide terrace in candelight, listening to a Filipino band play against the backdrop of waves crashing on the beach. It’s lavish, in an elegant way.

Photo by Trung Del

Photo by Trung Del 

Intimacy

 

Hidden about the grounds are quiet spaces where couples can romance. The staff are happy to set up intimate dinners or private celebrations. One man even secretly packed his wife’s wedding dress and surprised her with a renewal of their vows on one of these secluded lawns. The resort houses a functional secret garden too, where they grow organic vegetables that guests can pick for their cooking classes, cocktails and salads.

 

Focused on creating ‘memorable moments’, La Veranda has tailored plans for family time in the summer season. Their Very Important Kids (VIK) programme aims to make 12-and-under guests feel special, with kid-friendly welcome drinks, mother-daughter manicures, miniature-sized resort robes, and even a teddy bear turn-down service. Games of giant checkers on the lawn and a ‘Junior Executive Suite’ equipped with toys and game consoles will keep the VIKs entertained, so parents can hit the spa or the sand.

 

A great place if you’re in need of a recharge, this summer will also see a specialised programme focused on wellness and relaxation. Every day at 8am, you can wake up with seaside yoga, then relax with a neuromuscular spa treatment, and learn to connect with couples’ touch therapy workshops. For dinner, the resort puts on a rotation of themes, like churrasco night, or a Vietnamese street food buffet.

 

The best thing about La Veranda, though, is its atmosphere. It’s all carefully curated to give you the sort of memories that feel like a bygone era, and look like movie stills in your mind. 

 

For more info on MGallery by Sofitel, La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, go to laverandaresorts.com. To find out about their Inspired Summer packages, click on the special offers button on the top left-hand corner of the homepage

Photo by Trung Del

Photo by Trung Del

Photo by Trung DelPhoto by Trung Del

Jesse Meadows

Like many expats before her, staff writer Jesse Meadows stopped in Hanoi on a backpacking trip in early 2015 and just hasn’t managed to leave yet. A compulsive documentarian with a case of incessant curiosity, she loves buying one-way tickets, photographing dance parties and writing stories on the bus. 

Website: www.messyjeadows.tumblr.com

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