Needing a break from the concrete jungle of Ho Chi Minh City, I booked the one-hour flight to Phu Quoc on a whim. I was picked up by the smiley Sol Beach House Phu Quoc doorman, whose crisp white, branded polo was one I knew I needed in my wardrobe.
The driver pulled up to the resort after only 15 minutes, which was a pleasant surprise – never had I known the commute from the airport to be as short as a resort said.
Handing me a fruity welcome drink, the reception staff, in their equally white Sol Beach House shirts, welcomed me by name and gave me a rundown of the resort’s activities. Paddle boarding? Yes, please. Cooking class? Don’t mind if I do. Meditation? I’d been looking for my chi. But how could I fit it all into one weekend, I wondered.
Escorted to my spacious sixth-floor junior suite, I was greeted by the ocean kissing the sky and immediately made a mental note to spend an evening watching the sunset during my trip. Saying goodbye to the doorman with a cheerful wave, I took in the crisp white linens, comfortable sofa and striped beach chairs in the room – it was simple but perfect.
Junior Suite with view of the ocean
I decided to take as much advantage of the swimming pool as possible and headed straight down with my book, sunglasses and a towel. Greeted by smiles from guests and staff alike, the resort felt intimate and familiar despite it being my first visit. I also discovered a new affinity with nature, being surrounded by palm trees and grass on my way to the infinity swimming pool.
Putting my things on the beautiful Bali bed and slipping into the pool, I’d finally done everything necessary to get the emails waiting in my inbox out of my mind. After a few laps around the pool and daydreaming whilst staring off into the blues around me, it wasn’t long until I realised I’d forgotten to eat lunch.
Leaving even my towel behind and deciding to eat at The Kitchen, the resort’s all day dining at breakfast the following day, I dripped into The Shack for a sweet, healthy and adventurous lunch. The delightful fresh fruit smoothing and savoury street food style dishes were the perfect treats to tide me over until a delicious Mediterranean seafood dinner at OLA Beach Club.
Soon after, whilst petting another guest’s dog, also a welcomed guest at Sol Beach House Phu Quoc, a hand-written sign caught my attention. I was just in time for the afternoon’s mediation session! Making my way over to the designated area, I got in the zone – relaxed, undisturbed and at one with both nature and myself. I was really growing to love it here.
I returned to the Bali bed and ordered a poolside cocktail to enjoy while the in-house DJ played smooth, groovy, toe-tapping tunes. But exhaustion got the best of me, leading me back to my room for the evening to sleep with the balcony door open – nothing is more soothing than the sound of crashing waves and the smell of salt water.
Sweet ocean-side setting for two
Awaking the next morning to the call of the ocean, I suited up, grabbed a quick bite of breakfast from the buffet and went for a long walk down the white-sand beach. I walked until my legs were tired and treated myself to a restful, healing and relaxing foot massage at the resort’s spa.
Once again loose and limber, I was ready to try something new, which led me to ask about paddle boarding. The kind staff saw me struggling beyond the waves and came out to give me a more hands-on lesson. Physical activity had never been more fun!
As the day drew on, I spent it in and out of the swimming pool, checking out the resort’s activities and wondering when I’d be able to get back to what had definitely become my home on the beach.
We pulled up to the airport the following afternoon and as the doorman handed over my luggage he said “I really hope you come back to see us soon.” More than an encouraged expression, I felt it was a sincere sentiment and that I’d really become part of the Sol Beach House Phu Quoc’s family. I bid him farewell, checked in for my flight, raced to the waiting area and booked my next holiday at the resort.
Visit www.melia.com for more information or to make a reservation.
TEXT AND IMAGES PROVIDED BY SOL BEACH HOUSE