Seaside Wonderland at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay
Eager for her next adventure, Alice found herself on her way to the creamy white sands of Bai Khem (Ice Cream) Beach on the emerald island of Phu Quoc. What Alice would find, however, was a resort beyond her wildest imagination, a dreamy Wonderland of design and style inspired by her very first adventures all those years ago.
Entering the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Alice immediately noticed its graceful archways and towering ceilings. While she found the vintage suitcases, antique bookcases and artfully clustered sofas pleasantly familiar, the lush greenery surrounding gurgling fountains was something entirely new.
Scampering through the hallways past old leather gymnastics equipment and regal trophy cases, Alice recognized signs of a mythical academy. She walked past each hotel block cleverly named after various fields of study to the Shell & Botany Building. Graceful seashell mosaics and groupings of colorful scientific drawings led the way to the most beautiful room she had ever seen. Eyes as wide as saucers, she took in the black and white deco bathroom with shutters opening to her spacious Emerald Bay View Room bathed in shades of seafoam green. She threw open the balcony doors and plopped down on the plush lounger, looking out over a perfect crescent beach lined with swaying palm trees and the clear, turquoise waters beyond.
Alice’s days started with leisurely breakfasts at Tempus Fugit. As she wandered around the large restaurant nibbling on freshly baked breads and sipping tropical fruit juices, she noticed design accents inspired by the Department of Architecture—ornate wooden models and oversized rulers used as door handles. After breakfast, Alice spent hours popping in and out of the shops on the Rue de Lamarck, Recep on Area making Hoi An lanterns, playing table tennis or doing her calisthenics in the modern gymnasium. When she tired, she ducked into the French & Co. Deli for a pastry hot out of the oven and scrumptious chocolate drinks.
After lunch, Alice put on her swimming costume and swam in the glittering pool shaped like a seashell. She also took long walks on the beach and found hammocks strung up amongst the tall palms, the perfect spot for a quiet afternoon nap. One day, she peeked inside the Kids Club. Although she was too big to join in, she saw a whole building just for children 12 and under with reading nooks, art stations and all sorts of fun activities.
One afternoon, Alice found herself at the Chanterelle Spa. The hand- painted walls and mushroom-shaped furnishings made her so very happy, as did her blissfully relaxing massage where her therapist used thumbs, forearms and elbows to soothe her tired muscles, making her feel as if she were again floating down the rabbit hole without a single care in the world.
In the evening, Alice made her way to the 2-storey mansion called The Pink Pearl and feasted on foie gras terrine soaked in red wine (which she was told took three days to prepare) accompanied by fresh cherries. All throughout dinner, Alice couldn’t decide whether to look around the restaurant with its salmon- colored walls and whimsical furnishings which included a peacock, a penguin and an owl or to look at her food which was just as beautiful: a plate of earthy beetroot served with slices of summer truffle and strawberries, and a wonderfully moist snakefish, cooked sous vide, with a lovely tart black currant sauce. There was even a piano player and a songstress who charmed the room with lilting melodies in French, reminding Alice very much of a summer spent in Paris.
Much too soon, Alice’s time in Phu Quoc came to an end, leaving her with beautiful memories of happy summer days spent in a very real, very magical place.
Images Provided by JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay