Family First

Sun-drenched memories made at Novotel Phu Quoc Resort

Looking to beat the winter blues, we find ourselves on a short flight from Saigon to Phu Quoc in search of sand, sea and sun. Once ensconced in our bungalow set among lush gardens conveniently located between Novotel Phu Quoc Resort’s main building and the beach, we quickly settle into a wonderfully relaxed routine, feeling the stress of city life melt away faster than the mango ice cream we can’t get enough of.

Food Exchange Rest

Apparently, the kids didn’t get the memo that holidays are made for sleeping in, so they get up with the sun, eager to check out the day’s activities put on by the Kid’s Club. After an energy-fueling buffet breakfast at Food Exchange, Novotel’s all-day dining restaurant, we ride bikes or go for a walk around the manicured grounds. Some mornings, it’s tennis or the gym for the adults while the kids wreak havoc in the Kid’s Club next door, chock full of toys and games (including a very cool video game table that responds to touch), organized activities like origami and painting, and field trips to the garden or the playground.

Kid's club

In the early afternoons, we head down to Ocean Bar, Novotel’s poolside snack lounge and the resort’s happening social hub. All around the half-moon infinity pool overlooking the ocean, families and couples laze about on sun loungers, sipping on colorful drinks and achieving just the right shade of bronze all while pondering the eternal question: beach or pool?

Beach Pool

This time of year, the water on the Novotel side of Phu Quoc is glassy and crystalline, a natural swimming pool where you can float on your back with zero effort, wondering how you ever got so lucky. The shallow, warm water is perfect for kids all the way to the edges of the marked swimming zone, which even then, only comes up to neck-level for an adult. The calm water is also great for the complimentary watersports on offer, including kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Happily, Ocean Bar and its infinity pool are literally 10 steps from the soft golden sands of the palm-tree lined beach, so there’s really no need to choose. Some days we claim a table outside under oversized market umbrellas, cooled off by the island breezes that carry with them the sweet scent of frangipani, seawater and suntan lotion. Other times, we seek the shade of the open-air lounge done up in modern stone, bamboo, and wicker, an upbeat playlist providing never-ending good feels.

Novotel has also pioneered an all- inclusive option, and it makes mealtimes, hell anytime, completely stress-free. The colored wrist bands turn out to be worth their weight in gold as they mean no more furtive glances to the right side of the menu, no bills to sign, and no agonizing on whether it’s too early to order a Cuba Libre or too late to order second (or third?) frozen mojito. For our family, it makes fiscal and common sense.

The kids quickly become BFF’s with the servers at the sunken bar, downing mocktails like they’re going out of fashion, alternating between the healthy “Vitamin C” with apple, cranberry and lime juices, and the “Bora Bora” for all its pretty colors of a Polynesian sunset involving pineapple and passion fruit juices with a splash of grenadine. The light bites stave off afternoon munchies, whether a smoked chicken Panini with Edam and bacon or classic fish and chips. What remains a constant, though, is the ice cream chaser, delicious scoops of salted caramel or our family-fave of black currant sorbet with shavings of Phu Quoc pepper for a lingering belly- warming heat that complements the tropical clime.

In the late afternoons, while the kids are off feeding the raucously colored koi in the lotus ponds or catching a movie in the Kid’s Club cinema, we retreat to the Lounge Bar with its jazzy vibe and excellent, thin crust artisanal pizzas, watching the legendary Phu Quoc sunsets in blazing shades of red and orange.

Presidential Villa

One day, we break up the routine by hopping on one of the resort’s many electric buggies and heading across the street into the Novotel villas, an idyllic community of 3-, 4-, and 5-bedroom villas. The villas have their own facilities, including a spa, Kid’s Club, and gym, and guests can move freely between the hotel and villas. The villa side is much quieter, and we have both pools practically to ourselves. We also stay for dinner at the a la carte Tropicana Restaurant, and agree that the Dragon Maki and the Beef sautéed with fresh peppercorns are excellent choices.

With so much to do and the luxury of space in both the main hotel section as well as the villas, Novotel Phu Quoc Resort is the ideal beach getaway for couples and families. Doubles start at VND2,700,000++ including buffet breakfast, and kids under 16 stay free when sharing a room with parents. The all-inclusive option can be booked together with the room or purchased on-site.

Seafood restaurant

Corporate castaways 

Everything that makes the Novotel Phu Quoc Resort ideal for couples and families also makes it perfect for corporate events, including meetings and team building retreats. The spacious pool decks are excellent for gala dinners under the stars while memorable team building events can be set up on the private stretch of beach. There are conference rooms and function rooms for up to 70 participants and a

dividable ballroom which can seat up to 400. The 3-5 bedroom villas can also be an economical choice with their own spacious living and dining areas, fenced in yard for barbeques, and fully-equipped kitchens.

Share this story, choose your platform!

About the author:

Leave a Comment

Explore the Wonders of Chankanaab Park in Cozumel

If you’re planning a trip to Cozumel, one of the must-visit destinations is the breathtaking Chankanaab Park. This natural wonder offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences, making it an essential part of your itinerary. Whether you’re interested in marine life, ancient ruins, or simply soaking up the sun on a pristine

Read More »

Dolphin Cove: A Premier Experience for Cruisers in Jamaica

Jamaica is a paradise that beckons travelers with its sun-kissed beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. Among the myriad attractions this beautiful island offers, the best attractions in Jamaica for cruisers shore excursions on your cruise vacation things to do in Montego Bay Jamaica are a highlight that promises an unforgettable experience. At the heart

Read More »

A Guide to the Factors Influencing the Perspective of NBA Teams in 2024

Just like the basketball players themselves, NBA teams need to remain focused on their performance in the future. To accomplish this, essential responsibilities include managing the competition, the professional league, player recruitment and development, media and broadcasting, revenue generation, and worldwide expansion. Importantly, a few factors affect how they view a wide range of topics.

Read More »

Essential Guide to Visiting Macao

Nestled on the southern coast of China, Macao is a unique and utterly fascinating destination. A rare jewel, with its fusion of Eastern and Western cultures and traditions, this former Portuguese colony has become known as “the Las Vegas of the East”. It’s much more than just an entertainment paradise, though.  A trip to Macao is

Read More »

Vietnamese athletes in the Olympics 2024

As 2023 came to an end, Vietnamese sports fans celebrated three remarkable athletes who clinched the official berth for the Paris Olympics 2024 in France. The Vietnam sports authority is hoping to take 12-15 athletes to represent their nation at the Olympic Games in France, but only five have qualified so far. That puts them

Read More »

Momentous Sporting Events in Vietnam

Vietnam has always been known for its resiliency, history, and culture. These qualities are only further exemplified in the sporting events that they hold in the country. This Southeast Asian has been the stage for many milestone moments for the country and the region as a whole. It doesn’t look like Vietnam is about to

Read More »