Phu Quoc, Vietnam
In search of a beach getaway close to Vietnam that is not completely over run by tourists, we went to Phu Quoc almost as an afterthought. The island is at the tipping point of becoming a major tourism hub, but that makes it that much more wonderful to visit.
I am relatively conservative with my hotel love but Richis Beach Resort literally left nothing more to be desired. We were received by gracious, well trained staff with welcome drinks as soon as we arrived from the airport. They sat us down and completed all the check in work as efficiently as possible. Even though we had arrived many hours before official check in time because of an early flight, the team accommodated our request for early check in and soon showed us to our room.
I think the room at Richis must be one of my most favorite hotel rooms of all time. An airy enormous space, 30+ feet ceilings, with glass doors at the end of the room looking out to the lush tropical garden. I don't know if it was the opulence of so much space or because of how much it reminded me of my childhood spent in the tropics, but if I designed a hotel room it would look almost exactly like this.
A quick walk through the tropical garden and you find yourself at the large, squeaky clean pool that overlooks the great big ocean just steps away. White sand, palms and green blue waters.
Right by the beach is an enormous old grand house which houses the breakfast rooms. Ceiling fans, enormous balconies and a huge spread of the most delicious breakfast food while looking out over the pool and the ocean. Even on a few of the days when it was pouring rain, I couldn't have thought of another better place to be.
5 stars for beautiful island chic decor, 5 stars for the delicious, enormous breakfast spread, including many local favorites, and 5 stars especially for the incredible customer service. Can't be more thankful to the team for accommodating check in / check out requests, giving directions, recommending places and for always being so helpful. I may go back to Phu Quoc only to go back to Richi's and nothing else.
Richis Beach Resort Phu Quoc Island
KP7, Dương Đông, 90 Trần Hưng Đạo, Tp. Phú Quốc, 922203, Vietnam
With the stay covered, despite being such a small island, there is so much to do in Phu Quoc. A few highlights from the trip below:
1. Beach: Forget all your worries floating in crystal clear blue waters of Sao Beach. Changing and shower stalls available right by the beach, I will never forget the sweet women who came by to sell us guavas. The locals make the island the heaven that it is.
2. Pepper farm: Spread throughout the island, it is interesting to see the peppers on the vines and pick up a few boxes for yourselves. Phu Quoc pepper is delicious.
3. Pagodas: Devotion is always interesting to me and pagodas celebrating many different gods are spread throughout the island. Specifically Dihn Cau Temp for sea goddess Thein Hau, build in 1937 and have survived through all of the occupations and wars since, and Thien Vien Truc Lam Chua Ho Quoc in the mountains definitely leave a mark.
4. Waterfall: Only relevant during rainy seasons, it is a half an hour hike up to get there.
5. Fishing Village: Ham Ninh is a slowly developing ocean side village. We found ourselves a waterside table and had the most delicious tamarind shrimp that I am still thinking about.