A brief visit to Hue's newest resort and spa, the Ana Mandara, located on a wind-blown stretch of Thuan An Beach. Surprising delights await the holiday maker looking for a secluded retreat with open spaces and nature's bounty.
Walking along a path shaded by trees on both sides on the grounds of the Ana Mandara Resort, I seemed to be wandering in a world of fresh water, gentle breezes and lush gardens. The beach was stunning, one of the finest stretches of clean white sand I have ever seen. From my room, the doors and windows framed a pretty picture of palm trees against the flash of blue sea that remains a vivid image in my mind.
My host at the resort showed me around the grounds. There are four types of rooms in the resort. The Pool Villas, Beach Villas, Deluxe and Duplex rooms feature sights of sky blue, garden green and sea blue, creating an open, yet cozy atmosphere. The bathroom featured a bathtub from where I could view a small adjoining garden fitted with a shower stand open to the sky. There were little personalised touches like the bowl of fruit and cakes and tiny flowers placed over my bedding and towels.Out on the balcony deck, I basked in the sunlight with salty breezes caressing my hair.
Within the grounds is an organic garden with several varieties of vegetables and medicinal herbs that guests could pick for their meals. I was told I could do some gardening myself if I wished. The lounge areas are open and airy with polished timber and stone floors while the spank restaurant kitchens are open to view and serve both western and Vietnamese cuisine.
At the Spa, scented with lemongrass and ginger, I was tempted to a massage. You would be pampered in pavilions set over a lotus filled pool. Therapies included facials, exotic body scrubs but the most impressive was the Indian Massage on beds made from aromatic timber. Memories of my trip to Ana Mandara are one of blue seas, golden sands and green trees.It would be a wonderful place for the solitary traveler, the runaway, romance seeker, honeymooners or families with lots of privacy, space and comfort surrounded by the textures of wood and stone. I will certainly go there again.
Conny Nguyen, 15th March 2011