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“Amazing Cassia Cottage and travelling Vietnam with a toddler” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cassia Cottage - The Spice House

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Cassia Cottage - The Spice House
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Cassia Cottage Road | Ba Keo Beach, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island 10000, Vietnam   |  
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September city break
Ranked #1 of 11 hotels in Duong Dong
Melbourne
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Cassia Cottage and travelling Vietnam with a toddler”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

What a great move this was. Friends had recommended Phu Quoc island, saying it was chilled out, loads of choice for accommodation, excellent food, beautiful seas and so it went. Now we’re not usually beach and pool-type holiday-makers. We are keen on some diving definitely, but usually we go for the outdoors, crazy cities…Cuba, India, Philippines and so on. We hit the road and we trek, train and check it all out. Chilling by a pool aint our bag. But this was different. I was pregnant, with a nearly-2 year old in tow, and it was hot. So we decided to plant ourselves on an island for ten days with a pool, by the sea, near some local markets. A brief google search threw up Cassia Cottages and unlike the other resorts, the owner at Cassia returned my email almost immediately. I didn’t make a decision straight away and yet the owner, and/or his management team, entertained my endless questions and they won me over. A decision we did not regret.

Cassia Cottages sent a car to collect us from the local airport, brought all our luggage around to the Garden Cottage and sat us in the outdoor covered restaurant for some complimentary refreshments. The manager, Dao, an absolutely beautiful Vietnamese lady, with the most gentle and serene temperament, asked me to come to the cottage to check that they had darkened it sufficiently so that Maple would be able to sleep in there during the day. This had been one of my very specific requests because Mae’s two hour sleep in the middle of the day is a mainstay which we weren’t prepared to forfeit; it gives us a break and energises her for the afternoon. I had totally expected that they would ignore or forget my request, and so I was bowled over to find that Dao had personally hung the windows with thicker blinds and was prepared to do more to accommodate us. We were so so grateful. We requested the Garden Cottage because it was set back in the gardens, away from the two pools, so that we would not have to deal with the sounds of everyone playing and passing by us. A great choice. It was very simply and beautifully done, with the one bedroom (lovely mosquito net-covered bed and our Phil & Ted travel cot) and a huge and gorgeous bathroom with bath and shower. Amelie, a French/Vietnamese girl who had just arrived from Paris to take on the role of Deputy Manager, was also extremely helpful and super friendly. The staff fell in love with Maple and she with them, and at meal time, there was never any sense that we had to keep Mae contained in her highchair as there was always someone willing to play with her, take her to see the fish in the pond or whatever else was her particular delight. There were two pools; one for adults only, and the other for families. We met some wonderful people there, with whom we have remained in touch. The pools overlook the sea, which at that time of year, on that side of the island, was extremely choppy and too rough to take Maple out into, but certainly perfect for beach walks. We took a taxi the half hour drive to Sao Beach for the calm waters. Exquisite beach and totally transparent, crystal waters where we all happily frolicked for hours. Covering up with high factor suncream and hats is essential as the sun has a very brutal sting.

The kitchen staff at Cassia Cottages were extremely obliging at cooking the odd thing for Maple off the menu and I was also encouraged to use the kitchen if I wanted to cook for her, but I actually felt that I would get in the way, so I didn’t actually do this. The night market was a fairly substantial walk away or a super short car ride, and the food looked incredible!! We kept saying that we would go back there to eat dinner one night, but enjoyed the fabulous menu at Cassia Cottages so much that we never got there in time. It is a fairly small market, lined with fresh fish, meats and vegetables on ice. The smells of the barbeques were mouth watering. You can choose your kebabs or soups or share a hot pot (add your own fish and veg to a bubbling broth sitting on a gas stove at your table) and let the locals cook it up for you. Then you sit with a bottle of beer or drink of your choosing and soak up the atmosphere. The heartening thing about it, is that 80% of the customers were Vietnamese, so it didn’t feel like a ridiculous touristy affair. If we had our time again, and we will, we would definitely eat there more than once.

On several occasions we caught a taxi into Duong Dong to the local market. We watched as a tiny tug boat pulled the bridge apart to let a boat pass down the river, and then draw the bridge back together to let a swarm of cyclists, motorbikes and pedestrians cross its rickety planks to the other side. The market is for the locals and it is a photographer’s dream; streets lined with makeshift and colourful awnings; baskets of exotic fruit and veg; buckets of desperately sad frogs with their legs tethered and bleeding waiting to be put in a stew of some sort; fish flip-flopping about on ice; the marketeers wearing the enchanting conical palm bamboo leaf hats, which one immediately associates with Vietnam; rice delicacies wrapped expertly in bamboo leaf by wrinkled old ladies with a twinkle in their eye; bright plastic buckets and super cheap toys which break as soon as they are removed from their wrapping; and the road heaving with motorbikes and bicycles and pedestrians, all doing their shopping. A real market for real people and a must see. For us, this was a huge highlight of Phu Quoc.

We're heading back for Christma and meeting up with friends we made there last June and another family from the UK are joining us. Can't wait.

To read more about this trip and see photos of Cassia Cottage and so on, head over to my blog at http://sweetmotherofblog.com/travelling-in-vietnam-with-toddler/

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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Bendigo, Australia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Nice grounds and beach out front is excellent.
Brick rooms are well appointed clean and tasteful, but only sea view rooms have a little view of the ocean.
The bed in our room was Hard (Glad we were only staying 2 nights Hard)
The shower pressure was very poor, Ok for my bald head but if you have hair then the trickle from the shower head won't cut it for a relaxing shampoo and condition.
Staff are excellent and will help with anything and everything if you ask.
Breakfast Ok, Dinner on the beach is pretty nice and once again the service is great.
The 2 Swimming pools are nice and clean with plenty of deck chairs to relax on.
We booked on Agoda and got the room at around 1/2 the normal price which would be all you really want to pay.
It's a nice place but we'll probably try somewhere else next time.

Room Tip: Hire a Scooter and explore some of the island - Walk along the beach for some excellent seafood bbq...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed here to celebrate a birthday and wedding anniversary and could not be happier with our time at Cassia. The beautiful gardens are cool and serene, the rooms lovely and the food is outstanding. If that is not enough then let me tell you that the staff are delightful. I could listen to Amelie all day and nothing is too much to trouble for her. Sao, Phong and Chi all helped to make our time at Cassia simply perfect!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 104 cities Reviews in 104 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

This is another example of why I use TA to find and select my locations throughout my journeys. I loved the 5 nights here and it was truly hard to leave. Just up the road (before the main highway) I was able to rent a cheap motorbike - and drive all over, and I mean ALL over the island - and wash my clothes. The shop was even very helpful and easy to deal with, and cheap, when I got a flat tire.

Likes:
The staff: from the internet booking helper Kris Lynn, to the on-site P.R. manager Tram, to the property manager Amelie, they were all sweet and helpful, Amelie went out of her way to help us and make our stay authentic and enjoyable.
Location, location, location: best and cleanest beach on the island with its own nets to keep out jellyfish and other unwanted sea life, also you're walkable or easily drivable by motorbike to the city center and all other areas of the island.
Breakfast!: I literally couldn't wait to get up and enjoy a smorgasbord of goodness each morning.
Mosquito-killers: they did a marvelous job, both inside and outside of the rooms to keep those pests away, including giving us mosquito-killing rackets and had aloe plants in front of each bungalow for healing purposes.

Dislikes:
If one doesn't come to mind immediately, then I say: there's no point in mentioning anything, so, none.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Poole
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We had a 3 night stay in a garden cottage at the end of our 3 week trip. Great way to finish. The cottage was well laid out and spacious enough to relax in. Shower was good - with good toiletries. Good mosquito net and a nice outside area where we could sit or lie in a hammock if we wanted to brave the mozzies. The grounds are lovely and lead directly onto a clean, sandy beach. The sea was perfect for swimming; warm and calm and shallow within the bounds of the jelly fish net.

Breakfasts were good with plenty of choice, plus eggs and noodles cooked to order. A highlight for us were the lunches and dinners. The food was excellent. We had the best curry we've had anywhere except Sri Lanka and a great hot pot and faultless sea food in general. Well worth the money.

And all served by helpful, efficient and friendly waiters in the lovely garden setting overlooking the beach.

We walked into town one morning and spent the rest of the time relaxing on the property or the beach. Much nicer.

As we had a late afternoon flight back to the mainland they provided us with a spare cottage to shower and change etc. which meant we could have a final swim and beach walk. That's what I call good customer service.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Spent 9 nights at Cassia and had an excellent time. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left the level of customer service was very high and the staff actually seemed to care about you and your experience. The setting is beautiful with fantastic gardens and 2 lovely pools as well as a nice beach area. We stayed in cottage 7b which although basic was perfectly adequate as we hardly ever spent time there. Rooms were cleaned daily and fresh towels provided. The restaurant was one of the real highlights of this resort and even though it is more expensive than other places nearby the food and drink was of a very high standard. We actually ate here about 6 times which is unusual for us. The BBQ night was fantastic with a wide range of food in a beautiful setting. Breakfast was great and we really enjoyed the smoothies and lovely fresh fruit available each day. The ethos of this place is on relaxation and I have never felt so chilled after a holiday. The fact that the resort is so small works in its favour and means that you really do get that personal touch. The only downside for us was that there were a lot of children during the last few days of our trip which did mean that the place was more noisy however I think that this is not usually the case. I would recommend a visit to the hotel spa where you can enjoy an invigorating massage at a fraction of what you would pay at home. I would like to mention the manager Amelie who was always around checking that you were having a good time and personally arranged trips for us, a really unusual thing to see in hotels these days which we appreciated. A big thanks also to our favourite waiter Xao however all staff were fabulous. We have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world and I can honestly say that many of them do not compare n any way to this gem. Thanks Cassia.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We stayed in a Garden Cottage and the room, the garden, the restaurants at the beach were excellent. The beach in front of the hotel was like in paradise, white, smooth sand. The service, accommodation and food were excellent and the staff just made us happy. We really enjoyed our stay and who never knows, we might come back

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cassia Cottage - The Spice House

Address: Cassia Cottage Road | Ba Keo Beach, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island 10000, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Kien Giang Province > Phu Quoc Island > Duong Dong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Duong Dong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Cassia Cottage - The Spice House 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
20 comfy air conditioned rooms, many with internal connecting doors and all with verandas. Nestled in gardens of spices and flowers from our own collection. Infinity pool overlooking the sea, full Asian/Western breakfast and our special menu of fresh Vietnam-Mediterranean food. Evening films projected outdoors, daytime sun and beach. Tours of our own Spice Plantations for guests only, and all other services available, with Big Smiles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cassia Cottage - The Spice House Hotel Phu Quoc Island
Cassia Cottage Phu Quoc Island
Cassia Cottage Hotel
Cassia Cottage - The Spice House Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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