This was our first resort stay within a month long Asia exploration trip, and it was lovely. We arrived just after Typhoon Haiyan, and although the resort wasn't hit with any damage, the follow up rain storms did slightly dent our stay. No reflection on the hotel, however, some amenities could be better.
Getting here and area: we arrived in Hue via train from Hanoi, and even though our train came in early, we were able to be picked up at the station (750,000 VN or about $37 US) by the hotel and brought to our room before check in, which was greatly appreciated. Ride from Hue was 50 minutes, the city portion was very scenic, as we followed along one of the canal roads for a distance, the highway portion about what you'd expect. The resort is outside the town of Phu Loc, and is pretty isolated, located at the end of a road, right on the lagoon (a huge lagoon, tidal and NOT swimmable) and below a jungle'd mountain. The entrance is pretty, with a tennis and basketball court, and a large welcome centre - lobby, art gallery, gift shop/library, fitness centre, movie room, foosball and ping pong tables, kids area, etc.
Amenities - library has a selection of English (Vietnamese and German) books, magazines and videos for sign out. Fitness centre is poor: moldy smell, dirty carpet, no work out bench, a few free weights that aren't matched pairs, cardio equipment satisfactory (1 elliptical, 1 recumbent and 1 upright bike, 1 treadmill), 2 balls. No mats. The resort provides bikes (2 at our villa) but there are no brakes (or gears) to speak of. One kayak (2 person), that I was able to take out solo and paddle (in bounds) for a good work out. Resort offers morning yoga and tai chi, however the weather was so poor, we never saw this take place. There is a large common pool next to the restaurant with cabanas and lounge chairs. Weather not conducive to anyone using it during our stay. There are fee tours offered from the resort - to Hoi An, Danang, My Son, etc. also a free daily shuttle (departing at 930am into Hue, then returning at 330pm), but due to rain and flooding in the city, we didn't partake.
Villa: I booked us into a private pool villa instead of the aqua villa, as we wanted the pool feature and the space. The aqua villas are smaller, don't appear to have the living space that the one we rented has, which turned out well, as we snuggled down into our villa when we had 3 days of non stop monsoon rains. The rooms are large, the bed is huge and all was comfortable. The air con didn't work so well, even with that and the fan on, it was pretty warm at night. Wifi signal was very strong, which was necessary, due to the aforementioned 3 days of rain. We borrowed some videos from the library, and the staff brought us a DVD player, which ended up taking 2 hours of troubleshooting and 2 subsequent replacements (don't play a Blu-ray Disc on a DVD player) and have the correct connection cords! There should be a unit permanently assigned to each of the villas, to make this easier. The bathroom is huge, with an open shower and stone tub in front of the picture frame window (odd, but you can drop the shade for privacy), the pool was also large, water temp was quite cool, but I still used it a couple of times. there are 2 cushioned loungers on the deck (covered and uncovered areas). Fruit basket changed daily, as well as coffee and teas. The snack items appeared old and stale, and not a very good selection, we took a miss on that.
Restaurant: one on premise and where the included breakfasts occurred. Some of this may sound picky, but when you pay (resort prices) for your meals (other than included breakfasts), I have expectations. And to be fair, the staff were excellent at accommodating. Things like - every one of our first four meals listening to the strains of Kenny G at sound level high, smelly mosquito coils burning at our feet during dinner, Microsoft burps from their email notifications coming over the speaker systems, every time they got mail, the overly bright ceiling lights for dinner, and one clients incessant cell phone ring tone whenever she came to dine. Food- breakfasts were outstanding, the first 2 days the buffet was small due to small number of clients, but as the weekend neared, the breakfast buffet expanded considerably, plus you could order a la carte. One odd thing, they wanted us to order the following days breakfast one day ahead. Plus they wanted us to order our dinners at least 8 hours ahead, which we found strange, but perhaps it was to keep supplies in stock during the low season? For the paid meals, we found some of their dishes better than others (didn't like their version of salad rolls-goi cuon, or their green papaya and beef salad, having been spoiled in exceptional street versions of same in Hanoi) but their Hue noodle soup and assorted vegetable dishes were outstanding. Wine and drink prices are high.
Spa: lovely villas on stilts over the water, each one for a different purpose. There was signage to some villas across and up from the spa which indicated cooking lessons, yoga house and a flower garden, but the area was closed due to some renovations.
Staff: extremely polite and helpful. The manager enquired daily if there was anything they could do to make our stay better.
Oh, and those butterflies? Amazing array of different sizes and colours on the one day of sunshine we had here. Overall, this is a nice place, but could benefit from some changes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.