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“Nice little house reef”

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Whale Island Resort
Ranked #34 of 206 Hotels in Nha Trang
Certificate of Excellence
Uppsala, Sweden
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Nice little house reef”
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Late review. Went there with the family in October 2011.

We enjoyed it a lot. Our intention was 7 days but that was to much with kids so we stayed in Na Trang the last night. The kids got restless and there was not much to do on the island but swim, snorkling and scuba diving. And explore the island. But beware, if you visit other parts of the island you will probably end up in deep piles with garbage. On the north side of the island there is a small floating village (fish farming) and they just dumped the garbage in the sea and it ended up on the shores of Whale Island. Thankfully there was not that much garbage in the sea or on the beach in front of the bungalows. We have now been in Vietnam for 20 months and so far this has been the cleanest beach we have seen.

When we stayed there the resort had not thought about getting meals that is for kids. The food was alright, don't get me wrong, but they should think about the kids when it comes to food. And maybe get some more to choose from when it comes to buying snacks etc. They had only Pringles.

If you want to get away for a couple of days and relax this is the place. If it wasn´t for the beach and the location and all the small clown fishes (Nemo´s) at the house reef, I would have only given them an "average".

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Backmansinhanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Canberra, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

After an adventurous trek in the mountains on pushbike through Hmong territory we had a few nights on Whale island. basic bungalows right on the beach, fantastic food and great diving on a boat trip. The snorkeling in the bay just at our doorstep was great too, plenty of Nemo's. The bungalow slept us (mum and dad and teenage daughter) comfortably with an open bathroom and deck chairs provided to sit out the front, mosquito nets. Free snorkeling gear, great cocktails especially at sunset on the deck. 3 meals a day with way too much food for us, especially lunch but better too much than not enough. Some snacks from the mainland was a good idea for afternoon drinks at our room with some mineral water. No pool much to the disappointment of our teenage daughter. Amazing great value massage. Great place, would visit again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ingrid08_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013

What a place. It is a peace of paradise away from all. Huts by the beach and great local food. Beside some great diving there are also some trails. Leading to spectacular views. The staff is very friendly and likes to make the stay memorable. As for the dinner options. If you are adventures try the local cuisine. Very memorable. Stay!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank pinotn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

This review is mixed. On the one hand, the beach and the resort are beautiful, but on the other hand, the staff and management really need to make an effort to improve the customer experience.

THE BEACH: The most beautiful beach we have seen in Vietnam. The sand is white and fine, the water is pristine clear and calm and the setting is spectacular (a lagoon with shallow water and corals, perfect for snorkelling or diving). We saw a few pieces of plastic and bottles floating in the water when we were swimming, but it was nothing compared to the other unmaintained beaches nearby. We understand the staff here do their best to keep the beach clean.

THE BUNGALOWS : Scattered along the beach, the bungalows are simple and rustic, and also very charming and comfortable. We liked the open shower concept with no shower curtain or roof. The fan was making a bit too much noise at night, but we turned it off as the outside air flows through the open roof on the sides of the bungalow.

TRANSPORTATION: The driver arrived on time to pick us up as our flight landed in Nha Trang airport. However, we then had to wait for more than an hour in the city of Nha Trang, as the driver dropped us somewhere to pick up other people who where supposed to join us, but who never showed up. In the end, it took us 5 hours to reach the resort and when we informed the manager of the situation, he did not apologize. He just said the price would be a direct transfer price (more expensive than the shuttle) because apparently we were not supposed to pick up those people, and he left, seemingly angry about his staff, without any other comment or apologies.

THE FOOD: Upon our arrival, we were directed to our table and were automatically assigned the set menu. Nobody informed us that we could have a Vietnamese menu until our third meal. The set menu was an odd combination of French and Asian cuisine (fatty duck rillettes with a thick sweet pancake, spaghetti with crunchy shrimps...). The Vietnamese menu was MUCH better (fresh grilled seafood, a soup, rice... simple and healthy). It's also worth mentioning we found chunks of aluminum in our plates. When we brought up the issue to the resort manager, he got the kitchen manager to apologize to us and he talked to her in such a slavish way that we felt pity for her.

THE STAFF: Apart from one girl from the kitchen staff who was proactive and efficient (I think her name was Thao but I am not sure - she offered to serve us a Vietnamese dinner instead of the set menu, promptly served our meal and interacted with us in a friendly manner), all other staff seemed unhappy and non-existent. We had several talks with the resort manager (in French) and he struck us as an arrogant man who barely cares about his customers (let alone his staff).

THE PRICES: We were expecting it to be an expensive stay, but we had no idea we would get charged more than the price quoted at the time of reservation. We had to dispute the bill at the time of check-out and struggle with the receptionist to get a discount on the transfer following the transportation issue, as a token of their apologies. Overall, the food was overpriced (17$ for a mediocre dinner), and of all Vietnam, this was our most expensive stay. We spent the same amount of money here for one night that we spent in Phu Quoc for three nights.

  • Stayed February 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank MissTine_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review which will contribute to improve our the quality of our organization and our relationship with our guest.
I am glad to understand that you liked the location and the beach bungalow, that we charge you at the garden rate, of our resort.

Unfortunately, it is seemed often secluded and far for our guest that flight to Cam Ranh (Nha Trang Airport).
Your email give me the opportunity to advice our future guest to prefer Tuy Hoa airport located only at one hour from our jetty if that will feet their schedule and to stay at least two nights if they will travel this way.
We are not making any benefits on the transfer that we arrange. Our guest are more than welcome to find their own way of transportation and to chose a cheaper option if they can find one. We provide free boat transfer to any guest of the resort anyway. If they choose our services, they should be agreed with our policy that is to organize as less transport as possible to reduce their cost (the price of the petrol nearly increases of 100 % in Vietnam for the last 5 years) and on the same time the traffic and pollution. We organize two shuttle buses a day from Nha Trang city and special transfer from the airport to group, when it is possible, our guests. The schedule of the people who were supposed to travel with you changed at the last minute.
I again, as you have not heard my apologies, apology for your useless wait during your transfer.

The set menu is a Vietnamese one that we have arranged and still improve accordingly to the taste of our usual guest. But like you do, few guests don’t like these arrangements. As soon as these guests let us know, we change their menu.
The pieces of aluminum that you found in your plate were coming from the cover of the special container of our fresh duck “rillettes”. I joined my sincere apologies to the kitchen staff manager and hope you did not suffer of any prejudice following this unfortunate accident.

I do also apologize for my Vietnamese that still basic and can seemed to be rude (my french accent maybe?): I do practice it with the Whale Island Staff when we find some free time to share and my family when i am off. It will hopefully sound more pleasant and less arrogant.
I hope that you did not find me distant: we do welcome a lot of couple for a romantic (sometimes honeymoon) stay and I try to not be intrusive and be respectful . I thought it was your case.

I still available to talk with you about your experience, if you wish to.

Finaly, I wish to both of you a enjoyable snake year, lately, as you left before the new year’eve.

Kind regards

AP.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Needing a break from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, HCMC, etc, we looked forward to the tranquility of Whale Island. The island was wonderful, the bungalow was as expected, basic but clean and comfortable, but our stay would have been vastly improved if the young collection of staff had not been left to their own devices. We weren't told that there was Vietnamese food available (which was wonderful as opposed to the fairly bland westernish food as standard).You were under the impression that they wanted to please but didn't know how to (that is except for the beach boy who lay and listened to his radio and was very surly). Lack of spoken English, French etc was a major handicap.

There seemed to be little or no management, reference has been made previously of the elusive manager and although we did speak to him about the problems, you were left with the feeling that not much would change.

Please don't let this paradise lose its touch, just give these people the simple skills to make it into the haven that it should be.

Room Tip: Opt for Vietnamese food immediately on arrival
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pogcog573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tanzania
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Whale Island is a wonderful place to get away from it all. The resort's bungalows are basic but clean and cosy. We didn't realised that the lunch/diner is a fixed menu - which may be a problem if you don't like what's on the menu for the day! There are no shops on the island, so it's $15 for dinner/$12 for lunch. There's not much to do in the evenings, so we were quite surprised that the bar closed so early. We enjoyed canoeing and hiking around the island and made use of the volleyball net. Overall a great mini getaway.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Just returned from a delightful long weekend at Whale Island Resort and I would gladly return again the next time I want to unwind in simple seclusion near Nha Trang.

This is very much the reserve of those people looking to escape the high rises of the city and instead wile away their days swimming, eating, reading, and lounging about. Thanks to the lethargic pace and limited number of rooms, there is almost a communal sense to the place with a shared identity between the sun worshipers that permeates every aspect of day to day life.

Admittedly, I was a bit concerned by the last review from Presutto, but then I discovered that my fears of pollution were largely unfounded. As boat people do occupy the other end of the bay they can end up clogging the surrounding waters with rubbish, but at the resorts beach this is only the case after a storm passing through the area and thanks to the diligent staff who are out on garbage patrol every morning at dawn and the collective efforts of the resorts sedated guests, there is little real trace of pollution in the azure waters of the resort's private sheltered bay. While one cannot say the same about some of the island's other beaches accessed by jungle paths, in truth this was of little real concern to most of the guests who became so sedated by the peaceful lifestyle that virtually no one ever felt like departing the main beach.

In the end however, we utterly loved our tastefully decorated spotlessly clean bungalow meters from the beach that was a steal compared to many similar spots in Vietnam. Similarly, the meal plan is a great bargain as each meal is huge and the staff can easily adapt the meals upon request for just about anything. ONE TIP we discovered was to order a purely vietnamese meal that ended up consisting of fried shrimp cakes, sauteed baby calamari, salad, summer rolls, rice, a glass noodle soup with crab, and a large grilled fish. For no extra cost this was a massive amount of good food for two people and a real treat that I would highly recommend. Other then that, I must say that the staff were friendly with a decent amount of english and in true french tradition, there was a nice cocktail menu and a lovely wine selection.

All in all, this is a place that most Vietnamese skip altogether and if you are looking for massive buffets, motorized watersports, modern amenities, and an active nightlife, then you had best stick to the city. However, for those of us looking for a few nights of utter peace and tranquility, its hard to think of a better place to recommend in the region.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Confused_ExpatHanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whale Island Resort

Property: Whale Island Resort
Address: 2 Me Linh | Van Ninh District, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Khanh Hoa Province > Nha Trang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Nha Trang
#12 Family Hotel in Nha Trang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Whale Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An idyllic tropical paradise on a small island in stunning Van Phong Bay, Whale Island, also known as Ile de la Baleine or Hon Ong, is a low-key, initimate resort two hours north of Nha Trang. Offering a desert island experience, Whale Island nestles amongst swaying coconut palms and a pristine sand beach.Thirty one traditional-style bamboo thatched bungalows offer beds with mosquito nets, pillar fans, plus en-suite bathrooms with shower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whale Island Hotel Nha Trang
Whale Island Nha Trang

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