Resorts come in all shapes and sizes and are located in both popular and less accessible places.
The Emeralda Resort just outside Ninh Binh falls into the latter of these categories and I am assessing this on the basis of where it is. This is an area of Vietnam still in the very early stages of opening to the international travel market. If it is super-slick Bangkok-Manderin-Oriental-style facilities you need then this comes close but not quite. But that is not the point. If that's what you need, go to Bangkok. What Emeralda offers is a haven of luxurious peace and tranquility supported by a staff whose dedication to your contentment is unsurpassed.
There was nothing that was too much for them to do, be it extra items needed for the room, food requests, questions about the local environment or just general well-being, the staff in all areas of the hotel were absolutely fantastic.
The rooms are huge and well air conditioned. We had temperatures of up to 38c and were fine.
The chefs in both the Sen and Organic restaurants prepared food to an exceptional quality and were delighted for the opportunity to discuss the local dishes and even prepare special items to demonstrate their flair.
The hotel is set in extensive gardens which are a challenge for any gardener to keep up with but offer cool protection from the weather and variation in the different areas. We were in the "Bamboo Garden" which had its own mini pool
for the 7 or 8 rooms surrounding it and was within easy access to the food outlets and main buildings.
Take tours from this hotel and you will be transported into areas some tourists seldom go. Our tour guide Tang made a huge effort to "customize" our experience so we got to see places and activities during the rice harvesting few foreigners get to see.
Get a bicycle from the reception and take a ride along the dyke just near the hotel. The scenery is stunning. The Hotel Spa is also good and not overpriced. We were there for 6 days and were reluctant to leave. Midweeks are quite as many locals use this as a weekend getaway.
The Emeralda Resort is definitely worth the trip to get there. It took 4.5 hours from Ha Long bay and 3 Hours back to Ha Noi.
But go now, before it's discovered. There are plans to open an airport in Ninh Binh and then this area is going to open up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover an oasis of calm in the first imperial capital of Vietnam, Ninh Binh; perhaps the most historic province in northern Vietnam. Only 90 kilometres from Hanoi’s centre, you will find a more leisurely pace of living.Nestled in the Van Long Nature Reserve- a primeval tropical forest- and surrounded by spectacular mountains, the Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh has been built and furnished in the style of traditional Tonkin Vietnamese villages, but with modern comforts and environmental commitment.Wake up to a mountain view from an elegant superior room orupgrade to, and make yourself comfortable in, an Emeralda deluxe room, including spacious bathrooms with garden views and an outdoor shower and a private terrace where you can stretch out on a comfortable armchair and sip a cup of tea among nature.Discover Ninh Binh’s attractions by bike is a great activity for the whole family -, stimulate the senses with rejuvenating treatments for mind and body at Spa LaCochinchine, re-charge yourself in the fitness center, mini golf course or hang out with the kids in the four outdoor pools and indoor heated pool.Choose from mouthwatering Vietnamese specialties or healthy international favorites in our three restaurants and bar, or enjoy the weekend BBQ night at the pool bar, where an extensive cuisine awaits.Our two conference rooms – Van Long and Van Trinh - can accommodate up to 450 attendees for international conferences, company meetings or team building sessions. Take advantage of the modern audio-visual equipment. ... more less
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