Aria divine on the beach… with orchestra

(No.7, Vol.2, July 2012 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Photos: Villa Aria Mui Ne

It’s on the wooden deck of the beachfront restaurant of Villa Aria Mui Ne filled with soft tunes of bosa nova pouring away right into the sparkling sea lying just meters away, where Janus has shown me his full foxy (cunning) face- reveal or not to reveal- that was a dilemma clearly stated. As all of a sudden I was struck with the seductive idea to keep the secret of this bright new boutique hotel to myself.
With the snowy white modern design 2- stories building hidden in the shadow of a fruit garden and airy amphitheatre of reception with a sea breeze flying through freely behind me, creating the peaceful feeling of the harmony and unity with nature, I felt clearly as never the ultimate power and profound meaning which Feng Shui has in space organization. Here as anywhere in Vietnam, the planning and construction of Villa Aria Resort obviously have been carried out with active participation of skilful Master of Vietnamese Feng Shui. In fact the principles of the ancient Asian space philosophy applied to this boutique hotel went off so good that the animating flow of Qi (or Khi in Vietnamese) is almost palpable. With not so vast territory Villa Aria built on, the feeling of limitless space is overwhelming. It accompanies one everywhere from the very second of walking in the hotel premises right from the sparky centre of Mui Ne village, then follows after one travelling through the cozy garden with fruit trees stretching their branches up to the huge balconies with inviting rattan longue chaises, where hours can be spent at listening to the fantastic sounds of the surf and wind in the tree leaves, then when passing the swimming pool and small lotus lake, and till the last moment when finally stepping out on the terrace of the hotel’s beach restaurant just as stepping out on the fore of some luxurious private yacht. By the way, the privacy and peace is guaranteed in the Villa Aria as it offers only 22 rooms. All of these are with unique interior designs combining sophisticatedly all modern amenities one may think of with only natural materials; flaxen and cotton linen and curtains, skilfully hand painted furniture with amazing birds and fanciful flowers come alive on the back of the beds, table lamps, French country style sofas and armchairs with footstools used by creative designers as canvas.
The toiletries and cosmetic line chosen for the guests is whole organic Azual and Rendez-vous with relaxing juicy forest aromas. The hotel’s crew is always around, though unintrusive, serving free tropical fruit baskets, leaving wild acacia flowers and card with Sweet dreams wishes on guests beds.
While conceiving this story on the sun bed of the huge balcony in the late afternoon, despite the fanfares of various turns of the future plot I suddenly skipped into a fast sleep, lullabied by the tender rays of the sunset. Then awaken, surprisingly I discovered no any sign of mosquito bites on me and an unexpected guest- a huge green Scarab beetle gazing at me with great curiosity.
Then I heard a gentle call of a lady from the hotel crew from the deep of the garden, asking whether I would have liked to play Adam (Eve) and choose any fruit from the garden to be cooked as one of the special ‘plats’ for dinner? Heavenly! And I did! Chose something strange and prickly in the twilight and brought it obediently to the slaughter to the Mrs Thuy, the cordon bleu of the Villa Aria, to whom I will give the noble title of being one of the leading divas in the amazing Aria sang in the Hotel. To her I owe the discovery of the striking news that hotel cuisine may be both haute cuisine and SOUL dining filled with truly local taste; plats bright as painter’s palette served on banana leaves from Adam’s garden and in the straw baskets- miniatures of the round macramé wicker boats of Mui Ne villagers. The seafood hot-pot, hearty squid pie, rainbow coloured shrimp salad – No doubt, the cuisine sometimes turns in to the form of beux- arts.
Later standing on the deck with the glass of wine and gazing at the night sea I agreed in thoughts with my dearly loved shark of the editor, Merlon, who would bite me for not being objective, for having betrayed my signature sarcastic writing style and for falling into praises but Villa Aria Mui Ne was perfect and I found not a single wrinkle to tuck into, and I would have paid ‘tres cher’ for a right of keeping the secret of Villa Aria Mui Ne to myself. For not revealing. I v got remorse for having revealed. And where on earth is gorgeous Placido Domingo to sing ‘Vicci d’arte, vicci d’amore’ for me right from the beach to complete the amazing evening. As here, besides other extremely pleasant amenities, they also have a perfect acoustics.

Villa Aria Mui Ne
60A Nguyen Dinh Chieu St, Ham Tien Ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province
Tel: (062) 3741-660

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