(No.10, Vol.2, Oct 2012 Vietnam Heritage Magazine, Advertorial)
Photo: Nathalie Sokolovskaya
Anger conquer by amity,
evil conquer with good,
by giving conquer miserly,
with truth the speaker of falsity
This poem is written on a stone plate at the feet of a 14-meter high Dame Avalokitesvara statue in Truc Lam Pagoda built on the top of a hill and rising high above luxurious island resort Vinpearl Nha Trang. Looking down from the hill over a panorama as picturesque as a silk painting, with endlessly sparkling bay waters, sandy beach with green hills on both sides, the azure lake of the huge swimming pool and deluxe resort building in the shadow of palm trees, the statue reminds one both of the Snow Queen of Andersen and Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janero. It was strange and beautiful to find a Buddhist pagoda within the 5-star resort premises-one with an amusement park, golf fields, gastronomic village and shopping arcade. Reading the Buddhist verses in the rosy rays of a tropical sunset tete-a-tete with the goddess Guanyin felt like stumbling upon a treasury of truth and peace.
My journey to the Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang started much earlier, from the impressive mainland reception area, all done in wood, with sparrows flitting about under the high ceilings. Here the check-in is completed, welcome-drink served, luggage taken by porters and electronic universal key to the resort room, restaurants and all resort-island attractions given. The straight passage through the spacious reception lobby leads to the pier where speedboats are ready to take guests to the island. During the seven-minute voyage by sea, one can contemplate the cable road on nine massive pillars, which when lit at night looks like an immense, bright rainbow if viewed from the Alpine Coaster or from Water Park side, and it leaves a spectacular impression.
Upon arriving on the island, the speedboat is exchanged for an electric car, which gives passengers a pleasant drive through the lush island greenery, which sometimes looks like Malaysian rainforest, flora straight to the Deluxe and Executive buildings. The view from the balcony of my Ocean View Deluxe room-sunshine-lit swimming pool, kilometre-long beach and the still waters of the bay stretching to the very horizon-is hypnotizing. Although I consider myself to be not in the least bit impressionable, to my great amazement, this scenery would make me get up literally every three hours for two straight nights in order to adore the seaâ€™s endless encores, the giant ellipse of the swimming pool and the illuminating Buddhist statue higher up on the right. This kind of view may easily cause insomnia for too-sensitive guests.
The feerique buffets served in Orchid and Lotus restaurants of the Deluxe and Executive buildings three times per day (actually all day with short breaks), are included in to the price of a stay at Vinpearl Resort. It is a sweet temptation few would manage to resist or treat with moderation. Amongst the dishes presented is a big variety of European dishes (with a Russian cuisine influence clearly felt) and a bright palette of Vietnamese specialities like exotic rice- cake delights from Hue the ancient capital famous for its high cuisine and traditional New Year rice pie banh chung which causes a strong addiction in those who catch the zest of its taste. Not to mention the baked salmon, various seafood, excellent pho soups, many sorts of cheese and tropical fruits presented.
Photos: Vinpearl Resort & Spa
After this impressive gastronomic introduction into the Vinpearl Resort stay, I passed the kids room where the smallest guests of the resort seemed to have great time playing with nursery teachers. I walked through the glass doors straight into the cool shadow of a tropical garden, further over the wooden bridges built above the giant swimming pool-which claims to be the largest open air pool in South-East Asia-and finally stepped on the beach that stretches before the Deluxe building for a good kilometre.
With calm waters and gradual descent from shallow to deep, a swim here turns into a pleasure worth treating oneâ€™s self to for one full day, at least. I used such a great opportunity to swim in the sea to the fullest; turning into Amphibian Man by the late afternoon. The sea bathing can be combined with lazy drifting along the pool or active aqua-aerobics with a coach as graceful and plastic as a male ballet dancer who wisely changed the beauty of swans for the one of tropical Hon Tre Island. The program of activities offered in Vinpearl Resort wonâ€™t let the guests get bored for a second.
With more than 150 square hectares of area, the island has plenty of activities to offer. It can be explored on bicycle, electric car and alpine coaster and by foot. The lawns and roads amidst the lush greenery seem to be tailored particularly to jogging.
Vinpearl Golf field was designed by IMG Worldwide, a global leader in the golf course industry. Stretching along beach and through the valley, it will give a golfer an experience to remember.
Vinpearl land amusement park with its giant aquarium, 3D Cinema, circus, spectacular singing waterfalls theatre and huge water park will make a day for kids and adults alike.
The luxurious Vietcharm spa complex, built right on the water, will offer its guests hours of indulgence and relaxation.
In the evening, the swimming pool brightly lit by myriads of lamps on the bottom and its sides beckons to do one more extra lap under the starry night. The whisper of the sea invites one for a stroll in the unobtrusive company of small crabs along the shore which will end in the Beach Comber Bar listening to sweet voices of a Filipino music band.
With 500 rooms, suites and luxury villas within the Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang premises, the space somehow surprisingly gives a feeling of privacy and tranquillity. It offers the sea, the slopes of the whole island and the sun to no one else but to you.