(No.1, Vol.5,Jan-Feb 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine,Advertorial)

Photo: Melon Resort

Mui Ne has been given the title of ‘the resort capital of Southern Vietnam’ for a good reason. In less than eight years, it has metamorphosed itself from a quiet seaside fishing village with no street names and small, clay-tiled houses without numbers scattered along a sandy coastline under the long, living dome of coconut trees, all bursting with rustic charm, into a vibrant resort community with beachfront retreats in the shade of tropical gardens overlooking the rolling sea and long lines of international restaurants and souvenir shops on their backs.
Rustic charm still can be found here a plenty by those who know where to search for it. Those travellers with an eye for a calm, relaxing atmosphere, comfort, big spaces with prime sea vistas and privacy within easy reach of shopping and entertainment will definitely find them at Melon Resort, nestled on the green slope of a hill right at the entrance to Mui Ne beach retreat village. A circular-shaped chateau at the foot of the hill with two-storey cottages hidden amid lush and neatly – kept tropical garden catches the eye from a distance and obviously boasts one of the most elevated seafront locations in whole resort village. I hop off the bus at its entrance with a big grass lawn at the late afternoon, the very hour of the day when coastal landscapes look mesmerizingly spectacular and sprint to the chateau-shaped reception in hopes of catching the sunset, which coming up too fast. The reception building’s interior is done in noble Bordeaux and terracotta colours, as befits a chateau, and it has a creative private collection of its owner’s ‘trophies’: a quaint set of knotted wooden furniture and big snag with human silhouette, a whimsical perpetration of nature. The indoor premises are all at the light and refreshing sea breeze’s disposal, thoughtfully divided into check-in counter, cosy lounge and spacious restaurant with several big open-air decks, not with walls, but with levels.
A decorative bridge across a lotus pond at the back of reception serves a gateway to Melon Resort’s landscaped hilly grounds full of trimmed exotic shrubs growing on juicy green lawns and blooming tropical trees stretching their branches up to the balconies of villas. Stone pathways lead uphill to the two-storey villas and bungalows overlooking an infinity pool. At the entrance to Premier Ocean View Room Villa, I even have to walk on stone steps built in the pond full of cheery golden fish. The room where I’m booked pleasantly surprises with its spaces and pleases the eye with tasteful and creative interior decoration; deep muted red-to-dark orange wallpapers above a king-sized bed framed with beautiful lamps, wood-laced ceiling, cooling clay-tiled floor, kitchenette area with electric stove, kitchen cupboard equipped with all necessary utensils and long, yet compact table with long-legged stools. The spacious bathroom with huge glass aquarium of a shower cabin is creatively decorated with a lively mosaic and looks out on a private mini- garden with plants to water while taking your own shower.
The big deck of the balcony with cosy sitting area provides a stunning view of the vast spaces of the ocean uninterrupted, which bedazzles the spectator from the first second and makes it extremely hard to tear the eye away even for a dip in the swimming pool at the twilight prospect. The contemplating of the ocean with picturesque fishing boats gliding on its enormous canvas can be continued from the infinity pool on the top of the hilly terrain. The point of its elevation visually aligns with the horizon and it gives an amazing feeling of levitation above the sea surface with no end, right in the huge reservoir of swimming pool. The option of celebrating the unusual sea sensation with a glass of tropic cocktail is immediately available with Aeroplane pool bar being at one’s outstretched hand.
Melon Resort is Korean-owned and run so meticulously; the attention to details, well-trained staff and cordial approach to resort’s guests are all present here, as well as a Korean flair at the restaurant, offering interesting options of a multi-coloured fusion of Vietnamese seafood galore with Korean traditional culinary delights; burned rice with water in a clay pot included to combine with good wine from an extensive list from the restaurant cellar. The courteous and attentive Korean manager is somehow present at all tables at once, giving insightful advice on the food on offer.
62 spacious and well-equipped rooms with creative interior solutions, featuring different, colourful styles provide cosy and warm atmospheric accommodations, featuring Deluxe, Villa, Premier Villa and Bungalow rooms, all of them boasting spectacular ocean views and all the amenities for a smooth and relaxing stay.
Conveniently located in the vicinity of Mui Ne main sights such as the ancient Cham Towers, the ruins of the old French castle and Phan Thiet seaside town with picturesque piers with lines of small brightly-painted fishing vessels moored to them, Melon resort provides every opportunity to connect to Mui Ne and reward one with a more authentic experience of a place.
The sandy beach and Sea Links golf field are five minutes’ ride by hotel buggies available immediately upon request. The beach boasts unrivalled sea views that few other resorts on the shoreline can offer.

Melon Resort
Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City,
Binh Thuan Province
Tel: (062) 3711-111

By Nathalie Sokolovskaya