With their aquamarine waters, ivory sand and verdant jungle foliage, southeast Asia boasts some of the most magical beachscapes in the world. Who hasn’t imagined sipping the juice of a young coconut on such a beach?
In southeast Asia, affordable comfort does exist beyond a backpacker’s hostel and short of potentially bankrupting prices than the Four Seasons. Enter Allezboo Beach Resort and Spa, Vietnam’s answer to your luxury getaway prayers.
Allezboo, located in south Vietnam three hours east of Ho Chi Minh City, is more secluded, accessible and affordable than the larger resorts in Tra Nang, to the north. With rooms starting at $80 per night, Allezboo offers perks that far outshine the offerings of a normal mid-range hotel in Vietnam. It’s an exotic and luxurious escape with superlative service and total privacy. And you won’t be deafened by spring breakers. With just 67 rooms, Allezboo offers highly personalized service in an extraordinarily beautiful, intimate setting. The staff-to-guest ratio is luxuriously extravagant.
The general manager, Hijaaz Latheef, has maintained Allezboo’s unique flare since its inception. “We will celebrate 20 years this October!” he shared like a proud papa. The name was inspired by Ricky Martin’s 1998 hit song, “Go Go Go Ale Ale Ale” and a Saigon restaurant built entirely of bamboo. “Allez allez allez, boo boo boo,” Latheef says. “It means go to the bamboo. We thought it was funny and sounds fun!”
All of Allezboo’s rooms have private balconies and most have ocean views, so your mornings might look like this: Wake up to the sight of the sapphire-blue Pacific. Bask in the velvety breeze. Mosey to the complimentary breakfast buffet and sip a glass of dragon fruit juice while you take in the spread of tropical and continental confections. Fill your belly on the poolside terrace. Finally wander down to Allezboo’s exclusive beachfront and stretch out under the sun as you try to sort out whether you’re actually dreaming or want to call your boss to say you won’t be coming back.
For those of you who don’t want to exert much energy on vacation, Allezboo’s Lotus Spa is tucked away in plumeria-scented gardens and arranged in a traditional Vietnamese house. It offers a full menu of services including reflexology and body detox wraps. For sporty types, there’s kitesurfing and volleyball.
There’s the Tropical Bar for lunch. Later, wind down with a sunset cocktail. Maybe you’ll strike up a chat with one of the European or Australian guests — there are many. Somehow, the word about Allezboo got to them first.
The food at Allezboo’s main restaurant, Spicy Lobster, (really not to be confused with Red Lobster) marries the heart of Vietnam cuisine with classic flavors of the West. Dishes like local oyster with sea urchin foam will titillate adventurous eaters. (Side note to daredevil foodies: Beware of ordering food “spicy” in Vietnam unless you can handle the flavor equivalent of an atomic bomb! They take spicy seriously. Your neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant Stateside does not.)
There are also plenty of interesting things to do beyond Allezboo’s walls. The resort offers access to a number of cultural activities in Mui Ne province, setting it apart from other luxury resorts, which tend to remain hermetically sealed. The Forgotten Land Sculpture Park is a menagerie of soaring sand sculptures including human and animal figures that seem to leap right out of the earth. Also nearby are Poshanu Cham Towers, sacred temple remains famed for captivating visitors with spellbinding architectural detail and mysteries of the Cham people. There’s also Fairy Stream, a soft red creek that gets its name from the pitted rock formations surrounding it, whose nooks and crannies would make a fitting home, one supposes, for a fairy. You can hike barefoot along the creek’s silken clay bottom, through bamboo forests and giant boulders.
For the “presidential” experience, Allezboo’s Presidential Villa is living quarters fit for a king. The three-bedroom accommodations are adorned with Vietnamese art and accent furniture that ground the elegant French décor in local taste. Outside are vast tropical gardens and a private pool. Inside, a sprawling living room with a giant media center. To ice the cake, a 24/7 butler service is available to indulge your every fleeting caprice, including having dinner prepared for 12 in your personal chef’s kitchen (maybe even baking you that cake). So, whether you’re obliged to host a state dinner — unlikely, be honest — or the bachelor or bachelorette party of the century, the Presidential Villa could be the way to go. And, for all that, It will only cost you $1,115 per night. Which, when you think about it, gets you bupkis in New York, and a decent room at a high-end resort in the Caribbean…
Allezboo Beach Resort & Spa
8 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St
Ham Tien, Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan, Vietnam
Tel: (84 252) 374 3777