My first holiday to a city , that I failed to explore.
I blame it on Fusion Resort, because every attempt to leave the resort was never a success . EVER .
We touched down at 1:30 pm via Airasia ( return was RM 350) , in a quaint airport , that to our horror had no duty free shops. The airport shuttle picked us up at 3 pm , that gave us enough time to order our pho and some 7-up ( laced with gin , that we secretly added as we huddled over the bottle so nobody judged us !)
Gin first , Pho later
Off to our resort at 3pm that took nearly an hour, forced Jorge our Fusionista to accelerate our check in process , to fit in enough time for a drink at the bar before our proposed spa treatment at 5 pm. ( we had booked it via email the night before) .Don’t bother with the cocktails at the bar , beyond disapointing.
And then the spa , for an hour , purely magical. Fusion offers 2 spa treatments for every night stay for every guest.This sets Fusion apart from every other resort I know.Advisable to book in advance for “peak” timings as it usually gets filled up. We booked our first two treatments a day before we arrived via email .
Jorge , our fusionista , was present at every point of our stay…….at check-in , at the bar , at the spa and the moment we finished the spa, to drive us back to our villa . Another plus point , they are available 24 hours a day and ready for live chat all day .
very own pepper farm , for their pepper massage
The moment we checked in ,we were completely blown awy. Three bedroom villa , two pools , two jacuzzis , sunken beds in the pool ….there is really no reason to leave the resort. Jorge equipped us with universal adapters for all our phones and had an ice bucket sent to our room for us to resume gin o’clock. We immediately jumped into the pool , some even in their underwear. Our pool faced the river , that we couldn’t really appreciate till morning ( lighting sucks outdoors ).
we traveled in our bathrobes , almost felt like home
One of the two pools in our villa
just before the headache kicked in
The resort offers a shuttle service to town ( night market ) daily at a cost RM20/guest , but by the time we requested for it, it was full. Instead we grab-ed there for dinner.By then , we were famished and that triggered the worst migraine. Journey to town was an hour long , didn’t help that our driver drove at 40 km / hour. After that , dinner was vague , with my headache , all I wanted was to get back and take my Naproxen. From what I heard from my cousins, food was great and so was the coconut ice cream .You have an option of choosing your seafood in the many aquariums lined outside, and getting them to kill it for dinner . We spent an hour plus at Duong Duong and managed to hail a cab back. This time , the driver was great !
Prawns we chose to kill
After a warm bath and Naproxen , my night improved significantly. We talked and talked and ate and ate and finally got to bed at 3:30 am!
The constant two that never could stay awake
Our morning spa treatment was to start at 9 am , but we were all awake by 6:30am ( it is an hour behind in Vietnam) ,guess we were still aligned with Malaysian time . We decided on breakfast , before the massage ( not recommended ) .Here we met Darry ,their Manager , I must say , the nicest , most genuine guy you would ever meet. He made the impossible , possible.
Meet Darry – the one NOT with his tongue out
He got the kitchen staff to make Vegetarian and Chicken Pho since we don’t eat beef. Vietnamese pancakes made vegetarian , just because Su is vegetarian. Ate to our heart’s content , and regretted later when we had to face down for our massages . Thankfully , I opted for a foot massage and didn’t feel so bad.
walk to the spa
waiting area at the spa
After finishing our gin , some ridiculous photos by the pool and providing enough entertainment to the housekeeping staff, we headed out to the beach . Sea was rough , and within an hour , it poured. While the rest carried on with another spa session , Shiv and I stayed on by the pool and continued sipping on our drinks . Again , Darry to the rescue , he supplied us with fresh passion fruit for our Tanqueray!
results of over indulgence
Many attempts to get the perfect jumping shot ……
Finally a proper shot , minus the jump
As the day was getting gloomier , we finally decided on lunch at 4 pm at Bup Restaurant. (tripadvisor recommended ). We rented a 16 seater , so we had room to stretch our legs if need be , considering it takes us hours to get anywhere. Cost us RM 250 for 6 hours. Food was great and affordable.We had lobster in garlic ,roast pork ,mango salad , chicken , noodles , rice , morning glory , tofu and as usual , over indulged.
We would have liked to have had sunset drinks at the Marriot , but with our pretty laidback itinerary , we made it for dessert .
Ok so….Marriot has this weird rule , whereby , if you aren’t a guest or not made reservations , you need to buy coupons worth 500,000 Duong per guest ( that is approx RM 100 each) to be used at any of their restaurants .Technically a minimum spend rule. In my opinion , pretty “cheap” marketing strategy but we had no choice since we drove 1.5 hours to get there in the rain.
The famed Pink Pearl french restaurant was full that night ,our fault for not reserving earlier. Blessing in disguise , it was too pink for our liking , and there was no way we could have sat through dinner . Instead , we had some bubbly at the Department of Chemistry , that’s the bar adjacent that overlooks the beach.Consumed the vouchers and splurged even more since one bottle just didn’t do. It was well worth it , not sure if it was worth the 1.5 hours drive though.
Sneak peek of the Pink Pearl
Department of Chemistry , the bar
Chemist a.k.a the bartender/waiter
2 bottles later
the compulsory toilet shot with crap lighting
Lithium private joke
We got back , drank some more , ate again and settled into bed by midnight for another session at the spa the next morning .I skipped , and enjoyed the villa instead.
My usual spot , taste of the sun with some airconditioning flowing out.
The other cool thing about Fusion is – you can have breakfast ANYTIME , ANYWHERE.So, if you opt for breakfast at your villa for dinner , they got you babe! Since we were going to be checking out at 12pm , we decided on breakfast at the villa.
The food we greedily ordered – pho ( chicken / veg ) . coffee ( hot and cold) , donuts, vietnamese pancakes ( pork/veg) , french toast , pancakes,bircher muesli , roast pork – tender , juicy ones , omelette – made to order – veg/non veg ,spring rolls , banana mango smoothies .
Food laid out
You would think we over ordered…………….. we didn’t.
Would I come back – yes. Fusion has the best staff , Darry being the BEST- est ! We tried to tip him , and he said it was against his principles. I mean , HELLO!
Risks of staying at FUSION-
- there is a risk of not being able to tick off your to do list ,like us.
- spa treatments twice a day , if you consider it a risk!
- Darry – you might meet the nicest guy in the world, and eventually have to leave him.
- breakfast anywhere, anytime .No reason to wake up ever!
So , YES , I will come back.And hope the next time , I get to do more ,eat less and venture out.
Things I would have liked to do but didn’t
- Cable car- Longest in the world ( 8km long)
- Waterfall- Huge national park
- Starfish beach – season from November to March
- Mango bay for a meal
- Goca Art bar – Bar within an art gallery , with a mixologist
- Sunset watching – Rory’s Bar /Oc Sen Bar /Rock Island Club
- Safari – if the kids are coming along