With his newborn son, his partner and his mother in tow, Simon Stanley visits Nha Trang’s oceanside retreat that’s fit for rockstars and cot-stars alike. Photos by Fusion.
Taking babies and kids travelling is a tough sport. As his first ever trip away from home, and his first experience of flying, you should have seen the size of our little one’s suitcase compared to ours. Despite being only two months-old, this guy does not pack light, and, it seems, doesn’t travel without a cooing entourage of flight attendants.
His rockstar experience didn’t end at the airport. Arriving at Fusion Resort Nha Trang after a brief 15-minute transfer from Cam Ranh airport (via complimentary shuttle) was like stepping onto a movie set.
Built on a sand dune overlooking the sparkling East Sea, with a crescent of verdant mountains creeping out towards the horizon in the north, a shimmering golden beach stretched out to the south, and a few lone islands dropped into the endless turquoise between, it’s a shame the boy’s still-developing eyesight wasn’t able to take it all in. For the adults in our party, as the golf buggy trundled us towards our villa after a welcome drink and a refreshing homemade sorbet, our jaws were practically dragging along the sparkling, crushed-shell path.
In addition to the sleek, sophisticated contemporary design, and a setting so peaceful and remote you’ll soon forget the outside world even exists, Fusion has one feature that sets it apart from any other property in the area.
For every night stayed, each guest is invited to take two complimentary treatments at the resort’s spa facility. In-keeping with the company’s ‘can do’ attitude, and with a team of 65 trained therapists and 24 treatment rooms at their disposal, they’re more than happy to fit you in for a third (or even a fourth or fifth) session of decadence if they have space. Maia Spa’s menu is varied enough to keep you occupied for several days, if not weeks, running from purifying facials and a range of rejuvenating massages, to less well-known Ayurveda-inspired treats such as the Pathaanganjaly massage which involves the therapist’s feet and lots of oil. Thankfully Maia’s staff can even swing by your suite or villa afterwards and run you a hot herbal bath.
We were staying at the resort’s Grand Beachfront Villa, a sprawling one-storey abode boasting four bedrooms, two enormous baths, four indoor and two outdoor showers, six toilets, a lounge-diner and kitchen, plus near-limitless views of the beach and ocean across the private pool, jacuzzi, outdoor lounge and al fresco dining area.
If it wasn’t for the spa calling us across the grass-topped dunes, we may never have left, but if our little travel companion expects such decadence on his next holiday, he’s going to be disappointed.
Before our arrival we were perhaps feeling a little guilty at having booked such a ‘grown-up’ place. Five-star luxury and babies seldom mix, but like many aspects of Fusion, things are not always as you’d expect. A comfortable wooden cot was waiting in our room—the thoughtful reception staff having checked if we had any special requirements before our arrival—and older kids have access to their own pool, playground and indoor activity centre. From a certain age, children are even welcome in the spa. It’s refreshing to find such a family-friendly setting that offers such luxury, but it wasn’t until breakfast on our first morning that we realised how welcoming Fusion Resort Nha Trang is to its smaller guests.
“Can I look after your baby for you?” asked Duyen, the in-house childminder after introducing herself. As new parents it’s an offer we rarely refuse. While guests are free to take breakfast anytime anyplace, whether in the restaurant at 11am or in bed in their pyjamas at five in the afternoon, the morning buffet, complete with Eastern and Western favourites, is a must. Once our table was piled high with goodies, including sweet pastries, crispy bacon, freshly-baked breads and plenty of tropical fruits, the beaming Duyen could see we were struggling to juggle our mimosas and our baby.
“I’ll hold him while you eat,” she said. “I won’t go far, but take as long as you like.” And we did.
Remove the stunning views, the elegant architecture, the sympathetic natural decor and the endless pampering, and it’s customer service that clearly stands at the heart of the Fusion brand. With a proactive attitude to our needs, and a genuine feeling of warmth in every staff member’s smile, we soon settled in to the Fusion lifestyle. Enter the resort’s dynamic team of personalised customer service representatives, each assigned to a party of guests for the duration of their stay. For them, no ask is too great and no need too small. Need a gluten-free menu? Done. Want to organise a surprise birthday party for your toddler? Sorted. Yearning to spend time with a Vietnamese family? They’ll probably invite you home to meet theirs.
“We try to make guests feel like they’re at home,” says the resort’s general manager, Ramon Imper, after a long leisurely breakfast, our son off making friends with the wait staff from his perch on Duyen’s shoulder. “This is why we have the ‘Fusionistas’. It’s not like having a butler; they will not bring you your dinner, but they can help you choose your meal, for example. They might then help out with deciding what to do with your children, or help you book a tour or excursion. They will also share their local culture and knowledge with you. It’s like having a family friend here, someone who really cares.”
For poolside lunches, romantic dinners, casual suppers and everything in between, the relaxed in-house restaurant, Fresh, caters to a range of tastes, from Western cuisine to local and regional specialities. Naturally, there’s plenty of fresh seafood. Take a pre-dinner sunset cocktail at the nearby Zen beach bar, or dial for room-service and have everything delivered to your villa or suite at no extra charge.
For those able to tear themselves away from the pool or the spa, the city of Nha Trang (and the tropical wilderness surrounding it) offers numerous sightseeing options including the famous Vinpearl Land Amusement Park along with endless temples, historical sites and areas of incredible natural beauty. A free daily shuttle makes the hop between the resort and the city, and your personal Fusionista will be more than happy to guide you on what to see and do.
As our stay drew to an end, after we’d lost count of the amount and variety of massages, body wraps, facials and scrubs we’d had, we realised how much we’d missed the open space and the fresh air we’re so often deprived of in the city. A return trip to Nha Trang would definitely be on the cards were it not for Fusion’s equally breathtaking spa resort in Da Nang. After yet more nights of fragmented sleep, and daytimes spent permanently contorted while switching a six-kilo man from shoulder to shoulder, another trip to Fusion couldn’t come soon enough.
For more information, promotions and bookings, visit fusionresortnhatrang.com or call +84 58 3989 777.
Published March 2017 – AsiaLIFE Magazine Vietnam