The unique experience of living in the sky villa at Salinda Resort
Life tends to have its way of rushing people from left to right in the flow of daily responsibilities. Nowadays we hardly have the chance to just sit down and truly relax between deadlines, social meet ups and family duties… However I find it so important to stop and hit pause here and there, to reward ourselves with something so simple as a cup of tea or a breath of fresh air. Yet if time allows, nothing helps rewind and recharge like a trip to a new place. I guess that’s how I find myself sitting here admiring the view of Phu Quoc, at one of the most wonderful resorts I have the chance to visit: Salinda.
I arrived at Phu Quoc in a sunny afternoon after a two-hour flight from Hanoi. Excited to breath in the fresh air my lungs have been craving for, I got out of the airport to be greeted by the warm smiles of two young men holding “Salinda Resort” board. It took 10 minutes by car to get to the resort, where again I was so warmly welcomed by the staff at the lobby. “Welcome to Salinda! Please follow me” – a guy said with a big smile and quickly got the heavy luggage from my hands. He guided me pass the reception to a gorgeous bar lounge that looked straight out of a Gasby movie. A girl from the bar brought out a wooden plate with four small tall glasses of cold tea, when a guy from the reception came to ask me some questions for the check-in process. Later on I learnt that they do it like so (not let the guest go straight to the reception and check-in but the bar first) because they didn’t want to make people feel rushed, but enjoy and relax from the moment they step in the resort; the greeting tea was also a gesture learnt from Vietnamese tradition. You can tell they care deeply about their customers to take into account little things like that.
After tea and check-in I was led to my room – a villa in the new “Sky Villa” area. Standing separately in the resort premises, this new villa structure faces the beach in one side and the garden in other. Why the name “Sky Villa” you might ask? It can be hard to describe, but yes, as the name might suggest – the whole construction is lifted up to the second floor, only connects to the reception and the hotel building by a long bridge high above the ground, giving the illusion that it is floating in the sky. Right beside the long bridge there were lines and layers of plants standing straight or hanging off to the sides. Now imagine this: surround you is tropical lush green protecting you from the harsh sunlight, above you is the transparent blue sky and from afar is the signature blue sea that Phu Quoc has been blessed for; can a location be any better? I felt like walking in a fantasy! As I walked along the bridge, Sky Villa slowly revealed upon my eyes. The first thing came to my mind is that it reminded me of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with the profusion of plants alongside its white walls and a big waterfall ran over the Salinda Resort sign. Needless to say, it was the kind of sight that took you a few moments to take in.
But the surrounding wasn’t the best part yet! As I walked into the villa, I couldn’t help but just amazed at how beautiful everything was. From the enormous king-sized bed, to the wall filled with little mosaic, to the velvet couch, the villa was a breath of fresh air and luxury. The whole villa was decorated with bamboo, wooden and ceramic material – all locally made in Vietnam; which brought a very familiar warm sense to me. My favorite part was the gorgeous oversized bathroom adorned with mosaic ceramic tile and neat wooden furniture. Both the bathroom and the main room were connected with a private garden with a large beautiful balcony; so whether I was sinking in the hot water to relax in the bathroom or lying in bed watching tv, I still felt blending in with the nature right outside my door. So that’s just what I did: I made myself a hot bath and immersed in it, sprinkled in some bath salt that the resort prepared right next to the tub and admired the little jungle of trees that was just within arm’s reach. As I finished and walked out of the bathroom I realized there was a small shiny wooden box on the table, I opened it and saw a tray of assorted small treats with a card saying that it was specially made from the three chefs in Salinda kitchen for guests to enjoy. There were almond biscotti, rose water barfi (a popular Indian treat), chocolate truffles and more – it was such a small happy discovery! With that and a pot of hot tea, I sat on the balcony where I could look over the resort. Under the evening sky, the whole place was lit up with lights and candles, bringing a new life to the resort: a more romantic and more luxurious atmosphere. I could here music coming from the bar. Sipping my cup of tea, I smiled to myself; content with the choice of place I have made this time.
The next few days I got more time to discover what Salinda had to offer. Every morning there was a breakfast buffet accompanied with live piano music and sparkling wine. The buffet took place in a gorgeous room with an open kitchen where guests could watch their food be prepared fresh from scratch: from all kinds of bread to Vietnamese noodle. There was also a beautiful infinity pool with a pool bar always ready to serve cocktails and light snack. Yet as a nature lover, I was particularly drawn to the garden in the middle of the resort area, named “The Mango Garden” because of the abundance of mango trees in it. It was almost like a meditation spot with soft ambience music, birds chirping, a water fountain in the middle and resting huts covered with flowers and plant hanging from the roofs. Many times at Salinda I found myself lying under those huts reading books or just relaxing after a swim at the beach. As you can tell, I didn’t exactly do much in my three-day stay in Phu Quoc, but I realized that it was just exactly what I need: a place to relax, to come closer to nature, to treat myself and to be surrounded by what-is-best. And that was all found in this beautiful resort called Salinda.
Now that my trip is coming to an end, I can’t help but feeling a touch of sadness to say goodbye to this little heaven of mine and to all the people that has treated me so kindly here. But well, to part is to meet again someday, and surely I will come back and discover more on what this wonderful place has to offer.
(Thank you our guest Ngan Trinh for this lovely review)