Photography by Jesper McIlroy
Our family was recently invited to be the first guests to stay at Bay Bac Villa, which is a brand new villa located on the property of The Intercontinental Denang. From the moment we arrived at the airport, we were received with 5 star treatment. It’s those little touches, like snacks and cool aroma towels in the van, that really get me going. Ever since this trip, every time we get into a van or taxi, India asks “where are the smelly towels and snacks.” Lord help me, what have we created!
While driving to the location of the hotel/villa we were called by our delightful butler, inquiring to see how we were doing, or if there was anything special we needed upon your arrival. I mean, that’s pretty special. The drive to The Intercontinental from the airpot takes about 30 minutes, and is absolutely gorgeous, with views out into the ocean as far as your eyes can see. A 1.5 hours flight from HK and 20 mins to the hotel makes it a super easy destination.
Once we arrived, we were blown away. The hotel is located in the heart of Son Tra Peninsular Nature Reserve on a pristine cliff facing the ocean, with a vista unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A hotel buggy took us on a small tour of the magnificent hotel grounds and as we made our approach to our villa we knew we were in for a treat.
Bay Bac Villa has a strong post modernist look, which makes it very unique. It feels less like a holiday rental and more like an artists fancy home. The villa consists of 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 pools, a large living room, and kitchen area. It is extremely private and the ocean views are breathtaking. You also have a great view of the hotel from the pool deck.
Although the villa is not situated exactly near the main hotel, its a very short walk, or if your feeling a bit lazy, you can always have your butler drive you where ever you like. We loved the walk, which takes you through the lush green property and we loved exploring every nook and cranny.
The hotel’s facilities are undoubtably 5 star, living up to its award winning reputation.
We started our days watching the sunrise from the very unique Citron restaurant. What makes this restaurant so special is their floating tables that sit above the hillside, 100 meters above sea level, with spectacular views of the entire bay and surrounding mountains. Make sure you go earlier though, as it’s first come first serve, and well worth the early wake up. In our case, We were lucky as Freija basically never sleeps, so we had no problem getting best seat in the house!
Our days consisted of dropping the kids off to the kids club, which I have to mention, because it is freaking amazing. We literally couldn’t get India to leave. We had to drag her out though as we wanted to spend time with her too.
After the kids club we would chill in the kids pool, which is lovely and shaded. Then we would head to the gorgeous L_O_N_G bar to relax in their beautiful day beds and have lunch. L_O_N_G also has very special design. You are taken back in time to a colonial era with these beautiful big fans and high ceilings. I could stay there all day and read, if I wasn’t travelling with children of course. Most afternoons we enjoyed time as a family in our villa, and watched the cheeky monkeys steal our fruit. There are also other amazing restaurants within the hotel including , La Maison 1888 which is now home to the world-renowned three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire. It was also crowned as “World’s Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant 2017 and Top 10 in the World’s Best New Restaurants 2016 by CNN. We didnt have the opportunity to dine there this time as they don’t allow children. That makes a lot of sense to me -God, if I was there with no kids on a romantic getaway, spending that kind of money, and had kids like mine on the table next to me, it would not be cool haha. Just kidding, kinda. We also could have easily hired a nanny, but we decided to make the most of our incredible villa, and spend time together as a family. This trip was to celebrate, my birthday, India’s birthday and Jesper and I’s 5 year wedding anniversary and to be completely honest with you it was the perfect choice. I hope to return soon to this little slice of heaven in Vietnam.