Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
Khanh Hoa, Vietnam

First by air, then by air again (or train if you’ve got a day to waste), then by car through a sea of motorcycles, then a boat, a golf cart and a short hike. Luxury doesn’t get further ‘off the beaten track than the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.

Nestled in breathtaking rock-formations on ‘fantasy island’ (we kid you not, we’re talking a white-sand bay, overlooking the South China Sea, with towering mountains as a backdrop) sits the Vietnamese diamond in the Six Senses family jewels.

A series of sandy lanes, oil-lamp flanked rock stairs and boardwalks connect 58 large, exquisite villas, each with Six Senses’ trademark private plunge pool, day-house, open plan bathroom and outdoor shower, carved into the rocks. Plus, each villa at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay comes with its own butler to cater to our every whim. Our chap had clearly done the ‘big reveal’ before, as he whizzed around the villa, flung the sliding doors open and welcomed us like an over-eager ring-master. Throughout our stay, he was an amazing host, but as our plan was to completely relax, we weren’t tough customers.

What we noticed almost instantly was the tranquility. The ‘mainland’ on Nha Trang, although a resort, is a working town and with that comes some true Vietnamese hustle and bustle. But this place, with no cars or service vehicles (just electric buggies and bicycles) was pure bliss; and because other guests tend to chill at their villas, you really feel that you’ve got the whole peninsula (we only realised two days in that we weren’t on an island) to yourself, although the hotel’s dining room and bar are quite buzzy – the antidote being private dining on various spots on the island. And if it isn’t relaxed enough for you, there’s a magical spa too, you wouldn’t expect anything less from Six Senses..

We weren’t worried that we could be the only same-gender couple on the resort, but even if we did there was no cause for concern. Our gaydars were going off in the restaurant, we were one of at least three LGBT+ couples and our butler wasn’t even remotely fussed, plus he even mentioned that we could get married on the resort if we wanted. Yes, Vietnam has never had any anti-LGBT+ laws, so being part of the rainbow family is not and has never been illegal in this beautiful country.

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While you’re Out There
As any escapist to the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay expects to be a castaway for the duration of their stay, you’d be right to think that there was very little to see and do if you wanted to wander off the resort. But if you’re after a Vietnamese culture fix, there are a number of experiences to take part in at the Six Senses, we loved the Vietnamese cooking class that made us realise just how different the cuisine is in terms of ingredients and flavour, from Thai food. If you do start to get itchy feet after a few days of sun-worshipping, then the resort can arrange tours in busy Nha Trang.

www.sixsenses.com

Photography courtesy of Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas