An Lam Villas in Ninh Van Bay is a luxury resort in Vietnam where romance and relaxation reign supreme. Add two vegan guests and what do you get?
Read on to see what we did with our time there, testing out the resort’s vegan friendliness…
We sampled two different villas during our stay (and had a sneak peak at a few others too) so we got a really good feel of all the options available. If you’re looking for luxury there will be something to suit you at An Lam Ninh Van Bay. The design of all the villas was very natural, being sympathetic to the surrounding environment.
Our favourite was the Lagoon Villa, with it’s open plan design and indoor-outdoor feel. It gave us a real sense of relaxation and the gorgeous stone pool was not only perfect for cooling off, but was a good spot to gaze at the sea in front of the lagoon.
The bed was delightfully comfortable, with big sliding doors in front that opened up onto the pool. With all the peace and quiet, getting a rejuvenating night’s sleep was easy at An Lam Ninh Van Bay.
The villa had some great places to relax including some very cool and playful indoor swings.
The outdoor bathroom, with a huge stone bath big enough for two, had a friendly chameleon that would come to visit each day. It was all so incredibly romantic.
The An Lam Ninh Van Bay villas were stocked with all the luxury amenities we needed, even including a natural insect repellant and traditional Vietnamese sun hats!
The resort is really spacious which gave us the opportunity to get on the bikes that came with our villa and explore our surroundings. We were overjoyed to meet some very friendly pigs foraging in the undergrowth, eating coconuts and anything else that was around. The sight of happy animals is always a bonus.
There was also a big vegetable garden where local vegetables and herbs were grown (which definitely put our gardening skills to shame). Everything looked so fresh, alive and thriving (we had garden envy).
The still, clear and warm blue sea was never far away, whether we were staring at it from our villa, looking out over the lapping water at breakfast or paddling around the bay in the complementary kayaks.
But for the times when we didn’t want to swim in the sea, the beachside infinity pool was a perfect place for swimming, or more sea-gazing, or both!
We could play pool and board games in the bar, which was also the place to enjoy cocktails (all sampled were very good) but when the sun sets there’s only one place to take those cocktails and that’s the beach.
We were told that An Lam Ninh Van Bay is the only coastal resort in Vietnam where you can watch a sunset and so, with vegan cocktails in hand, that’s just what we did (huge romance factor again).
From check-in to check out, the service at An Lam Ninh Van Bay was outstanding. For starters, we had our very own butler who was not only super efficient, but also really friendly.
Never more than a phone call away, Phu transported us around in his buggy when needed, checked in with us regularly to make sure everything was going ok and generally made sure we had everything we needed.
An important part of any vegan traveller’s stay are the restaurant staff who were brilliant and couldn’t have been more helpful. Once they understood we were vegan, they took care to make sure everything they gave us was animal-free.
We met the Executive Chef and his Sous Chef, and can honestly say the whole team embraced having vegan guests to stay (just look at the food section below!). We received personal vegan menus, giving us either set menu dining or a la carte options which made us feel like we had the same level of choice as non-vegan guests.
All our meals were served in the main restaurant which overlooks the pool and the beach. It really was an amazing setting to enjoy some amazing food.
For breakfast we sampled delightful vegan pho, a Vietnamese staple veganized for us with huge chunks of tofu and a light vegetable broth and also stir fried vegetables and glass noodles, all covered in a tasty rich sauce.
We also had curry, mild and sweet and spiced with lemongrass, turmeric and a subtle chilli warmth, and fried noodles.
As an alternative to Vietanmse food for breakfast, we had a platter of mushrooms, tomatoes and fried with specially made cornbread and morning rolls.
We ate Bircher muesli (decadently sweet, so ask for no sugar if you don’t have a sweet tooth!) made with soya milk and packed full of grains, nuts and fruit and finished with an orange marmalade drizzle.
There was a choice of freshly made juices and smoothies, our favourite during our stay being a mixed juice that seemed to pack in all the flavours of the tropics in one go.
An Lam Villas served great coffee, and even sparkling wine for that little bit of extra vegan luxury.
For dinner we had the same great choice of delicious vegan food, with our own Vietnamese and Western menus to choose from.
Standout dishes included a ‘Pickled Beetroot Salad Served With Baby Cress’, where squares of lightly pickled beetroot, crunchy walnut pieces and rolls of sweet pumpkin were served with a star anise infused beetroot syrup that tasted like a beetroot toffee apple, full of caramel, earthy and sweet flavours. Totally delicious.
We were also impressed by the ‘Pumpkin and Coriander Congee’ a soothing rice based soup with sweet, caramelised onions that produced an intense flavour hit with every spoonful.
Stars of the Vietnamese menu included a mushroom and tofu dish cooked in a claypot; sweet, rich and spicy with lemongrass, chilli, tomato and coriander flavour.
We also loved the vegan hotpot, cooked beside our table on hot coals. With it’s rice noodles, fresh broth, green vegetables, exotic mushrooms and firm chunks of tofu; it was not only delicious to eat but scored extra points for the sheer theatre of it all.
Located in Ninh Van Bay, An Lam Villas can only be reached by speed boat, which leaves from their own private jetty and takes around 15 minutes.
There are regular international and domestic flghts to and from Nha Trang Airport, which is about an hours drive away from the jetty, or a taxi from Nha Trang city centre takes about 20 minutes.
An Lam Ninh Van Bay felt like a perfect getaway and for those looking to really increase the romance factor, there are special honeymoon packages available which include a romantic beach dinner, chocolates, wine and spa treatments.
Check in to An Lam Villas if you’re looking for a romantic getaway where you’ll have a huge choice of delicious vegan food including both Western and Vietnamese options.
Enjoy cocktails at sunset and feeling close to nature as you relax in this beautiful luxury resort where excellent service matches the excellent quality of vegan food.
We were guests of An Lam Villas but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Ninh Van Bay,
Telephone: +84 58 362 4964
Cost From: £260 / $390 per night (May 2015)