The beautiful island of Con Son, in the Con Dao archipelago, is one of the jewels in Vietnam’s crown and Six Senses Con Dao is hands down the best place to stay on the island. Located right on the beach, just a short transfer from the airport, this laid back luxury resort is one of those special places to visit.
The resort offers something for every kind of guest; easy access to history and culture (the island’s history is fascinating), Vietnam’s best diving spots, natural beauty and wilderness, an idyllic beach and a range of wellness activities and other guest experiences to keep as busy (or not) as you wish.
Take a cooking class, practice yoga, watch a film in the outdoor cinema or relax with the morning singing bowl meditation session. It’s all seamlessly combined; held together with personal service from your G.E.M (Guest Experience Maker) who helps create and manage your stay in such a way that you’ll hardly notice.
Accommodation offers privacy, never ending ocean views and private pools. With a range of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas, there’s plenty of room to travel with friends and family. Feel at one with nature in your outdoor shower, sprawl on your heavenly bed gazing out to sea
This is one of those special places where you can’t help but feel renewed after you leave; the place just oozes wellness which absorbs into you like some kind of luxury osmosis.
Want to go somewhere where the staff make it their mission to make your stay as perfect as possible (without you even noticing)? Want to (literally) eat and drink well-being, mixed with indulgence and topped off with a superior understanding of veganism from the chef and his team?
Then go to Six Senses Con Dao.
The Vegan Food:
Where to start with the vegan food? It’s not enough to say “it’s amazing”, although this is probably the adjective that we used the most during our stay, followed closely by “delicious”, often murmured through mouthfuls of some amazing, delicious creation that was brought to us. See what we mean?
Starting with the basics at breakfast, there are fresh juices, teas, coffee any way you want (almond milk latte anyone?!). There’s a selection of water (special Six Senses ‘Crystal Water’) with fresh lime, mint, basil and cucumber on the side to add that extra little health kick.
The pastry chefs must have been vegan magicians in former lives, turning out delicious bread every morning alongside platters of vegan cakes and granola bars. Their vegan carrot cake was insanely good, we double and triple checked just to make sure.
There was vegan pho, chick pea and vegetable curry even a veganised english breakfast; there was fresh salad and fruit and there was an incredible banana jam that rocked our vegan world.
After breakfast there were quite a few other opportunities to eat vegan goodness including the following:
‘Deli-icious’ – (the complementary ice cream parlour) that had a whole freezer cabinet of vegan sorbets (coconut, banana, passion fruit and raspberry were our favourites).
‘Elephant Bar’ – we loved drinking fresh juices here (although you can order anything you like off any menu and choose to eat on the big comfy day beds) and were always surprised how they managed to make a concoction of kale, watercress, coriander, pineapple, ginger and lime taste so good.
‘By the Market’ – the Vietnamese kitchen where you can get classic Vietnamese dishes veganised. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating Ban Xeo then this isn’t a bad place to start your addiction (note: you will become addicted). Light, crispy, turmeric laden pancakes stuffed full of beansprouts, tofu, mushrooms, onions, spring onions with fresh herbs and a soy, garlic chilli dipping sauce on the side are not to be missed.
‘By the Beach’ – the main restaurant where you’ll have a whole range of choices including healthy superfood salads, mezze sharing platters, pizza, pasta and the chef’s own (and genius) creation: The Vegan Banh Bao Burger.
This burger masterpiece uses a Vietnamese classic, the light, fluffy steamed bun ‘banh bao’, as the burger bun that sandwiches a nothing-short-of-awesome burger patty that’s packed full of Asian flavours. Throw in a few special Vietnamese condiments; hoisin, chilli sauce, a little fermented tofu for that blue cheese twang, and you have your entry ticket straight to vegan burger heaven.
‘By the Kitchen’ – (the ‘Chef’s table’) where we ate a specially designed menu from Executive Chef Chris Long where 4 excellent courses were followed with a now legendary ‘Chocolate Tasting Plate’ that was like a grown up chocolate playground.
We nibbled on white chocolate swirls, we scooped chocolate and coffee mousse that melted like cocoa butter, we sipped sweet, creamy chocolate chilli soup (that actually had a proper chilli kick). There was ice cream, cake, chocolate log, crunchy honeycomb, fruity rich cherries; this is one of those desserts that will be imprinted in our memories and on our hearts for ever.
We also ‘hot potted’ in our villa under the expert guidance of No and in-villa dining queen Yen who took us through the basics of cooking and eating a Vietnamese hotpot, all whilst we were sat poolside, enjoying the setting sun.
And, not satisfied with just serving us all this amazing food when we wanted it, expert Vietnamese Chef No took us through a cooking class where we learnt how to make some of our favourite vegan Vietnamese food, including getting take home recipes and souvenir aprons as well as the chance to eat what we made.
So much fun.
There’s not enough room here to write about everything we ate that impressed us at Six Senses Con Dao; it was creative, it was fun, it was delicious and it was all just so easy. No explaining about being vegan over and over again, no sending food back because it had something we couldn’t eat on it; it was all just perfection.
The Vegan Essentials:
Not only feather free bedding but a choice of several vegan pillows off the pillow menu and a choice of scented pillows offering ‘tranquility’ ‘relaxation’ etc.
The amenities are Six Senses signature brand so 100% plant based and not tested on animals. They’re topped up in environmentally friendly refillable bottles and we were also given natural mosquito repellent that not only smelled lovely but seemed to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
The spa is full of opportunities to be pampered vegan style with natural ayurvedic hair oils and a range of treatments that are all vegan friendly. There are products by Sothys and Pevonia; neither company tests on animals and both have a strong focus on using natural ingredients. All Pevonia skincare and body care products are vegan with the exception of 4 proteins (Collagen, Elastin, DNA ad Caviar) that are extracted from fish so check the label carefully on the product you may wish to buy.
There are a range of complimentary wellness sessions each day with yoga, singing bowl meditation, massage and the opportunity to have an ayurvedic consultation with the onsite doctor (all highly recommended).
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Make a reservation at Six Senses Con Dao and be inspired, indulged and impressed by the food, the service and the overall approach which exudes wellness and luxury.
Opt to dine at ‘By the Kitchen’ for a bespoke vegan meal that will indulge your epicurean desires and give you a chance to experience vegan food at it’s finest.
We were guests of Six Senses Con Dao but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Six Senses Con Dao
Dat Doc Beach,
Con Dao District,
Telephone: +84 64 3831 222
Cost From: £375 / $575 per night (Oct 2015)