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Sea Sense Resort 3.0

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Secluded location on a lovely sandy beach in western Phu Quoc
  • Spacious, clean rooms with flat-screen TVs, sofa beds, and furnished terraces
  • Pleasant infinity pool with sea views, a kiddy section, and a bar
  • Two restaurants, including an excellent one built on stilts over the sea
  • Two spa huts offering an array of massages and salon services
  • Spacious fitness center with a few cardio and strength-training machines
  • All rate include a varied, tasty breakfast with Vietnamese and international options
  • Big meeting room with audiovisual equipment
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout, and free use of kayaks and bicycles
  • Free airport pickup service when staying two or more nights

Cons

  • Steep slopes and many steps throughout the property
  • Little for kids to do on-site besides the pool and the beach
  • Swimming in the beach is not allowed in the summer due to strong undertow
  • Some maintenance issues

Bottom Line

Sea Sense Resort is a quiet self-contained mid-range property located on a remote beach a 25-minute drive north of Duong Dong. Its 28 air-conditioned rooms are housed in spacious bungalows decorated in a simple but elegant style, and come equipped with minibars, flat-screen TVs, sofa beds, and free Wi-Fi. All have big terraces with wooden furniture, many offering views of the beach. The infinity pool is pleasant and big enough for laps, and has a shallow area for kids. A varied breakfast with Vietnamese and international options is offered daily free of charge, while excellent dinners are served at a beautiful restaurant built on stilts directly over the sea. The Sea Sense offers good value for money (especially for a hotel right on the beach), but those seeking something cheaper may want to compare rates at the Thanh Kieu Beach Resort. 

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Scene

Serene resort with a beautiful, intimate beach and bungalow-style rooms

Built on the side of a hill abutting a lovely palm-fringed beach, the Sea Sense Resort feels remote and serene. A mile-long private driveway winding through lush gardens leads to the lobby, which is housed in an open pavilion with soaring wooden ceilings and elegant wooden furniture decorated with carvings. Guests are welcomed with fruit-infused ice water before being whisked in a golf cart to one of the hotel’s 28 bungalow-style rooms, many of which have direct access to the beach. Tropical plants and trees cover every inch of the 10-acre grounds, tumbling down all the way to the beach, which is one of the most intimate and romantic in the area. Pairs of loungers are spread out over a long stretch of sand, offering a level of privacy rarely seen in Phu Quoc. (Next-door neighbor Mango Bay Resort and the Peppercorn Beach Resort vie for the prize of best beach in Phu Quoc, though.) 

The hotel’s intimate feel and secluded location draw plenty of couples of all ages, but during our visit we also saw a number of families with young kids. Both types of guests seemed to stay out of the way of each other, though, with families preferring the area around the pool, and couples spending the day at the beach. Like at all other beachfront resorts in western Phu Quoc, the beach was especially popular in the late afternoon due to its stunning panoramic sunset views. At night, guests gather for dinner at Sunset Restaurant, housed in a striking pavilion with a large deck built on stilts over the sea, and decorated with candles. 

With its beautiful grounds, lovely beach, and cute bungalow-style rooms, the property is quite nice for the price, and having opened in 2014, it still feels reasonably fresh. However, we saw a few things that need some attention, especially the many broken loungers at the beach, and the plates and glasses left at the beach overnight. A pile of glass bottles from a previous guest were left on the grass at the entrance of our room, and were still there when we checked out more than 24 hours later. Rates at the Sea Sense Resort, though, are competitive for the category, and tend to be lower than at similar hotels closer to Duong Dong and the airport. Travelers seeking cheaper bungalow-style rooms may want to compare rates at the Thanh Kieu Beach Resort, though the hotel lacks a pool. In that same price range, the Daisy Resort is an excellent pick for a quiet break, with a beautiful infinity pool offering panoramic views, charming rooms with outdoor bathrooms, and free shuttle service to a sandy beach. Guests seeking something more upscale may want to consider the Cassia Cottage, which has an excellent restaurant and separate adult-only and kiddy pools, and is closer to both the airport and the city center. 

Location

Remote beachfront location a short drive from a few casual restaurants

Map of Sea Sense Resort

Sea Sense Resort has a secluded location in the southern end of On Lang Beach, a lovely stretch of sand in western Phu Quoc. The main entrance is on a small country road home to a few casual restaurants and cafes popular among foreigners staying in the handful of hotels found in this part of the island. But the reception area is about a mile from the main road, and virtually all guests prefer to call a taxi when leaving the property. A wider array of dining and shopping options can be found in Duong Dong, located about a 25-minute drive away. The town’s night market -- selling everything from pearls to souvenirs to fresh seafood -- is one of the island’s most popular non-beach attractions. Stunning Sao Beach is an hour away by car, and the airport is about 40 minutes from the hotel.

Rooms

Spacious, clean rooms with big terraces, free Wi-Fi, and king-size beds

The hotel has 28 rooms, each housed in a bungalow with its own private entrance and furnished terrace. Decor is simple but elegant, with dark wood furniture throughout, polished tile floors in brown hues, and big photos of flowers adorning the walls. Most rooms have charming four-poster beds with mosquito nets, while others have heavy wooden bed frames with a few cute carved details. Beds are firm (like in most hotels in Vietnam), but we didn’t find them particularly uncomfortable. All rooms have the same amenities, including free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and safes; Sea View Villas and Oceanfront Villas also come equipped with coffeemakers and free tea and coffee (replenished daily). 

Bathrooms are large in all room types, with big walk-in showers with rain showerheads. We were told at check-in that hot water is heated using solar power and can take a couple of minutes to get warm in the morning. Ours, though, never got hot enough. We also spotted some mildew around the shower, probably due to the fact that the small windows with mosquito screens kept the bathroom humid day and night. 

Food

Free buffet breakfast, light lunches by the pool, and excellent dinners with sea views

The hotel has two restaurants, both offering sea views and outdoor seating. Sunrise Restaurant is located above the pool, and offers a varied, tasty buffet spread for breakfast, including Vietnamese and international options, and lots of fresh, local fruit. The pool and beach bar offers a selection of light bites for lunch -- such as sandwiches and a few traditional Vietnamese dishes -- along with cocktails, beer, wine, and snacks. There is waiter service at the beach as well. 

Housed in an open pavilion built on stilts over the sea, Sunset Restaurant is romantic and charming, with a candlelit pier jutting out into the sea, and well-spread out tables on a large wooden deck. The menu includes delicious Vietnamese cuisine along with a few international options. 

Features

Infinity pool, spa, fitness center, and free kayaks and bikes

The hotel has a medium-sized infinity pool with relaxing sea and beach views, a separate shallower area for babies and toddlers, and about a dozen cushioned loungers placed under big umbrellas. Pool and beach towels are available by the pool, and ca be changed daily free of charge. The spa is made up of two small huts, one by reception and one by the pool, and offers an array of massages, mani-pedis, and waxing services. Also located by reception, the fitness center is equipped with a handful of cardio and strength training machines. Sea kayaks and bicycles are also available on-site free of charge. 

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Address

Ong Lang Hamlet, Ong Lang Beach, Kien Giang Province 920000, Vietnam

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