The approach along gently snaking roads that contour verdant hills becomes peppered with orange and grey granite outcrops as it climbs a headland in Nui Chua National Park in south-east Vietnam. As the resort’s pick-up vehicle nears its journey’s end, the hills and rocks give way to the still waters of Vinh Hy Bay below, dotted here and there with brightly painted fishing boats. This elevated vista provides a soothing backdrop for a memorable arrival at Amanoi, a remote getaway that’s located about 75 minutes’ drive from Can Ranh International Airport, some 100km south of Nha Trang.
From public areas, as well as in all of the villa- style accommodation (there are 36 single- and multi-room con figurations), along with the two- and three-bedroom residences and a pair of brand new Spa Houses, views vary from rocky forest to lakeside to ocean prospect. While all is therapy for the eyes and ears (birdsong and waves are the main soundtrack) – and there is a generous spa treatment and instructed-activity list – Amanoi has recently introduced stays here that go some steps further.
Launched in February at the same time as the Spa Houses, its Wellness Immersions o er personally tailored dietary, exercise, relaxation and spa treatments that take place within the two self-contained, 1,850-square-foot accommodations. One house in the spa area has a hammam steam focus, while the other has a sauna-heated banya room.
Banya, for those not familiar with it, is a Russian treatment that uses bound bunches of freshly cut leafy oak branches as paddles with which to pummel the body. This is administered on a wood-slatted table by a therapist in a sauna room, in between a sequence of short blasts in a steam room alternated with dips in a cold plunge pool.
Visitors not staying in the Spa Houses can also try the banya as part of a day package, which is another way to immerse oneself in wellness – and Amanoi tempts its guests with three Wellness Immersion themes: Eastern Approaches to Weight Management; Movement,
Mindfulness & Stress Control; and Longevity, Rejuvenation & Detoxification. Under these broad headings, a consultation with spa staff can offer anything from an intense combination to a light taste, over a recommended three to 10 days.
“We understand that not all guests are going to want to feel like they’re on a boot camp,” says Shayam Goyal, spa manager and a veteran of Aman, who has an instinctive feel for guests’ needs and tastes. “So we’re here to give them whatever they feel they can manage, and we encourage them to chat with us about their experience along the way – at least, as much as they want to.”
The treatment and wellness activity menu lists an impressive number of specialised – and often unusual – therapies, such as reiki, craniosacral therapy and Watsu aquatic techniques. Activity sessions range from the gentler tai chi, qigong and yoga nidra (a form of yogi-led relaxation and meditation) to more challenging yogic forms (don’t be fooled by the name yin yoga – it’s a proper work-out), Pilates, core sessions, circuit training, TRX training and kick-boxing. Guided scenic hikes can also be taken straight from the resort, while the rock park at Nam Nui National Park, a 30-minute drive away, is also recommended.
Plenty of pampering can be ordered from the spa menu, including a 90-minute Vietnamese massage, which incorporates acupressure, cupping and aromatherapy. From the restaurant menus, food is mostly kept light. The resort’s British executive chef, Daniel Woodbridge, adds minimal tweaks to Vietnamese dishes (though there are also international selections) that make the most of fresh seafood from the surrounding aquamarine waters.
With direct flights from Hong Kong to Can Ranh, this very reachable luxury bolthole in pristine surrounds – with various wellness options – leaves one with a lasting sense of being recharged.