Wednesday, January 18, 2012

fusion maia, da nang, vietnam, a picture perfect getaway

fusion maia is asias first luxury hotel with an all inclusive spa. yes, an all inclusive spa. 

when you hear the term "all inclusive", it usually brings up memories of long lines for mediocre food and watered down cocktails.

this is not that.

this is an all inclusive spa, where all the amazing treatments they have are included in the price of your private villa. (more on this later in the post) 

continental breakfast included, all other meals and drinks are additional.

this is luxury resort, where all your cares melt away and all your needs are a friendly, helpful staff member away. 

when you enter this resort, you definitely get the feeling that this is a modern resort. there is no real check in counter. they will escort you to a nice lounge area by the bar and dining area. this huge, open, multipurpose area invites you to sit and relax while they check you in. 

as with all resorts in vietnam, you will need to provide your passports. pretty standard stuff.

view from our seats during check in, looking at the bar. dining area beyond the bar. 

while we were checking in, we were introduced to a fixture during stay. their amazing teas. i love my teas. it started with a love of green tea that was spoiled by a monk picking young green tea leaves, roasting them and sending them stateside for us. ever since then, i have had a love affair with teas.

here, they have some amazing flavored teas. everyday it was something new. flowery, fruity, totally balanced, never too sweet, never too bitter, never too hot... just amazing tea. i asked them about this, but i just cant remember the name of their supplier. 

their amazing tea. check in lounge, at the spa.... get it

at this point, id be happy if theyd let me crash on this super comfy couch. im not fancy. im not frou frou. i could have totally crashed out on these couches... oh but wait, thats right, we got a room here.

well i guess i can go check that out. seeesh. so much work this is. 

all their rooms have private pools. all the rooms are villas. the standard room is a private villa with a private pool. now you know what kind of place youre at.

they do also have two upgrades if youre in the mood to drop some more cash, a spa villa and a beach villa. pimp. and super pimp. check their website for the most up to date info.

in our cozy little private villa, you open the door to your seating area.

you glance over to your sleeping area

i guess i COULD call this home for a few days.

as you would expect, the bed was very nice. i hate bad beds. too bouncy, too firm, sagging.... the bed here at fusion maia... perfect. i havent slept that well in a very long time. the beds here are great.

right in front of both the seating area and the sleeping area? your own private pool! now this is exciting. whens the last time you had a private pool with your room. 

thatll do pig, thatll do

yes, its pretty pimp to have your own private pool, but plan accordingly because you might not be able to take full advantage of it. if you come in the winter season, it might be too cold. the pool is not heated and as it was for our visit, it might be a bit too cold to swim. but of course that didnt stop us from jumping in every so often. i mean, how often will you be in a villa with a private pool!

i can only imagine how AMAZING this would be during the warmer months.

real talk. i dont know how they maintain all these areas. although i am not the most gung ho nature man, i do understand it. ive also had a pool to take care of when i use to live in my sisters mcmansion.

keeping the resort looking good, let alone maintain all these private pools, to be mostly pest free, vermin free... thats a big task and they do it very well. very well.

view of the pool area at night

view of the pool area from the sleeping area

next to the sleeping area is a massive bathroom, with a sunken tub, vanity, shower and wc (look at me being all european)

im thinking of remodeling my own bathroom... this would be a good start. 

the far wall of the bathroom is a floor to ceiling glass wall that looks into your pool. pretty damn cool stuff if you ask me. 

sunken tub

wait, did i mention theres a flat screen that you can move around so you can watch tv in bed or in the bathroom?

view of the shower, wc to the left behind frosted glass

errrr, i know this might sound weird to say about a 5 star resort, but there are no hot water issues. 

we stayed at other 5 star resorts in da nang during this same trip. although they were really great places to stay all around, we DID have hot water issues.

everything about this resort says modern and chic. our room was minimal, with clean lines, yet warm and welcoming. designers better have gotten a raise!

even our front door, frig, closet, drawer area looks like a work of art. 

da nang area is not quite developed as of our visit in december 2011, but the resort has a way of making you feel like youre in a different place altogether. bravo.

so whats there to do beside drink awesome tea and hang out in your dwell magazinesque private villa with private pool?

actually, plenty. 

first, one of the main reason why we chose this place is their unique all inclusive spa. 

ive been to most every high end spa in san francisco. ive also been a member of burke williams for years. though im not frou frou where i need facials and mani pedis, i do like my massages. its a little luxury i allow myself. its time to decompress, it helps detox all the crap in put in my body. its a bit of time for myself. 

here, at the fusion maia resort, their spa is top notch. im not talking about being in another country, on vacation top notch, im talking top notch, top notch. 

only hang up might be that there might be a bit of a language issue. although every staff member we encountered spoke fairly fluent english, some things are lost in translation and accents can get in the way. 

these are very minor issues that you can easily work around.besides, youre the guest in the country... you should learn to work around them.

the spa area, with its separate swimming pool with waterfall, relaxation areas is awesome to just sit and lounge. the actual rooms where your sessions are held, well, they were better appointed them some high end places i have been to in san francisco. 

fusion maia spa menu (12/2011)

closeup of treatments available (12/2011)

we averaged three sessions per day.

tip, pre book your appointments. you dont want to lose out do you?

we usually went something like this. a scrub/treatment followed by a massage after breakfast. another session between lunch and dinner. 

after the second day of this. i was a soft, pliable, relaxed, revived, new person. this is about as close as totally relaxed as you can get. 

yes. this was grand. this made all the effort getting to da nang worth it. this made everything right in the world. you end up just walking around relaxed and smiling all the time. 

everyone we encountered, from the receptionists to the attendants were on point, friendly, and very important to me, they seemed happy to be there. 

you definitely come here for the spa. 

however, thats not the only thing to do here.

the other part of the relaxation equation for us was eating. 

there are a few dining options here and a few twists on the usual continental breakfast. 

fresh pool bar 

they have western and local style foods. all good. and who doesnt like to dine poolside.... 

well if you dont (or if its raining) there is an indoor dining area. and for a place that centers around well being and all that, they make some damn good cocktails. you wont hear me complaining about alcohol. 

the bar you first see when you come into the main dining area, there are some tapas inspired dishes, cocktails, stuff

the main dining area, where the continental breakfast and dinners are served... well, lets just say i enjoy food. i live for food. i cook. i garden. i spend most my free time thinking about food or making food. 

this place, though its not cutting edge (and i wouldnt want it to be cutting edge dining, im on vacation at a resort spa!), it is modern and the food is a well executed modern affair. every meal i had in the main dining area was of a very high caliber. very nicely surprised. of course it may not be like the complete shock and awe treatment from tfl or the subtle refinement of manresa (the two last significant meals we had in the san francisco area before we left for this vacation) but i could not be upset with anything i had here. the dinners were just fine, good to great in fact. something you really dont expect from a resort/hotel restaurant too often. all the dishes were great. executed and presented well. the proteins were good. the infusion of local greens were are great touch. i would be happy to be presented any of these dishes in most every setting. its just good food. 

one thing to note however, is that the meals here are more expensive than other meals we had in da nang area resorts however, the quality and service represented why. it was by far, the highest caliber dining experiences we had in da nang.

*side note. a dinner with drinks will run you a respectable 50-60 USD per person. at other five star resorts in the area, perhaps 30-40 USD. we also had dinner at an expat hang out in town, 10-15 USD per person. some local restaurants, 2-8 USD per person*

the continental breakfast. man, i loved their continental breakfast. nicely done. good spread. unusual finds. fun and different a noodle bar. ok let me try the pho. of course you have to eat pho. 

i grew up on pho. its pretty much a staple here in the bay area.

ive tried bad pho. ive had good restaurant pho. ive had great homemade pho. some of our friends own pho restaurants. 

the stuff here was done with a nice refined touch. like taking moms recipe and applying some stuff you learn at culinary. 

the handmade pho noodles were an unexpected treat. ive never seen it before. i make pasta pretty often. ive made rice cakes, all sorts of doughs..... but ive never thought about nor seen handmade pho noodles. it was like a given. you buy the packaged stuff. 

the handmade pho noodles added a texture to the party that might be overlooked by many, but adds a nice subtle note to things. 


i DID make some rice paper while i was here.... i shouldve asked if i could find out where they made those noodles!!! 

*how funny, five star, badass resort... and im inquiring about the noodles in their pho*

and another thing about their breakfast, they have an unusual service for their breakfast. as you would imagine, continental breakfast is included with your room, but whats unusual is that you can have breakfast anywhere, anytime.

if you didnt make the continental breakfast, no problem. they can bring you something off their menu and that will count as your free breakfast of the day. 

thats a nice service, but it doesnt end there.

you want to have breakfast on the beach? ask them. they will set up a table on the beach. 

want breakfast on the pool... no, not by the pool... ON the pool, theres an area where they will set up a table on the pool over looking the beach..... 

yes, you can have breakfast at 10am, on a table, on the pool. 

im sure there are limits to this, but anything within reason seems to be there unspoken motto here. 

i wanted a pack of smokes. they dont put those on any menu because, this is in fact, a well being type place. they got me some cancer sticks when i ask for them.

they DO state though, if you want, you can even have your free breakfast at their restaurant in historic hoi an. if you trekked out there in the morning on their free shuttle, you can grab breakfast there.

one of the larger tables in their main dining area

exploring around the resort, we found a pool table and ps3 located under the main dining area. pretended to know how to shoot pool, then went along our merry way. 

apparently they do yoga on the resort too. different areas... and wait, did they say an offsite yoga session on the marble mountains nearby? 

most any excursions around the area can be booked by the concierge desk. take advantage of the free shuttles into historic hoi an and walk around town, the farmers market. check out 4th century cham temples at my son holy land..... easy as a phone call away

*we didnt book our excursion with fusion maia because we had done so prior, while staying at other resorts in the area, prior to staying at fusion maia*

oh... and there is the small matter of the beach. 

this is also a beach resort, on one of the hidden gem beaches of the world. each of the beach front resorts in this area has their own private beach. i can only imagine what it would be like in the summer months... 

i guess we just have to go back

theres also the pool area, no more than a few foot steps from the beach.

what did i do? what do you think i would do? 

order some vietnamese bahn mi inspired thin crust pizza

post up at a poolside/beach cabana

sip on cocktails.

man, researching for this blog is hard work.


  1. the resort and its staff make you feel like everyone should be jealous of you!

  2. Excellently amazing and exciting too. Can you please mention me the source of your reference... I am happy that at least somebody gave this subject an attention.
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  3. ross,

    please excuse the late response and if i am misunderstanding you, but are you asking where i got all this info from?

    i went to visit and this is all personal experience.

  4. looks like a pretty good product. thanks for the giveaway and review! I am happy to receive information about products, services, offers :)
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