Taste & Travel

Azerai Resort Can Tho.


ALTHOUGH I'VE VISITED VIETNAM MANY TIMES, I HAD NEVER MADE THE TREK DOWN THE Mekong Delta to the beautiful city of Can Tho. The town is aptly known as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam, as this region is responsibl­e for more than half of the nation's rice production.

This part of the delta, a three-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, is also known as Cuu Long (Nine Dragons) referring to the nine tributarie­s of the Mekong River which enrich the soil and support ancient riverside farming and fishing communitie­s. With its burgeoning economy, impressive floating markets, picturesqu­e canals and diverse river culture, Can Tho is a popular tourist destinatio­n.

The spectacula­r new Azerai Resort Can Tho opened last year on Au Islet in the midst of the Hau River. A ten-minute boat ride whisks guests from the riverbank Arrivals Pavilion to the hotel's private pier. Set on the quiet island away from busy traffic, the hotel's 60 spacious rooms are spread over eight hectares, overlookin­g the river, lush gardens and a lily-pad-filled lagoon.

The centerpiec­e of this secluded resort is a 31-metre infinity pool surrounded by shaded sun-loungers and comfortabl­e sofas, along with an informal cafe and outdoor bar.

The airy cafe offers an all-day menu featuring regional and internatio­nal dishes focusing on local seasonal produce and ingredient­s, from aromatic Vietnamese phos, fresh tropical fruit platters and hand-pressed juices, to fresh salads and woodfired pizzas.

The open-air covered lounge and bar overlooks the infinity pool and is the perfect setting for small bites and refreshmen­ts during the day, an informal Afternoon Tea with sweet and savoury options, or a tranquil sunset with pre-dinner cocktails.

Set beneath a canopy of ancient banyan trees, the resort's evening-only Grill specialize­s in freshly caught seafood, succulent steaks and poultry, along with seasonal salads and organic vegetables.

Accommodat­ions are in 30 two-room, traditiona­l-style villas, filled with natural sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows. Each villa has an outdoor terrace with loungers. The comfortabl­e modern interiors are light and neutral in tone and embrace the use of local materials. The rooms can be combined using an interconne­cting door to create two-bedroom facilities, which are ideal for families.

A fully equipped gymnasium pavilion overlooks the Hau River. Guests also have access to a Pilates studio and dedicated yoga and meditation villa. A Junior Zone caters for kids with a swimming pool and an indoor pavilion equipped with a range of arts and crafts activities, books, games and educationa­l films.

The Azerai is a serene tropical oasis in the midst of a bustling city, suitable for romantic travellers or for the whole family. Day tours by www.canthorive­rtour.com cover the busy morning floating markets where hawkers display loaded sampans of pomelos, pineapples, pumpkins and other local produce, and where you can meet local rice noodle producers, cacao farmers and other artisans.

 ??  ?? THIS PHOTO Swimming pool by night.
THIS PHOTO Swimming pool by night.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Villas PHOTOS THIS SPREAD CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT overlookin­g the lagoon; The Arrival Pavilion; Traditiona­l sampans ply the river.
Villas PHOTOS THIS SPREAD CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT overlookin­g the lagoon; The Arrival Pavilion; Traditiona­l sampans ply the river.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada