PART 1: Emergence of Luxury Resort Properties in Vietnam


Hyatt Regency

 Photo: Hyatt Regency, Danang

Now imagine that during your trip you had the opportunity to purchase a holiday home in the 90’s in one of the first villa resorts, be it the exclusive Amanpuri or Laguna Phuket that started selling residences in 1997, today you would record a tremendous appreciation in the value of your property. These opportunities are hard to come by these days. However, in Vietnam a new ‘gold rush’ has commenced with more and more travelers looking to own a home while taking advantage of the still-attractive prices along country’s plentiful coastline.

It all started in Danang on Vietnam’s Central Coast nearly twenty years ago with the construction of Furama Resort, Danang's first five-star resort. Ahead of its time when there was merely a dirt road leading to the ancient town of Hoi An, the resort opened to welcome mostly domestic travelers. At that time, few people had any idea what this would mean for the area.

A decade on,The Nam Hai marked the next milestone. Internationally branded by famed hotelier Adrian Zecha, the maker behind the famous Aman resorts, this was the first true ultra-luxury resort in Vietnam and still is to date a testimonial to contemporary Vietnamese architecture. With only 40 villas for private ownership available for sale this was the first time foreign lifestyle buyers were able to invest in Vietnamese luxury resort property. Today, the resort is rebranded as Four Seasons The Nam Hai and those investors that held the property for ten years are now cashing in big time. At the same time, a new luxury resort market has emerged, with more and more internationally branded five-star resorts offering residences including Hyatt Regency Danang, Banyan Tree and Angsana Lang Co as well as Intercontinental Sun Peninsula leading the way on the Central Coast.

Four Seasons The Nam Hai

 Photo: Four Seasons The Nam Hai, Hoi An

Bolstered by a myriad of direct flights to key cities in the region, Danang has become Vietnam’s primary market for international tourism and, as an extension, for lifestyle investors buying resort property. Short flight distances, the recent expansion of the international airport, five golf courses and several UNESCO World Heritage sites are all aspects that are attracting more and more visitors to Vietnam’s Central Coast that previously may have chosen Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines as their destination of choice. The outlook is even more exciting with the development of a mega-sized integrated casino resort underway to the south of Hoi An that will offer a vast array of leisure amenities including golf, retail, gaming, water park and other facilities. Visit this area now and you will see a massive amount of ongoing construction on hotel sites along the coast from Danang to Hoi An to cater to the fast growing tourism sector.

Meanwhile, non operator-managed residences are a rare find. Ocean Estates, located at the fringes of BRG Danang Golf Club, is an exceptional property that lets owners use their property permanently or, by choice, to enter a flexible rental program. It is a great home for those who prefer longer usage periods over the traditional sale-and-leaseback schemes of hotel managed properties. Ocean Estates is only steps away from the sea with access to all facilities, such as beach club, spa, restaurant and golf course that already exist on the property. The second half of the year will see the launch of Phase II of the InterContinental Sun Peninsula Residences, a collection of thirty exclusive villas on a private bay adjacent to the Intercontinental Sun Peninsula Resort, voted the top resort in Vietnam and the world for two consecutive years. Designed by Bill Bensley, the king of resort luxury, these villas seamlessly blend into the lush surrounding nature and offer maximum privacy yet still boast magnificent ocean views.

 InterContinental Sun Peninsula Danang

  Photo: InterContinental Sun Peninsula Danang

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s other resort destinations catch up quickly. Nha Trang, just 400 km south of Danang is fast becoming a serious competitor to the Central Coast. With beautiful, pristine bays and a myriad of small islands, the area is attracting millions of tourists every year. Recently, direct flights to Hong Kong and Korea have commenced, spurring further tourism growth for the high-end segment.

Amanoi, one of the latest additions to the luxurious Aman brand is surrounded by a nature reserve in a secluded bay with dramatic cliffs. Typical for the group’s philosophy, the 28 pavilions and five villas offer ultimate privacy and generous outdoor spaces, often complemented by a swimming pool, in a surrounding of lush greenery. Apart from splendid views over the lagoon with the spa pavilion or the ocean and coastline, there is a private beach for the resort guest’s use.

Further to the north of Nha Trang lies Dalat, a mountain resort that used to be a popular French getaway from Ho Chi Minh City during the colonial times. Still a sleepy town, Dalat’s upcoming transformation is visible with the completion of a new airport and an increasing number of direct flights internationally and domestically. Dalat at 1200 is a golf course development that offers luxury villas and apartments overlooking the fairways and managed by an international resort brand. Framed by mountains on all sides and adjacent to a lake, this remarkable golf estate will offer a vast array of sports and leisure facilities. Driving the luxury market, this is certainly a project to watch for the future.

Last but not least, there is Phu Quoc island. Located on the western coast of Vietnam and close to Cambodia, Phu Quoc is the fastest growing tourism market in Vietnam. The island – in fact, equal in size to Phuket – is on fast track to become Vietnam’s top tourism destination over the next years. A variety of hotel-led developments, leisure and tourism projects often with a residential phase, are underway along the coastline by major local developers including Sungroup, BIM group and Vingroup. Phu Quoc already boasts a golf course, international hospital, safari park with the recent opening of the first internationally branded luxury resort, JW Marriott Phu Quoc, a new travel boom to the island is visible that is also attracting a flock of property investors.

  Premier Village Phu Quoc

  Photo: Premier Village Phu Quoc

Currently under development are various resort properties including Premier Village managed by Accor, an all-villa resort on the southernmost tip of the island, occupying one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. InterContinental Phu Quoc also offers 115 exclusive apartments close to the main tourism centre on the west coast, with the expected launch of the Park Hyatt Phu Quoc, an all villa resort located in a private bay and framed by a mountain range that will redefine resort luxury on the island.

All sights are on Vietnam’s resort markets, not only because of the exploding tourism growth, but also because many of the destinations have become serious contenders for sophisticated holiday home buyers and offer an alternative to the traditional resort property markets in Bali, Phuket or Koh Samui. The outlook remains exciting for villas for sale in Danang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Dalat and we can expect a surge in foreign holiday home buyers throughout the country.

Related post:  Emergence of Luxury Resort Properties in Vietnam (Part 2)

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