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“Slow life hotel as expected”

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Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
Ranked #3 of 215 Hotels in Nha Trang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 March 2011

My husband, our 5 year old son and I stayed at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay for 12 days during February 2011. Let me start saying that we had a wonderful stay and really appreciated the laid-back time we spend at this wonderful location.
Thanks to all the staff for that.

We arrived at the Nha Trang Airport (After a LONG trip from Denmark. It takes 24 hours!!) in the afternoon and was kindly meet by the staff. The transport from the hotel to the both takes approximately 50 minutes and is in a van with other guests (Not a private car which I would normally expect).
You then arrive at their local harbour (Here you can relax for a few minutes and will get a drink). The boat ride takes approximately 30 minutes to the resort.
We were meet by the General Manager Wayne Lunt and a temporary butler as our would just arrive the day after.
You go directly from the harbour to the villa for check in. All happened smoothly and we received a nice cooled bottle of Champaign for welcome. (Remember to become a member of the Six Senses before arriving in order to receive some accommodation)
The butler had booked restaurant for the evening and the vacation could start!


Rooms
We stayed in Beach Villa number 19. It is located right next to the Beach Centre and the harbour. When you are their with a child this location is actually perfect as you only have one neighbour to disturb and wide beach. But of course you can hear the boats arriving.
It is difficult to say which beach villa to go for as they all have their charm. As our was located close to the restaurant we could walk by the beach for breakfast in 5 minutes but not at night as the tides are to high. The location also meant that we actually did no use the bikes at all as everything was with in walking distance.

I liked the out door space. I worked very well with the pool and the day beds. As we only has one neighbour we had a lot of privacy.

The rooms are as you expect from the Six Senses concept. Simple and quite basic. But I must agree with some of the other reviews in here that the rooms are not really 5 stars like the Aman resorts or One&Only. But the concept for the Six Senses is also very different compared to the other hotel chains.
A few comments here:
*The air-condition is so loud that you have to turn it of during the night (I wonder... in the SPA rooms you can't hear the air-conditioner at all?? Why is that? When it is so loud in the room).
*There is no wireless net work in the room. So with an iPad you have to ask them to bring you one (And they will)
*There is a lot of mosquitos. You do not hear them but remember to use the mosquitos repellent. I brought one from home because from experience I know that the one at the hotel smell very bad.
*During the night we also had visitors as frogs and bats. Harmless and our son loved it as it was so different from home ;o)
*The television is old and you have 3 remote controls to juggle with.
*Light. There isn't any real light in the bathroom. Of course there is light but there isn't a good mirror with clear light. Bring you own make up mirror with light if you have one.
*They do have an issue with scale in the shower and in general in the taps. I used the bath tub twice a day because I couldn't control the out door shower. Not very ECO friendly I know... But the water in the shower was almost boiling.
*There is only an out door shower in the bathroom. I would have appreciated that there was also one in door + one by the pool so that you could get the see water and chlorine of your skin.
*I would also appreciate that there was tapping dates on the glass bottles.

But but.... when this is all said we really liked the Villa and had a wonderful time there! If we wanted everything to be perfect then we could just had booked a week at home in our own house ;o)

Restaurant
The main restaurant *Dining by the Bay* is quite good and depending on the day you can have a la carte or buffets at night. The Vietnamese buffet is VERY good.
The breakfast is quite nice and you can almost have everything you could imagine. Remember to order your coffee/the at once! It takes a very LONG time before you actually get it. And do try the Noodle and Chicken soup. Our 5 year old son ended up having it for breakfast each day.
Lunch *Dining by the Pool* is OK. Nice light food. But I'm terrified by the prices and sizes of a Glass of white wine. The white wine glass in the room is almost double size of the one you have in the lunch restaurant. I would suggest you to buy a bottle and bring it back and forward.
*Dining at the rocks* has a wonderful atmosphere but I'm not impressed about the food. Dined there on Valentines day was a huge fiasco with very bad food. We dined there one more time and the food was then very good. Someone wrote in here that the restaurant is at a Michelin level. I do not agree with that. It is good but there are still quite a lot of work to do in order to get to that level. (Learn from the Six Senses *Dining at the rocks* on Koh Samui. That is out standing!)
On the other hand we found our that the chef cook was lent out to another hotel during our entire vacation there. So watch out.

SPA
Very nice and well organized. The holistic massage and the Indian Head massages are very god. Lives up to what you expect from Six Senses.

GYM
Small but have what you need. If you are the only one there then open all the glass doors in the morning and you can enjoy a nice breeze while working out.
Try the YOGA plat for afterwords for stretching. Nice an completely quit.

Beach
Well I agree. It isn't the Maldives ;o) But on the other hand I liked the beach for its tides. In the morning the sand feels like gravel. But around lunch it sort of dry up and was very nice.
The hotel try to keep the beach clear from dead corrals but it is a big task. During the day you will experience that some waste will float in. But this is the same all over Vietnam.

Trip
Take the romantic boat trip and ask them to visit the lobster farms(Remember to bring some money for fisher man). Take a hike in the marked areas around. Very nice

Shop
Well... it is a Six Senses concept and the shop is the same as in their other hotels. So exceptional boring.

Management
Executive Assistant Manager (Food and Beverage) Garry Chan is very sympathetic and visible in the resort. I actually think that we saw and spoke with him minimum twice a day (Much more than we saw our butler). I can highly recommend him.
General Manager Wayne Lunt we saw upon arrival at the resort and a few times after worth. The last week we didn't see him once. I must assume that he had vacation himself in week 8.
Butler service. Well.. it works but it is not extraordinary.
Language level of the staff is definitely poor. If you ask for something on the menu they will understand you. But of you ask for something else it is an issue.

I have now visited 3 different Six Senses locations. My current ranking is Yao Noi (Thailand), Ninh van Bay(Vietnam) and then Six Senses Samui.

General Comment.
The price of the hotel is OK and yes it is like luxurious camping which is also OK. You already know that when you pay from home ;o)
What it not OK is the price for food and especially wine/beer. Compared to other 5 start hotels I have stayed at over time the wine/beer prices is totally over the top. Especially considering the prices other places in Vietnam. Example Tiger beer at Six Senses USD 7,-. Tiger beer at Sheraton (4 start hotel) in Hanoi USD 3,-!!
The same goes for the prices in the SPA. Come on.. it is more expensive at the Six Senses SPA in Vietnam than at the D'anglettere (5 star hotel) SPA in Copenhagen, Denmark? A city which is rated as the 7th most expensive city in the world?

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank loa380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sixsensesninhvanbay, General Manager at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 18 March 2011

Dear loa380

Thank you very much for your review and constructive comments, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay. I do apoligise for the incident at Dining by the Rocks the evening that you dined there, which I do remember. You are correct Chef was away working in our resort in Phuket with Chef Thomas who made Dining on the Rocks in Samui so famous, we try to ensure that our chef's have excellent training and cross exposure which I feel is so important to their development.

We highly appreciate you staying with us and I hope you can visit another Six Senses resort in the near future.

Sincerely
Wayne Lunt
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 February 2011

My wife and I only spent three nights’ here and found everything to be just perfect to “chill out” and get totally rejuvenated. We had come from Dalat, where it was nice and cool with great weather. We traveled by private care hire from Dalat to Ninh Van Bay and were met by some neatly dressed women and men who helped us get our gear on the transport boat and after a 20 minute ride over a smooth sea we arrived at the hotel where we were warmly welcomed by the resort management team.

This was our first visit to this resort and we didn’t know what to expect but we were more than pleased with what we found! What we found was a delightfully isolated resort with no other resorts anywhere in sight or even nearby. Perfect! …and just what we were looking for and now fully understood why it was called a “hideaway”!

We had engaged a hill top villa and were very pleased that we did as it was much more isolated from the rest of the villas and the views were spectacular. I must say that as being in my 70’s the climb up to the villa was a bit strenuous but certainly worth every “ and puff” of the effort. The isolation, peacefulness and tranquility of our villa were remarkable as were the impressive views of the entire bay, mountains, resort and some very nice sunsets. We were pleased with a beautiful cooling wind most of the time and with the day time temperature in the high 20’s C the combination of the cool serenity pool and wind were most enjoyable. Actually upon our arrival at the villa (#8) my wife and I both immediately wished that we had booked for a longer stay.

We found the food to be excellent in both quality and amount and enjoyed hiking down the trail to the tennis courts, playing tennis and then walking to the dining hall by the bay for breakfast as we spotted various birds and small animals along the way. However, bicycles were provided in case we wanted to pedal our way around or a golf cart with driver was prepared to do the transport was available and just a telephone call away.
The grounds were certainly well kept and Eco-friendly and the vast array of facilities were more than adequate. The sea water was clear and warm and fun to romp around, in spite of my age. The entire area was remarkably quiet for the amount of people that we would see at breakfast. I would say that if one is looking for a place to party with a whole bunch of people and big discos this is not the place to find them!

Staff was excellent and our villa was cleaned and re-outfitted each day by cheerful and effective staff. I guess about the only complaints that I would have is the lack of selection of music CD’s as the only one available was the so-called “Welcome CD”. I would suggest that management consider obtaining a selection of music suitable for the villas and their populations. In addition, we had requested our butler in writing three items for our room, including ice to be delivered at 1600 hours but none of the items ever came. This was a bit disconcerting to say the least but in the end it did not having any impact on our visit.

We enjoyed a very memorable evening of "Dining by the Rocks" where we experienced a “glutton’s fare” of excellent, high quality and perfectly prepared array of western culinary delights, accompanied by a very good selection of wines that matched each of the various foods that we consumed. I must say that my wife and I were completed “stuffed” and more than satisfied with our evening of fine and elegant dining in a very relaxed mood.

My wife and I are already planning and looking forward for our next visit to this remarkable resort and I would certainly recommend this classy and excellently managed retreat for anyone that just wants to relax and chill out.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank DIKTHAI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sixsensesninhvanbay, General Manager at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2011

Dear DIKTHAI

Thank you very much for your review, we so happy that you had a great stay with us that left you rejuvenated! That is our goal for all of our guests. Your description of the resort, villa and facilities is excellent and very helpful for those considering to stay with us.

I appreciate your comments for improvement, which we will work....also your great idea for a seletion of music.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

Sincerely,
Wayne Lunt
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 February 2011

This resort is beautifully situated. The villa's are nicely designed. And it is a perfect place if you want to do nothing else but relaxing. However, the service is not up to the standards of a 5 star hotel. It feels like luxerious camping, which might be ok, but a little expensive for >300 euros a person a day. We booked because of the fantastic reviews on tripadvisor, which are normally very useful. So how come we did not have a fantastic experience? Other guests that we met had the same experience, so something strange must go on here...
A few examples of our experiences/views (beachvilla):
- the park is not intensively maintained, (natural look) this means that with an open bathroom you need to swipe yourself the floor every other hour because leaves are blown all over the place - room amenities are in stone bottles (there to stay and therefore eco-friendly) but the content was dried up, other amenities were not replaced during the stay. Plates used for fruit and used cups were not cleaned all week - water in glass bottles (eco friendly) was delivered free of charge but not consistently changed which is an issue when bottle dates are lacking - It took a long time to get water from the tap/shower at the right temperature since warm and cold have independent difficult to operate handles (not very eco friendly) - there is a nice outdoor shower, but after dark (early) there is no proper light - there is no proper wardrobe to protect clothes from moths. drawers smelled (bring scent bags).
- The villa's have a small pool suitable for bathing not for swimming. That is no problem, but also the central pool is quite small and not really suitable for a serious swim. There is a nice beach, but it is mainly cleaned in the central area (bring water shoes!)- There are only beach beds in central locations, so you can not lay comfortable on the beach before your own villa.
- The food was generally ok, but quality differed and was apart from the fantastic selection of juices at breakfast and delicious creme brulee at dinner, not superb and overpriced.
- there is a private butler service, but this was very different from experiences in other places, it did not add anything to normal service that would be expected from a standard hotel - It was difficult to motivate the butler to set up internet, which turned out to be slow and not always working - everything that went wrong was the mistake of the guest: when housekeeping did not show up it was said that we had a no disturb sign up, one time an item disappeared from the room it was said that it was taken away because it was on the ground.. (It was returned filty from the trashcan). - some days we did not see the butler only for a minute in the restaurant - on checking out the butler immediately started to inspect if nothing had disappeared: asking us were is the modem, were is the flashlight etc, we felt like thieves! Never had such experience before. We had to hand in the evaluation form to the butler, but we did not feel comfortable with that and took it home.
- overall staff was very friendly, but they are mainly instructed to ask questions like it is fantastic here isnt? and are not very helpful when you need assistance.
The spa was ok expect to pay western prices.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank anna232
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sixsensesninhvanbay, General Manager at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2011

Dear Anna232

Thank you for your comments, firstly I wish to apologize that we did not reach your expectations.

Our natural surroundings are kept natural and not manicured, but they should be still maintained and the leaves swept away to be off the pathways and not in the bathroom. It can be challenging when the strong winds were with us during the first few weeks of January causing the leaves to continually blow into the bathroom as it is a open bathroom.

I have taken your concerns seriously and will be following up with all of my departmental heads to ensure that trainings and action plans are in place for immediate improvement. Including refilling amenities correctly, proper cleaning of fruit plates, implementation of an expiry label for water bottles, ensuring that items are not removed unless in trash can or obvious waste. Additionally you comments about the butlers communication or lack of it giving you a below standard of service will be targeted for immediate retraining and follow up as this is far from our intentions and levels of service we are aiming to achieve.

We appreciate your comments so that we can improve ourselves and for our guests, they really are very helpful.

Sincerely
Wayne Lunt
General Manager.

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Reviewed 31 January 2011

After an exhausting stay in Ho Chi Min we had 10 nights of total relaxation at the Six Senses. Unfortunatley the weather was lousy for the duration therefore we had to rely on the resort to make up for the lack of sun and I am happy to say that the staff were fantastic. Although we had booked a hilltop villa for the view we received an upgrade to a beach villa and having made the hike to the hilltop villa (No. 9) to see our original selection we decided to take the lazy option and stick with the upgrade. We did prefer the layout of the hilltop however the thought of going up and down the steps each day was a little too much.
Our butler 'Thai' was most accomodating and followed up the villa upgrade with many more complimentary offerings which we gratefully accepted. Thai took care of everything for us making check-in/check out hassle free and would book dinner for us at 'Dining by the Rocks', bring fruit, and take us to and fro when rain prevented us from riding the bicycles.
One of the highlights for us was the food, right from an extensive breakfast (Best smoothies ever), a light lunch and an exquisite dinner. Whether it was 'Dining by the Rocks' or 'Dining by the Bay' Chef Basha ensured that every meal was fit for a King. The menu was wide and varied and even then Chef Basha was asking us if there was anything off the menu we would like and one night he cooked up a couple of mud crab dishes for us which were wonderful. This was the first resort where I had experienced the head chef coming out to talk to the guests, share a glass of wine and discuss the local produce and share culinery expereinces with everyone and I found this to be very pleasant and I think educational for all. One night we were treated to the creations of a Michelin star chef from France who was passing through, with each dish being washed down with a hand selected wine from an accompanying wine expert. Indeed the wine selection was also extensive.
I have to mention the Wagyu Beef is a must and cooked to perfection.
The spa was most relaxing and after a couple of complimentary treatments we endulged 3 more times from the array of massages on offer.
It has been almost 20 years since I last rode a bicycle and I thoroughly enjoyed using the bike to get to and from the villa and even to go for a genaral ride across the resort.
With the lack of sun we did become a little restless and could see that there is still a lot of potential in the resort which we discussed with the team eg, more varied and exploratory cycle paths, TVs on a swivel to allow viewing from the day bed, TV upstairs, less steps to climb (not sure this is posssbile though).
There are a few hiking trails on offer which were quite adventurous and also a tennis court, badmington, volleyball, table tennis and water sports.
Top of the luxury ladder it may not be but the aim is to blend in with nature therefore expect the odd bug and a few mosquito bites and dead leaves getting blown around.
All in all we enjoyed the seclusion, the relaxation, the fantastic food and great service and we say thanks to 'Thai' our butler, 'Chef Basha' and his team for the excellent food, 'Cuong' the young waiter and the rest of the staff for brightening our vacation where the sun failed to shine.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Christou09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sixsensesninhvanbay, General Manager at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2011

Dear Christou09,

Thank you for your reveiw of our resort, we are all very happy that you had a great stay with us! Your review highlighting your experiences, our activities and most of all our fantastic hosts is very helpful for others. We also appreciate your recommendations and such the TV's on Swivels, additional TV upstairs and additional cycle paths for guests to enjoy and discover. We hope to implement some if not all of your suggestions!

Thank you once again for staying with us, we hope that we can welcome you back to our resort once again in the future or perhaps another Six Senses property.

Sincerely
Wayne Lunt

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Reviewed 29 January 2011

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights and we didn't want to leave. It has all those gorgeous touches a 5* should have; out door bath, lots of style, great food, everything is presented in a unique way... We loved it! Breakfast was also fantastic.

Def the place to stay if you're visiting nha trang.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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Thank pepuilberqu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sixsensesninhvanbay, General Manager at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2011

Dear pepuierqu,

Great to hear that you had an amazing 3-days with us and that you enjoyed the design and 5-star touches as well as the food. Thank you for your review and recommendation! We wish to welcome you back once again in the future or to another Six Senses property.

Best regards
Wayne Lunt

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Additional Information about Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

Address: Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang 57000, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Region: Vietnam > Khanh Hoa Province > Nha Trang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nha Trang
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Nha Trang
#3 Romantic Hotel in Nha Trang
#3 Luxury Hotel in Nha Trang
#3 Spa Hotel in Nha Trang
#5 Family Hotel in Nha Trang
#9 Business Hotel in Nha Trang
Price Range: $840 - $1,756 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Six Senses Ninh Van Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 59
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay sits on a dramatic bay, with impressive rock formations. Golden sand beach and towering mountains add to the sense of being at one with nature. The family friendly resort’s architectural style incorporates Vietnamese traditions, with all 58 accommodations being personal pool villas.The restaurants at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay serve international and local favourites complemented by the best local seafood, including lobsters and king prawns. There are wonderful spaces for lounging with drinks from the wine cave, or healthy fresh juices and favourite libations from the bar.Six Senses Spa at Ninh Van Bay is a sanctuary for all the senses, with traditional Vietnamese treatments and Six Senses Signatures to suit every individual guest. In addition to the breath-taking treatment rooms, the spa is equipped with yoga pavilion, a gymnasium, hair salon and spa retail gallery.In addition to blissful relaxation, guests can also enjoy many activities and excursions on water, under water at the coral reef and on land by joining a cultural or wildlife adventure; or making use of the resort's facilities and wide variety of sporting equipment. The resort is also a perfect setting for beautiful wedding ceremonies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
6 Senses Ninh Van Bay
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Hotel Nha Trang
Ana Mandara Vietnam

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