Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam
27 October, 2019
Set on a Vietnamese island, the secluded, eco-conscious resort of Six Senses Con Dao draws guests with local food, an award-winning spa and immersive experiences.
On the largest of the Con Dao's 16 islets, this Six Senses resort brings together Vietnamese style and the archipelago's natural beauty. A private white-sand beach, gourmet spins on local food, spa treatments and sustainable activities tempt guests in need of some off-grid R&R.
Six Senses Con Dao
Inspired by traditional Vietnamese fishing villages, villas are decked out with sustainable materials such as reclaimed teak and local bamboo, and benefit from private infinity pools and outdoor bathrooms.
Craving seclusion? Opt for an Ocean View villa tucked neatly into the hillside, from where sweeping views across the national park are nothing short of spectacular. Ocean Front villas meanwhile offer direct beach access and put you a little closer to the resort's action. If you're travelling with a larger group, book one of the three- or four-bedroom residences, complete with separate living rooms and dining facilities.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast is best enjoyed at the beautiful By The Beach restaurant - accessible by foot, bike or resort buggy - with a side order of ocean vistas with neighbouring islands on the horizon. The extensive buffet consists of a fresh juice station, breads, baked goods, a cold room (housing meats, fish, cheese, fresh fruits, cereals, mueslis, yoghurts and more) and a creative market area that offers a daily changing selection of local delicacies (think: pho, rice pancakes, sticky rice balls and the like).
Order a la carte for traditional and international options, including egg dishes, fruits, oatmeal and other favourites. Be sure to try the Vietnamese coffee (locally roasted and spiked with condensed milk). Tableside hand massages and mini spa treatments are also on offer. Yes, you read that right.
How about lunch and dinner?
On-site restaurants cater to all appetites, whether that's for local delicacies or seasonal specials. Dine at By The Beach or head to Vietnamese By The Market for a more laid-back, street-food-style experience. Don't miss the ice-cream parlour, where you can pick up unlimited scoops made fresh in house - flavours change daily.
For light, casual bites, make a beeline for the resort's bars, or avail of the in-room service. If you have a specific dining request in mind, let the staff know - they can whip up an intimate beachside dinner for two or something spectacular for special occasions.
Is there a bar?
Choose from the poolside Splash Bar overlooking the beach or revel in the laid-back atmosphere of the Elephant Bar - we loved the swinging chairs and the East-meets-West cocktail menu. Try the Pho concoction, inspired by the country's traditional savoury soup.
The resort is isolated, so you'll find everything you need either on site or a short walk, cycle (bikes are available for each guest) or buggy ride away.
If you can tear yourself away from your beach towel, the gym has spectacular views looking out over the hills (and some decent equipment too). Water sports include surfing, paddleboarding, canoeing and more, while landbound activities such as volleyball and kite flying are also available.
Forget the stresses of home with the spa's extensive treatment menu, private pools and relaxation areas. When weather permits, kick back on loungers at the outdoor cinema - there's nothing quite like watching a film beneath the stars.
Eco conscious? Head to the Earth Lab, where you can learn about sustainability and get involved with releasing the turtle eggs as they begin to hatch. You can also take part in cooking classes to pick up some new skills and inject some Vietnamese flair into your kitchen at home.
Things you should know
If you have one treatment while you're there, make it the Vietnamese massage, which uses local herbs and cupping practices.
Sustainability is at the heart of Six Senses. Staff visit the local beaches regularly to clean up plastic, while the hotel also grows a lot of its own produce, composts and offers job opportunities to support the local community. Guests are also able to get involved with some of these initiatives if they like - just ask a member of staff.
Within a short walk you'll find
There's not much you can reach by foot, but you can take a bike, book a car, travel on local transport or hire a boat to reach the local town or nearby islands.
Con Dao town is just a 10-minute drive from the resort and there you'll find a lively market and selection of shops, cafés and restaurants. A short drive further will take you to several temples, roadside viewpoints and more of the national park, which you can explore by hiking or cycling, either alone or with a local guide.