I was so excited to return back to Vietnam, six months away was too long! This time I had the pleasure of exploring central Vietnam, beginning in Hue – the former seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802–1945.
I stayed for two fantastic nights at Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa, which was an amazing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only a 15-minute drive away from the town centre, it is located in the quiet countryside in a rustic village setting, surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted and had my bags taken for me. I was welcomed into the spacious open reception area that had a grand wood design with a hand-carved roof and large wooden beams. I was shown to one of the many comfortable seats and presented with a refreshing welcome drink and cool towel.
The check in process was smooth and I was briefed on the onsite facilities, daily activities and free shuttle bus times before being shown to my room.
The grounds were very large and lush with greenery, it had a very secluded feel about it.
|The outside of my room|
Located opposite the spa, I was lucky enough to be upgraded to a Honeymoon Suite which was an incredible room with everything you could wish for.
It was perfectly spacious and open with a grand king four-poster bed as the central feature, which was very comfortable.
In front of the bed was a sofa couch and coffee table with flowers and a fresh fruit platter that was changed daily – a very thoughtful and welcome touch!
In the left corner was a wooden desk, chair and bright lamp which was a great working station. On the desk were room service and spa menus, tour information and complimentary bottled water.
In the right-hand corner opposite the bed was an LCD television with premium channels set above a small fireplace.
To the very right of the bed and where you walk in was a wardrobe with bathrobes, slippers and large umbrellas. In the shelving was an electronic safe, a small refrigerator with a mini bar that was decently stocked, glassware, cups and complimentary coffee and tea.
The marble-style bathroom was also very large and had an impressive bath with a window view of the beautiful green scenery.
The shower had excellent pressure and for once the shampoo and conditioner were great quality, I really enjoyed using them. There was even a jar of complimentary rock salt to use for the bath.
The bathroom was well-equipped with fresh towels and kitted out with all the toiletries you could possibly need.
Through the sliding doors, outside was a large balcony with two rocking chairs, a table and sunbed. The view overlooked a large lotus pond below and it was a very peaceful and tranquil setting.
Other features of the room include good Wifi and air conditioning, room service, daily housekeeping, laundry service available and a nightly turndown where they put down the mosquito net for you.
The entire room was tastefully decorated with wooden furnishings and art and it had a very rustic countryside feel to it. I particularly loved the large mirrors and the blackout curtains.
With the curtains drawn, in the mornings there was no light at all so that along with the super comfortable bed made for fantastic sleep quality.
It was a very quiet and relaxing room and I enjoyed it very much.
Pilgrimage Village has 139 rooms in total and there are many types to choose from to suit a variety of needs. The Premium Deluxe rooms are newer and have a more classic modern style and there is a range of villas and bungalows to choose from including Family Deluxe, Honeymoon Pool Hut and probably my favourite – the Traditional Vietnamese Pool House!
Beyond the Room
The large property is spread over five hectares and naturally, they offer a wide range of facilities and services including two premium pools.
The first is a picturesque aqua pool located close to the reception area. There is an attached children’s pool and loungers dotted around under thatched-roof umbrellas.
The main pool is possibly the largest I had ever seen before! Located at the far end of the resort near The Valley Restaurant, this slope pool has a swim-up pool bar with daily drink specials and many loungers to relax on.
Happy Hour runs from 4:30 – 6:30 pm with 2 for 1 signature cocktails and beer. You can also order poolside snacks from their menu to enjoy.
The temperature of the pool was a little too warm for me, but it was still very pleasant to lounge poolside on the comfortable sunbeds while reading my book.
The surrounding area was beautifully decorated and tranquil, with a trickling waterfall and bird sculpture fountains around the pool. It was extremely relaxing.
The onsite Vedana Spa is highly impressive and offers many treatments to indulge in, inspired by nature to help nurture the mind, body and spirit.
They proudly use no chemicals or artificial ingredients in their spa treatments, taking great care to source only 100% natural ingredients. Where possible, they derive all of their spa products from their own herb garden or locally from sustainable sources fresh from the markets in the morning.
Services include deep-tissue massages, hot stone massages, Swedish and Thai massages.
A variety of treatment therapies are provided, including aromatherapy and reflexology.
The spa is also equipped with a sauna, a steam room and Turkish bath/hammam.
All of their treatments are pure in style and substance, offering the unique flavours of Hue, Vietnam.
You can go all out and fully pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure, facial, a body wrap and scrub, they even offer hair care services.
Near the spa, there are daily complimentary wellness activities including morning Taichi and Yoga.
Also in the area is the well-equipped Fitness Center. There is a variety of exercise machines and equipment including bicycles, treadmills and free weights.
The resort has a convenient daily free shuttle bus to and from the city several times a day and to its sister resort in Phu Loc, Vedana Lagoon.
Many local tours and airport transfers can easily be arranged and there are bicyles for hire.
They have wedding and honeymoon packages and can cater for meetings and social gatherings.
There are no less than three lovely places situated around the resort to enjoy chilling with a nice drink, including the Candle Bar, Peanut Bar and Slope Lounge.
There are two large restaurants on site, Junrei Restaurant, which is one of Central Vietnam’s largest traditional houses, crafted with authentic imperial columns and Valley Restaurant of a more modern art design, set next to a lily lake; this is also where breakfast is served daily.
A daily buffet breakfast is included with your room and has seriously one of the most impressive selections I have ever seen.
You can have eggs made to order how you like and there is a banh mi and waffle stand.
There are western and local hot dishes to choose from including traditional Hue pho soup. There are fresh pancakes, crepes, pastries and bread, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, salads and juices, cheese and deli items.
There is something for every taste here, even the fussiest person would not go hungry.
I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast both mornings.
One thing that could perhaps be improved on is the coffee service. It was always very busy and both mornings I had to ask for a coffee after about twenty minutes as it wasn’t self-service and nobody had come by.
|An excellent start to my day!|
I ate in for both of the nights and on the first, I ordered room service, which was quite prompt. I wasn’t particularly hungry so I just ordered an entree that was a local Hue dish, Banh Khoai. It is a Vietnamese crepe made of rice flour and fried until crispy, with pork meat, quail egg and shrimp to eat together with fresh lettuce leaves, herbs and a dipping sauce. It was so delicious I wished there was a second one!
On my second and final night, I dined at the Junrei Restaurant which was a very elegant place. They (as well as Valley Restaurant) offer both Vietnamese and international cuisine and the setting is very beautiful, in a large building with hand-crafted wooden architecture.
It was quite full of people so it is a very popular option. It did take a while to order and for the food to come out however it was certainly worth the wait and I enjoyed a beer in the meantime. After asking for a recommendation I ordered Bun Thit Nuong.
This is a popular cold Vietnamese rice noodle dish, topped with tasty grilled pork, fresh herbs such as basil and mint, a fresh garden salad, bean sprouts and deep-fried spring rolls. You pour the fish sauce over the noodles, mix all together and enjoy!
It was a great big size and very delicious, the flavours were so fresh and wonderful.
It was a tad on the expensive side for Vietnam however, that with the cheapest Huda beer came to $16 AUD.
It was a very delicious meal though and the convenience of dining on site is worth it.
Location: 130 Minh Mang Road, Hue, Vietnam
Reviews: 4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor from 1956 Reviews.
Price: Starts at $90 USD a night for a Deluxe Double Room, depending on the season.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here, it was a much-needed retreat. Being surrounded in a peaceful, lush green environment and experiencing a taste of rural Vietnam in a luxury-style setting was so blissful. The resort seamlessly embodied both traditional Vietnamese influences infused with classic modern style.
The location is great if you want to stay somewhere more secluded and quiet, away from the traffic noise and the hustle of everyday life. The airport is only 15 kilometres away and the city centre 4 kilometres away, or fifteen minutes drive and the free daily shuttle buses make going to and from there a breeze.
Even though there were clearly many people at the resort, judging by the pool and restaurants always being fulll, it really didn’t seem like it as it’s such an enormous place with plenty of space for all.
The generous staff are exceptionally friendly, the most I have ever encountered before. Everyone would all smile and say Xin Chào to each other as well as every time us guests walked past.
Miwa from Japan, in particular, was the loveliest woman I think I have ever met in my life. She made sure everything was perfect about my stay and offered any assistance for future travels which was so kind, she is such a beautiful soul.
My room was fantastic and very comfortable and the facilities around the resort are 5-star. With the two excellent pools, great spa, multiple restaurants and bars, Pilgrimage Village is the ideal place for a relaxing vacation and would be a top choice for every type of traveller, from solo travellers like me to couples looking for a romantic getaway, friends and big family groups.
I highly recommend this resort and would absolutely stay again next time I’m in Hue!