With 12 pools, 14 dining spaces and 300 days of sunshine, Alma Resort is a holiday destination families will love. Stacey Marcelo flew to Vietnam’s beautiful Cam Ranh peninsula for a look.
Loungers with a view in Cam Ranh.
It had been 10 years since my last visit to Vietnam and when the invitation arrived to experience a few nights at the award-winning Alma Resort, it didn’t take much persuading. A quick two-hour flight later, I had left the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and was sipping sun-downers from my terrace, listening to the gentle lapping of waves.
Nestled on 30 hectares of beautifully manicured grounds overlooking Long Beach, this bold and spacious property might just be the ultimate family resort. Alma offers an extraordinary range of activities and facilities and they don’t do things by halves. There are 12 (yes, you read that right) cascading swimming pools that lead down to the beach and even a waterpark. Meanwhile, parents will welcome the opportunity to slope off to the 13-treatment room spa.
From its oversized suites and pavilions to its diverse range of dining options and activities, Alma Resort leaves no stone unturned in creating a truly unforgettable family escape.
The resort boasts 580 suites and pavilions, each designed to provide a sense of space and serenity. I stayed in a sprawling 214sqm three-bedroom oceanfront pavilion complete with its own living room, dining area, kitchen, private pool and just a stone’s throw away from the beach. The bathroom was equally spacious, with a rain shower and plenty of eco-friendly amenities, including bars of soap and refillable pump shower gels and shampoos. The free-standing bath was an added treat.
A moment for reflection.
One thing I was advised to do was to wake up to catch the sunrise, so I duly set my alarm for 5am and headed to the beach… and I was so glad I did. The sunrise was spectacular and one not to be missed. It seemed everyone else had taken the advice to heart and I was surprised to see so many guests heading down to the beach at that early hour. By 6am the beach was a hive of activity.
When it comes to dining, Alma Resort goes above and beyond to cater to diverse palates. There are no fewer than 14 outlets to choose from including a daily buffet breakfast at Alma Garden, although I opted for a quieter, a la carte breakfasts at La Casa. There’s even a food court offering local and international cuisine. For seafood lovers, don’t miss dining at the beachfront restaurant, Atlantis, where the talented culinary team prepare local Vietnamese dishes using the freshest seafood.
Stacey turns her hand to Vietnamese cooking, with a little help from the experts.
And the Alma mini mart (think 7-Eleven) has a good selection of snacks, beverages, fresh fruit and even sunblock in case you have forgotten. It seems nothing has been forgotten, but what really impressed me was the zero-kilometre produce guests were able to enjoy courtesy of the resort’s onsite farm. In a bid to make Alma more self-sufficient and sustainable, landscape manager Ngo Duc Thinh and his team of green thumbs have transformed parts of the resort into a nursery garden where you’ll find bananas, coconuts, papaya, squash and passionfruit.
There’s also a chicken farm where eggs are collected daily, as well as a thriving herb garden where they grow mustard leaves, morning glory, red and green chili peppers, Vietnamese basil, lettuce, green onions, white radish, bok choy, tomatoes and more.
The spa offers a haven of tranquility and rejuvenation, where guests can immerse themselves in a range of treatments and therapies. From luxurious massages to invigorating facials, the spa provides a holistic approach to well-being.
Wellness plays an important role at Alma Resort.
But Alma ensures that relaxation and self-care are not limited to adults with the recent launch of a dedicated spa menu for children, offering foot and hand baths, massages, and even a facial incorporating tropical fruit. The menu, tailored to children aged six to 11 years, comprises four gentle 30-minute treatments with fun monikers including ‘Soft Tootsies’, ‘Princess Hands’, ‘My Cocoon’ and ‘Supreme Facial Ritual’.
And if you’re feeling sporty, you can make use of the resort’s fully-equipped gym and yoga room.
The fun part
The resort’s commitment to creating unforgettable experiences extends beyond its accommodations and wellness offerings.
Families can enjoy the Splash Water Park complete with a lazy river, water slides, wave pool, and a kid’s pool. There’s also a science museum, a cinema with three daily movie screenings, youth club, kids club, and an 18-hole putting green. The water sports centre has complimentary kayaking and bodyboarding, as well as chargeable activities like jet ski, parasailing and banana boat. I opted for jet skiing which was such a thrill.
Other sports on offer include football, tennis, basketball and volleyball, as well as an outdoor archery range.
The resort boasts its own waterpark.
The Kids’ Club, supervised by the resort’s fully qualified carers, features trampolines, ball pens, climbing frames, an arts and crafts area, a library, a nap zone, piles of toys, and games. Adjacent to the club is a huge kids-only pool complete with fountains and water games.
Active Youth Club lures teens with virtual reality games, video games, foosball, billiards tables, a chill-out space with bean bags, and a snack bar for quick bites and drinks.
Alma Resort’s dedication to providing a memorable family experience has not gone unnoticed. The property has received accolades for its exceptional facilities, making it an ideal destination for multi-generational travel. Honestly, there is so much to do that you need at least five days to be able to enjoy all the facilities and activities without feeling rushed. I made it my mission to try all 12 pools but alas, I ran out of time.
One of the highlights for me was a private cooking class led by the delightful Chef Thanh who taught me how to make three Vietnamese dishes. We started with a tour of the herb garden to collect ingredients and then got to work. We then got to enjoy the fruits of our labour for lunch at beachside restaurant, Atlantis.
Whiling away the hours while the kids are at the club.
Whether you’re after a tranquil escape, indulgent dining experiences, or an action-packed adventure, Alma Resort delivers on every front. This resort is ideal for families or even a group of friends looking for some quality rest and relaxation. My children were so envious when I told them about my stay at Alma that a return trip en famille is already being eagerly planned…
Pro tip: leave the kids at the kids club and pop over to the adults-only pool for a dose of serenity and a fresh coconut (or cocktail)!
I flew with Hong Kong Express which operates a direct service between Hong Kong International Airport and Cam Ranh four times a week. It’s then a 15 minute transfer to the resort.
Asia Family Traveller was a guest of Alma Resort Cam Ranh.