100% solar powered
First off, a round of applause please: Bamboo Cottage is 100 percent solar powered. This beachfront hotel is completely off the grid — the first on Phu Quoc — and you’ll feel unplugged from the cares of the world on quiet, small and pretty Vung Bau beach. It’s a serene spot; there are only a few hotels on Vung Bau, and it’s a bumpy couple of kilometres off the main road to get there, which means few visitors.
Bamboo Cottages has 19 rooms, including a row of ideally situated beachfront cottages only five steps to the water (we counted) and guests can hear the waves gently lapping against the shore from the bed. For the other rooms, it takes just a couple more joyous hops. Apart from hotel guests, it’s unlikely there will be others enjoying the Vung Bau’s pleasant beige sand and blue water. The beach’s only eyesore is the boat dock situated on the coast to the south.
Rooms are simple but comfortable – think tropical seaside living: white walls, bamboo furniture and towel rack, mosquito net, fan and open-air bathroom with a shower that delivers solar heated water. We were told the bathrooms were being upgraded in 2016, and it’s needed as they do look a little dated.
The rooms are not luxurious but very homey and tasteful. The whole experience is about slowing down. There is no TV or air-con, though Bamboo Cottages has caved to one modern day pressure: rooms have WiFi.
It won’t be difficult to make yourself at home in the lobby/lounge with its cosy reading corner sandwiched between wide ocean-facing windows and shabby chic shelves stacked with books. If you get bored of reading or napping, there’s a pool table, bicycles and kayak – if you like snorkelling there’s a tiny islet with a reef off shore. Motorbike rentals are also available.
The restaurant serves set menu family-style dinners. Not surprising, the emphasis is on local ingredients and herbs from their own garden. Guests will probably have to dine on property at least a few times since Vung Bau is rather isolated. It’s a 12-kilometre drive south to more food options at Ong Lang beach, or 10 kilometres north to local seafood restaurants at Ganh Dau beach.
To reduce plastic consumption, guests can have free unlimited drinking water, refillable glass bottles provided. It’s a small environmental measure that speaks volumes about Bamboo Cottages and deserves an encore round of applause. With unbridled hotel development currently taking place on Phu Quoc, we only hope others will follow their example.
Address: Vung Bau Bay, Phu Quoc Island
T: (077) 281 0345;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º51'52.94" E, 10º18'27.49" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$50 to 100
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Bungalow fan private bathroom||US$50||US$85|
Double villa. Triple $95/$145
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Phu Quoc Island