So many options!
As more and more same-same bricks and mortar accommodation continue to spring up all around Phu Quoc, it means travellers have to dig that much harder (and dig further into their pocketbooks) to find a good quality, good value place to stay.
We personally checked out more than 50 hotels and resorts in search of that something special – special in a good way, not special in a screaming “Vinpearl-MEGAresort-amusement-park” kind of way. Here are our picks for the best places to stay on Phu Quoc.
The days of getting a $10 a night beach bungalow may be over but good budget digs can still be found. And the island’s building boom and increased competition will only mean that prices will eventually be pushed down. In the meantime, backpackers looking for a cheap bed and a lively atmosphere will love Langchia Hostel. The dorm rooms are huge (light sleepers: bring ear plugs) but you won’t really care since you are a very short walk to Long Beach and the front of house is a bar, great for hanging out and chewing the fat with other travellers.
Hiep Thoai Hotel is an excellent guesthouse-sized hotel and it will please flashpackers in need of a private room. While there’s nothing exceptional about it, it hits all the right notes with their small, bright, clean and tidy rooms. Best of all, you are only 100 metres from the ocean and walking distance to the night market. If you are willing to spend just a few dollars more, Ngoc Viet Bungalow can be yours. It has more poise and polish than your average bungalow – the rooms are huge, perfectly furnished and the large bathrooms are a backpacker’s dream. Ngoc Viet Bungalow puts you walking distance to Long Beach’s restaurants and bars.
A bumper crop of new mid- to top-range beachfront accommodation lies along Long Beach. After inspecting a countless number of them, we prefer sticking to an old one with more character, plenty of greenery and excellent value. The brick bungalows in Thanh Kieu Beach Resort have charming natural touches: terracotta floors, a four-poster bed with dreamy mosquito netting and crisp white linens. Their wide palm-shaded section of Long Beach is lovely to boot. As long as you don’t have wildly over-the-top expectations — it is on the rustic side and doesn’t have stellar service — then this will please laid-back travellers with more to spend.
The best hotel of Long Beach isn’t even directly on Long Beach. Opened in 2014, Daisy Resort is visionary in design and style. Rather than cut everything down and make it flashy, bungalows are built into the hillside so that all have a panoramic view of the treetops and the lush greenery enveloping the resort. Natural materials and an open-air bathroom are mixed with contemporary elegance. The swimming pool with fantastic sunset view, good service and free shuttle to Long Beach is icing on the cake. The low season rate is very reasonable.
Other areas of the island
Mia B&B is the ticket for backpackers and flashpackers looking for dorm or private rooms within short walking distance of Ong Lang Beach. Not only is this new guesthouse clean and comfortable, there’s a shared outdoor kitchen and guests can expect the most warm and welcoming stay, a credit to the lovely English-speaking owner. It’s one of the best based on the service alone.
With unbridled hotel development currently taking place on Phu Quoc, boutique properties like Bamboo Cottages are to be commended. This hotel is 100% solar powered. Beachfront bungalows are also only five steps to the water (we counted). Rooms are homey and tasteful but it’s about unplugging from the cares of the world on quiet and pretty Vung Bau Beach while being off the power grid. Note: The low season rate is a deal.
Mango Bay Resort is the stunner of the island and it’s not just about the seaside location and the finery. Actually, rooms don’t even have air-con and Ong Lang isn’t the best beach, but everything has been done remarkably well and the design stays true to the greenery that makes Phu Quoc so beautiful. Guests will also appreciate that so many activities are included free of extra charge and the restaurant is so good, you really don’t need to leave the property.
Some helpful tips
Phu Quoc has the atmosphere of a boom town, with construction at every turn and everyone from families to big chains trying to cash in on the forthcoming masses. It certainly seems like hotels are still learning the ropes and rate structures are more like a random experiment or based on what the neighbours are doing than based on real experience. It feels like the Wild West of pricing, especially beachfront bungalows. That basic concrete shack in the back of the property could be US$50, while that same shack at the front on Long Beach could be US$130! Sometimes online rates are much cheaper than walk-in rates, and vice versa. So it’s worth it to at least do a quick shop online, compare, research what beach is right for you and look for deals.
Most accommodation on Phu Quoc, everything from luxury hotels to hostels, significantly drop their rates in low (rainy) season, usually considered around May to October. In addition to some of the properties we’ve already mentioned, there are some good low season rates for Bo Resort, Nhat Lhan and Phuong Binh House which means a beachfront vacation may be within reach.
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.
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Our top 10 places to stay in and around Phu Quoc Island