Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort - review by Rusty Compass
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Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

| 29 May 2013
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Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Bai Bac, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang, Vietnam
+84 511 393 8888

Map

Price guide: More than $270USD

Our rating
Location
Design
Ambience
People
Facilities
29 May 2013

Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is Vietnam's most extravagant beach resort occupying one of the country's most picturesque bays on a stunning piece of coastline.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Location

20kms north of Danang airport and 13km north of Danang City.

Hoi An town is around 40kms south of the resort. A free shuttle operates to Hoi An and Danang.

There is little by way of dining or entertainment in the immediate environs outside the resort - it's mainly forest. If you're looking to get out of the resort for dinner or a drink, the 15 to 20 minute ride to Danang is the easiest option. Hoi An might be a little far at night but is also possible. 


Review

Austerity what austerity? Vietnam may be in the midst of its worst economic crisis in two decades, but there's no sign of crisis at the country's fanciest new beach resort. Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort opened in 2012. It's a mouthful to say and you might also struggle to digest the opulence.


Check out the video below for a hand held real life look at Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula minus any fancy production.

 

First up, Vietnam has surrendered one of its most perfect bays for this dramatic creation. Monkey Mountain was home to an important US radar base during the Vietnam War. Now it's a National Park - except the bay that's been passed over for the development of the Intercontinental Danang. 

The peninsula's real name is Son Tra. The resort presumably considered this a stretch for foreign visitors and decided to change the name to Sun Peninsula.

Harvard educated, Bangkok based American, Bill Bensley, is the design brain behind the resort. There's nothing modest about it either. Nature blessed the project with a glorious bay and a forest covered mountain. Bensley has tried to create something harmonious but it may well be that the scale of what he was asked to build was always going to leave an excessive imposition on the site.

Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.
Photo: Mark BowyerIntercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.



Bensley says the cluster of large structures that comprise the resort are temple inspired. There are certainly plenty of familiar elements. There are even some Islamic touches - which might be a nod to the Islamic faith adopted by the Cham people that once ruled over the area.

For many it will be all too much. Patches of greenery still project through the large white structures that make up the resort's 197 vast rooms and suites. But you'd struggle to describe something as imposing as this as eco-friendly.

What critics will have to concede is an ambitious creative flair and an impressive attention to detail. 


Photo: Mark Bowyer



For the traveller, if you're planning on a beachside splurge and you like things big and bold, this might be a good choice. In its opening phase, it's well priced to compete with anything in the area. And this is the most spectacular resort setting in the country for my money. There isn't anything in Vietnam quite like this bay, its beach or the lavish complex that has been built around it.

The Intercontinental Danang is vast, well spaced and runs up the mountain face so everyone gets a spectacular view.

Facilities are also well spaced so there's a fair chance that wherever you are across the property's four levels, you'll be a walk, possibly a steep walk, from something, be it the beach, one of the restaurants, the pool or all three.

Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.
Photo: Mark BowyerIntercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.



That's OK if you enjoy a walk, and this is a nice place to walk around. If not, there are plenty of buggies on call. There's even a gondola style craft that runs up a track in the mountain between the beach and the lobby area.

Starting at 70sqm, rooms go from generous to indulgent. The Classic room will be ample for most travellers. At 80sqm, Premium rooms feature a huge balcony with great views and they're also well priced.

Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.
Photo: Mark BowyerIntercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.



From there, the high room categories are all indulgence and excess with expected price hikes.

Rooms are nicely decorated but feel more like a funky city hotel than a beach resort in a forest. Sometimes I felt guilty lounging around with sand in my toes.

The rest of the facilities are as impressive as the rooms. Restaurants have dramatic views and quirky themes (one dedicated to travel, another a mock bordello). The pools are two of the best in the country. And then there's a spa, gym as well as everything else and more that you might expect from a property of this scale.

La Maison 1888 Restaurant
Photo: Mark BowyerLa Maison 1888 Restaurant



You'll likely spend a lot of time dining in resort and there's plenty to keep you amused for at least a few days with a good range of locations, decorative styles and of course, culinary options. Food and wine prices were reasonable for a resort of this standard. Expect to spend $25 - $40 per meal minimum not including alcoholic drinks.

For a new resort, the staff were excellent. There might be the odd wrinkle during the opening phase, but I didn't notice. If anything, the staff had an extra buzz and freshness about them.

If you want grand, you'll struggle to top this resort for setting, beach, design, atmosphere and pricing.

Remember that central Vietnam experiences grey, wet, cooler weather between October and February - not ideal for a beach resort holiday.


Briefing
2 large pools, spa, restaurants, bars, beach, free wifi. If you want it, it's very likely here and done large.


Disclosure

I stayed one night as a guest of Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in a Classic room (the lead-in category) and was provided a complimentary meal. All transport and other costs associated with the trip were met by Rusty Compass. Other than on matters of accuracy, the resort has no editorial influence on this review.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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