Tucked away in its quasi-private cove and accessible only by its dedicated boat, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay has been a magnet for couples and honeymooners seeking privacy and seclusion. Just beyond Nha Trang’s tourist trail in south Vietnam, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay uses its dramatic rock formations, crystal clear waters and backdrop of towering mountains to its advantage, seamlessly weaving it all into its architecture design and more.
Founded in 1995, the Six Senses brand has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment, hence a stay at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay easily takes your Vietnam vacation to the next level. In fact, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a great example of how luxury and sustainability can co-exist. The resort’s 59 villas are interwoven into the natural topography. Some are perched over dramatic rock formations complete with a pool carved out of natural boulders; others are set on hilly slopes.
Our two-storey villa is right on the sandy beach. Made from sustainable wood and natural sourced materials, it is built with environmentally-conscious features. Ours had solar hot water panels while large floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors provide ample ventilation. The upper floor living pavilion is made of dark wood with high-thatched roofs; its open concept perfect to enjoy the late evening breeze and sunsets. Both our indoor and outdoor showers are fitted with refillable ceramic dispensers. Our personal pool is just mere steps away from the beach, and we’ve been told guests get a kick out of switching easily from the pool to the open waters to swim and snorkel in the live coral reef.
Every guest is assigned a personal butler. Called the Guest Experience Maker (GEM), they are really a gem (no pun intended!) in guiding you through the resort’s varied excursions and ensuring you do not miss any of the unique experiences the Six Senses brand has to offer. For instance, one morning, we woke up early to visit the resort’s own chicken farm to collect our organic eggs for breakfast. We saw big, healthy, plump chickens roaming freely in their huge coop which, we were told, included their own private pool and exercise platforms. The chickens, we found out later, are fed organic food scraps from the kitchen, including rice and pho, which explained why the place was devoid of the usual ammonia stink common in ordinary chicken farms.
The farm is part of the Six Senses Earth Lab initiative that exists across all other Six Senses properties. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay’s was launched in November 2018. Like our egg collection experience, there are other programmes guests can explore through Earth Lab to learn more about the resort’s sustainability efforts. We went on a tour of the resort’s organic vegetable garden, the mushroom hut, a children’s programme that lets them sow the soil and help with transferring seedlings. There is also a shed on site where guests can learn to turn lemongrass, eucalyptus and orange peels from the farm into essential oils that are then used in the spa. Roaming further, we walked past the resort’s water treatment plant. By producing their own water using reverse osmosis and bottling them in glass, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay saves around 15,000 plastic bottles per month.
As with everything else, even dining at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay takes on the brand’s sustainable values. The resort’s organic produce supports the farm-to-table concept with creations such as the stunning pomelo salad with laksa leaves and rice paper rolls. The kitchen uses fresh ingredients as much as possible and cooks them as healthy as possible, without flavour enhancers and the like. Often the kitchen tries to make food from scratch. Their ketchup uses only three ingredients – tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, while their homemade ice cream, complimentary to guests daily, is devoid of all the nasties and highlights seasonal fruits such as passionfruit, green apple and mango.
The H Factor
At Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, meals can be prepared to meet the guest’s halal dietary needs. “Our meat suppliers are halal certified and we can prepare the meals in a separate (no pork) area,” says Marketing Communications Manager, Ary Arbiani. Halal meats are also stored in a separate refrigerator. Presently, overseeing the resort’s F&B needs is Executive Chef Ozgur Bozgurt who is well versed in halal food preparation. Guests are requested to advise the team upon reservation on their halal requirements.
5 Priceless Touches
*Our GEM who went above and beyond to surprise us with a prayer mat which he Googled for reference, then went to the “mainland” to get it!
*He also ensured our mini fridge was Syariah-compliant and gave us lots of fresh juices instead.
*The personal pool that made this getaway truly halal!
*A cooking class designed to adhere as much as possible to the Muslim faith requirements.
*The free ice cream – need we say more?