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Azerai Ke Ga Bay

Updated: Jul 3

Introduction

Azerai is a new story and brand of resorts offering guests simple elegance, refined design, and discreet and attentive service in places of unique beauty and cultural interest. The brand was formed by hotelier Adrian Zecha, and the name is derived from Zecha’s initials and the latter part of a Persian word, caravanserai, which references the storied old inns of the Middle East. 


AZERAI INVITES GLOBAL EXPLORERS TO DISCOVER KE GA BAY, VIETNAM’S NEW BEACHFRONT RETREAT


Azerai Ke Ga Bay marks the brand’s first international beach resort, and follows Azerai La Residence, Hue, a historic city resort overlooking the Perfume River in Vietnam’s former imperial capital, and Azerai Can Tho, a peaceful retreat set on a lush islet in the Mekong Delta.



Azerai Ke Ga Bay is located approximately 180km east of Ho Chi Minh City, a 2.5 hour drive (due to a new expressway) and strategically positioned on a sweeping five-kilometre white sand beach. Nestled amongst 4.5 hectares of lush green gardens, this charming oceanfront retreat overlooks the ocean in Binh Thuan province, and is well positioned to the east by Hon Ba Island with the historic Ke Ga Lighthouse (dating from 1897 and is the oldest lighthouse in Vietnam) and to the west by soaring sand dunes. Spectacular pristine white sand line the beaches whilst lush green flora and local fauna re-imagines a scene for total tranquility for resort guests.



A tranquil and quiet setting, awaits each visitor upon arrival and we were awed by the spaciousness and voluminous ambience that accompanies the outdoor terraces, gardens, swimming pavilions, infinity pool, tree-scape with a juxtaposition of local material, sand and granite which styles this venue from the surrounding area in Binh Thuan Province, leaving a sense of elegance, relaxation and rejuvenation, as you explore the vastness and grandeur of this luxurious resort.

Accolades

Azerai Ke Ga Bay has already made a strong impression, being named as a finalist in the “New Hotel of the Year” Awards by Destination Deluxe, and a finalist in the “Hotel Renovation & Restoration” category of Sleeper Magazine’s AHEAD Awards. A pioneer of five-star boutique hospitality in this emerging destination, the resort is now attracting a new generation of affluent international guests to Ke Ga Bay.


Visitors can simply unwind amid an unspoiled coastal landscape of natural and cultural wonders, including long, sandy beaches, traditional fishing communities, hot springs, salt fields and fruit gardens. A sense of calm, peace and holiday aura encapsulates my senses, the moment I step into the resort and as I wander around, to explore, an adventure in itself, "a haven of calm"



Mr. Julian Moore, General Manager of Azerai Ke Ga Bay, said: “Located on a beautiful beach and overlooking the oldest lighthouse in Vietnam, Azerai Ke Ga Bay is not only an ideal destination for relaxing beachside vacations; it also creates an opportunity for visitors to explore the timeless heritage of local life in this fishing village community. As pioneers of sustainable development in Ke Ga Bay, we look forward to making this a ‘must-visit’ option for experience-seeking international travellers.”


Design Inspiration & Posture

“We wanted to create a more contemporary and pure design look,” says David Hodkinson, a partner at Noor Design, the Ho Chi Minh City-based architecture and design firm that helped to usher in Azerai Ke Ga Bay. “One of the key elements was to open up the rather enclosed and insular spaces of the former resort, connecting them to the landscape and surroundings,” he adds.


Steven Scott, Executive Director at Azerai Resorts, says the goal was to replan the interior design, opening areas to more natural light and encouraging seamless indoor-to-outdoor living spaces, both in the guest suites and public areas. “Architecturally, the resort was well-designed with colonial representation of tropical architecture—lots of soaring high ceilings and clustered buildings which flowed amid the mature landscape. It simply needed someone to look at the place with fresh ideas and bright eyes,” Scott says.



The materials used in the new resort were all locally sourced in Vietnam and feature a notable increase in natural stone and timber, which makes for all sorts of visual warmth. The color palette throughout Azerai Ke Ga Bay is muted, simple and relaxing, encouraging guests to embrace a laid-back, “at-the-beach” mindset.


Other nods toward Vietnamese design, Hodkinson says, include woven rattan and seagrass matting, pebble-wash flooring using local sand and pebbles, paint colors inspired by the rock formations near the region’s iconic lighthouse, and crafts made by local artisans. Traditional Vietnamese architectural details can also be found in the wooden screens in guest suites and at the resort’s restaurant. “The resort takes design cues from a modernist Vietnamese architectural aesthetic, with clear links to the 50’s and 60’s architecture of Vietnam,” says Hodkinson.


The resort embraces sustainable development in significant ways. A solar farm has been installed on the property to generate “green” electricity. All the air-conditioning systems have been upgraded to more energy-efficient models, and all the resort’s lighting incorporates low-energy LED fittings.



Deluxe Suites and Pool Villas

The resort features 57 keys, comprising Deluxe Suites and Pool Villas with spacious interiors measuring between 65 to 185 square metres. All 21 of the villas feature plunge pools or swimming pools set within private courtyards and range in size from 130-185 Sqm. A spacious interior features prominently juxtaposed  with minimalist contemporary room aesthetics. All accommodation incorporates a muted palette of soothing natural colors from the surrounding environment and rich timbers delivering a sense of calm to create a desired degree of luxe and privacy.


Set in the property’s garden, the Deluxe Suites offer views of natural abundance, with colorful heliconia and ginger plants surrounded by swaying palms and banyan trees.


A muted colour palette of whites and granites echo the shades of local sand and stone, while elegant Pool Villas open to tranquil outdoor terraces and gardens. Generously appointed rooms offer sweeping views of the pool or lush garden, and several spacious villas feature private plunge or swimming pools.



Pool Villa

We stayed in a Pool Villa that offered 130 square meters of indoor living space, a King bed, a writing desk, and a large full bathroom with a soaking tub, as well as a private pool nestled amongst green lush gardens and trees; the air-conditioning and wifi worked well, along with the TV that offered all available international and Vietnamese local channels. Fresh drinking water, nuts, biscuits along with a lovely evening turn-down service set the tone for a room refresh each evening, along with luxurious Azerai toiletries make for an awesome shower and the soaking tub is a true asset that soothes those aching muscles and body, to prepare for a lovely sleep.



The Pool Villa rate inclusion:

  • Complimentary water bottles refreshed daily

  • Complimentary daily Vietnamese afternoon tea at The Living Room between 15:30 - 16:30

  • Daily breakfast

  • Wi-Fi internet in rooms and throughout public areas

  • Use of Fitness Centre and Resort Swimming Pools

  • Use of sauna and steam room


Facilities

Azerai Ke Ga Bay comprise of 3 distinct pools : an Oceanfront Infinity Pool with al freso dining and a sundeck with beautiful sunset views, a Ginger Pool set amongst an expanse of tropical lush gardens as well as 2 Frangipani Pools in a mirrored courtyard. It also incorporates distinct zones comprising of The Terrace, a Dining Room, a Living Room, The Spa, Gym, a Sunken Lounge, a Meeting Room, a Boutique and a Junior Zone. Some of the frangipani trees at the beach pool are more than 50 years old and add to the timeless feel of the resort.



Food & Beverage (The Terrace & Dining Room)

Breakfast was simply refreshing and tasty and it was part of our room package. We had an assortment of different dishes including Crab Cakes "Benedictines", Chicken Fresh Rice Noodles that is served with Herbs, Bean Sprouts, Lime and Black Bean Sauce, Minced Pork Congee, as well as the Fresh Farm Eggs Omelet style and served with Roasted Tomatoes, Bacon, Sausage & Toast.



Azerai also provided a daily tea session, comprising of tea, coffee and an assortment of local cakes and delicacies, at the Living Room



We tried a couple of dishes for Dinner, and they consist of the "48 hours Braised U.S Beef Top Blade" that was blended with Roasted Apples and Tomatoes, Juices, Tomatoes and Mashed Potato (so tasty and tender), also the Wok Fried Calamari with an elegant Sweet & Sour Sauce, that was incredibly done with Calamari, Onions, Capsicum, Cucumber, Pineapples and Celeries. The next dish was the Tamarind Prawns, that allocated a dish of Simmered Prawns with sweet Tamarind Paste, Onions, Sesame Seeds (so delicious) and we couldn't help not order the Beef “Lá Lốt”, which is a typical Vietnamese snack dish with Rolls of Minced Beef in Wild Betel Leaves, and comes with Fresh Noodles and Spring Onion Dressing.



The Spa

The Azerai Ke Ga Bay Spa offers a calming oasis for all guests to the resort, and provides a good range of therapeutic massages, stone therapies, body scrubs (e.g. Green Tea Scrub) and wraps (e.g. the Dragon Fruits Body Wrap), hair treatments and facials, hand and foot therapies, wellness activities and complimentary steam room & sauna. The skilled therapists offer consultations prior to your treatments in order to achieve the very best personal results. They all come with an in-depth knowledge of age-old Vietnamese healing techniques which have been passed down through many generations of holistic wisdom.


The oceanfront spa, with views over the beach toward the lighthouse, has been completely redesigned, from the 10 private treatment rooms (six single rooms and four double rooms) to individual or shared relaxation lounges and daybeds, a beauty studio, a Jacuzzi, and a gym with the latest cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. “The spa has been designed as its own entity, with a processional entranceway,” says Hodkinson, the designer... “Guests arrive at a small welcome pavilion, from which they walk a frangipani-lined pathway to the main spa building. The materials and colours emanate the surrounding landscape, with a calming water feature placed at the centre.”



I sampled the Azerai Asian Wave which was a 60 min treatment and Ms Phung, my spa therapist was truly professional and skilled in delivering this signature massage, that comprised of rhythmic and dynamic movements, like the sea waves gently rocking and washing away all my daily chores, stress and tension. This treatment combines Swedish, Thai and Hawaiian Lomi techniques with Japanese Shiatsu, so it was ideal for my lower back and shoulder aches.


Phung took care of my entire spa regime, from welcome, to refreshing face towel and tea, to cleaning my tired feet, as she went through the paces of a thorough massage for my tired neck, aching shoulders and lower back pain, body and legs, truly relaxing and one of my best spa massage treatments that I have experienced for a while.... A truly wonderful wellness and spa regime that I would highly recommend for all visitors to Azerai Ke Ga Bay!


Day Tours

Ke Ga Bay is the perfect place for global explorers who crave original, sustainable activities that connect them with the spirit of their destination. Far from the tourist crowds, travellers can bask in complete peace, enjoy endless days relaxing on the beach, feel the spray of the ocean with non-motorised water sports, take small-scale tours to local attractions such as the traditional food markets, fishing villages, dragon fruit farms and also learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine, or refresh your body and mind with outdoor yoga and meditation sessions.



My experienced and wonderful tour guide, Thu Hang from Azerai Ke Ga Bay brought us for a bespoke local tour around the Ke Ga Bay area; such sustainable activities help us to connect with our destination, from an environmental, economic and social perspective, whilst getting a grassroots feel of how the populace go about their daily lives. We first went to the newly developed Tan Thanh market at Ke Ga Bay, where the locals get to market local fruits, vegetables, eggs, seafood and meat to the residents in the area. Truly a local way of Vietnamese Binh Thuan provincial life!



We passed by the sea-wall area near Trong Tam Seafood Restaurant as we headed towards the Ke Ga Cape area (a rocky headland with a sand beach & offshore islet) where we saw locals selling the local sea pandanus fruit. There were boats that tourists can take to the nearby Ke Ga Lighthouse, and there was a multitude of iconic and unique shaped granite stone and rock formations, depicting an epic scene of magnificent and pristine beauty with clear blue waters. This was a highlight for me, as I love rock formations and the contrast against the blue sky and sea waters, was truly amazing and wonderful with the Lighthouse in the background, making for a special photo moment!