Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Gold Coast Phu Quoc | Independent Review

First published July 2021 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

INTRODUCTION | REVIEW | MAP | RELATED POSTS

At the northwestern tip of the island, Gold Coast is a small, mid-range resort with excellent food, tidy rooms, a good beach, a great happy hour, easy access to local life, and superb views across the ocean to the jungles of Phu Quoc’s northern bays and the Cambodian islands. Gold Coast’s location and food are its greatest strengths, both of which, for me, warrant a stay of a least a few days. The coastal scenery – arcing bays backed by steep, jungle-clad hills with Cambodian islands dotting the horizon – is some of the best on Phu Quoc, and so is the food and drink – fresh ingredients, reasonable prices, large portions, local dishes and an informal ambience. Gold Coast’s position on a fairly remote and sparsely developed beachfront, but within walking distance of the bustling fishing village of Ganh Dau, means guests can enjoy the relative isolation of a secluded beach resort as well as access to local life.

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Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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REVIEW: GOLD COAST PHU QUOC


Address: Hamlet 8, Chuong Vich, Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Average Rates: $60-$90 | Email: info@goldcoastphuquoc.com

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: All my reviews are independently researched & financed. I never receive freebies of any sort in exchange for positive reviews or listings. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, I make a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

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MAP:

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Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Guest room, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Herring salad, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


The Location: As far northwest as roads go on Phu Quoc Island is the fishing village of Ganh Dau. From here a lane leads east through the local market, narrowing as it leaves the settlement behind and edges along a quiet coastline studded with coconut palms. Before turning into a dirt track and dead-ending, the entrance to Gold Coast is marked by a large water tower. Although there are now several small resorts peppering this bay, Gold Coast is by far the best, not least because of its location of a beautiful little inlet with a crescent of white sand beach. Gold Coast is all about the position. From the resort’s pier, the views stretch to the hills and unbroken jungle of Phu Quoc’s northern bays – yet to see any development whatsoever – and the Cambodian islands and mainland (including the surprisingly high ridgeline of Preah Monivong Bokor National Park, behind Kampot). It’s a memorable setting and almost unique for any beach on Phu Quoc Island.

Ganh Dau village – with its local market, temple, street food, people, and seafood restaurants – is walking, cycling or riding distance away. Ganh Dau is a real Phu Quoc settlement, without touristy night markets or Western restaurants. Gold Coast is 45 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Duong Dong Town: it’s remote and lovely, yet close enough to conveniences and local life that you won’t feel too disconnected.     

Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Bay at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beach bar at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Resort Grounds & Layout Although a fairly small resort, Gold Coast has expanded in recent years to include 30 red brick bungalows arranged in two rows along the beachfront gardens and in a crescent around the swimming pool. The property is divided in half, with guest rooms on the west side, and dining (open to non-guests) on the east side. The grounds are dotted with tropical trees and flowers with a grassy lawn leading onto the white sand beach. The bay, too, is divided between west and east. Deck chairs and parasols dot the sand beneath coconut palms to the west (guests only), while tiled patios, gazebos, swings, and a beach bar (open to non-guests) line the east side, which also features a long pier jutting out over rocks and sea. Further east, the beach turns into a small harbour for local fishing boats: picturesque at high-tide; a little dirty at low-tide. The handsome ‘Wooden House’ restaurant sits back from the water on the east side.

The general aesthetic is tasteful and low-key: every structure is single-storey, constructed in red brick or wood. However, the newer chalets around the pool are a bit harsh and exposed – they could do with some more foliage and shade. Along the beach and pier, several ‘Instagram props’ provide opportunities for Millennials and Gen Z-ers to take their selfies.

Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Swimming pool, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beach at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Wooden House restaurant, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beach, Pools & Activities: The beach at Gold Coast isn’t long, but it’s very attractive: a curve of fine white sand backed by palms and a soft, grassy garden. Water quality is generally good and clear. There are some rocks in the bay with a bit of coral, some tropical fish and starfish, but all these diminish more with each passing year. The sea appears to be calmest in the mornings, after which is gets progressively choppy as the day wears on; but this is all subject to weather conditions and time of year. There’s plenty of space to accommodate all the guests on the beach without feeling crowded, and a constant cooling breeze from the sea. In good, calm, bright conditions – particularly at dusk – the beach is gorgeous.

Gold Coast’s swimming pool is set back from the beach, surrounded by brick bungalows. A decent size, very well kept with a shallow end, slides and inflatables, it’s good for children. However, the pool is not especially pretty and it can be very hot and exposed during the day. Kayaks are available for guests (fun and interesting if you head east of the resort) and there’s even a small sailing club next door. Walking or cycling into Ganh Dau village is a rewarding excursion: there’s a fresh produce market, street food stalls and an ornate temple devoted to local hero, Nguyễn Trung Trực, who famously sunk a French colonial ship, the L’Espérance, in the 19th century. 

Beachfront, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Swimming pool, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Small harbour, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Temple to Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ganh Dau village, Phu Quoc Island


Guest Rooms & Décor: Of the 30 rooms at Gold Coast, the best-positioned (and most expensive) are the ones on the front row facing the beach (Deluxe Beachfront). However, the poolside rooms (Pool View Bungalows), set back from the beach, are newer. A third room type, King Deluxe Plus, has garden- or partial sea-views. Personally, I would much rather have an oceanfront room than poolside or garden-view, because the position of Gold Coast is its greatest asset and the beachfront rooms make the most of the location. But, in terms of room size, décor and amenities, there’s very little to choose between them. All rooms have a similar exterior aesthetic and interior décor: red brick bungalows with modern furnishings and wooden inlaid ceilings. The beachfront rooms are older but also more attractive from the outside, resembling a kind of faux Hoi An ancient shophouse. The newer poolside rooms look a bit harsh, exposed and modern for the setting.

All rooms are much more spacious than the exteriors suggest. Inside they are well-equipped (including a large flat screen TV, well-stocked minibar, and even a full set of kitchen knives), comfortable and a very Vietnamese mix of modern, kitsch, traditional, and functional style and design. The bathrooms, for example, are perfectly practical, but not at all stylish; the walls are hung with garish depictions of romantic Vietnamese rural idylls; beds are raised on classy, minimalist wooden stands; and the terraces are furnished with plantation-style reclining chairs. Everything appears to be well-made and maintained.

Beachfront guest room, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Beachfront guest room interior, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Pool view guest room exterior, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Pool view guest room interior, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Breakfast, Dining & Drinking: Gold Coast has outstanding food and drink. Strangely, it’s not especially ‘known’ for its dining, but each time I visit I’m reminded of just how good the food is. Friends of mine who’ve stayed at Gold Coast have remarked upon it too. But perhaps the word is beginning to spread, because the bar and dining area have recently expanded beyond the confines of the handsome ‘Wooden House’ restaurant and onto the beachside patio, gazebos and gardens to accommodate more outside guests. The menu offers a good selection of Vietnamese, Asian and Western dishes, and portions are very large. But the standout dish is a local Phu Quoc delicacy gỏi cá trích – herring salad presented in a coconut and eaten rolled in rice paper with myriad herbs and tropical fruits. It’s fresh, crisp, colourful, perfectly balanced and delicious; an ideal light meal shared between two people on a hot, breezy afternoon by the beach.

The breakfasts (included in the room price) are also good quality, featuring an à la carte menu of enormous Vietnamese noodle soups, great quality American-style waffles, fried eggs, bacon et al. Another aspect I like about dining at Gold Coast is the informality of the setting and the service – a quintessentially Vietnamese attitude to dining, at least in my experience. And then there are the drinks: the resort brews its own local liquor, including rượu sim (rice wine infused with the ‘sim’ berry). The pool bar and the beach bar have an excellent daily happy hour from 4-5pm: buy-one-get-one-free on all cocktails and beer. Quality is good, but most impressive is the size and potency of the cocktails. As well as the classics, try their signature cocktail with fresh watermelon juice, local peppercorns (among the best in the world) and tequila. I just wish the management would turn the pop music off in the dining areas.

Herring salad at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Cocktails at happy hour, Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Breakfast at Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Summary: Gold Coast is a comfortable mid-range resort in a beautiful location, with excellent food, and access to local life. The coastal scenery, beach, dining, drinking, and proximity to Ganh Dau village are its main strengths. The architecture and room décor may not be as stylish or elegant as other similarly priced resorts on the island, but neither are they lacking in comfort or amenities. Whenever I stay at Gold Coast I feel I’m in a uniquely scenic part of Phu Quoc: it feels special. The only real weaknesses, in my view, are: pre-Covid high-season prices were occasionally $10-$20 too high for the standard of accommodation; and the constant playing of pop music in the restaurant is irritating and totally unnecessary.

*[To check rates, availability & make a reservation for Gold Coast Resort please BOOK HERE] 

Sunset, Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


*Please support Vietnam Coracle: All my reviews are independently researched & financed. I never receive freebies of any sort in exchange for positive reviews or listings. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, I make a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free & independent. I’ve written this review because I want to: I like this resort & I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements here

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5 Comments
  1. Craig says:
    August 8, 2021 at 3:49 AM

    Hey Tom,

    have you heard the news about possible reopening of Vietnam via a Pho Quoc sandbox?

    1. Tom says:
      August 8, 2021 at 4:33 AM

      Hi Craig,

      Yes, I have. Actually, I have been ‘stuck’ on Phu Quoc for the last two months.

      The island’s vaccination program was going well, but now it’s slowed down completely, and the earliest international tourists might be able to arrive is October, but that seems unlikely. And even then, the number of visitors allowed will be quite small.

      But it does seem highly likely that Phu Quoc will eventually be the first place in Vietnam to open to international tourists.

      Best,

      Tom

  2. Tom says:
    July 28, 2021 at 12:30 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Such a pleasure to read this post as I had the chance to stay in this resort for 5 days early January 2020.
    I do agree 100% with everything you said, except the pop music in the dining area: at the time I was there they used to play a gentle, soft jazz music that did really well, it was not annoying at all.
    You’re right about the location of the resort: it’s close enough to the village to find whatever you need (food, cafe, street food etc…), and also far enough to feel secluded, just in front of the sea with gorgeous views on the bay and amazing sunsets, probably the most colorfull ones I’ve seen in my life (I guarantee the top photo on this page has not been Photoshoped! 😉
    I don’t know if this is still the case or not, but at the time I was there, I was able to hire a motorbike and I drove all the way down to An Thoi. Being able to hire it straight from the resort is really convenient. I drove on the forest road (Suoi Cai Ganh Dau) which is heaps of fun, I highly recommend.
    Just like every place in Vietnam I’ve been to, people are so lovely and nice, always ready to help you: I remember this old vietnamese guy when I was driving in the forest, who stopped at me because he had the exact same motorbike model as mine, and wanted to check mine to see if everything was in good working condition!
    Here is a link to a short (and very shaky!) video of my trip: https://youtu.be/9j0eKNQ7pb0

    I wish I am able one day to go back in Vietnam, this wonderful country.

    Thank you for sharing with us your love for this country, its culture and its people!

    Cheers,

    Tom

    1. Tom says:
      July 30, 2021 at 7:27 AM

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed Gold Coast too. I hope you get a chance to visit again some time.

      Tom

      1. Tom says:
        August 4, 2021 at 2:34 AM

        Thanks Tom,

        I hope too: fingers crossed.

        Cheers