First published September 2021 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle
Occupying a green cape at the southeastern tip of Phu Quoc Island, Premier Village is a luxurious resort in a spectacular position comprised of large modern villas with private pools, two sandy beaches and a plethora of high-end facilities. Premier Village would usually be way beyond my budget. However, for my birthday in June 2021, due to unique pandemic-related circumstances, my friends and I were able to stay at Premier Village for a rate far lower than normal. Knowing this, we made the most of our time there. But, because of pandemic restrictions, our experience of Premier Village was not typical: there were only a few other guests and some things were closed. This review is a collection of annotated images and video clips from the special time I spent there with my friends for my birthday. It’s worth noting that despite the normally high rates at Premier Village, the villas can sleep between 6-10 people, making them good value if spreading the cost between a group of friends, family or colleagues for a special occasion.
*To check rates, availability & make a reservation for Premier Village please BOOK HERE
REVIEW: PREMIER VILLAGE PHU QUOC
Address: Ong Doi Cape, An Thoi Town, Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province [MAP]
Average Rates: $250-$650 (2-10 guests) | Email: HB2R4@accor.com
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The Location: Phu Quoc tapers to its narrowest point at the southern-most tip of the island: this is Ong Doi Cape, location of Premier Village Resort. Managed by Accor Hotels but owned by Sun Group – one of the largest real estate developers in Vietnam – the resort spreads either side of the green and rugged promontory. The cape has two sandy beaches: one of the east side, one on the west. The tip of the promontory rises to a forest-covered peak with commanding views of the ocean and small islands lying offshore. At the southern end of the east beach is a small shrine beneath an ancient tamarind tree dedicated to Prince Nguyen Anh, who later became Gia Long, first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, in 1802. Legend has it that the freshwater spring next to the shrine was formed in the late 18th century, when Prince Nguyen Anh struck the ground with his sword, declaring that if it revealed water for his thirsty troops, that was a sign from heaven that he was destined to be emperor. The presence of this part-historical, part-legendary site on the resort’s property is regarded as auspicious.
The location of Premier Village is easily one of the most attractive on the entire island. What’s more, the resort has the cape all to itself. However, this means there’s no access to local life. Of course, most people who stay at Premier Village are unlikely to want to experience the island as a whole; they’re here mainly to experience the resort: its magnificent location and luxurious facilities. If, however, you do want some local life, the bustling port town of An Thoi is only a 10-15 drive south – a great place for street food, cafes and markets.
Resort Grounds & Layout If you are going to stay at one of the many giant, expensive, luxurious resorts on Phu Quoc Island run by two of Vietnam’s biggest and richest private conglomerates – Vingroup and Sun Group – there’s no doubt that Premier Village is the classiest and most tasteful of them all. At Premier Village there’s no golf course, no casino, no amusement park, no ugly multi-storey monoliths, and limited destruction of the natural environment (at least compared to other properties on the island run by Sun Group and Vingroup). For the most part, the promontory’s impressive tree-cover has been relatively undisturbed: villas on the jungle-clad hillside are built on concrete pillars away from the trees or on stilts above the rocks by the ocean. Along the east and west beaches villas are fairly spaced out, with coconut palms lining the oceanfront and other tropical trees and plants in the gardens. Although there are over 200 private villas on the property, it doesn’t feel crowded, and the the overall impression is one of natural beauty. This is not the case with other Sun Group properties on the island, such as JW Marriot Emerald Bay, just up the coast from Premier Village, where the natural environment has been completely destroyed (with the exception of the beach itself) to make way for the construction of the resort.
Beach, Sea, Pools & Activities: The beaches and sea quality at Premier Village are excellent. Of the two beaches, the best is on the east side, where the water is clear and calm, the sand is soft, fine and white, and the shelf is gentle and safe for swimming and watersports. The west beach is not as good, but it does get the sunset. The views out to sea and outlying islands are great from both beaches. One major issue when I visited, however, were the aggressive sandflies at any time of day: beware of sunbathing as you may find yourself covered is small and incredibly itchy bites. The east beach has lots of watersport equipment available for guests, including paddleboards and kayaks.
With such great beaches and access to the ocean, a swimming pool is hardly necessary, but Premier Village has one of the biggest and most elaborate pools I’ve ever seen. Stretching all the way from the east beach to the west, the swimming pool is a sprawling, asymmetrical, multi-level water world: great for relaxing, watching the sunset or, of course, for Instagram photos. In addition, Premier Village has a luxurious spa and gym, and trips can be arranged to other attractions around Phu Quoc, including the cable car to Hon Thom Island, which is also owned by Sun Group.
Guest Rooms & Décor: There are no ‘rooms’ at Premier Village, only ‘villas’. Each villa has a private swimming pool and at least two bedrooms, usually three or more. The villas are dotted on the hillside, beachfront, garden, and on the rocks above the sea. My friends are I stayed in a beachfront villa on the east side of the promontory. Every villa is a modern, two-storey structure painted white. The villas are very spacious, well-equipped and tastefully appointed. Each bedroom has a private balcony or patio, there’s an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living room open on two sides to the private pool, patio and beach. The kitchen and living room are fully equipped: widescreen TV, cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery and an espresso machine. Our garden featured hammocks beneath coconut palms and perfumed frangipani trees. Because of the size (and price) of the villas, Premier Village is aimed at families and groups, rather than couples or solo travellers. What we liked most about our villa was the space, privacy, natural light, convenience, comfort, equipment and direct access to the beachfront. It felt more like a home than a hotel.
Breakfast, Dining & Drinking: There are at least three different restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars at Premier Village, but for most of our stay they were closed due to pandemic restrictions. However, we did get the chance to enjoy some great cocktails sitting on the beanbags at the beach bar on the east side. Breakfast is included in the price and normally served buffet-style in the large Corallo Restaurant by the sea and pool. But, for the first half of our stay, breakfast was served in-room. Quality is excellent and the variety is impressive: huge bowls of traditional Vietnamese noodle soups, Western classics such as eggs Benedict, Italian-style ravioli, fresh mussels, smoked salmon, lots of fresh vegetables, juice and good coffee. As well as dining in the restaurants or getting room service, another option is to order a ‘floating lunch’. Served in a buoyant plastic picnic basket, the ‘floating lunch’ is intended to be leisurely consumed while idling in the villa’s private pool. A hamper full of Vietnamese snacks, such as bánh xèo, and European delicacies, such as Italian cold cuts and French cheese, the ‘floating lunch’ is fun and filling (although we did have some issues with buoyancy).
Finally, because the villas as so well-equipped, there’s also the option to cook for yourself or to order in from an outside restaurant. If you want to cook, there’s plenty of local fresh produce for sale in An Thoi’s market, and a surprising array of good quality Western ingredients can also be found on the island, too. For my birthday, my friends kindly prepared a high-end feast of fresh oysters, salamis, gorgonzola, smoked salmon, French baguette and a crisp white wine (all bought locally). The resort even contributed a birthday cake to the spread.
Summary: In many ways, our experience at Premier Village wasn’t typical: the rates were massively reduced, most of the dining options were closed because of Covid-19 restrictions, there were only a handful of other guests, and we had extremely good weather conditions (especially considering it was the rainy season). However, regardless of the unique circumstances during our stay, the location is superb, the facilities impressive, the level of comfort and amenities are very high, the food is excellent, and the resort’s style, décor and design are tasteful and classy, especially compared to other properties owned by Sun Group on Phu Quoc and around Vietnam. For us, it was a special stay that we will remember for a long time.
*To check rates, availability & make a reservation for Premier Village please BOOK HERE
*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. Alternatively, please consider making a donation or becoming a patron. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you. Tom
*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 & my About Page