By Natalie Kessell20 Mar 2019This premier five-star colonial beachfront resort in Cam Ranh, Vietnam offers guests modern luxury with a twist of the traditional.Positioned in Long Beach on Cam Ranh’s northern peninsula, The Anam sits on what was formerly known as the largest American military base in Vietnam.Now, Cam Ranh offers an idyllic alternative to the overpopulated beaches of Nha Trang.As I entered The Anam’s sprawling lobby, the dark wood accents and muted tones evoked a feeling of old-world charm and I was transfixed by the fine details everywhere I glanced.The transition between indoor and outdoor is seamless and Vietnamese materials are used throughout the resort as a nod to creating a sustainable environment and an acknowledgement of their carbon footprint.The Anam’s owner, Vietnamese businessman Pham Van Hien, shared with us his desire to support local businesses and artisans as much as possible when constructing the luxury resort.The stone floor in the Lang Viet restaurant hailed from North Vietnam, the tiles on the floor in the villas from the French area of Saigon and much of the unique furniture throughout the resort is hand-crafted by Vietnamese artisans. CHECK-INWe were invited to sit at The Colonial restaurant whilst we were checked in and enjoyed a traditional River-Leef Creeper welcome drink and some delightful conversation with the resort’s GM, Herbert Laubichler-Pichler.This process of being welcomed with a drink and a chance to sit down and refresh ourselves rather than line up at reception and check-in the more traditional way is something I am really starting to love. I can’t help but imagine it is also less stressful for the front office staff as well. Relaxed guests would certainly make their job much easier!Once my documents had been processed, my luggage was placed onto a golf cart and we weaved our way through the lush grounds of the resort to my luxurious Pool View Villa. ROOM TYPE & AMENITIES Perfect for a solo traveller or a couple, the Pool View Villas are located a short 5-minute walk through the tropical surrounds from the main lobby alongside the Lagoon Pool.Every detail has clearly been carefully considered. It was as if the designers had climbed into my mind and knew what my pet peeves were from other properties so that they could ensure to combat these when designing the villas.Power points and USB charging stations were conveniently located on the bedside table and their “Sweet Dreams a la carte” concept ensured that the villa was prepared to the best of its ability to induce me into a restful slumber. Talk about taking turn down to the next level!Calming music and a relaxing waterfall scene played on the TV when I returned to my villa from dinner, essential oils were specially blended in an oil burner, the curtains were drawn, slippers by the bedside and the room seemed climate controlled to combat the humidity outside. The attention to detail was impressive and noticeable.Sitting at the centre of the room was the beyond-comfortable Sealy bed. An unusual set up that really does make the villa feel more spacious.The most impressive part of the Pool View Villa in my books was the bathroom, however.Double doors open to a breathtaking wet room that was broken up into three areas. The main section featured two separate basins and a deep bath was surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking lush foliage. The concept of bringing the outside in complete with total privacy was achieved perfectly.The immaculate bathroom also featured a waterfall shower and a separate toilet.In keeping with the effort to remain sustainable, all amenities were provided in refillable branded pump-packs to save on single plastic usage and smelled and felt divine.It should be mentioned that multiple bottles of spring water were provided and refreshed daily, which was much appreciated, however, did negate the aim to remain sustainable.Ample closet space is provided complete with an array of accoutrements including a straw beach bag and Vietnamese nón lá hat, luxe bathrobe, slippers, kimono, umbrella and even a torch to navigate your way through the resort at night. FOOD & BEVERAGE Image: Kerri McConnelWhilst you are encouraged to head into Nha Trang and experience the town’s vast dining and bar options, there really is no reason to leave the resort.There are four dining venues on site, each offering something a little different and all, equally as spectacular.The Indochine is affectionately dubbed The Anam’s “gastronomic hub” and overlooks one of the three resort pools. It offers a vast buffet breakfast complete with live cooking station, lunch and dinner. You can also book in for fun and interactive cocktail making classes during your stay.For a French-inspired fine dining experience at dinner, The Colonial is the place to go. Its open kitchen is led by young, passionate chef Nguyen Duy Anh and live music adds a certain “Je ne sais quois” to your evening.This is also the venue to hit up if you are staying in a suite or high-end villa for a delectable à la carte and luxurious champagne breakfast buffet, snacks and afternoon high tea which are all-inclusive in your stay.The Beach Club offers spectacular views over Long Beach and offers up a more casual western menu and snacks through the day and late into the evening, but my favourite venue without a doubt had to be Lang Viet Restaurant and Bar.Not only does it afford guests stunning beachside dining (always a plus in my books), but it also offers the most unique dining experience I have ever been privy to.Image: Kerri McConnelEach Wednesday and Friday evening, the kitchen is taken over by five mothers of The Anam staff members. They set themselves up in a row of specially-themed “pop up” food stalls and whip up some of the tastiest traditional Vietnamese food you have ever tried. The “Mama’s Cooking” concept is simply genius.As The Anam’s GM Herbert so rightly said, when you’re craving your favourite food, where do you go? To your mama’s of course! These smiling and sweet mamas whipped up a storm and the environment couldn’t have been more positive either.If you’d like to learn how to cook some of the amazing Vietnamese dishes that you experience at Mama’s Cooking, the Lang Viet is also where you can try your hand at a cooking class.For an after-dinner tipple, you can’t go past The Saigon Bar, a stylish spot offering a small à la carte menu, afternoon tea, happy hour beverages and live music daily. FACILITIES The Anam offers experiences for every age. There truly is no reason to leave this resort once you check in. For those after a more active vacation, the schedule is vast and changes weekly. From water sports to tennis, volleyball matches to a fully equipped gym, there’s even mini golf!I am more of a relaxed traveller, so the options of sunrise yoga overlooking the ocean and the spa were more up my alley!The Anam Spa has a distinctly Balinese feel and to say I could have worked my way through each of the treatments with pleasure, would be an understatement.Le Journal De L’Anam (the daily newsletter) is your guidebook to a wide range of activities, resort specials, cultural information, brilliant snapshots of the dedicated staff, a Vietnamese language corner to brush up on your skills and recommendations of where to visit in Cam Ranh and Nha Trang for those who do actually want to leave the resort for the day.Whilst I didn’t travel with children, The Anam certainly does cater brilliantly to their younger travellers with a dedicated Kid’s Club, specially designed program of indoor and outdoor activities and even a 3D cinema!As a first-timer to the country, there is nowhere else I could have dreamed of staying for a more luxurious introduction to Vietnam. 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