Au Lac Resort Hotel***** (provisional rating)

Our brief comments:
Au Lac Resort - Deluxe roomThe Au Lac Resort Hotel is part of the much larger Tuan Chau development on an island close to the coastline about ten kilometres from Ha Long's Bai Chay tourist area. Construction began 2000 - in 2003 the Au Lac was the first of several hotels to be completed.

The hotel consists of three elements, the Seaside Villas (which includes the main reception area, restaurant and other facilities as well as villas on the 5km artificial beach), the Hillside Villas and the Pine Tree Villas. The information in the tables below refer to the Seaside Au Lac Resort - Superior roomVillas only.

Rooms are impressive. All have balconies, high quality wooden furniture and block floors, and large bathrooms. Superior bathrooms have corner baths, and deluxe bathrooms have a spa shower and bath. Main meals can be taken in the restaurant in the reception block, the 'Culinary Street', or in one of the restaurant 'eating areas' nearby. Breakfast is provided in the villas.

Au Lac Resort - Pine Hill Villa interiorThe Hillside and Pine Hill Villas are different. These are 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedroom self-contained villas set on a wooded hillside, each with its own swimming pool. They're well designed, luxurious, very Asian, and aimed at families and friendship groups. Needless to say, they're far from cheap.

A question mark hangs above the area between the villas and the beach. Several more hotel buildings are under construction there, and may limit or block the villas' present panoramic view of the bay.Tuan Chau Resort - an 'eating area'

The overall impression is a curious combination of first rate infrastructure and third rate details. The villas are well designed and built, with upmarket decor and fittings. The gardens are superbly landscaped with manicured lawns, pleasant water features and tropical flowers and trees.

At present, they sit uneasily with cheap light fittings, garish plastic penguin litter bins, cheaply constructed refreshment kiosks and poorly maintained public toilets. Hopefully, such details will be addressed as development proceeds.

Room facilities (Seaside Villas):

Room Categories
Villa Suite
Number of rooms
Satellite television
Shower or bath
Bath with shower
Bath + separate shower
Personal safety box
Coffee and tea facilities
Laptop connection
Free broadband access
Extra bed
Child's cot
Room size (m2)

Additional room facilities: balconies, good robes, corner baths, wood-block floors, Suites have a spa shower

Hotel facilities:

Outdoor pool
Non-smoking villa(s)
Pool bar
Non-smoking rooms only
Health centre
Vietnamese/Asian restaurant
Sauna (*see below)
International restaurant
Massage (*see below)
Patisserie/coffee shop/cafe
Jacuzzi (*see below)
Business centre

*in a separate 'Shishiedo Spa' at extra cost

Additional hotel facilities:

Other local options worth considering:
Ha Long Plaza Hotel****

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