Full Moon Resort***
Our brief comments:
The Full Moon is another of Vietnam's hotels that defy classification. It's a tiny place, 25 rooms on a tiny 0.25ha plot halfway along Mui Be Beach.
The first thing that catches your eye when you enter is the rectangular pool in the centre of the resort. It's simplicity amongst the lush foliage is striking. To the left and right of the pool is the accommodation, and at the front is the beach and the thatched open-sided shelter that combines reception, restaurant and bar.
The rooms to the left of the pool are in a single two-storey block with a thatched roof and an outdoor staircase leading to an upper floor verandah reminiscent of tea plantation buildings. Inside, each room has an attractive tiled floor, a four-poster bed , a period ceiling fan, pleasant dark wood furniture and a bathroom with a corner bath.
Things start to get interesting on the right of the pool. There's a bewildering mixture of rooms in a newer three-storey block - no two are the same. Among the rooms overlooking the pool, there's a room with a stylish sunken bath, a 'family room' with an outdoor bath and a tiled bar in the living room.
Three rooms face the sea, each with a spacious balcony.
The proprietors are Phuong (Vietnamese) and Pascal (French). Phuong is a skilled designer and entrepreneur, and Pascal is highly respected architect. Between them they have designed, built and fitted the entire resort.
All furniture is either handmade by Pascal or genuine Vietnamese antiques. The combinations of tiles, bathroom styles are unique to each room. Different rooms appeal to particular clients.
We spent the night in one of the sea-front rooms, consisting of a large open area, open roof void with exposed beams, a super four-poster bed, an antique wooden sofa and a large dresser, and a most attractive floor with a variety of tiles interspersed with wooden separators.
The 'en-suite' was a gorgeous rectangular tiled bath with a shower unit. That, and the low-level toilet, were separated from the rest of the room only by a waist-high dividing wall. We loved it, but it certainly wouldn't suit someone shy!
The Full Moon isn't a conventional resort by any means. There's a TV and DVD player that can be put in the room on request, but no writing desks, hairdryers, safety boxes and so on. On the other hand, there's wireless Internet connection!
The restaurant serves mostly decent Vietnamese food at very decent prices. Just up the beach is another restaurant ' The Jibe Bar', another of the couple's enterprises offering mainly international food.
Pascal is the undisputed King of surfing in Vietnam and provides equipment and courses in board surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing as well as Vietnam's annual surfing competition.
It's very much a family affair. Pascal, Phuong and their two children live on the site, and are therefore to hand to deal with and requests or problems. Service is laid-back, but very willing - if you want something out of the ordinary, you only have to ask.
The Full Moon is a quirky resort that won't suit everyone. However, if you yearn for something idiosyncratic and original, it's ideal. Many customers come annually and reserve their favourite room well in advance, so an early reservation is strongly recommended.