In June, the 197-room InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort opened as the new standard of Western luxury beach resorts on Vietnam’s idyllic Son Tra Peninsula. The InterContinental brand is expected to attract more incentive travel to this emerging group destination.
During the Vietnam war, U.S. soldiers spent their R&R leave on the peninsula extending out into the South China Sea near the old DMZ and city of Danang. The area is located roughly midway between Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, surrounded by primitive jungles and long coves with wide beaches. One of them is Non Nuoc—the infamous China Beach first popularized in Apocalypse Now where “Charlie don’t surf.”
The waterfront villas are the marquee accommodations with private pools facing the quiet bay. Scaling up the side of Monkey Mountain, the cluster of standard suites feature marble baths and big balconies with spectacular panoramic vistas. Bangkok-based, Harvard-trained architect Bill Bensley designed the 98-acre property in traditional Vietnamese vernacular style for this project that took over six years to construct.
La Maison 1888 restaurant is helmed by Frenchman Michel Roux, the first 3-star Michelin chef to set up shop in Vietnam. At Citron restaurant, guests sit inside inverted conical dining booths perched mountainside over 300 feet in the air. For beachside dining, the Barefoot Cafe opened last month serving grilled seafood right on the sand.
Nearby attractions include the 15th century town of Hoi An where the old streets and architecture tell the story of the last five centuries of maritime commerce throughout the South China Sea. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the primary trading port in the country before the modern port was built in nearby Danang.
The resort offers 7,600 sf of high-tech event/meeting space, encompassing seven meeting rooms. Through Dec. 31, group rates starts at $141, including a meeting room for eight hours, A/V, lighting, WiFi, complimentary lunch and welcome cocktails at check-in.