Dalat Evason Ana Mandara Resort and Spa
Six days and five nights in a mountain resort, with cocktails and massages at your beck and call, excellent food, your own personal butler and a 1940's convertible roadster to take you touring around town whenever you like. Nice, huh? First let me say that the town of Dalat itself was really charming. I am pretty partial to mountain towns, though, like Cuenca in Ecuador and Baguio in the Philippines. There is something about the cool air and pine trees that relaxes my soul.
The Evason resort is still pretty new; it opened in the later half of 2006. We had some minor issues which were probably linked to the newness. The biggest problem was that our fireplace exploded into the room 30 minutes after it was lit. I think it was the first time it had been used, and there was an unfortunate air pocket behind the plaster in the back that expanded and blew. Luckily, there was no damage to us, the room or our stuff. Although, the fireplace now looks pretty bad.
Even still, the resort is very well managed. From the handmade soap in the bathrooms to the eco-friendly resort policies, all of the little details of our stay were well thought out. We took three excursions during the week - a scenic Dalat tour, a picnic lunch by a lake and the coffee lover experience. My friend and I were more into being driven around than being active ourselves, but they do also have whitewater rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing. Personally, I prefer to just have a massage. Or three.
As I mentioned before, we got a fabulous deal through the Luxury Link auction website. Perhaps they are running a promotion because the resort is so very new. Even at full price, though, this resort would be worth the money.*
If you aren't so keen on mountain vacations, the Six Senses group also runs two oceanfront properties in Nha Trang (and some in Thailand and Oman). Pricier, of course, but I am sure those resorts are well managed too if beaches are your thang.
More Dalat pictures are available here, and resort pictures are here.
*I don't know why I feel compelled to say this, but please know that I have no affiliation with this hotel. I just really liked it. Since good resorts (at good prices) are sometimes hard to find in Asia, I wanted to share the news. I actually think that the new blog advertising phenomenon is ugly. Can't trust anyone these days.