As more people want to travel sustainably and look for eco-friendly services, we remain optimistic that the travel and tourism industry will re-emerge stronger and more sustainable in the upcoming months when Vietnam reopens borders.
1. PRESERVATION OF THE OLD PHU QUOC’S ESSENCE
Owned by an American spice trader based in Phu Quoc since the 1990s, Cassia Cottage is still presently where time stands still right in the central town of the island.
Its grounds are serene & tranquil, with tall palm trees and winding stepping-stone paths running through neatly maintained gardens. And there’s a long beach offering direct access to the many casual beach bars and restaurants around. It’s gorgeous at dawn and dusk.
When it comes to the accommodation choices, you have 2 distinct areas to choose:
Heritage wing (the original structure), once was the spice trader’s family retreat, has a strong traditional feel, consisting of several low cottages designed like local homes. Most of the rooms in the Heritage Section were renovated in mid-2017, and are decorated with lots of wood, brick, and terra-cotta accents.
Modern Wing (the newer structure built in 2015) has a more contemporary style, with viridian-green tiles on floors, romantic four-poster beds, incorporating traditional elements notably flying roofs, big windows with wooden frames, and thatch details on stairs, mosquito nets, and a soft neutral palette throughout.
The post pandemic world is changing and clearly evolved travellers are looking for authentic experiences away from crowded attractions, a quaint and intimate place to stay.
We have watched Phu Quoc Island grow from an uncharted tropical island to a vibrant holiday-maker’s paradise. But as other parts of the island sprouted competing high-rise hotels, Cassia Cottage preserved the essence of the old Phu Quoc, where the modern pace of life seems to be washed out to sea.
The cottage is equipped with all the modern amenities of a premium resort (though intentionally without television). In line with the hotel’s focus on relaxation and return to basics, TVs are not available anywhere in the hotel, no elevator in the whole resort and no air-conditioning in common places as well.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING IN OPERATION
The cottage uses a smaller electric generator in daily light hours and solar heating is installed for hot water in some parts of the resort. Towels and linen are laundered in-house without bleach, and air-dried. They also provide chlorine-free natural drinking water from a deep well on the property.
Guests are encouraged to reuse towels and linens during their stay. They do not use any harsh chemicals, colored cleaning products or artificial scents.
For food & supplies, they are locally sourced where possible and they also support local farmers, fishermen & suppliers. Especially, in-house garden ultimately provides herbs and fruits for the staff canteen.
Cassia Cottage staff also proactively composts rubbish and grinds tree debris for use as fertilizers in the tender garden. They use no chemical fogging for mosquito control. Instead, they have electric pest control appliances, mosquito netting, and through nature from frogs and fish that feed on them. Grey water is recycled for use in the gardens.
What’s more, from the beginning until now, they support the development and progress of the Phu Quoc inhabitants by recruiting locally.
Once said that “Locals are the soul of a place. Without local culture and nature, Phu Quoc seems to be the same with many other commercial destinations.”
Much like us, a responsible tour operator in the Island, we customise the exotic sea journeys in less-travelled ways. Our guests approved that touristy-avoiding snorkeling and kayaking routes are much more preferable. Check out a handful of travel tips in eco-conscious ways here.
3. EXQUISITE SPICE HOUSE RESTAURANT AND MALABAR BEACH BAR WITH SUNSET VIEWS AND CARING STAFF
Housed in a beautiful open pavilion with sea views, the Spice House is one of the most famous restaurants in this part of the island. There have come a great amount of rave reviews about the Spice House on TripAdvisor.
The Spice House uses exclusive recipes from a spice expert’s cookbook. The dishes take advantage of fresh local ingredients and deep knowledge of Vietnamese spices. All are completely free from MSG, preservatives or coloring. The result is a menu that blends Vietnamese dynamism with Mediterranean sensibilities; complemented by an impressive wine selection from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, America and Chile, as well as imported spirits and cigars. Open restaurant where you can sit inside or outside with a great view to the Gulf of Thailand. The Spice House restaurant lives up to its name, with tasty dishes and excellent service.
Malabar, the hotel’s beach bar, is busiest in the late afternoon, when guests and non-guests alike gather for sunset drinks. It features an extensive cocktails and beer menu, as well as popular barbecue nights.
There are a pool table and a selection of board games, and music is played at a reasonable volume throughout the day.
All in all, as one guest wrote: “Don’t be fooled by the word “Cottage”. This spacious beachfront resort is somehow quietly distinguished among a bunch of newly built hotels & resorts in the island.
For your interest, OnBird Phu Quoc offers complimentary pick-up for guests staying at Cassia Cottage Phu Quoc joining us must-try experiences in Phu Quoc, namely:
Seeking more other options of sustainable accomodations in Phu Quoc? Check this column out!