I went to Freedomland for 3 nights earlier this month and had a blast. Peter, who owns this place together with Rita, is one of the nicest and most helpful guys you might meet all over Vietnam. About the creation of Freedomland he told me: "I wanted to create a happy place!" And in my opinion he did.
The bungalows are all built by natural materials like wood, bamboo or stone. I had the banana bungalow (30 $/night) which was quite spacious and included my own open-air-bathroom including a huge shower. Cold water only, but honestly, it is too warm in Phu Quoc for having a hot shower... Most of the bungalows offer a private bathroom, but I saw they have a few cheaper ones that offer a communal bathroom, so do not hesitate to ask. Moreover, the bungalow featured a terrace on which you can relax in a hammock.
All bungalows are settled nicely among the huge trees and are so distant from each other that you can enjoy a private athmosphere which I found to be a rare thing in Vietnam. The only thing they do not offer is a sea view. Freedomland is a 20-minutes walk from the white beach. Honestly, before booking it I hesitated because actually I wanted some beachside bungalows, but I did not regret it a minute when I stayed at Freedomland.
To me, the special thing about it apart from the nice natural bungalows is the athmosphere. First of all, Peter and his staff really go out of their way to feel well-cared for. Different from most hotels and guesthouses I got to know within 3 weeks in Vietnam so far, you are not a "number" there, but they know each guest. (By the way, strangers and visitors are not allowed at Freedomland so I felt really safe there.) Each of the staff at Freedomland was friendlier than you could imagine. While their service was among the most professional I ever got all over Asia, it was never impersional and their smiles just seemed to be honest.
This created a very friendly and relaxing athmosphere to which the guests added perfectly. While the newest issue of Lonely Planet called the communal athmosphere at Freedomland "hippie", it is not a place for boozing drug-seeking party travellers. The other guests were a mixture of single backpackers who just want to get to know the country, friends and couples, and families. When I stayed there there even was a couple with a baby who enjoyed the peacefulness of the place.
You easily get to know the other travellers in the communal area where you can have a drink or something to eat all day long, or just hang out and read in the sofas, so it is a perfect place also for solo travellers. The highlight of each day, however, is dinner at Freedomland. For quite a reasonable price they offer a multi-course-meal each night which all guests always attended while I was there, simply because you cannot get better food anywhere on the island. The staff at Freedomland start preparing dinner around noon - and then it is served at a long table under the trees and stars. Guests usually gathered a bit earlier, having an awesome cocktail or just some nice cold beers, so even if you are travelling solo, you get in contact with all the others easily. At 7 o'clock the long table will be filled with food. One day we had Vietnamese-mediterranean food creations like in a five-star-restaurant; the other day they showed up with a massive barbeque buffet including anything from seafood to different kinds of meat and vegetables; the third day we had lots of different typical foods from Vietnam, like spring rolls that were the best I ever had in my life, and other stuff, e. g. we had to "roll" some kind of vegetable-omelette-rolls ourselves which was great fun. I enjoyed every single part of all meals there and nobody, really nobody left the long table hungry.
So if you prefer this kind of holiday to staying at a concrete hotel block, and if you like a communicative and relaxed athmosphere, you will love Freedomland. Unfortunately Vietnam has started to turn Phu Quoc gradually into a second kind of Phuket with huge hotels and whatever could destroy a peaceful island, but at the moment it is still a beautiful green island with heaps of deserted beaches and some fishing villages to be discovered, e. g. by motorbike which I learned to ride there as well.
By the way, some might fear insects there. Yes of course, you sleep in quite an airy wooden bungalow under the trees, and you have an open-air-bathroom, so there might be some natural life. But for example I did not see any creepy creatures like huge spiders or cockroaches during the three days I stayed there (different from some city hotels), and the bungalows are kept very clean so they do not specifically attrackt animal guests. Unless you are not absolutely insectophobic, you should not fear this too much. There can be some insects or other wildlife as well, but the place is not bursting with unwanted visitors. If you do not store food in your bungalow you should be fine.
A last word to the booking procedure: Emails were always answered friendly and immediately, and before you get a chance to book you are extensively informed about the place so you know what you would be booking beforehand.
Thumbs up to Peter and his crew - they've done an excellent job. My Vietnam trip has come to an end now and the days at Freedomland were the most relaxing and joyful ones I had all over my holidays!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Freedomland offers an home style hospitality, where you can relax amongst friends you have just met, swapping stories over dinner after a day of adventure exploring the island or a day of total relaxation on the nearby beach. As each day goes by, you will appreciate we are not a hotel. LOCATION: Located 15 minutes walk to Ong Lang beach, nestled in a jungle-like area in the North West of Phu Quoc island. 20Km from the airport (about 45 min. Drive); 10km from the main town (15 min. Drive) BUNGALOWS: We designed our bungalows in harmony with the surrounding environment. They are opened enough to allow air flow, furnished with fans (no A/C), wooden furniture locally made and mosquito nets. There is no tv plasma, no hot water (method Kneipp ;), no hairdryers, no minibar and no air conditioned in our bungalows. FOOD & DRINK: Exclusively for lucky freedomland guests, family and friends every night we cook a communal dinner when everyone has the opportunity to meet, enjoy the food and the ambiance. Peter's cuisine is a skilful blend of vietnamese and European cuisine. All the guests fell in love with the Peter's cooking, and he likes sharing his love for food. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Freedomland Phu Quoc Hotel Phu Quoc Island