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“charming laid back cottage resort on a beautiful beach” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant

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Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 94 Hotels in Phu Quoc Island
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“charming laid back cottage resort on a beautiful beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2011

We stayed at Bamboo Cottages for five nights in the middle of our Vietnam trip and it was everything we expected it to be and more.

I notice there are a few reviews from guests, that are less favourable and all i would say to them is: if you read the website properly before you went you should be under no illusions. It clearly states that its not a luxury resort and electricity is not available 24hrs a day. i have to say that was the biggest appeal of this place for me; utter bliss.

The owners are brilliant hosts, particularly He who regales the guests with stories of his experiences during the war and his time as a uni lecturer. He's quite a character and shared my love of the natural world and we often chatted about snakes and all the other weird and wonderful vietnamese wildlife. He also likes to sing and play guitar and one night he insisted on singing love songs whilst the guests danced; unchained melody was definitely the fav.

The resort is located in the north of the island about 30min motorbike ride to the main town; so definitely recommend booking a bike for the duration of your stay. We had one everyday and used it to explore all around the island.

The food is really good and fresh; i recommend the shared meals for two especially the grilled fish or hot pot. The menu isn't extensive but don't think that matters. As regards the service, its relaxed and the waiting staff don't speak good english but to be honest I never found it a problem. If they didn't understand I would speak to the owner or his wife and they would translate.

From talking to the owner i understand the property used to his holiday home and he only recently started building cottages and having guests. This probably explains some of the minor annoyances other guests have experienced, such as service in restaurant. Its obvious the owner is constantly improving and developing his staff and I reckon in a year or 2 this place will be even more amazing. Hopefully he still manages to maintain its charm.

The cottages are basic but clean and ours opened up onto the most beautiful sea view.

All in all, we had an amazing time here and we were made to feel as part of the family during our stay. I would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a laid back relaxing break in a beautiful setting.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wildrover81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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509 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Helsinki
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2011

We spent one week at Bamboo as part of our honeymoon - and were happy we chose that place. It is a charming tiny resort in the northern part of Phu Quoc, very far from crowds. It is probably one of the most beautiful spots in this paradise island. We enjoyed a lot the peace and relaxation Bamboo offered. The beach is very clean and handsome and the resort is beautiful with a nice garden. The cottages are situated around the main building along the beach. However, a couple of cottages are still under construction so be prepared for only a 90 % completed resort.

Bamboo is owned and managed by a Vietnese-American gentleman, Hai, and his wife, who have big hearts and a lot of ambition to develop eco-tourism and local communities. They were super-friendly and warm-hearted to us. Many times a day they came to talk to us, with big, big smiles. One memorable experience was the New Year's Eve when Hai hosted a party where he sang and played guitar. All the guests of Bamboo sat around one table and enjoyed the atmosphere. Hai is really the heart of Bamboo. (However, I understood that he and his wife spend only a couple of months a year in Phu Quoc themselves, so I can't promise they will be there with you.) Even though the owners were very friendly, there were problems with them, too. I will discuss these problems at the end of this review.

The accommodation is simple yet comfortable. We had a standard beachfront room with fans. Even though we did not have the AC, it was not a problem. Actually we did not even use the fans, because the temperature was very comfortable during the night.
The room was really close to the beach, maybe 3 metres from it. As the room was partially open, we could hear the waves like in a boat, which was romantic. However, the inconvenience was that there was virtually no voice isolation between rooms (there are always two rooms in one cottage) and also the floor was always full of ants. The queen bed was pretty comfortable, with a mosquito net over it. The open-air bathroom was all right, though we never had hot water during our stay. The room was cleaned daily.

As there is only one other resort nearby, we had almost all meals at Bamboo's own restaurant. Fortunately, it was excellent (and much better quality than in the neigbouring resort). They offer wonderful authentic food at a reasonable cost. Try the seafood hot pot or the honey-roasted farm chicken! Prices for single meals were 60 000 VND and for special dishes (for two persons) were 220 000 VND. The menu was not very large, but it was enough for a one-week stay. The tables were spread all around the beautiful garden next to the beach. Dining in candle light under stars was very romantic. NB! Be prepared for a long waiting time. The restaurant is being operated by a group of local villagers who are nice but certainly inexperienced in working in tourism industry. Usually it took about 45 to 60 minutes from the order before we had food (yes, it was the peak season). Also, communication with the waitresses was at times difficult because they know very little English. However, I think it was part of the charm. There is really nothing special to do in the evening, because it's dark, there is no television and you can't go anywhere. So sitting in the beautiful garden was really nice.

Bamboo is not a typical resort. You don't go there for entertainment and extreme activities but to unwind and to forget all your stress. We spent most of our days just sitting on the sunbeds, reading books and swimming. Also sunset walks along the quiet beach (where you will meet nobody else) were wonderful. However, there are some activities available. You can rent a motorbike and ride around the island to see nice beaches and local villages. The price was USD 10 per day. We did that twice and liked the northern part of the island especially. We had never tried motorbikes before, but with a fully automatic bike and the helpful assistance of the owner everything went fine.

Also, you can benefit from the activities offered by the neigbouring resort. They organize boat trips and snorkeling daily. If you want to try it, you had better go there yourself to reserve it. Unfortunately, we did it via Hai, the owner of Bamboo, and it was a little mess.

That said, there were also other problems with the owners. Even though Hai is an exceptional host, with a big heart and a caring attitude, he is not a professional hotellier. First, management of things is somewhat unorganized. Not only did we have problems to get the snorkeling trip arranged via Hai (we had to spend half a day just waiting and waiting) but also didn't we got the room that was promised to us by email. (Okay, it was a nice room, but still.) Second, Hai doesn't deal with problems very professionally. We got a room from a lower room category than promised but still he tried to charge us a higher room rate. When we commented on that at check-out and told that our room rate should be lowered respectively, he got personally offended and started to treat us rudely.

As an advice I would like to say that be careful with your room reservation. Especially if you have been promised a special rate or a special room, it is not a bad idea to print the email and bring it with you. Also, we heard that some guest had been told only a few days before their reserved stay that there will be no room at Bamboo due to overbooking. Thus it would be good to keep contact with Hai some weeks before your trip. Lastly, having a Vietnamese dictionary might be useful. Especially if the owner couple isn't there, you won't probably have any common language with the staff. As we stayed at Bamboo during the peak season, we didn't have that problem.

All in all, Bamboo is a charming hidden gem with its pros and cons. Despite some problems, we truly enjoyed it's beauty, seclusion and atmosphere and were happy we spent our honeymoon there.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hkarhu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
amsterdam
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2011

mr. hai and mrs. angie are the enthousiastic owners of this nice resort in the north of phu quoc. we ( family of 6) had 3 beach front bungalows and we were sleeping with the sound of the waves. almost no mosquitos, very pleasant.
good food, but not much variety and unfortunately no fruitshakes.
you will notice that it is a relatively new resort which had its pro's and his con's. but the pro's are winning.
beach is beautiful, you can walk and will see nobody. there is one other resort on this vung bau bay.
mr. hai and mrs. angie are very helpful with everything and do their best to make you part of the 'family'. we hope it will stay as little as it it now, we enjoyed it very much and had a wonderful time

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank niklet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2011

Beautiful place unfortunately too expensive for the service. Very noisy because of constructions during a peak season (unacceptable). Poor breakfast without butter, jam, juices otherwise everything is extra. Very limited menu, service quiet long and the staff doesn't speak english. You must always request what should be done normally.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kaina31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VungBauBay, Owner at Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant, responded to this review, 5 November 2011
We thank you for taking the time to write your about your stay. Feedback from guests is very valuable to us and we have taken all comments to heart. I regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us, and apologize for the delay in responding to your comments. My name is Hai Ly and I am the owner of Bamboo Cottages and since July of this year have now taken over management of the Cottages full-time. As you know, we are a family run establishment. I ran the Cottages the first season, and then due to other commitments, I was not able to manage the Cottages the second season. My parents (a law professor and accountant, not professional hoteliers!) ran the Cottages during your stay, and I understand that there were some management issues. I also understand that they did their very best, though please accept our sincere apologies for any inconveniences, misunderstandings or frustrations you experienced.

Among other changes, this year we have doubled the number of English speakers working in the restaurant ( I will be one of them!), doubled the number of people working to clean rooms, we have made arrangements with a professional taxi company to handle all transfers, and to avoid all confusion we have included the VAT tax in the room rate. We have also developed special set menus which we are not only very proud of but will eliminate any delays in getting food to the table.

We are working all the time to improve our services and amenities, and always appreciate constructive, respectful feedback. Our hope is that all of our guests can experience what we have experienced there, which is the immersion into beauty and magic of what we think is one of nature’s most special little nooks.

Kind regards,
Hai Ly
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
37 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2010

We stayed here for 4 nights at the end of our Vietnam trip to spend some time on the beach. The start of the trip was really bad, instead of a car we were picked up by two motorbikes at the airport and then dropped off at some village and assured that somebody would pick us up. We were waiting for more than 30min before calling the hotel to inquire what was going on. Apparently something had gone wrong with the taxi service and they then send another 2 motorbikes to pick us up. Overall we waited 1 hour and it took us 2 hours to finally arrive at the resort. Also on the way back it was raining heavily and we and our luggage got all wet on the way back to the airport - not too great if you have a 13 hour flight ahead of you. However we were assured that once the new bridge is build the whole journey could be done by taxi.
The resort itself is situated on a beautiful spot, very quiet, clear water, small beach. Very good for relaxing and reading books or going for a walk (but mind the heat).
There is not much to do around, so be prepared for that. You could rent motorcycles to explore the island. We did a snorkeling trip organised by the resort next door but snorkeling was very poor and not really worth it.
Accomodation is very basic and we had honestly expected a bit more for our money (USD 89 + 10% Tax). Even though it's advertised, you do not have a TV in your room, also no fridge. Electricity only in the evening for the aircon. Furniture is very basic. Open-air bathroom, which is constructed a bid odd, so the bath tub is constantly dirty and everything gets wet if its raining.
Food choice is Vietnamese only and limited, especially for breakfast. No fruit juices and you have to pay extra for fresh fruit. Also no butter with your bread. Not really enough for one person. Otherwise food is good value for money.
Advertised free internet is also very poor as it's a dial-up connection. You could check emails, but not much else.
Owners were very friendly and helpful. Staff was a little reserved and did not smile much, a bit of a shame.
Overall, we had a bad start to our trip and had expected much more for our money. However after 4 nights we liked the place as its quiet and cozy, just a bit too expensive for what they offer.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ele007London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
liverpool
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2010

We spent a couple of nights here and the location really the selling point It' s a beautiful clean beach and we had the most relaxing time there reading books by the sea. I do however think that $60 a night is a little steep (plus an additional 10% tax that they drop on you on arrival) as the accommodation is very basic. The owners, are very nice friendly people however we found that Man to be a little too opinionated...we just wanted to relax and being lectured at 7am on a subject of his choice, before we'd even had coffee, was a little too much for us.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rosieholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VungBauBay, Owner at Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant, responded to this review, 5 November 2011
We thank you for taking the time to write your about your stay. Feedback from guests is very valuable to us and we have taken all comments to heart. I apologize for the delay in responding to your comments. My name is Hai Ly and I am the owner of Bamboo Cottages and since July of this year have now taken over management of the Cottages full-time. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy my father and his opinions! Though you didn't find him at least a little amusing? (At least by 8am, when you'd had your coffee?)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2010

What can I say,,,Its not going to be for everyone...but for me it was near perect for a week long getaway from the cold...beach is beautiful..service very nice..rooms ......could be a bit better for the price,,but what are you doing in your room anyway! get down to the beach!!! yoga and sun salutations were perfect all alone at 7 am!!!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank luvtravelernamaste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant

Property: Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant
Address: Vung Bau Bay, Cua Can Village, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Region: Vietnam > Kien Giang Province > Phu Quoc Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Phu Quoc Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a small Vietnamese family-run getaway located on a secluded stretch of Vung Bau Bay. All rooms are housed in spacious cottages with views of the sea. All rooms have plush queen beds & unique tropical open-air bathrooms. Hot water is provided by solar panels. The kitchen serves authentic homemade Vietnamese dishes made with fresh seafood & organic vegetables. A part of Bamboo’s proceeds goes to the Together We Serve Foundation which provides scholarships to needy children. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bamboo Cottages & Restaurant Hotel Phu Quoc Island
Bamboo Cottages And Restaurant

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