Phu Quoc – A vacation from the Trip

When were initially planning our travel around the world we decided that South East Asia should be the starting point because it seemed to be the hardest to navigate. We also decided that we would need a vacation after a six weeks or so of travel.

Colleen found a new hotel that was available on points, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa.  Open for only 8 months it is a new property that has a lot to offer.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

The JW Marriott is a 5 star resort designed by Bill Bensley, a renowned luxury hotel designer.  Based on the fictitious Lamarck University, the hotel recognizes the work of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French academic who influenced Charles Darwin.

Bensley, according to the General Manager Ty Collins, continues to send items to improve the eclectic paraphernalia of the resort.  For example, I found two sets of Coldstream Guards scarlet tunics and one forage cap.

Coldstream Guards – Musicians Tunic


I also found this bust of the first Dean of Lamarck University which looks an awful like a dignified version of my oldest brother.


The numerous free activities made our week very busy.

Bike Ride to An Thoi open market

The bike ride into town was 5km which included a brief stop at the vegetable market and also the docks where they offload fish.

Squid and fish offloaded and packed in ice
Turning blocks of ice into ice shavings
Intrepid cyclists – Emma, Colleen and Rob
Fish – spiced and salted – left to dry in the sun

Bike Ride to Ho Quoc Pagoda

A 22km round trip bike ride that started out sunny and ended in an absolute deluge of rain. It was a beautiful trip to see parts of the town and also the countryside.

The Temple was built in 2011
Guardians surround the temple and protect Lady Buddha
Lady Buddha
Lotus flower in bloom
Entrance to the Temple overlooks the Gulf of Thailand


That’s a river of water running down the street in this video.

Bike ride to Coconut Prison and Fish Sauce Factory

The last bike ride was 4km round-trip and included a visit to the Coconut Prison (which is described here) and to a fish sauce factory.

Family business – extract the fish, add some vinegar and other stuff and then pour it into a bottle
The smell from the factory was overwhelming but the sauce tastes great!

Leisure Time

One of 3 pools


The pool outside our room
The pool showers


Enjoying the Lobby
Elephant Topiary
Flowers everywhere
Double take – The Vietnamese way to garden
Resort looks like a French colonial town
One of the hotel room blocks
Ben makes creme brule
Emma makes California rolls
Ben poses with his work of art – sushi rolls
Our sushi instructor took a shine to Ben and made this tempura sushi roll for him the following day.
Colleen learns to make a Mojito – Vietnamese style

The Lounge

For platinum members the lounge was free for drinks from 5pm to 6pm.  It is amazing how much beer you can pack in with a one hour window!  The building is designed on a chemistry lab theme and includes swinging beds …

Emma enjoys the bed with a breeze
The chemistry theme with beekers and descriptions of the elements
The Lounge Bed at the front of the bar – our favourite spot!
Our nightly view – Beer, Prosecco, and a juice smoothie (for Ben)

Morning Ritual

Iced Coffee following a major breakfast (from eggs to roast beef)
Our morning breakfast view

Our Room

The bedroom
Our Patio view
Bath and Shower with private garden
The Bath

The seven night luxury stay was fantastic and helped everyone to recharge although it was very apparent that nobody wanted to leave on the final day.

If you plan to go to Vietnam this is an awesome stop that should not be missed!

Colleen Edit to Add – The JW Marriott Phu Quoc was Free:

Well, our accommodations were completely free. And an extensive breakfast. And evening cocktails.

Our out of pocket costs for the seven night stay at the JW Marriott on Phu Quoc was $197.41 Canadian. This included four Vietnamese Lanterns that we made (and now have to lug around the world), two body scrubs and all the meals that were not included as part of our stay as Platinum members.

We had two gorgeous rooms at this amazing resort. Oddly, the JW Marriott is a Category 5 Marriott property. As such, it was only 25,000 Marriott points per night (or 100,000 for a seven night stay using the fifth night free option).


3 Replies to “Phu Quoc – A vacation from the Trip”

  1. Wow. I like the pics. Now was it busy for I don’t see to many people. How was the food? Better than Cuba? Now the difficult part: Dignified version? Ok, what are trying to tell me. My beard is out of control? Am I not the “bearded one”!

    Loved the video. Oh, Your pool is being closed today.

    1. Hi Don, This is the funny thing about the resort. We were told that 30 of 230 rooms were occupied so most of the time it felt we had the place to ourselves. The staff were great and very attentive. They would bring coffee in the morning without asking or beer in the evening without asking. The food was amazing! It would be rare to find something that wasn’t delicious.

      Colleen and the girls noted the statue looked like you. I think the suggestion is that you should dress up more often as you would look quite dignified. The video with the rainfall is the best video. Rob

  2. So beautiful! Love the lotus flower pic especially.
    Everyone already looks so different … having a hard time recognizing you all in photos….xo

    1. The funny thing about the Temple is that it is only six years old. One of the buddhas at the front is made out of plastic.

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