Checking in to Regent Phu Quoc

Since its opening in April 2022. IHG’s Regent Phu Quoc has been making waves in the Gulf of Thailand, in the far south of Vietnam. Contributor Katha Nauriyal checks in to its plush décor and a design that encapsulates the region’s soul and natural beauty…

lounge in Regent Phu quoc with windows framing a view of palm trees and pool

Regent’s debut was timed perfectly, just as South East Asia slowly arose from the perils of the pandemic. Since then, it has been crowned ‘the best new luxury beach resort in Asia’ by Travel + Leisure and hailed as ‘a Vietnamese gem of a property’ by Conde Nast Traveller. Some go as far as arguing that the hotel, in fact, put the island on the map for holiday-makers worldwide.  

main pool flanked by pillars with drapes overhead

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

Today, a booming playground, Phu Quoc was once under-the-radar, although always with a rich history. Dotted with sleepy fishing hamlets, pepper plantations, fish sauce barrel houses and a treasure trove of rare jade gems, more than half of it has been preserved as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2006.

In a land with such deep-rooted tradition, the collaboration between Regent and Asia-based BLINK Design group  — which specialises in commemorating every location’s architectural heritage in its designs seems like a natural fit. 

“We wanted to create pockets of space and a sense of epiphany within the resort to remind guests of the natural beauty of Phu Quoc,” commented Clint Nagata, Founder, BLINK. Above all, the grand vision was to curate a cultural oasis, keeping its dreamy gulf waters and pink sunsets at heart. “This meant utilising a multi-dimensional approach for every major guest-facing space, deliberately spread horizontally and stacked vertically, so that all guests enjoy an optimum view of the natural setting,” explained Nagata.

seating in regent phu quoc with open view across water and palm trees

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

Generously sprawled in size, Regent is nestled in a quiet, luscious corner on the longest beach of the island — aptly called Long Beach — with the InterContinental next door. 

This all-suite and villa resort estate is a world unto itself, comprising Ocean View Suites, Garden Pool Suites, and Pool Villas, ranging from one to seven bedrooms. It features six dining concepts, a grand ballroom, the Regent Club, a state-of-the-art spa and possibly its biggest draw: some 206 private, infinity and plunge pools scattered throughout.   

On arrival, an impeccably trained staff extends a warm welcome, greeting each guest by name. A processional marble staircase invites you into the resort foyer, while lofty, open-air walkways connect to the reception hall, expressing an indoor-outdoor appeal. Grand wooden corridors are accentuated with artistic ceramic vases and striking golden lines that illuminate the design details through hidden light bulbs. 

architectural lighting and ceramic vases displayed in corridor at Regent Phu Quoc

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

Undoubtedly, the cynosure of all eyes is the ‘Charming Deeps’, an installation artwork by Czech-based designer LASVIT, which pays homage to the brilliantly coloured reefs of Phu Quoc. Made from a symphony of crystal glass pieces, it reflects light and transforms in colour depending on the time of day.

Inside, the designs are a contemporary interpretation of Vietnamese scallop-tiled roofs and vaulted ceilings. They feature luminous lacquer work with the delicate duck eggshell inlays for which the island is famous. 

The Lobby Lounge is a space of quiet luxury. Immaculate, beige-tone silhouettes with poppy throw pillows, floral arrangements and lotus blossoms, all espouse a tranquil ambiance. Large glass frames overlook the resort lagoons, which appear to merge into the waves of Pearl Island. Soothing koi ponds, known to promote health and prosperity in local culture,  are a recurring feature — so much so that there’s even a specialist on-site for their maintenance!

central double bed with seating and table at foot end in suite at Regent Phu Quoc

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

I’m then escorted to my One-Bedroom Sky Pool Villa perched high in the Sky Wing. Beautifully-appointed, its airy, sublime atmosphere envelopes me the minute I walk in. The open-plan living room comes with a dedicated dining area and kitchen that offer a feel reminiscent of home while still being in the lap of luxury. Muted carpets, cream colours, earthy cypress wood and snug furnishing promise timeless comfort.

Subtle Vietnamese influences are noticeable. The custom-made Bovi pattern, for instance, is a running motif across carpets, screens, walls and accessories — a design which is inspired by the wooden truss structure found in a traditional Vietnamese house.

The villa’s sun deck is a grand feature. Its private oceanfront infinity pool and chaise lounge ensure a cocoon of privacy, all while surrounding you with refreshing breeze and jaw-dropping sunsets. Large sliding windows allow a profusion of natural light.

floor to ceiling glass doors surrounded by tropical plants frame ocean views

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

Outdoor areas of the villas and suites are inspired by the Gian Nha style architecture, where cosy landscaped courtyards allow you to connect with the location. (I’m told this is a particularly favourite haunt for guests who come armed with their own floaters to make the most of the in-villa pools and private patios for Instagram).  

“A traditional house is often composed of small compartments and courtyards,” explains Nagata. “These individual spaces create transition and different experiences within the same house. Our spatial zoning presents a contemporary interpretation of Gian Nha, blurring the boundaries of indoor and outdoor”.

tropical bathroom in guestroom at regent phu quoc

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

Stepping back inside, the Oasis bathroom is kitted with a walk-in rain shower, double vanity, tropical plants and a black-and-white deep soaking bathtub. The interiors of the bedroom also stay true to the soft, neutral palette of the rest of the villa. Tuck into the sumptuous double bed and let the lullaby of the ocean drift you to sleep.

The magic continues across Regent’s dining concepts. Rice Market an all-day restaurant draws inspiration from the country’s vibrant street markets, offering glimpses into the everyday life of the locals. Ingenious twists on rice mills and water wheels with burlap rice bag textures add to the charm.

jade green bar with dark wood and bamboo in The Jade Bar

Image credit: Regent Phu Quoc

OKU is a French-Japanese Omakase atelier and salon de boeuf. It’s a vision of intricate Japanese woodwork that evokes the feel of a Parisian brasserie through globe lights, patterned floors, cosy banquettes and modern ironmongery details. Its wall murals, textiles and lacquered surfaces fuse classic aesthetics with modern twists. “Just as an Omakase Chef pays special attention to select ingredients to create a meal as an artistic expression, so does the woodworker as the precision and perfection of his joinery becomes a work of art,” adds Nagata.

Bar Jade is a speakeasy parlour that only unveils itself at dusk. Its opulent green-tone decor  harks back to the bygone era of luxury train travel. It’s influenced by the jade-coloured waters of the Gulf as well as the rich tradition of jade in Vietnamese culture — passed down from mother to daughter as a treasured heirloom. 

With a big dose of luxury and an unmistakable tropical allure, Regent Phu Quoc is a home you would never want to leave. Its team of warm, exceptionally-trained staff is the cherry on top.

Main image credit: Regent Phu Quoc