The spot that luxury resort Banyan Tree Lang Co calls home is akin to a dream. Situated right by the sea with villas spread across hillside cliffs on one side and snaking lagoons on the other, this Central Vietnam property of the Singapore-based hospitality brand has the hallmark of imperial nostalgia (a nod to the historic capital, Hue, which is nearby) with a bit of mythical elements thrown in.
Indeed, my stay at Banyan Tree Lang Co has been quite unlike my other resort stays simply because the overall vibe here is less beach-y but more elegant and at times, over the top. It’s something I would expect to find in a topnotch city hotel for instance, rather than in a rural tropical setting.
Banyan Tree Lang Co is part of a complex called Laguna Lang Co. Aside from the twin resorts of Banyan Tree and Angsana, there are also residences inside and a golf club. Even some units within Banyan Tree and Angsana have been put on sale to investors who could derive a return from staying guests as well as enjoy a set number of complimentary nights per year at the resort.
I arrived at Banyan Tree Lang Co in the evening – the property has shuttle buses that transport guests from the airport to the property at certain intervals. From Da Nang International Airport, the resort is slightly over 1 hour away by car. I arrived at the property to find a couple of staff members already waiting for me by the entrance. With a buggy in tow, I was immediately driven to my villa for check-in.
Lagoon Pool Villa
My stay during this particular instance is at a Lagoon Pool Villa. This is the entry-level category room at the resort but in my opinion, there is something of a unique charm in this room type that makes it my preferred one.
The most dramatic feature of the Lagoon Pool Villa at Banyan Tree Lang Co is its dramatic frontage which faces a winding lagoon and the mountains in the distance. This creates a sort of contrast to the usual sea view that most resorts elsewhere have although Banyan Tree Lang Co also has those types of rooms if one so desires. It also helped that my stay coincided with Central Vietnam’s brief winter period where the mountain view made for a nice backdrop to the cooler temperatures.
The swimming pool in the villa is large enough for short laps and is deep enough (around 1.3 meters) for adult swimmers. It is surrounded by a lush an well-manicured garden that proved to be an ideal setting especially during the winter months. For utter relaxation, there’s also a spacious day bed outside – perfect for mid-afternoon siesta with a book in tow.
A sliding door opens up to the room proper where a huge bed beckons. The in-room decor is decidedly plush, especially when viewed along with the large painting of a flower and a Vietnamese-accented light fixture hanging from the ceiling. Indeed, the look is more city hotel luxury than tropical resort chic. To complement the assault to the senses, one is greeted by a scent which changes by the day. A list is left by the desk notifying guests of the options available. I opted for the woody touches of sandalwood.
Tip: September to November are the wettest months in the area. Central Vietnam has a brief winter period from December to January where it’s possible to experience aircon weather throughout the day. While it may be too cold for a swim, this is personally my favorite time to visit. The resort gets shrouded in mist in the morning while places such as Hoi An and Hue are a joy to explore under these temperatures.
That was not the only thing that was customized though. Even the fruit basket that came each day was filled with different sorts of tropical goodies. For folks who don’t come from the region, there is even a handy guide on the fruits on offer, including relatively exotic ones like rambutan and mangosteen.
The bedroom is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows across 3 of its 4 sides, allowing for plenty of natural light to come in during the day. For those with an inclination to get some work done, there is also a relatively long desk situated behind the bed which comes with plenty of power outlets. For in-room entertainment there’splenty of things to keep me busy. I loved the Bose sound system which I could connect to my phone to stream music. and the TV which comes pre-loaded with films of various genres.
Special mention must be made on the housekeeping service here. They had a knack in telling exactly when I was not in the room and would immediately go and clean up while I was away. For instance, I was gone for no more than 40 minutes for breakfast one morning and found the room all neat and tidy by the time I came back. On the day I checked out, I was given until 6pm so that I could freshen up before leaving. Technically, housekeeping doesn’t need to do anything on the last day but they still did. When I came back to my villa for a quick shower, I found the room in tiptop shape!
The bathroom here is no less impressive. There’s a his and hers sink while a free-standing tub is situated just next to the window. Separate enclosures house the toilet and the showers. The latter surprisingly comes with a window, allowing one to shower in natural light. For those concerned with privacy, the villa is actually surrounded by relatively high walls so there’s nothing to be concerned about. The window looks out to the villa’s own gardens. Toiletries are from an in house brand but I’m not complaining. They smell great!
Activities at Banyan Tree Lang Co
A stay at Banyan Tree Lang Co offers plenty to keep guests busy though my personal preference is to just relax and do nothing. At the time of my stay, I spotted some folks kayaking through the river within the property while others took part in lantern setting in the evenings on a pond by the lobby. There are free and paid activities available ranging from Vietnamese coffee making to lantern making and these are indicated at the activities sheet found in each room. Those with an inclination to learn more about rural life can even participate in a farm tour.
Most guests visiting Central Vietnam would probably want to check out some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the area and fortunately, the Banyan Tree Lang Co offers complimentary shuttle buses to Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue and back. Guests won’t have to spend on transport to these places as the shuttle schedules are all conveniently set in a way such that there are morning departures to those destinations and late afternoon pick-ups from those destinations back to the hotel. Some spots such as Hoi An even have two departures each day. You can check out the above for the shuttle schedules in Banyan Tree Lang Co.
The Banyan Tree brand is well-known for its spas so it’s probably just apt to be indulging in some of their signature treatments while staying at the Banyan Tree Lang Co. Each treatment room is housed in a villa which comes with a shower room and floor-to-ceiling windows across three sides overlooking the lush grounds and the lagoon. I opted for one of the more relaxing options – the Swedish massage – and dozed off in no time under the gentle and rhythmic strokes of the therapist. At the very end of the massage, I was given a small fruit platter and some yogurt.
Dining at Banyan Tree Lang Co
In terms of dining options, the resort has plenty to offer. The nearest town is quite a distance away so it would make sense to have lunch and dinner in house. Fortunately, the food is quite good even though Banyan Tree Lang Co may fully be aware that they have a captive audience. Aside from The Water Court where breakfast is held, the resort also has Saffron, a Thai restaurant and Azura for Italian cuisine. If you add in the restaurants of neighboring Angsana Lang Co, you have even more to choose from.
I particularly noted the attention to detail not just in terms of food preparation but also in making sure our dietary needs were met. For instance, while I was at Saffron, the waitress was quick to check on my desired spice level while at Azura, I ended up ordering what was basically an off-menu item. All throughout, even the waiting staff was friendly enough to make small talk and give recommendations on things to do in the area.
For drinks overlooking the sea, there’s Thu Quan, the in house bar. I did not get to try any of the cocktails here but I thought the setting overlooking the beach was particularly dramatic.
My stay at Banyan Tree Lang Co came with breakfast and this is served daily at The Water Court from 7AM to 10:30AM. The morning meal is a relatively grand affair with plenty to keep one’s tummy full to the brim. Along with breakfast staples such as pancakes, eggs and bacon, there were plenty of options that could very well qualify as lunch such as the local stir-fried dishes, pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) and crispy fried pancakes. Fresh juices are served including smoothies and veggie concoctions while caffeine lovers will be delighted with the numerous choices available including the local drip coffee.
I was careful not to overeat for breakfast even though the type of dishes offered were relatively heavy. I still wanted to tick off some restaurant checklist in Hue but found the crispy pancakes at The Water Court difficult to resist.
Needless to say, my stay at Banyan Tree Lang Co has probably been my best resort stay so far. I could not really find fault in anything here. Everything, from the rooms to the amenities down to the service level was just amazing and as early as now, I am already doing some rough plans on when I could visit again. For folks who are visiting Central Vietnam for more than just a relaxing getaway, a concern might be whether the hotel’s location is good enough to allow one to explore both Hue and Hoi An. My answer would be a resounding yes. The resort’s free shuttle service would allow that. Guests can visit Hue one day and Hoi An the next and spend sufficient time in those places.
Banyan Tree Lang Co
Laguna Lăng Cô
Phú Lộc, Thua Thien Hue
+84 234 3695 888