Avana Retreat announces the start of 36 villas atop a terrace of rice fields in Mai Chau
An untouched waterfall, rice terraces and a mountainous jungle setting form the foundation for a spectacular new 15-hectare resort in Vietnam’s Mai Chai province, a 3.5-hour drive from Hanoi.
Opened quietly during the pandemic, the 36-villa property features a spacious, indigenous design, a spa built over a stream, and one of Southeast Asia’s most majestic dining options.
“It’s one thing to build a resort near the wonders of nature, but building amidst all that natural splendor, with a footprint as light and retractable as ours, provides an immersive experience that can be overwhelming,” said Mr. Vu Huy, founder of Avana Retreat.
With architecture that takes advantage of local Hmong and Thai building techniques and aesthetics, the resort’s 36 villas range in size from 98 square meters (1,054 square feet) to 229 square meters (2,465 square feet). Some of the villas maximize outdoor opportunities with balconies as large as 35 square meters (377 square feet). A villa is perched on top of a terrace of rice fields. Three of the villas have private plunge pools, and the most exclusive villa has an 89-square-meter (958-square-foot) private heated pool that rises in tiers like a visual echo of the rice terraces.
The roofs of the bungalow villas are thatched like the local stilt houses and the walls are earthen as is often the case with Hmong houses. Rattan ceilings are made using a Thai weaving technique. Warm wooden interiors showcase local arts and crafts, including hand-drawn beeswax paintings depicting intricate ethnic designs.
Lantern-lined pathways and bridges that wind through the property’s jungle enhance the location, without altering it. The private waterfall, which inspired the development when it was discovered by the founders ten years ago, is the backdrop for private dining and intimate parties with a terraced terrace overlooking the waterfall.
The resort’s outdoor yoga studio pavilion overlooks the creek. The property’s eight-treatment-room Orchid Spa is built along the creek, which runs through the site, and immerses guests in nature through the therapies on offer and the lush landscape that surrounds it. Spa treatments look to the landscape with local medicinal herbs and oils used in therapies ranging from facials and body wraps to full treatment packages like the Wild Reconnection. This 3-3.5 hour signature transformative experience includes a body exfoliation using local products, an invigorating and firming wrap, a relaxing facial and a signature body massage that uses firm pressure and trigger point stimulation. acupressure, as well as hot wraps with Vietnamese herbs.
The property has four heated infinity pools with sunset or cloud ceiling views. The aptly named Cloud Pool Bar, takes its name from this phenomenon, where fluffy cloud cover settles just below the property for an almost otherworldly view. At this foodie destination, guests can enjoy a drink, light snacks or lunch with a menu featuring local specialties, like banana flower salad, and Western-style dishes like pizza, pasta and sandwiches.
Open all day, the Avana’s restaurant, Green Chili, offers an impressive selection of dishes from Pho and Australian Wagyu Beef to a range of vegetarian and vegan options. As much as possible, the team uses local herbs, spices and vegetables. They source their organic eggs from a chicken farm on the property.
Taking advantage of what is local is a priority at all levels. More than 90% of the staff are from the surrounding area.
“We want the accommodation experience here to be as unique as possible in this part of Mai Chau, from the sights you see, to the food you eat, to the people you meet,” Huy said.
To stay in tune with the neighborhood, Avana is also a plastic-free retreat. Trash bags are made from cornstarch, organics are composted, and they have their own Avana bottle factory to produce purified drinking water. They use an electric buggy service to take guests around the resort and continue to add to the diversity of the area through their tree planting program.
Room rates start at 432 USD. For more information, visit https://avanaretreat.com
Hoa Binh, 36000
+84 218 3819 868