Perhaps a trip to Can Tho, Vietnam, is a side effect of Instagram feeds. Everybody seems to be in there right now, drinking in the Vietnamese sunset and appreciating the riverside charm and community spirit weaved together by the heritage evolved around the life along the Mekong Delta.

Marked as the fourth largest city in Vietnam, Can Tho is a little like a rice bowl for the country, thanks to its rich soil that has long been feeding the people with some of Asia’s most delicious produce. The most obvious proof to the statement is Can Tho’s up-and-coming floating market, Cai Rang, an oasis of premium foodstuff where foodies can find anything they crave for – think grade-A rice, sweet mango, gigantic durian and an extensive array of fresh greens.

With Air Asia recently putting Can Tho into an international holiday destination league, globe trotters can now easily traverse over the glory of Vietnam’s waterside city, within a breeze of over an hour-long flight.

If you’re surfing the internet looking for a nice, comfortable stay, the city has a repertoire of hotels and resorts to choose from. But if you’re after more of a unique vacation, Azerai has a spectacular shoreline experience to offer. Founded by the fabled hotelier Adrian Zecha — the brain behind Azerai brand and the big cheese like Aman Resorts — his latest addition, Azerai Can Tho, speaks of the brand’s strength in highlighting the bond between nature and luxurious comfort. We had the privilege of staying in the resort to check it out. Here’s our full review on the property and the city of Can Tho.

Location

Smack in the middle of the Hau River, the eight-hectare resort is uniquely situated atop the lush, sun-kissed islet which sets itself apart from other on-land, typical resorts and hotels in the city.

Hugged by the river on all sides, the resort can only be reached by boat after a 30-minute drive from the city’s airport. Travellers who love privacy for a serene retreat, overlooking a view of the Mekong, Azerai Can Tho undoubtedly can deliver.

Rooms

60 spacious rooms plus two 3-bedroom, one 4-bedroom and one 5-bedroom villa are spread out across the ample islet. Each of these are tucked under the sunshade of tropical trees and accompanied either by the resort’s lake or Mekong Delta view. We stayed at the River Room with a captivating view of the bank and a waterside yard, which, once in a while, allowed us to befriend adorable little monkeys that lived within the property.

The room features woodland elements like light-shade wooden accents and rattan, and is appointed with a practical yet simple elegance to deliver utmost comfort that also blends with the tropical nature of Vietnam. Sized at 35 square metres, the room includes ample bedroom space, a breezy porch and a restroom with a small walk-in closet area.

Dining

Situated before the 31-metre infinity pool is The Café that serves up a succulent breakfast buffet (inclusive of one of the best croissants we’ve ever sunk our teeth into) and regional and international dishes. On the other side, The Bar is a sundowner spot with an impressive range of liquors and alcohol concoctions.

There’s also The Grill located just a short distance from the two eating establishments. It offers up a wealth of gourmet grilled, meat-packed dishes. The grill house brings together quality cuts of pork, beef, chicken and seafood for guests and foodies to enjoy without having to travel outside of the resort.

Wellness and Spa

Azerai Can Tho boasts several in-house wellness facilities: a gym and a tennis court sit by the bank of Hau River; a pilates studio fully equipped with six allegro reformer machines; a meditation and yoga pavilion; and the Azerai Spa with a variety of treatments including deep-tissue massage, hot stone therapy, body and facial wraps.

Thereby the resort is not only a haven for holidays, but it’s also a health-centric sanctuary for fitness buffs to take delight in.

Activities

Just a short boat ride away from the resort’s islet, there await the city’s – if not all of Vietnam’s – most lively, vibrant and spirited floating market, Cai Rang. Gathering together a lineup of boat vendors, the waterway market is adorned with vivid punches of colours from Vietnam’s seasonal fruit and vegetables.

For a more fun-filled experience, guests can take a river cruise or a bike tour to visit the shoreline orchards laden with tropical fruit, a family-run rice noodle factory, cacao farm, and flower village. Food devotees and party buffs also make sure not to miss out on checking out the city’s restaurants, bars and party boats by the pier where you’ll get to view, purchase and taste the true flavours of Can Tho city.

Verdict

Set on an islet with a tranquil setting of more nature than a city, Azerai Can Tho offers an excellent gateway to truly explore the riverside culture of the Mekong Delta whilst providing plenty of activities even within the resort. With a focus on a spacious yet standard and practical space for each room type, the outlet boasts an unpretentious feel – in large part thanks also to its backdrop of the waters, the evergreen yard and its woodland-style design and use of decor. Here’s the kind of nature-oriented resort that can be enjoyed by both naturalists and temporary city escapers alike.

Azerai Can Tho, Con Au, Cai Rang District Can Tho City, Vietnam, +84 292 3627 888.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.