Vietnam Calling: Six New Luxury Villas Designed by Bill Bensley
To offer a superlative retreat in Vietnam’s fantastical paradise, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay has launched six eye-popping new villas in renowned architect Bill Bensley’s inimitable signature style.
The 180 to 700 sqm villas will benefit from on-call butler service, private pools and sumptuous interiors replete with bold colours, bespoke prints and characteristic curios. So spectacular are the new villas that each—named the Department of Astronomy, Insect Study, Reptile Study, Fish Study, Mammal Study, and Ocean Study—represent their own ‘department’.
Celebrating the resort’s overarching theme, the villas’ interiors are tailored to echo the particular academic specialism. The two one-bedroom villas and four three-bedroom villas house impressive double-height facades, and windows that make way for walls adorned with unique prints embodying the academic subjects.
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is Bill Bensley’s vision of a fictional academy of learning, ‘Lamarck University’. Further playing on the academia-inspired theme, dotted around the resort are over 5,000 authentic vintage pieces and artefacts collected by Bensley during a two-year tour across Europe, complimented with bespoke rugs and printed sofas.
Every angle has been visualized to ensure each view is more distinctive than the last with an inviting flow between the rooms. The bedrooms combine intricate woodwork with oversized beds, crisp white linen and large printed armchairs, perfect for curling up on with a good book after a day in the sun. Picture perfect bathrooms feature freestanding bathtubs and wrap-around vanity counters with double washbasins. High ceilings allow for the highest waterfall showers guests will have ever come across, making for an immersive rainfall experience.
Each villa’s intimate walled garden and private pool area, which overlooks dense forest to the rear, boasts an inviting mosaic-lined pool and some surprising sculptures – all designed to reflect the academic specialism. With ample space for sun loungers, and some even having access to a private massage pavilion, the outdoor spaces are ideal for relaxing, enjoying a cocktail, and making the most of the South-East Asian sunshine with family and friends.
Phu Quoc has been dubbed “the upcoming playground of Vietnam” and Bensley certainly had a lot of fun weaving in surprising creative twists around each corner of the space. A visible evolution in the architectural style, from its supposed beginnings in the 1880s through to the 1940s, ensures that the resort feels more like an accumulation of individual residences than a large resort, to build on the lush, secluded experience.
Beyond the salubrious surrounding of their villas, guests will find that the best spot for cocktails is The Department of Chemistry, while, for those wanting to hone their sporting abilities, the Department of Physical Education is the place to go. The main hub of the resort, Rue De Lamarck, is an enchanting boulevard where boutique shops, traditional entertainment and the resort’s restaurants can be found. The resort also has three public infinity pools by the pristine white Bai Khem (meaning “cream”) beach, where guests can take out kayaks, go paddle boarding, or snorkel among bustling coral reefs, all free of charge.
The six luxury villas will be joined by two more in the coming months. The most luxurious of which, Lamarck House, due to open in November 2017, is claimed to have been built in 1919 as the very fine Lamarck University Deans quarters.
The vision of Lamarck University is carried throughout the resort in a brilliantly creative yet subtle way, giving the resort a truly harmonious aesthetic. Whether guests choose to stay in a villa, or one of the 244 spectacular suites, it will be an experience like no other.