Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort: cold and soulless

The Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is, strangely enough, a fine hotel, but its cold style hardly inspires any particular feeling. Too bad for a leisure hotel.

For this week in Phu Quoc I had the choice between two properties: this Sheraton and a JW Marriott. With a week to go, I decided to split it in two and try both, starting with this one. Good thing since I ended my stay at the JW so I didn’t have to return to France with a very mixed impression.

You’ll find a summary of articles about this vacation in Vietnam at the bottom of the page.

Booking

Several months before my stay, I booked a deluxe room with a garden view, the hotel’s entry-level room, and pay for it with my loyalty program points.

I’ll also be using suite night awards to try and secure an upgrade before check-in. Two room types are available: a two-bedroom family suite with sea view and a senior suite with garden view. Not really very interesting, but I’ll give it a try.

Arrival at the hotel and check-in

I was notified several days before my arrival of an upgrade to a garden-view Senior Suite. Not exceptional, but better than nothing.

An email from the hotel catches my eye:

Please note – Deluxe Room guests can avail the complimentary Vinbus services to the hotel from the airport and back.

Please note – Suite and Villas guests will have complimentary Hotel transfers to the airport and back.

So I’ll ask the hotel about transport options and they’ll tell me I’m not eligible for a car transfer. In my opinion because I was upgraded to a suite but had booked a regular room.

Understandable, but petty.

So it’s by Grab that I’ll reach the hotel from the airport.

It is located in the very north of the island and will take me 45 minutes and cost me 16 euros.

On arrival I was immediately taken care of and escorted to the reception desk.

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My passport is checked and I’m invited to sit down and have a welcome drink while the formalities are carried out. So I go back through the lobby in the other direction. Not too easy to understand: when you check in seated, you check in seated!

But I’m glad I changed agents: the English of the agent who took care of me was simply catastrophic.

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I take the opportunity to look around. The lobby is a large atrium overlooked by part of the corridors.

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The result is quite surprising. On the one hand, it’s beautiful, like new, but on the other, it exudes a coldness that I’d describe as Soviet. Not really suited to the spirit of a resort.

I would later learn that the hotel was owned by a major local operator who had recently joined forces with Marriott and had its properties rebranded under the group’s various brands.

So I don’t know if this hotel is new or has been renovated, but it’s in impeccable condition. On the other hand, it’s really cold and soulless, almost sad.

Once the formalities are over, the second agent offers to escort me to my room. She asks me if I have any luggage…yes, the bellman took it when I arrived. We cross the lobby again to see him and ask for delivery, then head for the elevators.

Oh no…I’ve got to use the other group of elevators, so we’re going back the way we came. She calls the elevator, presses the button for my bedroom floor and leaves me alone.

I can’t say she was particularly helpful, but she was very hesitant.

Not the most professional and premium check-in I’ve experienced.

The senior suite at the Sheraton Phu Quoc

The door opens onto a small vestibule: to the right of the toilets, in the front the living room.

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It’s in very good condition, quite pretty and with no major faults in taste.

I say without any major lapse of taste because trying to slip copies of antique furniture into a modern setting never looks too good, at least I’m not a fan at all.

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You can either play the local style card or adopt a more neutral, international style, but mixing the two is rarely a success.

I go into the bedroom. When it comes to bad taste, here’s an excellent example!

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It’s brand new but I’m not a fan of the style.

The bathroom opens directly onto the bedroom.

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A double washbasin, a beautiful bathtub…

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On the other side, a toilet and a large shower.

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And now let’s take a look at the “garden view”.

In fact, it’s a view of a modern housing estate that looks like cardboard paste and an amusement park.

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In fact, the garden view is mostly a view of the hotel parking lot.

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Not very engaging. And given that the hotel will be practically empty, I wonder why it was so difficult to get a room with a sea view!

On a positive note, for once the minibar is not empty.

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To be honest, I’ve barely been here 20 minutes and I’m already in a hurry to get to the JW.

Let’s end with the video tour.

The hotel facilities

The hotel features a beach, swimming pools, gym and spa. I’ll try everything except the spa, as the hotel’s atmosphere is so sad that I can’t make it rhyme with relaxation.

The beach

The hotel is said to be located on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

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It is indeed large and beautiful and, given the low number of visitors during my stay, very, very quiet.

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As the hotel faces west, the sunsets are superb.

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The Pool

The hotel has a very large swimming pool.

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In low season, there will never be more than a dozen people there.

On either side are two large pools with jets.

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Also very pleasant in the evening…

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Really beautiful facilities, but they looked empty and sad at this time of year (early September). However, given the size of the hotel, it can quickly become overcrowded and not too intimate when it’s full.

The gym

Located on the upper floors, it’s bright and well-equipped, and there’s even plenty of room for floor exercises.

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Bars and restaurants

As this leaflet handed to me on arrival shows, the hotel has numerous bars and restaurants.

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Well, in theory. A grill bar that only serves breakfast, a closed bar for renovation, only a restaurant remains, the pool bar and a bar/snack bar in the lobby.

Let’s start with the pool bar, where I’ll be having my aperitifs.

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You can order via your phone using a QR code system. Not much to say apart from the fact that the waiter was extremely friendly.

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Then the Wok & Curry restaurant, the only one open.

The room is big and beautiful, but just as cold as the rest.

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I’d describe the menu as pan-Asian.

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On the first evening, it will be complemented by a Western menu.

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I’ll try a variety of dishes…overall it’s good quality and the service is extremely friendly.

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A really solid service, but lacking a little variety.

All in all, the offer is moderately rich for a resort of this size, where guests can expect more variety and choice. But at that time it was really too small.

The service

The restaurant and bar were very good, but the reception team lacked professionalism. We saw it at check-in, and you’ll see below what happened at check-out.

Check-out

As usual I’ll do my check-out on the mobile app which allows me to leave the hotel without having to do any paperwork at reception.

So I’m leaving the hotel and waiting for my grab when a member of staff practically jumps out at me and asks me to come back to pay.

I did the mobile check out

You have to come back to reception“.

Hence the usefulness of mobile check-out. And I wasn’t going to pay twice!

I was so irritated by this stay in a ghost hotel with no soul that I started to get angry and gave the importuner a blow-out the likes of which I haven’t given to anyone in years.

Then his manager rushes in and asks what’s going on. I explain politely…but a little dryly all the same. He checks something on his tablet and replies that “everything’s fine, there’s no problem” and apologizes.

This reminds me that the only times I’ve had problems with the mobile check out were in Asia.They have a hard time letting customers leave without going back through reception.

Bottom line

It was a slow period: the international clientele had finished their vacations and the Chinese clientele would only arrive in a few weeks, but that doesn’t explain everything.

Of course, the hotel was almost empty, which didn’t improve the atmosphere, but the building itself, although pretty (forget the decoration of the rooms), has absolutely nothing to inspire joy.

And with the amateurism of the reception staff…an experience to forget.

The articles about this vacation in Vietnam

#TypePost
1Travel diaryPreparing for vacations in Vietnam
2FlightParis-Stockholm – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
3LoungeSAS Gold lounge – Stockholm
4FlightStockholm-Oslo – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
5HotelRadisson Blu Airport Hotel – Oslo Gardermoen
6LoungeSAS Gold lounge international zone – Oslo
7FlightOslo-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
8LoungeTurkish Airlines Miles&Smile Lounge international zone – Istanbul
9FlightIstanbul-Saigon – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
10HotelRenaissance Riverside Hotel – Saigon
11RestaurantAnan – Saigon
12RestaurantHoa Tuc – Saigon
13Travel diarySaigon city tour
14LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus lounge (domestic) – Saigon
15LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (domestic) – Saigon
16FlightSaigon-Hanoi- Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A350)
17HotelJW Marriott Hotel – Hanoi
18RestaurantGia – Hanoi
19RestaurantTung Dining – Hanoi
20Travel diaryCity tour of Hanoi
21LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
22LoungeSong Hong Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
23FlightHanoi-Phu Quoc – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320Neo)
24HotelSheraton Long Beach Resort – Phu Quoc
25Hotel JW Marriott Emerald Bay – Phu Quoc
26LoungeHoa Sim Business lounge – Phu Quoc
27FlightPhu Quoc-Saigon – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320)
28LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (international zone) – Saigon
28FlightSaigon-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
30LoungeIGA Lounge (zone internationale) – Istanbul
31LoungeTurkish Airlines business lounge – Istanbul
31FlightIstanbul-Oslo – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
32HotelRadisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Oslo
33RestaurantKatla – Oslo
34Travel diaryCity tour of Oslo
35FlightOslo-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS Plus (A320)
36FlightCopenhagen-Paris – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
37Travel diaryDebriefing of my vacation in Vietnam

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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