First published June 2023 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Tom Divers is the founder and creator of Vietnam Coracle. He’s lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since 2005. Born in London, he travelled from an early age, visiting over 40 countries (he first visited Vietnam in 1999). Now, whenever he has the opportunity to make a trip, he rarely looks beyond Vietnam’s borders and his trusty motorbike, Stavros. Read more about Tom on the About Page, Vietnam Times and ASE Podcast.

Situated on a long, sweeping bay 25km north of Quy Nhơn on the south-central coast, the Crown Retreat is a tasteful, attractive and low-rise beach resort; the perfect counterpoint to the enormous monstrosities that increasingly blight the beaches of Bình Định Province. The Crown Retreat is comfortable and unpretentious. The location is fantastic and facilities, although modest considering the relatively high room rates, are beautifully presented, particularly the infinity pool. [BOOK HERE]

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My reviews are 100% independent: I do not receive freebies or payment. Use the links on this page to book your hotel & I will make a small commission. Alternatively, please make a donation or become a patron. Thank you,Tom

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REVIEW: CROWN RETREAT, QUY NHON

Address: Trung Lương beach, Cát Tiến commune, Phù Cát District, Quy Nhơn, Bình Định Province [MAP]

Average Rates: $80-$120/night

CONTENTS:

Map

The Location

Resort Grounds & Layout

Pool, Beaches & Activities

Guest Rooms & Décor

Breakfast, Dining & Drinking

Summary

More Reviews

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MAP:

Crown Retreat | Quy Nhon

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The Location: Set at the northern end of a vast, 10km-long stretch of wide, sandy beach lapped by sapphire-blue ocean, the Crown Retreat lies 25km north of Quy Nhơn City, on the south-central coast. Indeed, the resort is equidistant from the city, the train station (at Diêu Trì) and the airport (at Phù Cát). Away from the bustle and traffic of Quy Nhơn city, the Crown Retreat is located close to Cát Tiến village, a sleepy fishing community beneath a big, rocky, barren hillside looming above the beach. Carved into the hill is a colossal war memorial and a Buddhist monastery and pagoda of enormous proportions, the highlight of which is a giant seated Buddha, who watches serenely over the village and bay. Some street food, local cafes, seafood restaurants, shops and markets are within 10-minutes’ walk of the Crown Retreat.

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Resort Grounds & Layout: Neatly arranged along a 500-metre section of beach, the Crown Retreat consists of 50 or so thatched bungalows laid out in two curving rows along the oceanfront property, with paved lanes planted with tropical trees and flowers leading between them. The elegant, open-sided lobby, reception and restaurant sit just above the guest rooms on a rise overlooking the sea and bay. Electric buggies whizz guests between their rooms and the resort’s facilities. The Crown Retreat faces due east, so sunrises are spectacular and there are sweeping views due south along the arcing bay and beyond to the rocky headlands.

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Pools, Beach & Activities: The Crown Retreat has a great beach with soft, fine, white sand. The water is clean and clear and great for swimming, especially before noon when conditions are usually calm. In the afternoon, the breeze picks up and the waves can be good for body surfing. Watersports equipment is available for guests. Note that there are a few big boulders scattered just beyond the wash; and sea conditions can be rough between October-February. The beautiful infinity pool leads onto the ocean and is decorated in attractive grey-blue stone with a parasol island in the middle. In the late afternoons, it’s a popular photo spot, but during the daytime, it’s mostly quiet. The resort has free daily shuttle buses to the nearby village and to Quy Nhơn city. However, the best (and nearest) excursion is to head up the 637 steps (well, by my count, anyway) to the giant seated Buddha and impressive temple at Chùa Ông Núi. The views from the top are fabulous.

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Guest Rooms & Décor: All guest rooms at the Crown Retreat are brick and stone bungalows painted off-white, most with traditional palm-thatched roofs, but some with tiles. Inside, furnishings are tasteful and the tone is restrained: there’s lots of wood – desks, wardrobes, doors, bedframes, lamps – tiled floors and walls in the shower cubicle, and plenty of space and light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. Average room size is good (36m2) and the outdoor patio provides extra space. Although there are several room types available, the price difference is mostly determined by location: the closer your bungalow is to the beach, the higher the rate. Like many high-end resorts these days, the bedroom and the bathroom are open-plan, rather than partitioned by a wall. I found the rooms comfortable, cool, bright and unshowy. Most of all I enjoyed throwing the doors open to the breeze and the ocean views. One issue is that the patios are too exposed to be out on during most of the day: they need more shade, perhaps by training vines or planting shade trees.

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Breakfast, Dining & Drinking: A buffet breakfast, included in the room price, is served in The Pine Kitchen, a classy, light-filled, open-sided restaurant with an outdoor deck looking over the bay. Breakfast is very good, but not exceptional by the standards of similarly priced beach resorts in Vietnam. The lunch and dinner menu consists of Vietnamese and Western dishes, including home-made pizzas. Prices are pretty reasonable and quality is good. There’s also a decent drinks menu, including cocktails (also available at the poolside bar), but no happy hour. If you’re only staying for a couple of nights, there’s no need to dine beyond the resort. But, if you’re here for longer, try the local seafood restaurants that are scattered along the main road just south of the Crown Retreat (look for signs saying quán ăn hải sản).

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Summary: The Crown Retreat is a solid option for a short beachside stay: two or three nights here in an oceanfront bungalow is very satisfying. The style and décor are tasteful, the location is wonderful, the pool is pretty and the resort is well-run. Nearby attractions and local life are enough to keep you engaged, if you want more than just the beach. Personally, I think prices are inflated by $20-$30: if average room rates at the Crown Retreat were $70-$90 that would represent value for money and be in line with resorts of comparable quality in other beach destinations, such as Phú Quốc and Nha Trang; but high-season rates of over $100 a night are marginally too high, in my opinion.

*To check rates & make a booking for Crown Retreat please BOOK HERE

Please Support My Site
My reviews are 100% independent: I do not receive freebies or payment. Use the links on this page to book your hotel & I will make a small commission. Alternatively, please make a donation or become a patron. Thank you,Tom

*Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free & independent. I’ve written this review because I want to: I like this resort & I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements & my About Page

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