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“Fantastic to get your scuba certification - very relaxing place”

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Whale Island Resort
Ranked #40 of 215 Hotels in Nha Trang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 March 2014

We visited Whale Island Resort twice during our 6 month stay in Vietnam. Highly recommend the place as a destination for scuba certification, low key relaxation and as a hide away from the typical tourist hustle. Since it is a bit of an act to get to the place spend at least a long weekend (or 4-5 days if you wan to get scuba certification for yourself or your kids (10+) - check this ahead of time with Rainbow Divers since they have to potentially arrange for an extra instructor ).
At both our visits we did stay a night in Nha Trang and we very much enjoyed that. A stop in Nha Trang cuts the trip to the airport in half and it is great fun

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Greg0A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2014

Dear Greg0A,
Thank you for your comment.
You are not the only who is convinced that doing a diving course or some fun dives from Whale Island Resort is fantastic. The very secured and protected beach for the skills session is located at less than 20m off the diving store.
The dive team who is living on site will be please to arrange your course schedule or your fun dives in regard of your expectations (it would be a good idea for a Padi course to do your theory on line before your arrival) and the time that you may want to spend for some other activities or for a relaxing sun bathing.
Kind regards
Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 8 March 2014

My partner & I had the opportunity to have a 3 night stay at this resort recently. What I aim to do here is give a factual account of our visit. I will leave you as the reader to merely reflect on my comments.

We arrived at Nha Trang Airport mid early afternoon & were picked up by the resort mini bus. There was another couple from Holland who joined us. What you need to be aware of is that the journey takes almost 3 hours including a short 15 minute boat trip to the Island. The road isn't the best & the driving standards in these parts is questionable at times. Disappointingly we were not afforded the opportunity to have a refreshment stop en-route to the resort.

Anyway, on arrival to what is a lovely island, the local manager Alex gave us a brief outline of what facilities were available etc. Unlike most of the other hotels/resorts we stayed at during our 3 week tour the offer of a welcoming complimentary drink was not forthcoming. It is always nice for your custom to be be appreciated. Anyway, no big deal but there we go.

The quirky bamboo huts we stayed in were basic but this was something we were well aware of before we got here. One electric socket in the room & two coffee cups but no kettle or tea/coffee provided. On arrival we were supplied with 2 small bottles of water in the room. There was no replenishment. All drinking water thereafter needed to be purchased from the bar. Price wise again no big deal but it's these little points which takes the gloss of things. Every other hotel we visited provided complimentary water on a daily basis so a bit penny pinching here I feel. I fully appreciate the resort is on an island & therefore has transportation issues. However, it isn't exactly in the middle of the Pacific Ocean plus it didn't appear to cause problems in stocking up the bar with adequate supplies !!

Hot water in the shower area was a bit hit or miss. We were advised just to keep the hot water tap running till eventually the temperature rose. This took ages. Given the "Eco" theme of the resort we thought this practice was out of line with the basic principles of avoidance of wasting water. Anyway, we followed the guidance given.

The beach is a narrow strip of sand but more than adequate for sunbathing. A number of sun loungers are available at no charge. If you require a towel then a daily charge will be incurred. A nominal amount but once again a charge nonetheless. During the day the bay in which the resort is located is peaceful & tranquil - beautiful in fact . However, beyond the bay there is a stretch of water where there is a busy channel for the huge flotilla of local fishing vessels. Early morning & in the evenings the noise from the engines of these junk boats is fairly constant. If you are a heavy sleeper or use your MP3 headphones regularly then this shouldn't really be an issue for you. Not a criticism merely conveying it as it was for us.

Snorkeling & diving activities were available but these were not something which was on our agenda. There certainly appeared to be a good deal of focus on them by the staff so obviously if you have an interest then you should be well catered for.

No complaints with the food. The staff in the restuarant were both helpful & friendly. Menu was changed every day & if there was anything which you didn't 't really fancy then they were more than happy to provide you with an alternative.

Overall I do feel that the resort could do a lot better in terms of making your stay feel a better experience. We felt that once you were on the island minimal effort was then made to enhance your stay. We have a saying in the UK about "going the extra mile for the customer" which is a principle the resort might be wise to consider. This resort unquestionably has all the potential but perhaps needs to take a closer look at how it interacts with its customers/guests. No business can survive without their support. Taking customers for granted is a recipe for disaster.

Would I revisit the resort ? I would probably say no but that's more to do with the hassle of getting there than anything else. It was an enjoyable experience so give it a go !!!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Tom K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Dear Tom K,

Thank you for your comment on tripadvisor that will like all other help us to improve the quality of our service and inform our future guests.

We do clearly let all our guest who we have a chance to contact or all travel agencies who work with us about this details. I can really understand that your transfer was toilsome because you seemed to not be informed about this "detail" by your travel agency and get your flight delayed of about two hours.
There are shorter way to get to our resort but they might not fit our tour schedule.

We are not sure that replenishing water will be a nice touch because it will not stay fresh. That has nothing to do with the cost. The first bottles are placed in the bungalows that do not include fridges just before the arrival of our guest so they can rest a moment before getting along the beach and checking in to the reception. In most other resort, your making your way from the reception to the room. That is not possible on Whale Island.

About the waste of water, it is all my bad: i did not explain you the following.
We heat the water by solar panels. These are located on the top of the little hill behind the bungalows and are link to the bungalow through a long pipe network. It can take 5 to 10 minutes for the water to arrive to the taps or the shower heads, especially if our occupancy is low. Our guest should not be worry: all the water coming out the bungalow is recycled to water the plants and we most of the time have not enough.

I agree with you: we have covered in the last 15 years "many miles for the customers" and still have many others to go. We still work on getting the satisfaction of our guest, sometimes i agree, slowed by the specificity of our environment, but with the same motivation.

Thank you for your contribution.

Kind regards

Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 7 March 2014 via mobile

The whale island resort is perfect for people that want to scape the noise of the city. The resort has cabins spread around the complex some facing the ocean and some a bit further away. The cabins facing the ocean have beautiful views, but I think are not as quiet and private as the ones that are inside, as the path to go to the lobby and restaurant passes right in front of them. I stayed in one of the lasts cabins before the trails that go around the island. The cabin was large and comfortable, with two queen beds that had mosquito nets. The bathroom was also very nice and modern. They do not provide toiletries (only soap) so bring your own shampoo and conditioner.
The hotel has kayaks and snorkels that you can rent and you can also rent a boat if you want to explore the area... or book a snorkeling or diving tour. The beach at the hotel has corals and lots of fish so you can snorkel right there.
There are several trails around the island of you prefer to hike. One takes you to a rock that gives you a 360 degree view of the area.
The restaurant at the hotel is the only option for food (as far as I know), but it is great. The breakfast is very complete with eggs, bread, butter, coffee, tea, and other local pastries that don't know their name (similar to spanish buñuelos). Options for lunch and dinner change every day, with soups, fish, noodles, salads... lots of great flavors.

There is wifi at the bar, a bit slow but enough to catch up on the email.

Finally, staff is very friendly, some don't speak English much but it is fine.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
Thank batitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Dear Batitravel,

Thank you for your comment on tripadvisor.
We are glad that your escape to Whale Island and the meals of our restaurant. .

We will be honored to welcome you again on one of our resort.

Kind regards

Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

Location is fantastic, bungalows are very nice, food is very ok.

I think a lot of people forget that since there's nothing else on the Island but this resort the prices can't be compared to the mainland. It's still cheap compared to Europe. I think considering that, this is an amazing place to take a short relaxing break during a north to south (or the other way) holiday to Vietnam.
Would recommend this to everyone. Saw a few critical responses here before I booked, but I hope everyone can read between the lines that sometimes the problems are not the resort, but rather the unrealistic expectations of the customer.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Arjen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Dear Ạrjen,

Thank you for this comments on tripadvicor.

We are delighted to read that your ẹnjoyed your stay in Whale island Resort and will use the opportunity of your review to confirm that our team is available to answer to any inquiry and to explain the services provided on site by email or telephone.

We look forward to welcoming you again if ever you will come back in Vietnam.

Kind Regards

Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

Idyllic location on the west coats of small island in a natural bay north of Nha Trang. Bungalows are well designed and constructed using naturally occurring materials as are all the buildings in the resort. Rooms are basic but comfortable. Staff all shuffle around looking at their feet and there is clearly no leadership managing the resort. There are very few places in Vietnam that you can sit on a terrace at a bar overlooking the sea and watch the sun go down, its a shame the bar has no staff at sunset.

Room Tip: choose a room located located one row back from the sea - the staff make a lot of noise early in the...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank Pierre L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 March 2014

Dear Mr Xavier L,

Thank you for your appreciation on our accommodation and location.

I am very concerned about your comment about the lack of bar staff at the terrasse, unless you are talking about 3-5 minutes that need your employees to update the bar with some beverage that they should take from our store nearby. The bar is open from 6:30 to the time after diner that the lounge is deserted by the customers.

I beg you to give me more details by email at alexandre@anislandinvietnam.com as I can not find your contact details in your booking system.

KInd regards

Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 2 March 2014

We stayed here for three nights, had a wonderful time. Our bungalow was on the beach, very basic but clean. The little wet room was very basic, with shower, basin and toilet with only small bar of soap provided. Two small bottles of water provided on arrival but not replaced after which in my opinion should be provided every day as water is needed in room for teeth cleaning etc..and you had no choice but to buy from bar.
Pillows are very flat and fall off back of bed as no headboard, Mosi nets are provided.
I found the food very good, breakfast was good with fresh fruit, rolls, cake and eggs. Lunch and dinner several dishes and rice, followed by either fruit or a cake. Drinks are the usual price that we paid in Vietnam.
Went on a snorkelling trip and it was really good.
The transfer is very long and a terrible road to travel lots of lorries.
The fishing boats are noisy at night and the generator but you get use to it!
Really enjoyed our stay on this beautiful island and would love to return one day.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Lin50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2014

Dear Mrs Lin 50,

Thank you for sharing your experience in Whale Island Resort with the tripadvisor visitors.

We are honored to read that you would love to stay in one of our bungalow an other time. You may apreciate to know that we have buid a new generator house even more soundproofed than the older one and that the fishing campain, and by consequence the passage of the fishing boats depend of the tides.
The reception could also provide extra pillows or blankets on request.

I have your compliments to the kitchen manager who was honored to receive them.

Thank you again for this comment.

Kind regards

Alexandre Portier

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Reviewed 5 February 2014

I was really disappointed by my stay here as the photos look great but it is a budget resort despite me paying a premium price. It was Tet so prices get hiked up but if you're paying that much you should still get a hotel worth that price. This resort wasn't worth it unfortunately. I'm disappointed that I have so many more bad things to say than good but I feel other travellers should know these things, and they were things that other guests agreed on.

First of all you need to factor in the exorbitantly priced shuttle bus - $20 pp per way. I have no idea how they justify this cost as I have taken private cars in Vietnam and they don't cost that much, especially since the shuttle bus in our case had 8 people one way and 6 going back. Despite the crazy price you don't even get to choose the time as they have 2 set times.

On arrival to the island we are deposited into our super basic room. Not cute and quaint, just extremely budget. Flat pillows, mosquito net with stains and holes that flops in and makes the tiny bed even smaller. No toiletries, only soap, and 2 tiny bottles of water that were not replenished the whole time we were there. The tiny toilet with a shower on the wall stunk like sewerage the whole time. Didn't get a wink of sleep at night because the bay is not as serene as the photos suggest. It is surrounded by fishing villages (hence the rubbish everywhere except on the resort beach) and they have boats chugging really loudly all day and night. The nice thing about the room was that you are only a few steps away from the sea.

They make money off you at every opportunity - charge for beach towels (!!), kayaks, snorkelling equipment, drinks at all meals, absolutely nothing is included for the high price you pay for accommodation including getting there, oh except breakfast.

As others have mentioned the food was hit and miss, some meals were good, some very boring and the amount of food dropped as our stay continued. One night we went home hungry and there is no way of buying extra food there. The restaurant needs to start doing a la carte. Definitely not worth the price you pay for the food either as it was nice, but more like home-cooked Vietnamese that should cost half the price. I also recommend that they change the mealtimes - breakfast for some reason is really early - we're supposed to be on island time?! Dinner is too late, especially for the families with children who wanted to each much earlier. Everyone was always waiting at the bar ready for dinner as we all got hungry.

Staff were unfriendly and didn't speak much English, they just hung out together and the bar staff made no effort to come and take drinks orders. There wasn't much information about the island, what to do etc. The manager, a Frenchman (I think), appears to make little effort to improve the resort despite his many years there. All of the guests were complaining about something and it isn't hard for him to ask a few questions and find out how we all felt.

On the plus side the snorkelling is OK, take the 9am trip and you go to a different bay which has amazing coral. The island walks are great and one of the walks takes you to a big pile of rocks which is perfect for watching the sunset. The beach is nice but beware of the huge spiky sea urchins. There is no info about these as a hazard but they are everywhere in the sea there and one poor man fell on one and had spikes stuck in his leg. It is a good place for families - the children there were having a ball on the beach, doing walks, out in the kayaks etc.

I wouldn't go again. The room rates are much too high for the quality that you get.

Room Tip: The sea view ones are almost right on the beach, but they are also very loud with the boats going al...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Melanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lxportier, Manager at Whale Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2014

Dear Melanie L,

Thank you for your review and for advising our resort to families.
I have noticed that you really want to inform all the travelers about your experience by posting your review on many websites. I am sure that you will not see any inconvenience that I will add some, I hope, useful details to your explanations and give some extra tip at the intention of our future guest.
.
The price of the shuttle is 20 USD per person per way (even if there is only one or two passengers only) or 60 USD for a family of less than 8 people or if you chose to get a special transfer at any time.
Our Reception manager informed you by email 20 days before your arrival about the times of the shuttle and also precise that “Some transfer can be also organized from other places or at another time”. You then request to take the shuttle bus at 12am at the shuttle price. He replied that the shuttle times were 9am and 2pm.

Some boats passed in front of the resort during the first day of your stay but definitely not the two following days because the fisherman did not work during the Chinese New Year celebrations. (My bungalow is also on the beach).

You are right: We charge beach towel half a dollar every time you return it to the beach hut. We supply water to the island by boat for the bungalows, laundry and other services and think that the guest could help us to save some water by keeping their beach towel more than a day. We charge the number of times that the guest returns his beach towel.

Our guests are awaited until 9am for breakfast unless they request to get it later the evening before. We aim to save some energy in the kitchen because we produce our own electricity. The diner is served from 7pm: We do not think it’s late but again the guests can request to have it earlier.

We cannot have an “a la carte” menu. The island is too secluded. That would suppose to have more fridges to store the goods and produce more electricity. Our fresh food arrive every day to prepare the menu of the day or the “special meals” that our guests could request in advance.

But unlike a classic restaurant, you could get more food if you ask. Fruits plates are available at the bar.

I have forwarded your complain to the whole Whale Island Staff, direction and owner. We will look very carefully, in a meeting, all its details and reinforce, if possible, our standards of service and our communication with our guests.

I do apologize in behalf of the entire team and me if you felt that we were available enough to serve you.

I will not have the pretension to discuss your impression about my working motivation; it’s all about your feelings. Fortunately, our efforts are recognized by many of our guests as you may read on the rest of this page.
But we wish to satisfy even more and to improve the quality of our services, every time it is possible.

In order so, please allow me to use this reply to give the following advises to our readers:
 We invite you to check our price lists (bungalow, meals, bar, activities) available on www.anislandinvietnam.com and read the entire email that our team would send you if you will book your stay at our Resort so you could expect the total cost of your stay.
 You are more than welcome to compare the price of our transfer service with a price of a taxi, or a private vehicle. They are not mandatory unlike some other resort: You can arrange your own transportation knowing that our boat transfers that you could request for any time are free of charge for any guest.
 If you will come as a couple or family, you could come all together to check in at the reception so you will all get the welcoming briefing that is given by one of our reception staff or me and know more about what to do on the island and its services.
 We are available to answer to any of your questions before your arrival. Do not hesitate to contact us.

I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Vietnam.

Kind regards

Alexandre Portier

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Whale Island Resort

Address: 2 Me Linh | Van Ninh District, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Khanh Hoa Province > Nha Trang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Nha Trang
#12 Family Hotel in Nha Trang
Price Range: £35 - £63 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Whale Island Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An idyllic tropical paradise on a small island in stunning Van Phong Bay, Whale Island, also known as Ile de la Baleine or Hon Ong, is a low-key, initimate resort two hours north of Nha Trang. Offering a desert island experience, Whale Island nestles amongst swaying coconut palms and a pristine sand beach.Thirty one traditional-style bamboo thatched bungalows offer beds with mosquito nets, pillar fans, plus en-suite bathrooms with shower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Whale Island Hotel Nha Trang
Whale Island Nha Trang

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