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All reviewscommunal dinnerlong tableloved the outdoor showerthree nightsstayed longerjunglevietnamislandcoconutfrogsbeachscootercreaturesusdnetbbqbamboo
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Reviewed 4 March 2012

Myself, my partner and nine year old daughter recently spent 14 nights at Freedomland during Febuary 2012. This was to be the last two weeks of a 5 week trip throughout Vietnam. We based our decision to stay at Freedomland on the high number of very positive reviews on tripadvisor. In short we were not dissapointed. What a lovely place.The ambience,the food and especially the people make this place special. Another review of a negative nature mentioned that their passports were held hostage! In fact it is a Goverment/ Police requirement for foreigners to do so. After 5 weeks in Vietnam we found this to be the norm. The food is a bit more expensive than some places. However, Peters style of cooking is more fusion than basic Vietnamese and coupled with the special ambience of the communal dinners I thought it was good value. ( Iwas charged full price for my meals. My partner and daughter ate vegetarian food and paid less). I initially thought that 14 nights at the same place for dinner would be to much and we were planning to occasionally dine elsewhere. We didn't bother. Whilst a couple of dishes were repeated over the 14 nights we thought the quality of the cuisine coupled with a special atmosphere was to good to miss. Another negative point raised was the isolation of Freedomland. On alternate days we hired scooters to check out the island or walked/cycled to Mango Bay to chill out. I can only say this 'isolation' was a positve thing compared to the resorts on Long Beach that are stacked together cheek by jowl. In closing a persons highest recommendation would be if they would visit the place again. Well I'm already checking out flights back to Phu Quoc. See you soon Rita Peter and Van Hai.

Room Tip: Book ahead if you can as the place is busy
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Freedomland. The setting is very nice and has a really good vibe. The six course dinners that Peter prepares every night and that are served a large table together with all the the travellers that stay at Freedomland are awesome. Staff is very professional and helpfull.

Room Tip: Make your reservation some weeks ahead if possible. During our stay all bungalows were booked.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank eone76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

As we sat under the warm sun, next to the crystal clear water, thoroughly enjoying our freshly caught lunch on the beach, Peter said “Dreams really can come true.” What dawned on me immediately was that my dreams are clearly too limited and uninspired. Peter dreamed up a place where great people from all over the world could come together and enjoy the wonderful weather, a slow pace, beautiful beaches, great conversations, brilliant architecture/ design/ layout (that includes, toward the top of the list, the copious hammocks), and fabulous, brilliant, astounding and creative – I can’t overstate it – food.

Our experience at Freedomland was like nothing we have ever experienced traveling. I admit, I was a little concerned that it may even be too laid-back for a tourist like me. No way, it was just a perfect setting complimented by some really interesting and friendly people. The other guests that we met became friends. It was a world-class education sitting at dinner with so many people from all over the world.

And, most importantly, meeting Peter, Rita and Van Hai, were the highlights of the trip. Peter’s obvious concern for the happiness of each and every one of his guests is really genuine. It was really inspiring to see and experience, first-hand, his dream come true. He is a true Renaissance man – so talented in the areas of design, building, food, art and business. Rita is so welcoming and gives the whole place such a great vibe. Conversations with her were always so easy and delightful. It is clear that she’s also on top of things in terms of running the place – we didn’t experience one snag the whole time. Van Hai, the master behind the bar, made the hours before and after dinner nearly as memorable as those amazing 5-course meals. His Garden drink is not to be missed! Nor is his conversation, photography, or just being in his wonderful presence. Another capable, artistic, genuine and friendly soul that makes Freedomland so special.

I almost hate to boast of it too much because it really felt like one of those “best kept secrets”, but we came to really admire Peter, Rita and Van Hai – so we must now be good friends and hand them off to others. Go to Freedomland, and enjoy! I think its impossible not to.

Room Tip: It is important to note that they are not located on a beach, it is about a 20 minute walk to the nicest beach nearby. We enjoyed the walk, though, especially when a few cows escorted us one day.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Connie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

I recently stayed at Freedomland with my two sons, my daughter, daughter-in-law and daughter's boyfriend - a real family holiday. When I first booked, a couple of the kids were skeptical, but prepared to give it a go. Freedomland has exceeded our wildest dreams. Of course, for most of us, the food was the highlight - best food we had anywhere in Vietnam, and well worth the $14 cost - Peter, you are an inspiration. But also - we loved the friendly atmosphere, the communal dinners and the opportunity to meeting other travellers for pre-dinner drinks, with white sand under our feet, and palm trees and stars over our heads!! The rooms were clean, the beaches nearby were certainly within walking distance - and worth the walk.

However, for me - the service was exceptional, and well above what would be expected. On the second last day of our holiday, we all hired motor scooters to explore the beautiful island and its beaches. Unfortunately, I had an accident and came off the bike, managing to break my ankle :(

Van Hai was sensational. By the time I arrived at the local hospital, Van Hai was there to interpret for me (luckily, because no-one spoke English). He was able to explain everything to the doctors, and in turn told me what they found, and their recommendation (which was to travel to Saigon for treatment). The doctors reset the ankle and placed it in a temporary cast, and Van Hai then helped my son procure the painkillers and antibiotics I would need until I was able to be operated on.

Because there were no more flights back to Saigon that day, I chose to return to Freedomland for the night (and another sensational dinner - so much better than hospital food!!). Early next morning, I was accompanied to the airport by Van Hai, and placed on an early flight to Saigon (from where I flew home to Brisbane for the operation, now on the mend)

Thanks to Rita, Peter and Van Hai for your help - I cannot recommend Freedomland highly enough

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

The rave reviews here need a little bit of balance and as many have said here "Freedomland is not for everyone!"
On the plus side, Mango Bay Beach is nearby and is a truly blissful place to spend a day at a pristine idyllic beach. The Freedomland bungalows are sweet and the place is peaceful and full of wonderful jungle sounds in the evening.
However, there are several annoyances, which others have mentioned and which I also experienced. Freedomland is basically in the middle of nowhere, so to some degree, you are trapped and a captured audience. While it is fun to experience the communal dinners once or twice...if you are staying longer at Freedomland, It is easy to get tired of having to eat a 5-6 course meal every night for more than twice the price of any other place on the island. Dinner is $14 per person plus drinks, which quickly adds up if you are staying there for any length of time. This may sound like a bargain to some but we never spent more than $10 total for dinner for 2 including drinks for amazing food all over Vietnam including Phu Quoc island so it quickly begins to feel like a rip-off. Breakfast is also not included as it is at almost every other resort and hotel on the island. In fact, nothing is included...there isn't even a bar of soap in your bathroom, whereas everyplace else I stayed in Vietnam gave soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a comb, and free Water...there are zero amenities at Freedomland. While there are free bicycles, you are never told about them (which adds to the feeling that they don't want you to discover that there is an outside world!). There is a great restaurant down the road called Sakura. I highly recommend all to discover the amazing local and very fresh food there which is so inexpensive and delicious and prepared by a lovely homey staff. Everything at Freedomland is just a little overpriced which made me at every turn feel slightly ripped off. If all other places charge 10,000-15,000 for water, Freedomland charges 17,000. If other places charge $5 for a whole bottle of wine, Freedomland charges $2 per glass for the same wine. You have to pay for your coffee in the morning. $2 here, $2 there, it really adds up I promise you! I also wholeheartedly agree with other reviewers here who were made to feel awkward when they informed Rita or Peter that they wouldn't be at dinner. Also, passports are held hostage in a locked safe until your bill is fully paid. After a month in Vietnam, this is the 1st time I experienced this level of mistrust. If you are after a real Vietnamese experience, why would you want to sit with other tourists night after night eating basically western vietnamese fusion? While the food is excellent, it is actually excellent everwhere in Vietnam! And, while we had a lovely time at Freedomland, we didn't drink the kool-aid that others here seem to have.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank Shazzarella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
freedomlandphuquoc, Owner at Freedomland Phu Quoc Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2012

Dear Shazzarella,

It’s clear that freeddomland is not the kind of place you’re cut out for.

I take this opportunity to mention to other TA readers that even when a hotel or a resort has a high rating that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for you. So, please take your time to check our website, do your research, make sure your budget is well calculated before you confirm a booking. If you’re not into good cuisine and if don’t feel like to meet people and socialize, offer a little bit of your personality to others and share a good vibe, Freedomland is not for you.

I try to screen reservations by explaining our concept, giving idea of the prices before anyone can make the decision to stay at Freedomland. When you send me an email inquiring about availability you will receive a detailed reply on what we have to offer, including prices. When you arrive you already should have a very close idea of what to expect, nothing is a secret.

We have 3 bicycles, that we borough for free when available. There’s no soap bars but there’s an antibacterial liquid soap bottle in each room that we refill when necessary. There’s also a 20L bottle of drinking water next to the kitchen for you to refill your small bottle for free. Our location is also no secret; it’s perfect for some, not for others. But you know what? You can have a 10 min stroll to the closest beach or 20 min to Mango Bay and then you can discover the outside world. We even give you a little map for that.

Our guests are well informed, grown up and intelligent enough to decide what they want. You would be surprised with how many interesting, educated and diverse nationalities we welcome here every day. We are also inspired by the travel and life stories of our guests. No one is trapped and there are no tricks or children drinks to capture no one’s attention. We certainly do not hold any passport hostage. In Vietnam, every hotel is required by law to declare its guests to the local police, that’s why you must present your passport on check in.

Despite all these annoyances you experienced I’m glad you still managed to have a lovely time at freedomland.

All the best,
Rita and Peter

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