It might belong to a big-box brand, but the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is nothing if not idiosyncratic. For the property's 10th anniversary in 2022, designer-architect Bill Bensley returned to oversee renovations bound to delight guests both old and new.
My first thought upon check-in at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort? It’s a visual treat. But unobstructed sea views turned out to be the tip of the iceberg. Like any Bensley-designed property, this coastal resort is a design-lover's dream.
The property has retained its original charm through its recent facelift. Completed facilities include an indoor-outdoor fitness center, a revolutionized spa and a new Club InterContinental Lounge. Next on the agenda: the completion of four-bedroom family villas, an expanded family pool, a new restaurant and an environmental education center.
Thanks to white monkey-shaped sconces in the InterContinental Club Lounge and cheeky monkey sculptures grinning from fence posts, guests won’t forget their proximity to Monkey Mountain (Son Tra). Even the funicular — why walk down to the beach when you can take the Nam Tram? — sports a monkey statue.
Many resorts offer wildlife watching, but few have endangered wild primates living on the property. InterContinental Danang’s resident zoologist, Anthony Barker, is on hand to lead wildlife walks and educate guests about the local red-shanked douc langurs.
Design-Forward Rooms and Suites
Monkey business aside, every single corner of this property packs a high-style dose of whimsy. Original art abounds — in 2021, the Bensley Outsider Gallery opened so art collectors could bring home a piece of their stay.
Guestrooms seamlessly blend Vietnamese lanterns and temple-inspired architecture with French flair. Each features an outdoor space and pops of bright color on a crisp monochromatic foundation. Except for private lagoon villas, every room has a sea view.
The 189-key property offers ocean-view rooms, terrace suites, club terrace suites, one-bedroom penthouses and one- to three-bedroom villas. New this year is a two-story, four-bedroom villa with three pools.
My penthouse suite had a private pool, an outdoor shower, a butler's kitchen and the most massive bathtub I've ever seen (thanks to two rainfall showerheads built into the ceiling; whole-room showers are also an option). Whether tucked into bed, sitting poolside or grabbing my complimentary flip-flops from the lavish, maximalist dressing room, there was never a dull moment during the stay.
Many InterContinental resorts have a Club Lounge, but few feel like a sophisticated cliffside hangout with Art Deco vibes. Guests who splurge for a Club Level suite will find solid value.
As a Club Level guest, I enjoyed a private tableside check-in with refreshments overlooking the rippling East Sea. Club Lounge access includes breakfast, afternoon tea with adorable fruity pastries and chocolates and evening cocktails and canapes. Complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available all day.
InterContinetnal Danang’s Restaurants
It takes time to sample all the resort's dining options, which include The Club Lounge (for applicable room categories), plus three restaurants and two bars.
Citron serves Vietnamese fare in a lemon-and-lime interior — though the real stars are cantilevered outdoor booths shaped like upside-down Vietnamese hats. Complimentary fresh bread served with lemongrass dipping oil was a treat. A hearty helping of “Mi Quang” (Danang's signature dish) or pho is a must. Though I only popped into Citron for lunch, it was one of my favorite meals on the property.
The poolside Long Bar is the perfect spot for lounging in the shade with a tropical cocktail or mocktail. Guests can choose between massive striped daybeds or swinging clamshell seats at the 164-foot bar. The vibe and drinks were impeccable, but orders took a while — especially food items, which are delivered from the beachfront Barefoot restaurant.
Finally, there’s La Maison 1888, which also houses Buffalo Bar. At the restaurant — a stylized version of a French Colonial mansion set up by Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire — fine dining and wine for two will easily set guests back $500. Wine aficionados should ask head sommelier Jimmy Chang for a glimpse of Vietnam's only bottle of Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux from Henri Jayer 1994 (available for $90,000).
A New Spa Concept
The new Mi Sol Spa is based on sound therapy through tuning fork vibrations. After arriving for my appointment, I watched the hostess perform a sound ceremony over the property-grown herbs she used to infuse my tea. Then, a golf cart whisked my husband and me away for a "Connecting Us" treatment, which began with mantras and a small ceremony before our steam and massages.
Treatments take place in one of eight elegant huts designed by Bensley. Unlike standard darkened, intimate treatment rooms, Mi Sol's huts are expansive, with soaring ceilings and massive windows offering private lagoon views.