Emma Jude Jackson
The Spirit of AMAN: Amanoi
"Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth, a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing."
This is one of the first things I read on the iPad that was waiting for me in the back of the car that collected me from Vietnam’s Cam Ranh airport to take me on the 70 minute scenic route to Amanoi, a wellness retreat overlooking the Vinh Hy Bay in Núi Chúa National Park, one of the country's most pristine coastal stretches.
I have been following the AMAN group for the better part of 2 years and manifesting a time when I would be able to experience it first-hand, a fantasy that required a little bit of preparation and luck for someone coming from the southernmost part of Africa.
The retreat's most defining characteristics come from nature and how it has been built in relationship with and not in contrast to the natural environment it finds itself in. It is also connected to Vietnamese culture, in the form of some of the gentle and graceful local people who work there, the exceptional food on offer, and the peaceful and balanced energy of the entire property, which I believe has its roots in the Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism that defines Vietnam.
I spent two nights and two full days exploring Amanoi, going on hikes, swimming in the ocean, getting to know the extraordinary team of people who allow it to be the unique and world-class destination that it is, and photographing everything that spoke to me as I saw it.
"A restorative wilderness by the sea: Ensconced in Núi Chúa National Park where pristine jungle tumbles into the crystal waters of Vinh Hy Bay, Amanoi is a secluded retreat where adventure and serenity meet and mingle. A unique microclimate makes this lush corner of Vietnam one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, with a rich variety of life to be discovered in both land and sea. Beside a protected wilderness hugging 32km of coastline, the resort’s private beach slopes towards forests of colourful coral, offering limitless opportunities for outdoor activities. Amanoi’s atmosphere of tranquil seclusion enhances the wellness offering of the Aman Spa and its pioneering duo of Spa Villas, which invite immersive holistic retreats amid the natural wonders of this unique and special place." Find out more here.