Bamboo Cottages Off-Grid Resort, Phu Quoc Island

First published May 2020 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

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Situated on one of Phu Quoc’s most attractive and least developed bays, Bamboo Cottages is a small, mid-range beach resort powered by solar energy. By generating electricity through solar panels, Bamboo Cottages is almost 100% power-independent and off the national grid. The resort features neat, bright, breezy and clean beachfront bungalows, a delightful dining area on the sand under big trees, a good stretch of beach for swimming, and a generally small-scale, informal atmosphere with an emphasis on sustainability. Considering the amount of reckless, large-scale development on Phu Quoc in recent years, Bamboo Cottages is exactly the kind of property that the island needs more of if it has any chance of preserving its natural environment and sustaining tourism into the future. Sadly, and perhaps inevitably, Bamboo Cottages’ future may be in doubt, as rumours circulate that one of Vietnam’s largest developers is attempting to get permission to build here. [To check current rates, availability & make a reservation for Bamboo Cottages please BOOK HERE]

Bamboo Cottages, solar-powered resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo Cottages solar-powered resort on Phu Quoc Island

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REVIEW: BAMBOO COTTAGES, PHU QUOC


Address: Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam [MAP]

Average Rates: $45-$75 | Email: [email protected]

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: All my reviews are independently researched & financed. I never receive freebies of any sort in exchange for positive reviews or listings. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, I make a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.

[Click the image below or BOOK HERE]


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Bamboo Cottages, solar-powered resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam


Bamboo Cottages is at the northern end of Vung Bau Bay, one of the prettiest beaches on Phu Quoc Island and also one of the few areas that has so far been spared large-scale development. In the northwest of the island, the property is reached via a dirt road leading off the main road to Ganh Dau. Bamboo Cottages occupies a good portion of beachfront beneath large casuarina trees and coconut palms. It’s quiet, lush, calm, peaceful and uncluttered. The beach and the ocean are lovely. Swimming, bathing, kayaking and snorkeling are good, and the water quality is generally blue, sparkling, and clear. Unfortunately, like all beaches on Phu Quoc these days, the bay does suffer from trash. I stayed here with my family for a week, and most days the water quality was good. But there were a couple of mornings when the trash was so bad we couldn’t bring ourselves to swim. As far as we could tell, the trash was subject to tides and weather. It’s depressing, but serves as a reminder of why Bamboo Cottages – with its emphasis on clean energy, reducing waste via reusable products, and protecting the environment – is such as important property for Phu Quoc.

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo Cottages is on Vung Bau Bay


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Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe resort is accessed via a dirt road


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo Cottages has a good beachfront location


Bamboo Cottages is a small property. Most of the dozen or so bungalows are arranged in two rows along the seafront. Average rates, which include breakfast, are between $40-$60, which represents very good value for money. The Beachfront and Sea View rooms offer the best value: these are brick and concrete bungalows, tastefully appointed with plenty of natural light and open-air bathrooms. The other options are the newer River Bend and Water Cottage rooms, which are neat, tidily furnished wood and brick chalets set along a small stream bisecting the property. However, the waterway is likely to be dry or stagnant in the high season (which is also the dry season), so the setting may not be quite as atmospheric as you might think. Ideally, go for a Beachfront Bungalow and stay for at least a few days to really sink into the calm of the resort and the location of the bay.

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe seafront bungalows are attractive


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe interiors are tastefully furnished


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Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamA pretty little tea set in each room


The bungalows along the seafront are made from brick and concrete (not bamboo, as you might expect from the resort’s name). However, the interiors feature lots of natural materials, such as wooden chests and tables, bamboo chairs and bed stands. From the outside the bungalows aren’t nearly as attractive as they are on the inside (this is largely due to a confusion of too many materials and textures: tiled roofs, wooden columns, pebble-dash walls, and red brick). They’re certainly not ugly, just not as coherent and characterful as the interiors. Inside, the rooms are crisply and cleanly furnished with simple but tasteful objects – from stylish bamboo chairs chairs to pretty little tea stations at the end of each bed – and softly lit by table lamps and bedside lanterns. The overall effect is cosy, classy, homey, and unpretentious. There are no TVs.

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe exteriors aren’t as attractive as the interiors


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamRooms are neatly arranged with lots of natural materials


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo chairs & wooden tables in each room


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Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors open onto a large patio leading into a sandy garden with flowers, beyond which is the beach and the ocean. The floors are tiled and the rooms are airy, bright, cool, and naturally ventilated when the doors and windows are open. There are fans in all rooms, but no air-conditioning in order to save electricity. Mosquito nets on four-poster trellises keep the bugs out, and mosquito coils are provided to burn on the patio or in the room. But, best of all, the windows have fly-netting on them, so you can open the windows to let the cool breezes into the rooms (not to mention the sound of the waves at night and birds in the morning) while also keeping the bugs out: a simple feature but almost always overlooked by most accommodations. The open-air bathroom, shower, and bathtub are decorated with plants and flowers, which guests are encouraged to water with the shower.

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamIt’s a small resort with only a dozen or so rooms


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamAll rooms have easy access to the beach & sea views


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamHot water & drinking water can be refilled


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Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamIt’s a calm & peaceful location


Bamboo Cottages is quiet and green. Although it’s a fairly small and intimate property, it’s by no means crowded or cramped. There’s an orchid nursery on site and the gardens are full of tropical flowers, fruit trees, and birds. Under large casuarina trees, a handful of wooden tables and chairs are arranged on the sand near the ocean. This functions as the resort’s dining area. Breakfasts here in the bright morning light are lovely; cocktails at sunset (happy hour from 4-6pm) is just right; and dinner by the dim light of tabletop paraffin lamps is wonderful. Breakfast is a colourful feast of eggs, bread, tropical fruits, coffee, and juice. The lunch and dinner menu is limited but offers fresh, tasty, and well-prepared Vietnamese dishes. At the centre of the resort, an attractive, open-sided structure operates as a common area, housing a bar, pool table, and reception. It’s a nice, cosy place to be for an evening drink or to shelter from an afternoon downpour. Mercifully, there’s no pop music blaring out anywhere in the resort (a rarity in Vietnam, even at high-end accommodations).

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe dining area is under trees on the beach


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamA colourful breakfast is included in the room price


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe common room is a cosy area to relax


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Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThere’s a pool table & a bar


The beachfront features palm-leaf parasols providing shade for loungers, hammocks, and a couple of swings hanging from branches over the sea. Unfortunately, the beach is eroding (a common problem all along Vietnam’s coastline today) so they’ve had to construct a concrete embankment, and it’s a shame about the concrete posts (designed to look like a wooden fence) dividing the raised ground on which the bungalows are built from the seafront. During high season, there are cooking classes, BBQs, and house dinners to encourage socializing. Motorbikes and bicycles are available to rent for excursions up and down the dirt lane running beside the bay or further afield. Kayaks can be hired to take out on the bay; there’s also snorkel equipment, yoga classes, Vietnamese lessons, and a small spa offering massages. There are no villages in the immediate vicinity, but you can walk to any of the other few resorts along Vung Bau Bay. But if you want more choice of restaurants and cafes, it’s a 10-minute taxi to Ganh Dau village at the northwestern tip of the island (the closest option) or a 15-20-minute ride to the main town of Duong Dong.

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe beach is good for swimming & relaxing under a parasol


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamWater quality is generally good & clean


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe rest of the bay is accessible via dirt path


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Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThe restaurant serves good food for all meals


Because Bamboo Cottages is solar-powered, guests are encouraged to be mindful of their usage of electricity. Instead of a refrigerator, each room is equipped with a cool-box filled with ice to keep drinks cold, if required. Water is heated by the sun in tubes on each bungalow’s rooftop. This means that hot water may not be available late at night or early in the morning (but this shouldn’t really be an issue, considering average temperatures hover around 30°C). Instead of a kettle, each room is provided with a thermos flask of hot water and a glass bottle of drinking water, which can be refilled at the water station near the bar. The resort has helpful notes and literature to encourage and help guests partake in conservation and sustainability. It’s reassuring to encounter this attitude anywhere in Vietnam, but particularly on Phu Quoc Island, which has been so badly affected by the advent of plastic and the rise of garbage from tourism and construction. We all know it can’t continue this way; we all see it everyday on Phu Quoc: the trash in the ocean, the foul-smelling landfills bursting with garbage, the litter on the streets, on the beaches, in the forests of the national park. But very few places on the island actually address these issues in the way Bamboo Cottages does. Now that there are rumours this entire bay may soon be bought and developed by one of the biggest corporations in Vietnam, the example of Bamboo Cottages is more poignant and precious than ever. [To check current rates, availability & make a reservation for Bamboo Cottages Resort please BOOK HERE]

Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo Cottages is lush, green & good value for money


Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamThere’s an informal & laid-back atmosphere

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: All my reviews are independently researched & financed. I never receive freebies of any sort in exchange for positive reviews or listings. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, I make a small commission. All my earnings go straight back into this website. Thank you.


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Bamboo Cottages, Solar-powered beach resort, Phu Quoc Island, VietnamBamboo Cottages is the antithesis of the large, integrated resorts being constructed on the island


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 here

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