Dalat

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa — Charming French Colonial Stay

Ana Mandara Dalat sits over a pine-covered hill and has 17 unique villas built between 1920 and 1930. The boutique hotel is 15 minutes away from Dalat city center and about 45 minutes from Lien Khuong Airport.

The restored colonial villas offer cozy vintage accommodation, landscaped gardens for outdoor events, Asian-European cuisine, a spa, and a heated pool. In addition, Ana Mandara can organize tours and excursions at an additional cost to explore Dalat city.

Dalat is a former French Colonial hill station in Vietnam’s Central highlands. With a temperate climate all year round, it’s an ideal getaway to escape the bustle. Ana Mandara is one of the top hotels in Dalat.

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa — How it Became a Hotel

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat History
[ image from Anamandara-resort.com ]

How did Ana Mandara become the talked about tranquil getaway it is today? First, the French-built it between 1920 -1930 as a summer getaway. Then, after the First Indochina war, the villas were given to prosperous Vietnamese in 1954.

The villas even survived the American war in 1975 and were still used as individual residences. The residents installed temporary exhaust chimney pipes, basic toilets, and a mezzanine floor to double up as guest rooms.

When Six Senses Took Over

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Now

The villas were gradually converted into a boutique hotel in years to follow and later came under the Six Senses hotel chain. 

The original structures were re-designed to make 3-5 bedroom villas with ensuite baths, a dining and living room, and pantries. Each villa had classical fireplaces, four-poster beds, and claw foot bathtubs.

The villas then were thoughtfully named with a story behind each. For example, the ‘Scientists’ Villa was named after Alexandre Yersin. Villa 20 was called the Bellevue for the 240-degree views from its large balcony. The hotel was also the first in Dalat to have a slate swimming pool.

Guests were driven to their rooms in one of the hotel’s two Peugeots over cobblestone paths. The cozy rooms had French-colonial furniture and vintage décor, including working gramophones. International chefs prepared fine meals, and sightseeing around Dalat was seamlessly organized.

Ana Mandara has a story to tell, from a summer getaway to private residences and eventually a hotel. Though it’s no longer managed by Six Senses, it’s now an independent hotel whose walls stand to tell a tale. 

What to Expect at Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa Today

At Ana Mandara Villas Dalat
Cozy rooms

Luxury living with a classical French Charm would be a befitting description of Ana Mandara Dalat. The hotel now has 17 villas with 70 predominantly Art Deco rooms, but overall, Ana Mandara retains its original design and character.

The Villas at Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Inside Ana Mandara Villas Dalat
Suite with a living and dining area

The striking yellow ochre exterior of the villas is visible from a distance, and so are the tiled roofs. The generous use of dark wood for flooring, furniture, and furnishing is striking as you step in. Most rooms have fireplaces.

Each elegant villa has several guest rooms of different sizes (22 – 72 m2). The rooms have ensuite bathrooms with freestanding tubs. However, some villa suites even have a living, dining, kitchenette, pantry, and balcony.

The Petit rooms could be a bit too compact for families, and we recommend a suite for a truly comfortable stay. Set on a hillside surrounded by pine forests, the villas have scenic views of Dalat, including Langbiang Mountain, at a distance.

Breakfast is complimentary and is served at Le Petit restaurant, and room service is also available on request. In addition, the hotel has value stay packages for families and day use and staycation offers.

The only issue in some rooms could be the fireplace. Though charming, it may fill the room with smoke. Opening the windows can be problematic in the evening because of mosquitoes.

Another feature that could be annoying to some is the dim lighting in the rooms. However, it certainly adds to the overall charm. Occasionally the peaceful atmosphere can be disrupted by noise from guest villas nearby.

The Dining Experience Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Restaurants
Le Petit restaurant

The Le Petit restaurant is cozy with deep red tones, elegant design, and architecture. The restaurant even has a wine cellar. The cuisine includes French and Vietnamese specialties. For breakfast, try the croissants with locally sourced fruit jams. For lunch and dinner, it has a popular Asian set menu with a few Western specials.

Ana Mandara Dalat has an outdoor afternoon tea daily from 2 – 5 pm. The tea selection includes flavored teas, coffees accompanied with light refreshments, including delectable baked items.

Much sought-after activity at the hotel is the cooking class from 11 pm – 3 pm daily. You can make your three-course meal under the guidance of the hotel’s chef. The class size is about 15 people, and one must book in advance.

Time for Tranquility at Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Spa
Shirodhara at La Cochinchine Spa

Walk into La Cochinchine Spa to the smell of lemongrass oil and enjoy a hot cup of ginger tea while you choose a service. The Spa occupies an entire villa and is one of the best in southern Vietnam.

The treatments have traditional Vietnamese, Cham, Hindu, and French influences. The therapists are skilled in identifying essential pressure points that leave the skin radiant and release the mind of stress.

The Spa uses naturally extracted essential oils such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. Natural ingredients include cinnamon, anise, tea, lemongrass, sea salt, and honey. It also offers ‘Shirodhara’ — a traditional treatment from India that helps improve clarity and comprehension.

Other Wellness Facilities at Ana Mandara

The wellness facility also has a steam and sauna room. For fitness enthusiasts, they have a modest gym with essential cardio training equipment and some free weights.

Ana Mandara is one of the few hotels in Dalat with an outdoor heated pool. Guests can use the pool all day or relax with a cocktail on the loungers by the pool. 

On request, the hotel can also organize an outdoor private party by the poolside. At times, the music by the poolside gets loud, but you can always ask the staff to turn it down.

Charming Destination for Events and Special Occasions

Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Events
BBQ by the poolside

Ana Mandara Dalat doesn’t have a large event space but certainly offers elegant options. The multi-purpose room is suitable for conferences, private dinners, meetings, team-building events, and social gatherings. You can even book one of the villas to host an event.

The hotel’s outdoor gardens and scenic landscape provide a perfect backdrop for taking wedding vows. You can book the restaurant or even the poolside for post-wedding celebrations.

The wedding planners at the hotel can organize wedding photoshoots, honeymoon room decoration, and amenities at a surcharge.

Hotel Organized Tours and Excursions to Explore Dalat

Steam Locomotive and Serrated Railway at Dalat Station
Quaint Dalat Railway Station [ by Polina Rytova from Unsplash ]

Ana Mandara’s slightly isolated location can hinder some, but is a blessing for those wanting a quiet getaway. The hotel organizes activities at the resort and off-site tours for sightseeing at an additional cost.

At the resort, one can explore the hidden colonial history behind the villas and enjoy an afternoon tea or set meal post the tour. Furthermore, there is a baking class for kids from 11 am – 1 pm every day. Kids below 6 years, however, need to be accompanied by an adult.

Offsite Tours Organized by Ana Mandara

The hotel also organizes various sightseeing tours. These explore waterfalls and lakes, the summer palace of the last emperor of Vietnam, temples, pagodas, and markets in Dalat.

There are half and full-day tours, and most include transportation and entrance fees. Some tour packages include a spa treatment at the hotel.

The tours can be customized, and the hotel also has excellent recommendations on restaurants and cafés to visit. Most places of interest are within 20 minutes of the hotel. However, some, like the Langbiang Peak (for a hiking trail), can take up to 45 mins by car.

Contact the hotel staff for more details on prices to explore the best things to do in Dalat.

Why Choose Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa?

Why Choose Ana Mandara Villas Dalat?
In-villa dining with the family and friends to celebrate a special occasion

Ana Mandara Villas have a lived-in feel which adds to its vintage character. A post-colonial charm and a long history set it apart from other hotels in Dalat. In addition, the mid-size of the hotel makes it cozy and inviting.

It could be pandemic driven when most businesses are trying to cope. However, the maintenance does need some attention. It’s still a refreshing change from clinical precision seen in many other luxury hotels, but only if that’s what you want.

The Hits:

  • Upscale boutique luxury
  • French colonial charm
  • A tranquil escape in the lap of nature
  • Home-style personalized space
  • Outdoor heated pool
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Cooking classes
  • Great Spa

The Misses:

  • Far from city-center
  • Not many dining choices
  • Not enough resort recreation
  • Soundproofing in the villas

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