Nestled in Phu Quoc island, off the southern coast of Vietnam, the JW Marriot Phu Quoc at Emerald Bay presents 244 guestrooms, suites and villas within an idyllic island retreat. Designed by award-winning interior designer Bill Bensley, the hotel also offers five distinct restaurants and bars as well as the unique Rue de Lamarck which features a collection of artisanal boutiques and cafés.
For the design of the resort, the design narrative was developed around the concept of a mythical academy of learning to honour French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who laid the groundwork for Darwin’s theory of evolution. This results in a university-inspired theme where spaces are configured to create a unique atmosphere to reflect the designer’s philosophy of creating hotels that demonstrates his passion for learning. His vision is for JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay to become a destination where guests leave inspired.
“Many people consider university to be the most memorable time of their lives,” says Bill Bensley, chief architect and designer of JW Marriott Phu Quoc. “I’ve always wanted to create a resort with this theme because of the profound influence my university studies had on my work. The scale of this project, together with the spectacular setting, gave me the perfect opportunity to bring the story of Lamarck University to life ensuring that guests leave richer than when they arrive, a core expectation for JW Marriott guests.”
Bensley took on the master planning and design of the entire property. Here, he separated the enormous site into different zones, all of them connected via the Rue de Lamarck, the main street that extends through the whole resort. According to him, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc buildings are reminiscent of early 20th century style and embrace the traditions of French colonial architecture. Every detail, down to the decorative elements and associates’ uniforms, have been carefully crafted and considered by Bensley to reinforce the resort’s overarching theme. Standing proudly within various areas of the property are a myriad of decorative details depicting the Phu Quoc Ridgeback, a native dog breed which is used as the mascot of the hotel.
Within the different wings of the resort are 244 guestrooms, suites and villas, spread out into their own dedicated sections. Taking full advantage of the idyllic views, all rooms and suites are ocean-facing and include a spacious balcony with sofa seating. Guests staying on the ground level will also have their own private garden and direct access to the three swimming pools of the resort. Complementing the emerald-colored sea and the lush surrounding landscape, Bensley has picked a palate of warming reds, turquoise, blues and greens for the interiors. Custom-designed furnishings in dark timber and patterned flooring further elevate the sense of comfort and luxury in the rooms, and throughout the resort’s walkway.
Things get more interesting along the Rue de Lamarck where traditional shophouses are built to resemble the ancient streets of Hoi An. This street features a unique blend of Chinese, Japanese and Western architectural influences, offering visitors an authentic sense of place. Visitors can stroll the street to find the most exquisite artisanal boutiques, the resort’s varied dining outlets and one of the best spas on Phu Quoc island.