Idyllic Inspirations: Designed to leave guests inspired, this beautiful island retreat presents a myriad of interesting details and thoughtful touches

Project: JW Marriot Phu Quoc, Emerald Bay | Design: Bill Bensley | Location: Phu Quoc, Vietnam | Photos: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

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.

11 thoughts on “Idyllic Inspirations: Designed to leave guests inspired, this beautiful island retreat presents a myriad of interesting details and thoughtful touches

  1. Dustin

    I don’t know a whole lot about interior design, but I do love to stay in nice resorts, and this place looks exquisite.

    I blog about how to get free flights and free hotel stays through the use of credit card sign up bonus points. I’ve never done the Marriott Card, but I’m going to have to get on that and head to Vietnam.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. KayL

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    What a beautiful resort. One that certainly spoils all of their guests.

    The colors they have chosen are so pleasing to the eye and blends so well with the outdoors.

    Can you share the best way to get there from the USA? Also, what is the cost for a 2-week stay?

    Thank you,

  3. Kay

    What a beautiful resort. One that certainly spoils all of their guests.

    The colors they have chosen are so pleasing to the eye and blends so well with the outdoors.

    Can you share the best way to get there from the USA? Also, what is the cost for a 2-week stay?

    Thank you,

  4. Michelle

    Oh my gosh, this resort looks so exquisite! It’s very clean and open, and the theme is just mind blowing. I think I gained inspiration just from looking at the pictures. I have no clue what university he went to, but I’ve never seen one like this! Do you know what the price range on this resort is?

  5. ellie

    Oh my goodness this is pleasing to the eyes. And that is an understatement. I really like the bit about the university. I want to see more of Bill Bensley’s designs now.
    This must be super expensive. But, this will be added to my bucket list.
    How much is it per night?

  6. JeffWA

    Hi, Lily,

    Being old enough to remember the Vietnam War, (and having a cousin who served there in the U.S. military) at first one can’t fathom that 40 years has passed since the final conclusion plus the sheer fact that since that time there is so much beauty in that country!

    This is clearly seen in the beautiful images that you posted in your article of the Marriott Resort located on the island of Phu Quoc just off of the Vietnam coastline.

    The interior of this hotel is exquisite to say the least. The time obviously spent by Bill Bensley in designing the layout of this hotel, which eventually included the stunning architecture certainly produced a magnificent structure.

    I wonder in U.S dollars how much it would cost per night to stay in this resort hotel? Do you know what is available surrounding entertainment, dining cuisine, cultural events, etc that could be enjoyed either in the hotel or the surrounding area for guests?

    To be honest having visited in my lifetime a handful of countries in Europe, besides establishments in the continental U.S. and Hawaii I have seldom seen in my lifetime such a beautiful resort as the one that you devoted your article to in promoting this extravagant resort.


  7. Robert

    We are currently planning our next travel adventure and your review of the Marriott Phu Quoc makes it a destination we will consider on our adventure. Especially appealing is the Rue de Lamarck which brings cultural authenticity to the resort, a very nice concept. Combined with the Marriott’s global reputation for high quality this appears to be an exceptional resort.

  8. clwholidays

    Wow… It’s looks awesome! The interior big enough space with color of white and the theme work really good eye sight. I like it. Now I am wondering how many type of room offer? Lily, thanks for sharing this beautiful resort. Now I am keep this for my future vacation.

  9. manor

    What an amazing place to spend some time in. What a place to bring guests to. Through the pictures, you can see how the place with its amazing coloring design makes everything look calm and relaxed. Do you know if there is different fair for a few days stay to something longer, let’s say something like 2 weeks time?

  10. Israel

    Hi Lily!

    OMG! This resort’s design is out of the ordinary! I didn’t know Vietnam had this jewel hidden somwhere.

    The villas are amazing, everything is so perfect it seems to have been taken from some movie or computer designed.

    It’s almost unreal! I need to go there!

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. W Tucker

    what a spectacular hotel/resort. It has a very peaceful feel to it and does evoke a turn of the century milieu.
    I’ve stayed in lots of nice places, but I can’t think of one that is more well-thought-out and beautiful. I especially like the multi-story black and white lobby with the black and white patterned floor. Just wonderful.
    It must cost a fortune to stay there, but well worth it, I’m sure, considering each room has an ocean view, etc.
    You did a great job of describing and reviewing the place. I anxiously await other reviews from you. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *