Peter Cornish delves into the deep luxury of an art-based resort on the beautiful Cam Ranh coast, The Anam.

The AnamWhat could be more relaxing than an all-spa-inclusive resort on a beautiful tropical island a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City?

Opened in April 2017, The Anam is a luxurious 117-villa and 96 room resort spread over 12 hectares of natural beauty on the stunning Cam Ranh coastline. Setting new benchmarks for five-star accommodation in Vietnam, the resort’s design pays homage to colonial-era influences and the timeless charm of Vietnam’s by-gone age.

Surrounded by lush, verdant gardens, jutting headlands and magnificent views of the East Sea, the prestigious resort boasts 300 metres of private beachfront, lapped by gentle waves of a clean, turquoise sea. Blessed with 300 days of sunshine, gentle surf and amazing landscape, the location offers some of the country’s best weather and the perfect opportunity to switch off, relax and dream of a simpler, less stressful world.

The Anam offers the type of facilities expected from a world-class resort, including multiple restaurants, bars and a treatment room spa. For those not content to lie on the beach, soaking up the sun and cooling down in the clear waters, the resort has multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym and water sports centre, and a kids’ club for family vacationers. A ballroom and 3D cinema are just some of what’s on offer for evening entertainment.

Yet in a region already famed for its beaches, Cham heritage and of course the seafood, The Anam is striving to make the region famous for something new: its art. Throughout the resort’s buildings and grounds is an impressive and eclectic collection of artworks by local artists, ranging from oil paintings and metalwork to sculpture and photography.

Not content with merely showcasing the best of the region’s art, the resort has launched the Nha Trang Art Tour. This unique experience offers tourists the chance to visit some of the acclaimed artists at their homes and studios, providing a new perspective and otherwise inaccessible, behind-the-scenes glimpse at their work in progress.

Motivated by an interest in local art and a desire to get to know artists personally, the tour has been carefully put together by Anam general manager Laubichler-Pichler, along with Nguyen Hong Van, founder of The Rainbow Gallery, Nha Trang’s first art gallery. Bringing unrivalled “insider” knowledge to the personal and intimate seven-hour tour, Nguyen Hong Van accompanies guests around the region introducing them to local artists and their work.

Included on the tour is Mai Loc who, once an impoverished local miner, had his life transformed through a chance meeting with a Norwegian couple who gifted him a camera for his wedding. Now, 20 years later, Mai Loc is one of Vietnam’s most sought-after photographers, displaying his dramatic black and white images of Vietnam’s landscape in galleries worldwide.

Also on the tour is Bui Van Quang, a contemporary master of painting in Vietnam who depicts scenes of the country’s daily life, incorporating rich, vibrant colours in his authentic work. Other artists include sculptor Doan Xuan Hung, metalworker Bui Trun Chinh and painters Tran This Boa Tran, Luu Thanh Qua, Nguyen Huu Bai, Ngo Dang Hiep and Le Hynh.

In December 2017, The Anam launched their inaugural ‘Garden and Sun Artist in Residence’, inviting local artists to create works in the resort’s grounds, interacting with guests and culminating in an exclusive exhibition of the artists’ work. The Nha Trang Art Tour operates daily from 1:30pm from The Anam, and includes transfers, visits to studios and homes with a guide, as well as traditional Vietnamese dinner at the end of the tour.

The Anam is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, with multiple arrival and departure flights daily.