TIA Wellness Resort is a stunning boutique beachside resort just 20 minutes from Da Nang on Vietnam’s central coast. “Tia” means “ray”, as in a ray of light – and that’s exactly how the resort’s holistic wellness and relaxation offerings feel!
Da Nang is a very easy short hop from Hong Kong: the 4pm HK Express flight gets you to Vietnam just after 5pm local time. The return flight leaves at 6pm so you can maximise every minute at the resort – it makes for the perfect weekend escape. On arrival, I was warmly greeted, ushered to the lounge and welcomed with a short tea ceremony while the team took care of the check-in formalities.
Grounds and villas
The resort is set in peaceful tropical gardens of swaying palms and bamboo trees. There are just 87 villas, and each has its own private plunge pool. The villas are spacious, comfortable and elegant, with a lounge area and bedroom, and a fabulous bathroom – you can choose between the huge rainforest shower or a deep couples bathtub overlooking the private pool and garden. The décor is in keeping with the resort in soothing tones of cream, white, beige and browns.
With wellness at the heart of the resort, there are plenty of fitness options including a well-equipped gym and two swimming pools. The 30-metre infinity pool overlooks the beach and has a shallow end for the little ones – and, of course, a spot that’s “great for the ‘gram’” at the ocean end. In fact, the entire resort is so Insta-worthy, particularly at golden hour!
Don’t miss out on the secluded pool and waterfall behind the spa for a Wi-Fi-free zone of quiet. I spent an hour here just soaking up the serenity and tranquillity.
Wining and dining
There are fabulous dining options within the resort; the menus at TIA offer plant-based, Vietnamese and international choices but the emphasis is on light and nourishing dishes. Quite simply, the food is exquisite and very well priced for a resort of this standard. On my first evening, I headed to the Ocean Bistro, which offers relaxed all-day dining with indoor and outdoor seating. I devoured a portion of crispy vegetarian spring rolls followed by a succulent sesame-seared salmon fillet and fried rice.
The Dining Room offers a more sophisticated and elegant experience with food to match. I can highly recommend the Banana Blossom Salad, featuring grilled shitake mushrooms with carrots, onion, chilli, peanuts, basil and rice crackers – it was fragrant, spicy and delicious. There’s also an extensive drinks menu offering locally inspired cocktails, organic wine and non-alcoholic drinks.
Breakfast is included in your stay, with three choices available: a buffet in the Dining Room or à la carte at the Ocean Bistro, and an all-day breakfast dining option in your villa for those who prefer a lazy brunch approach to the day. I chose this option on my first morning and relaxed in my courtyard over breakfast. However, don’t miss the buffet in the Dining Room – it’s a true gastronomic feast.
There’s a range of daily wellness activities throughout the day. I joined the 8am yoga class, and while I’m more of a Pilates kind of girl and always slightly out of my comfort zone with yoga, the instructor was sensitive to the range of abilities in the class (especially mine!) and gently guided us as necessary.
I also really enjoyed the creative workshop, a one-hour class to “explore and connect with your inner landscape”. Inspired by the bamboo growing in the resort, my landscape painting featured this versatile plant, which subsequently sparked an interesting conversation about how bamboo symbolises Vietnamese people.
After breakfast on Sunday morning, I joined the Breath Master Class, which I found quite challenging. (There’s a lot of chatter in my head!) Our teacher talked us through three different breathing techniques and by the last section, surprisingly, the chatter had subsided to a few hushed whispers leaving me relaxed and ready for my final spa treatments.
TIA Wellness Centre
TIA includes a generous and indulgent 80 minutes of treatments for each night of your stay and you can choose from an extensive selection of massages, scrubs, facials and mani/pedis. The therapists are all highly skilled and my treatments were excellent – certainly on a par with Hong Kong’s five-star hotel spas. The Bamboo Roll Out Treatment was a highlight, a mixture of an aromatherapy massage coupled with warm bamboo pole rolling out all the lumps and bumps on my legs, back and shoulders. Deeply relaxing.
For guests wishing to explore, TIA runs a twice-daily complimentary shuttle bus to Hoi An, but I was far too busy relaxing to venture far. However, on Saturday and Sunday evenings in Da Nang, the city congregates around the night markets by Dragon Bridge. The 666-metre bridge spans the Han River and the dragon is illuminated with changing LED lights. At 9pm sharp, everyone stops to watch as the dragon breathes out fire and water over its adoring fans. A spectacle to behold!
A final word
TIA is a truly wonderful resort in beautiful Da Nang that offers good value for money and an idyllic weekend break from HK. Highly recommended!
Rates at TIA Wellness Resort start from around HK$3,100 per night for two people for a one-bedroom private pool villa, including breakfast and 80 minutes of spa treatments (Wellness Inclusive). TIA also offers tailored three-night retreats (Retreat Inclusive). Hong Kong Express flights start from $1,200 return. Immigration is quick and efficient since many nationalities can now enter Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days. HK and BNO passport holders are not eligible for the 15-day free visa exemption.
TIA Wellness Resort Da Nang, Vietnam
This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.