Situated on Au islet (Con Au), Azerai Can Tho offers a tranquil river island retreat in the heart of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Whether you need a break from city life or need a base or stopover when exploring the Mekong Delta, Azerai is a perfect place to stay.
*We paid for the stay ourselves and all opinions in this Azerai Can Tho review are our own.
I don’t write hotel/resort reviews unless we think they can be a destination by themselves. For regular hotels, Tripadvisor already provides many useful travelers’ reviews. Can Tho isn’t a well-known name on travel maps, but the beautiful and unique setting of this recently opened resort makes me want to come back to it as a destination on its own. We will explain what we like (almost everything), what we don’t like (almost nothing) and how to get there in this Azerai Can Tho review.
After living in a quiet and peaceful town in Illinois for a long time, it’s quite difficult for me to get used to the hustle and bustle of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). We badly needed a laid back vacation, away from city noises and chaotic traffic. Azerai Can Tho came up in my search for a secluded resort near Ho Chi Minh city. It turns out Azerai is a new hotel chain established by Adrian Zecha, founder of the famous Aman chain. If you need a secluded oasis vacation while not ready to pay Aman price yet, come to Azerai Can Tho.
How to Get to Can Tho and Azerai
Azerai Can Tho is only accessible by boat and the resort has their own boats to take you from the arrival pavilion in Can Tho to the islet. So you just need to figure out how to get to Can Tho city :).
From Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC), the only transportation option is by car and the journey takes about 3.5 to 4 hours depending on traffic.
My partner’s cousin, who runs a travel company in Hanoi, put us in touch with a private driver in HCMC. It cost us 2,500,000 VND (approximately $110) for a round trip to Can Tho in an SUV. The resort can also arrange transportation in an SUV for you, which will cost you $150-200 one way.
There are also coaches and DCar 9-seat limousines running multiple times between HCMC and Can Tho daily. Prices range from 100,000 – 200,000 VND per ticket each way.
The road can get bumpy or congested during some parts of the trip but it isn’t too terrible. I would give the level of comfort of the ride in a Toyota Fortuner a score of 7 out of 10.
Direct domestic flights to Can Tho depart from Hanoi (2 hours), Danang (1.5 hours), Phu Quoc (1 hour) and Con Dao (1 hour). I personally try to stick with Vietnam airlines when flying domestically.
First Impression of Azerai Can Tho
Our driver picked us up a little after 6 and we arrived at Azerai pavilion at almost 10. The arrival center is spacious, bright and airy with a high ceiling. We enjoyed some fresh fruits while staff checked us in. We were then taken to the pier where an Azerai boat was waiting to take us to the islet. The boat ride was only 2-3 minutes and very comfortable.
Upon reaching the dock on Au islet, staff greeted us and took us to the lobby. Since we came early, our room wasn’t ready yet. Resort staff showed us around and provided info about activities onsite and in Can Tho. Everyone we met upon arriving was kind, helpful and trying their best to make us feel welcoming.
After having a short walk around the lobby and pool area, we decided to sit down for a late breakfast at the Cafe. My inner self was screaming with joy to see how peaceful and quiet this place is. A beautiful idyllic oasis set amongst charming banyan trees and lush gardens!
Azerai is derived from the Persian word “caravanserai”, which means a resting place laid out around a central courtyard. The central courtyard at Azerai Can Tho is the pool area, surrounded by the lobby, restaurants, spa and villas.
All the buildings are tastefully designed with light and natural finish, blending well with the setting of the island. Nothing looks heavy or busy here. The banyan trees on the islet make the place very charming and atmospheric. I felt as if time stood still here and I could enjoy slow island life, completely ignoring what was going on in the outside world.
Azerai Can Tho has 60 rooms, with choices of garden, lake or river views. Each room is 35 square meters and I think they all have the same layout. Garden view rooms offer the least amount of privacy. Although river view rooms have more privacy, someone in the neighboring villa can still see you if you lounge on the outdoor terrace. They upgraded us to room #9 which has river view.
Though I enjoyed every minute of our stay, the room was what I like the least about Azerai Can Tho. The room seems quite basic to me, but everything is new and clean. The TV is placed on the wall next to the bed which seems so weird.
I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable staying inside the room for a significant amount of time since it’s quite small. Good thing is there is an outdoor covered terrace with loungers to relax, enjoy the greenery and fresh air and listen to birds chirping. We even spotted 5 monkeys from our terrace. At this price point, given how exclusive the setting is (which I enjoy a lot), I’m okay with the smallish room and somewhat basic in-room amenities.
Azerai defines itself as an affordable luxury brand. I wouldn’t use the word “luxury” to describe Azerai Can Tho though. I think “elegant” is a better word to use.
There are two restaurants at Azerai. The Grill serves dinner only and we didn’t try it. The Cafe is open all day and serves Vietnamese as well as international food. We chose the Cafe for all our meals during our stay. The food was fresh although nothing was stellar or inspirational. Fruits were pretty good. Price is about the same as some sit-down restaurants we often visit in Saigon. I also loved it that they offered cold towels at the beginning of every meal, a very thoughtful gesture.
For breakfast, there are both Vietnamese and Western options, including pho noodle soups and several egg dishes. Breakfasts were included in our room rate and kept us full until mid-afternoon. We tried Vietnamese chicken salad and sizzling crepe (banh xeo) for dinner and both were okay. By the way, if you want to make banh xeo at home, here’s my recipe :).
There is also an open Lounge & Bar serving refreshments and small bites. This is where the complimentary afternoon tea with fresh fruit juice and snacks is served. When we were there, they offered us fresh spring rolls and banh khot for the afternoon tea. The banh khot was very tasty.
Activities at Azerai Can Tho
The spa at Azerai Can Tho has a wide range of treatments at a reasonable price. They currently have an offer to buy one spa treatment and get a similar treatment for free. We did the hollistic massage and it was pretty relaxing. I’m not really into spa in general, so take my words with a grain of salt :).
During the day, it can be very hot and sunny so there isn’t a lot to do onsite besides going to the spa or gym.
The gym pavilion overlooks the Hau river and is pretty well equipped. There is also a tennis court next to the gym with free access.
The resort has free bicycles to use. We had fun cycling around the complex in late afternoon and evening.
The staff told us that this season (early March when we came) was great for kite flying and gave us two kites to play in the afternoon. Definitely give it a try and you will feel like being a kid again.
If you love photography, bring your camera. This place is very photogenic and we couldn’t stop taking photos whenever we strolled around. Late afternoon and sunset hours will offer you a lot of photo opportunities.
Azerai staff can arrange other tours and activities upon request. For example, they can arrange a Vietnamese cooking class, an evening food tour, a boat tour to Cai Rang floating market or a sunset boat ride, just to name a few. We came here to relax and unwind so we just stayed on the islet and took in the beauty of tranquility. And I just visited a floating village in Siem Reap not too long ago so didn’t feel like I needed to see the floating market.
Service at Azerai Can Tho
I would not hesitate to give the service here 5 stars. The General Manager, Serge, greeted us upon arrival and checked on us a few more times to make sure we were having a wonderful stay. All employees we talked to were friendly, welcoming and attentive. Now I cannot comment on their English since we communicated with them in Vietnamese :).
At Azerai Can Tho, I can feel that they care about guests’ experiences. We ordered banh cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice rolls) for our breakfast and it didn’t quite look like how Vietnamese banh cuon should look. The staff noticed the look we exchanged with each other and asked what we thought about the dish. She let the Chef know and told us that the Chef would speak with the person who was in charge of that dish. So we didn’t like the dish but we were satisfied to see that the restaurant staff were willing to take our feedback. Hopefully, they will fix that dish because Vietnamese banh cuon is very delicious when done right.
Below is our overall assessment of Azerai Can Tho:
- Location & Accessibility: 4/5 (5/5 for the setting)
- Design & Architecture: 4/5
- Service: 5/5
- Room: 3/5
- Facilities: 5/5
- Cleanliness: 5/5
- Food & Drink: 4/5
- Value for money: 4.5/5
I hope you find our review of Azerai Can Tho helpful. In general, I think this is a fantastic resort with a beautiful exclusive setting and aesthetically designed facilities. Best resort in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta! I would love to come back from time to time to walk under the shades of the banyan trees and enjoy precious peaceful moments.
I think a stay of up to three nights would be sufficient. If you have a way to travel to Can Tho conveniently, definitely consider Azerai as a destination for your vacation. More importantly, go now when not too many people know about it and the occupancy rate is not too high :).