The Emeralda has 172 rooms, making it Ninh Binh’s largest hotel. It is also – by a clear margin – its best. The rooms are arranged in low-level groups of 16, designed to resemble a traditional Northern Vietnamese village. Each cluster has its own swimming pool and barbecue area, set against an ever-present backdrop of the area’s striking mountains. The rooms are really very spacious and stylish, with the beds in the deluxe rooms positioned on raised platforms – a nice touch. In both the superior and deluxe rooms there are a plethora of modern amenities and the architecture blends earthen walls, terracotta tiles and interior wooden beams with intricate hand carvings. It is all very tastefully done.
The resort has two restaurants – ‘Sen’, which is largely Vietnamese of an evening but serves wonderful buffet breakfast in the morning and ‘Organics’, focusing on healthy Asian and Western fare, with a particular focus on healthy, organic food … as the name suggests. There is also a spa.