Escape Shanghai: bliss out at a wellness retreat in Central Vietnam

It's total relaxation with the 'all-inclusive spa' programme at Fusion Maia Da Nang

Photographs: courtesy Fusion Maia Da Nang
‘Is this paradise?’ you might wonder as you slip into a white cotton robe before your daily massage. You’ve just come from sunning yourself at the edge of the infinity pool that stretches out seemingly endlessly into the East Vietnam Sea.

There are any number of holidays you can take to get away from the madness of Shanghai – hiking through the jungles of Malaysia, eating your way through Chengdu or tea-picking in the hills of Moganshan. But for all-out bliss and decompression from the fact you live in a city of over 24 million people, consider hiding out for a long weekend at an ‘all-spa inclusive’ resort.

Set just outside of Da Nang on the coast of Central Vietnam, Fusion Maia Da Nang feels like someone’s hit pause on all the endless noise of modern life. The resort is made up of a cluster of private villas – tiny personal oases each with their own pool – and when you’re not hiding away there or laying out on the serene strip of beach at the edge of the property, you’ll probably be at the spa where a therapist will be working away at all your stresses and tensions.

We’re pampered enough in Shanghai, where there are inexpensive massages aplenty, but this is another level. Here, your stay comes with twice daily treatments guaranteed (and more beyond that, provided availability). It’s excessive, glorious and the true meaning of a holiday. Treatments are crafted with specific goals in mind – massages for better sleep, aloe body wraps to calm skin irritation, Reiki energy therapy for stress and emotional relief.

Fusion Maia Da Nang 3

The spa is wonderfully peaceful – leafy tropical plants sway in the courtyard and an adults-only pool offers total tranquillity. We plan our treatments back-to-back, which means an hour and 40 minutes of total, consecutive bliss every day as we work our way through the spa menu during a three-day stay. Therapists work away at problem areas with a gentleness and grace, and it’s hard not to find yourself slipping off into dreamland during once of the sublimely relaxing facials.

In the mornings, we eat breakfast – a mix of buffet and made-to-order speciality dishes, like local Vietnamese noodle dishes – though we’re tempted to have it on the beach, which is part of the resort’s ‘breakfast anywhere, anytime’ policy that our ‘Fusionista’ explains. Another Fusion Maia feature is their team of ‘Fusionistas’, welcoming, affable staff to help you plan your holiday. While you may just want to spend your time shuttling between your villa and the spa (a reasonable choice), your Fusionista can also help arrange a day to nearby historic Hoi An, an evening of local eats and drinks in Da Nang or even, as we do, an afternoon out to see a local football match. Conveniently, shuttles make the trip to Hoi An three times a day, dropping you off and picking you up at Fusion’s in-town café, just around the corner from Banh Mi Phuong of Anthony Bourdain fame.

Returning to Fusion Maia, even after only a day out, is like coming home. We’ve acclimated to life here quickly – admittedly, it’s not hard with private villas, spa treatments and personable staff – the stresses of Shanghai seem more than a world away.

Rates at Fusion Maia Da Nang start from around 2,800RMB per night. Round-trip flights to Da Nang International Airport start from around 2,000RMB.

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