It can be real or a “place” in your mind. Spill!
Since I really can’t go anywhere at the moment, I’ve decided to live vicariously through different people – especially those who are lucky enough to stay in amazing surrounds. One such person is Alma Resort’s managing director, Herbert Laubichler-Pichler.
Opened in 2019, Alma Resort is located in Cam Ranh, Vietnam, and it covers over 30 beachfront hectares in the peninsula. Their suites and pavilions boast beachfront and sea views.
They also have 12 pools and even a waterpark, a 70-seat cinema and outdoor theatre, plus facilities for different sports such as football, tennis, basketball, archery, and more. Guests can dine on fresh seafood by the beach, on Japanese and Italian fare, and on French and Vietnamese dishes at their very own food court.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about my favourite spots for taking stock of things, for being mindful, and for spending some “alone” and “me” time. And again, I’ve been wondering about other people’s as well. I get some inspiration from Herbert here, with some “a day in the life” feels. Maybe you will, too. 😊
(If you’re stuck somewhere or on a budget, I’ve also added in realistic tips that work for me in my own space. Hopefully these are available to you and will work for you, too, or at least offer some respite.)
Note: This is not a sponsored post. Herbert’s answers and experiences mainly revolve around the resort, as he is based there. (According to him, “I don’t leave the resort all that often.”) But I hope you still get some ideas – and enjoy the photos. 👍
Don’t forget to check the news, rules and restrictions, social distancing measures, and any other announcements before you go out or travel.
#1 Anywhere where there’s water
The rain, the tinkling of water in a garden, even a refreshing shower can lift our spirits.
Or if there’s one nearby that’s accessible, a pool. “I like to rise early as I feel like I get so much more out of the day,” Herbert says. “I get up at 5:30am as I want to be alone and have some time to myself. I go to pool number nine, the largest of the 12 swimming pools that anchor Alma Resort and cascade down to Long Beach.
“I do a backstroke and, with my view of the sky combined with the buoyancy of the water, I feel like I’m flying; it’s such an incredible feeling. I see the birds and butterflies flying overhead, sometimes an airplane high in the sky.
“I completely switch off; it’s exercise and meditation at the same time. As I lie flat my heartbeat is low. Swimming is very good for my entire system. The sun is just starting to rise and I swim 40 laps, totalling to about 3km in over two hours.
“The pool is absolutely my number one spot in the morning. Starting so early in the morning, I have the pool all to myself. But after two hours, when I leave the pool, guests are emerging.”
#2 Anywhere with a view
A quick break to look out your window, a walk in your neighbourhood, going out to feel the sun’s rays on your face (don’t forget sunscreen), and even travel photos can take us somewhere, even for just a few minutes.
“After my swim, I go back to my suite on the South Tower’s 8th floor and spend some time on my balcony that has panoramic views over our resort and the ocean beyond. It is still early – about 7:30 or 7:45am – and I look down and see the resort literally waking up,” Herbert observes.
“The sun is up in the sky and more and more guests make their way to the pools and the beach. You get a little breeze; the sun is not too high nor too hot and I can rest a bit after the swim. I think of a lot of ideas when I’m swimming – if only I could use a pen and paper at the time! When I’m swimming I feel completely free and the ideas keep flowing. I catch myself on the balcony and try to remember all of those ideas, and start sending them in emails to all of my managers from about 8am.
“I get energised like crazy in the morning. I feel so happy when I step into the office at 9am and, after I start writing my emails in the morning, I have already achieved so much. I swim for two hours, I sit on the balcony thinking of ideas and about what I have to do and achieve. By the official starting time of 9am, people may have just made a coffee to help themselves start their work day, and I've already exercised for two hours and done 1.5 hours of work.”
#3 Anywhere where you can stretch
Not just your muscles but your mind as well.
“This is what exercise does for me in the morning. If you watch YouTube and see what exercise does to your brain, you will see that the brain is very much positively affected by exercise. It does all sorts of wonderful things, ranging from alleviating depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to boosting your self-confidence.”
#4 Anywhere where you can prepare or have your favourite drink
Forget where you are: Close your eyes and inhale the scent of your coffee or tea. Sit on your favourite spot at home at night, and sip your choice of drink.
“Another one of my favourite spots is our Beach Bar situated right on the white powder sands of Long Beach, and my favourite time here is at sunset,” Herbert relates.
“The sun makes its descent into the mountains, not over the sea, and as a result, the water looks so wonderful, like it’s glowing, with fishing boats on its surface. The colours inking the skies are so intense – think pinks and purples – and the guests come out as it’s not too sunny. They engage in a lot of activities on our lawn such as kite flying and taking photos, and swimming in the pools.
“We eat skewers from the BBQ grill and as you sit there, the Beach Bar feels like the main focal point, with many people passing the bar, going to the beach, taking a shower by the beach, having a cocktail, or ordering food and sometimes bringing it back to their families in nearby pavilions.”
#5 Anywhere where you can have a hearty breakfast
It’s a good way to start your day.
“Another spot I love is the Alma Lounge, a semi-open area with incredible panoramic views of the sea, that has huge windows that we open during the day. Each Sunday I go and have my breakfast there, and I always order the same thing – a banh mi baguette with two fried eggs complemented by an orange juice. It feels so peaceful; even when the hotel is full this place is very quiet and the service is excellent.
“The breakfast is so fresh; you order the orange juice and then you hear the buzz of the juicer. I request lime with my orange juice so that it’s sourer.
“Sitting there looking down to the sea, I feel so blessed. My wife Phuong and I don’t sit opposite each other – we sit next to each other so that we can both take in the view.”
#6 Anywhere with your favourite food
This can be your kitchen or a quick trip to a restaurant. Order delivery or get takeaway, and have it in the comfort of your own home. Savour every bite and forget about your worries, even for just a tiny bit.
“Another spot I love at Alma is the vast terrace of La Casa, our fine dining Italian restaurant, by night. As you sit on the terrace, you can see the flow of the guests moving to and from various nearby venues, and they come together on a pedestrian street that connects the V-shaped North and South Towers that house our resort’s suites. After guests finish their dinner, they walk up and down the thoroughfare chit- chatting, as the kids play.”
#7 Anywhere with music
It soothes the soul. Put on your headphones and press play.
“I would like to add one more spot at Alma – the American Bar. In the evening after my dinner, I love to go there and play pool with my wife Phuong. The bar always plays great music and large TV screens air sports matches such as football,” he says.
Sigh. Until then, I can dream. 🙂 In the meantime, though, what are your favourite spots? I want to know!