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Breaking Travel News investigates: SunGroup – Vietnam’s premier hotel and theme park developer

Sungroup, the investor behind Ba Na Hills, Asia Park and Premier Village, has successfully built a reputation as Vietnam’s leading hotel and theme park developer, with a portfolio in major tourist destinations spanning the country.

The group began operating eight years ago, making a dramatic entrance onto Vietnam’s tourism scene with the opening of its record-breaking landmark project, Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort.

Ba Na was a summer retreat hill station for the French around a century ago, but it was left abandoned and stood derelict until SunGroup moved in.

First, the group built a cable car to reach the mountain top creating a major splash in the media.

The cable car replaced a one hour drive up a winding mountain road with a jaw-dropping 15 minute ride in an air-conditioned cabin high above the densely forested mountain slopes.

Visitor demand soon soared, prompting SunGroup to invest in a second cable car which began ferrying passengers three years ago.

The systems hold a number of the world records, including the longest single line cable car system in the world.

On top of the mountain, SunGroup has developed an integrated resort, featuring an indoor entertainment centre, a flower garden, a waxwork museum, a pagoda and a temple complex.

A key feature is the French Village with houses, castles and a church reminiscent of an old French village.

The Ba Na Hills development has helped catapult Danang into the spotlight, securing its position as one of the hottest destinations in Vietnam.

Following its success in Danang, SunGroup is building two more cable car systems - one in the northern mountain town of Sapa and another near the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. 

Relazing at Danang Village Premier Resort

Theme parks

Also in Danang, SunGroup is developing Asia Park at the cost of nearly half a billion dollars.

The first phase of the project is being completed with a ferris wheel of 125 metres in height and a cultural park featuring traditional architecture and historical relics from nine Asian nations.

In addition, the park boasts rides that compete with the very best the world has to offer.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the group is building Ocean Halong, a Disneyland-style theme park.

Once completed, the $262 million development will feature a 215 metre tall ferris wheel, an indoor game zone, an aquarium, a water park, shops and a cable car system.

The theme park is set to give Halong Bay - already one of the must-see destinations for any visitors to Vietnam - a further significant boost.

The French Village at Bana Hills

Raising the accommodation bar

SunGroup is also developing a number of luxury hotels and resorts in major tourist destinations across the country.

The most celebrated project is InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, which took the title of World’s Leading Luxury Resort at the World Travel Awards .

Meanwhile, the resort’s La Maison 1888 Restaurant has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants by the New York Post, while the Harnn Spa was selected by the World Luxury Spa Awards as the most luxurious spa in Vietnam.

Other luxury resorts in the pipeline include the JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton in Phu Quoc, an emerging destination which is being compared to Phuket and Bali.

Both properties are set to bring a new level of sophistication to the island, helping it to gain a foothold in the international high-end travel market.

Meanwhile, Premier Village Danang Resort, which is managed by Accor, has proven highly attractive to both second home buyers and high-end travellers.

Designed by internationally renowned architects, the resort has 118 modern villas, each with four bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and private swimming pool and garden.

In a prime location near the city centre and the airport, Premier Village nonetheless far enough away to make it a peaceful getaway on one of the world’s most fabulous beaches.

The resort offers a wide range of services and amenities such as a spa, fine dining restaurants and many beach activities.