A large gingerbread house and winter wonderland display, vibrant outdoor Christmas markets, an artists-in-residence program, Christmas choir performances, pool parties and magic shows are among an array of festivities ushering in Alma’s first season to be merry.
From Dec. 20 until Jan. 2 the five-star beachfront resort, that opened December 29 last year, will host events including Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners, buffets and degustation menus, as well as activities ranging from face painting and kite competitions to pastry workshops, Christmas movies at its cinema and visits by gift-toting Santa Clauses, colorful clowns and Alma’s teddy bear mascot.
“At Alma on Cam Ranh peninsula, we’re pulling out all the stops to celebrate our one-year anniversary with plenty of jolly good cheer, despite what has shaped up to be a very challenging year for tourism due to the global pandemic,” said the resort’s general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler.
The jam-packed program begins on Dec. 20 with the unveiling of the gingerbread house and winter wonderland decorations at Alma Food Court, affording photo opportunities for guests throughout the festive season. The resort’s resident pianist Ben and singer Engie will perform Christmas carols at Alma Lounge from 3pm-5pm throughout the festive season.
From Dec. 22-25 and Dec. 29-Jan. 1, artists will create individual portraits for guests at Alma Garden from 8am-10am, and family portraits from 10.30am-11.30am and 2pm-4pm at Alma Food Court and Alma Lounge. Classes for budding children and adults artists will be held at the Art Workshop from 2-4pm, with themes ranging from protecting the environment to happiness for the new year ahead.
On Dec. 23, The Food Court’s French Bakery will sell Christmas cookies, stollen, cakes and gingerbread. An hour-long “Become a pastry chef” workshop, in which the young and the young at heart learn how to create and decorate a gingerbread house, will be staged at the resort’s Pastry Kitchen from 3pm. At a wine tasting at La Casa from 3pm-5pm, guests will select wine to imbibe with their Christmas Eve dinner celebrations, before the artists display their works and craft portraits during a buffet dinner at Alma Garden from 6pm-9pm.
On Christmas Eve, a buffet breakfast and an a la carte breakfast will be served at Alma Garden and Italian restaurant La Casa respectively. In addition to face painting at the Kid’s Club in the morning, afternoon activities include Christmas movies at the resort’s 70-seat cinema, and a kite flying competition at Alma’s grass hill.
As the resort’s Christmas choir sings carols from 3-5pm at Alma Lounge, Santa will hand out gifts to youngsters.
Upon request, guests will be able to order a 1.5 metre-tall Christmas tree to put together and decorate with baubles and other ornaments in the privacy of their suite or pavilion, to a backdrop of Christmas songs played on the bluetooth TV. Christmas cookies, stollen, macarons, panettone, cakes and more will also be available at the Food Court for guests to bring back to their suites and pavilions.
The merriment will continue with a five-course degustation menu with optional wine pairing at La Casa, where the resident pianist and singer and the “Singing Waiters and Cooks” will perform Christmas songs. With ladles, pans and tambourines in hand, and with a live piano as a foundation, the apron-and-toque donning Alma Choir break into song and dance as suddenly as a flash mob. Alma Garden will offer a hearty Christmas-themed buffet from 7pm. Atlantis, that specializes in fresh, local seafood, and modern Asian dining restaurant Asiana will also hold special a la carte dinners.
The main thoroughfare from Alma Garden to the Kid’s Club will burst to life from 8pm until late with a Christmas market for all ages. In addition to offering street food staples from across Vietnam and beverages ranging from milk tea and iced tea, to draft beers, whiskey and cocktails, highlights among the outdoor market’s array of stalls will include a ‘Kid’s Hut’ replete with lollipops, ice-cream and candies, a ‘Gifts Hut’ brimming with toys and local handmade souvenirs. Balloon-toting clowns and the teddy bear mascot will entertain the kids. At the large swimming pool surrounded with cabanas nearest to the market, a Christmas pool party will unfold from 8pm until late. Entertainment will include a magic show, Christmas carols by Alma Choir, a rock band and fire dancing.
On Christmas Day, Alma Garden, La Casa and Alma Food Court will serve breakfast from 6.30am-10am, before a Christmas brunch at Alma Garden from 11am-2pm. Santa Claus is coming to town, making his presence felt at the Food Court’s winter wonderland from 10am-noon for Christmas photos. The American Bar will host sunset cocktails followed by mulled wine, Christmas snacks and a rock ‘n’ roll band, and La Casa will offer Christmas desserts from 7pm.
On Dec. 30, there will be another afternoon “Become a pastry chef” workshop, as well as another wine tasting at La Casa before a buffet dinner at Alma Garden with the artists.
On New Year’s Eve, guests will enjoy a delectable five-course degustation menu with optional wine pairing from 7pm at La Casa, where the Singing Cooks and Waiters will perform. Alma Garden will host an indulgent buffet, and Atlantis and Asiana will serve a la carte dinners. A countdown party will be held around the resort’s main swimming pool from 8pm, featuring entertainment including a magic show, fire dancing, rock music and a DJ spinning the decks. There will also be another night market from 8pm.
On the first day of 2021, there will be a celebratory buffet breakfast at Alma Garden, La Casa and the Food Court from 6.30am-10am, as well as brunch at Alma Garden from 11am-2pm before The American Bar hosts sunset cocktails.
The Christmas and New Year’s Eve evening buffets at Alma Garden are priced at 700,000 VND (USD 30) per person. The five-course Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus at La Casa are 1,400,000 VND per person (USD 60), and 1,950,000 VND (USD 84) with wine pairing. Activities such as face painting, the kite flying competition, live music performances and magician shows are complimentary.