Phu Quoc, the island in Vietnam's extreme southwest often described as one the country's hidden gems, just welcomed its first international luxury hotel brand.

The design of JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa ( comes from none other than the Bangkok-based king of exotic luxury resorts, Bill Bensley.

Emerald dominates a design which also bears plenty of colonial cues—look no further than the glass-roofed, high-ceilinged lobby with its black-and-white floor tiles. Rates start from VND8.55 million (B13,120) for a bay-view room up to VND25.3 million (B38,912) for a seafront suite.

An on-site restaurant serves a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese and classic French cuisines. One more reason to visit this island, which is closer to Cambodia than Vietnam: all foreigners can stay here visa-free for up to 30 days.