A giant gingerbread house and glittering winter wonderland display, a Christmas choir performance involving youngsters from a local orphanage, and an artists-in-residence program will be among an array of festivities to usher in Alma’s upcoming season to be jolly.
The 30-hectare beachfront resort will host events including Christmas and New Year’s Eve cocktail parties and dinners, as well as champagne breakfast, wine and cheese tasting and buffets from Dec. 15, 2022 until Jan. 1, 2023. The festive season program’s activities for children will range from baking, singing, dancing and piano classes to face painting, Christmas craft-making and a kite-flying competition, topped off with Christmas movies at Alma Cinema and visits by a gift-toting Santa Claus, colorful clowns and Alma’s teddy bear mascot.
“We won’t be welcoming Jack Frost here on balmy Cam Ranh peninsula, where it’s sunny more than 300 days annually, but we are pulling out all the stops to make this festive season extra special,” said the resort’s managing director Herbert Laubichler-Pichler. “Our team can’t help but cherish Christmas and New Year’s Eve all the more following Vietnam’s COVID-19 flare-up last year that forced Alma to temporarily close during this wonderful time of the year.”
The program begins on Dec. 15 with the unveiling of the gingerbread house and winter wonderland decorations at Alma Food Court, affording photo opportunities for guests throughout the festive season. Christmas desserts such as stollen, cakes, cookies and, of course, gingerbread will be on offer.
The house will be built from 232 kilograms of gingerbread – 800 wall tiles that each weigh 155 grams and 1200 roof tiles each 90 grams – and decorated in 40 kilograms of merengue. Director of culinary and F&B operations Ingo Stöneberg’s team started baking the gingerbread for the house from the first week of October. It will take roughly two months to prepare the dough, and shape, bake and dry all of the bricks before the house is assembled in about 48 hours.
Young singers from nearby Nha Trang’s Thien Tam orphanage will join forces with Alma’s resident pianist Ben and singers Rain and Engie to perform Christmas songs as part of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 18 and a Christmas Eve cocktail party on Dec. 24 at Alma Lounge.
In addition to breakfast buffets to mark Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, an Instagram-worthy champagne breakfast on a floating tray will be on offer in the guests’ private pavilion pools or at one of the 12 resort pools that cascade down to Long Beach.
Santa will hand out gifts to children at Alma Lounge during a performance by Alma’s resident musicians on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. In the evening with colourful clowns in tow he will make the rounds of Alma’s various dining establishments, including beachfront Atlantis restaurant that specializes in fresh, local seafood and will serve a special festive set menu. Upon request, Santa will also bring Christmas gifts to kids purchased by their parents in their suite or pavilion.
Alma’s Italian fine dining trattoria La Casa will host exquisite five-course dinners on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve to an accompaniment of the resident musicians’ live piano and singing. During cheese and wine tasting at The American Lounge and Bar on Christmas Day and Dec. 30, guests will learn interesting tidbits about a variety of wines and cheeses from around the globe as they sample them.
Talented artists from across Vietnam will descend on Alma to create artwork before the guests’ eyes from Dec. 29-31 at Alma Lounge as part of the resort’s artists-in-residence program. The artwork will be hung throughout the lounge and make for a gallery backdrop to a New Year’s Eve cocktail party underscored by a performance by the resident musicians.
The merriment will continue with a New Year’s Eve buffet complemented by a live Vietnamese band at Alma Garden before the American Lounge and Bar rings in the new year with a countdown party and DJ spinning the decks.
A host of children’s activities throughout the festive program include blowing rainbow bubbles, making Christmas cards, snowflakes, gift boxes, bells and trees, painting by numbers and playing Vietnamese Parcheesi. The young and young at heart will don aprons and decorate a gingerbread house and cupcakes as part of ‘Become a Pastry Chef’ workshops at the resort’s Pastry Kitchen, and rummage through Alma’s new 1000sqm fruit and vegetable garden, 260sqm chicken farm and 180sqm herb garden as part of a ‘Garden Discovery’ afternoon and learn more about chickens.
Alma’s Le Spa’s promotions during the festive season include a 90-minute ‘Sensory Spa Journey‘ with a signature massage featuring hot stone therapy on the back and a pressure point massage on the face, and a two-hour ‘Festive Glow’ package with a body wrap and a sublime deep tissue massage. Both offers are rounded out with a healthy drink after the treatment.
Some activities such as, for example, the champagne breakfast on a floating tray, cheese and wine tasting and ‘Become a Pastry Chef’ incur additional charges and other activities such as, for example, face painting, the kite flying competition, and ‘Garden Discovery’ are complimentary. The American Lounge and Bar will offer promotions on beverages through the festive program.