JW Marriott Logo

Where Mythic Becomes Legendary

Lamarck University

As the story goes, between 1880 and 1940 Lamarck University was thriving with both the children of wealthy locals and the children of colonial residents. In the 1940s the University was closed, mothballed, and stood still in time. In a remarkable transformation, acclaimed architect Bill Bensley breathed new life into the site, reimagining it as Phu Quoc's most opulent international five-star establishment, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay. Classrooms were artfully converted into guest rooms, offices transformed into welcoming public spaces, and the old mushroom mycology wharf was reborn as the enchanting Chanterelle Spa.

Dear John Woolley

Message From Our Dean

"Welcome to Lamarck University! Whether you're a new or returning student, get ready for an enriching journey on the stunning Phu Quoc Island. Our campus, designed by Bill Bensley, is filled with stories and traditions. Explore our curriculum, engage in fun activities, and make unforgettable memories.All our dedicated professors, students and I look forward to making unforgettable memories with you during this semester."

A painting of a professor

Legacies Live On

Ridgebacks Rule

One of the most successful parts of Lamarck University was the numerous sports teams. The mascot for these teams since 1917 was the Phu Quoc ridgeback, a rare breed of dog that was known for their intelligence, speed, and diligence. The student body would often be heard encouraging the teams with the cry of ‘Ridgebacks Rule’ during the matches. The most famous success of the Ridgebacks sports teams was their 1929 success in the Champion of Champions where they won the Asian Rugby Championship. The giant trophy for this event has stood proudly ever since and is now a water feature created by the University Dean ten years later in 1939.


Department of Mycology

One of our university's remarkable transformations is the building that now gracefully houses Spa Chanterelle. Legend has it that this very structure was once the Department of Mycology, where agriculture students honed their skills in cultivating a wide array of mushrooms for culinary delights, tea production, and, perhaps, a bit of 'experimental' exploration.

A mushroom statue.

The Study of Mushroom

We can still see numerous nods to the building's past with mushrooms portrayed in the design and in the artwork covering the ceilings and the walls, or the old botanist’s cabinet which was used to store various samples of dried mushrooms.

A pile of books.

Professor Champignon Rouge's Room

Professor Champignon Rouge, as the story goes, was a notable leading professor of the department of that time. He resided above his beloved mushrooms. He designed his quarters to remind him of his chateau in the Loire Valley back in France with heavy beams and angled ceilings.

A sofa at spa.

Fairytale-Inspired Design

Our Department of Mycology design takes cues from "Alice in Wonderland," in which a magic mushroom can make Alice change in size/ Small, winding hallways and an oval entrance, akin to a rabbit hole, invite guests into this captivating and imaginative space.

Be One of the Ridgebacks

Our Student Book

Explore our student book - your essential guide to navigating our campus and everything we offer. Discover activity schedules, events, hidden gems, and our rich story, ensuring a rewarding and memorable stay.

A page of student book

Win Your Own Treasure

Lamarck QR Code Treasure Hunt

Embark on an exciting QR code treasure hunt across our campus, and uncover the captivating stories that await. As you decode these hidden gems using out mobile app, you'll not only unravel our rich history but also earn a rewarding prize that makes your exploration all the more worthwhile.

A plaque with "Lamarck University" engraved

Follow Our Instagram

A Daily Dose of Lamarck University

Stay in the know with daily updates from Lamarck University by following our Instagram page @lamarckuniversity.