Where to Stay When in Hoi An, A Cultural Hot Spot For Travellers
There is simply so much to be done when visiting Vietnam for the first time. If you’re travelling with family for an adventurous yet relaxing getaway, Vietnam is a great country to explore. With tropical climes throughout the year, beaches, national parks, family friendly activities, great food, and cultural sights to see, you can’t go wrong!
One must-visit place that you should explore is Hoi An, a well-preserved ancient town that oozes historic charm with a medley of French, Japanese and Chinese influence. The town is a mosaic of cultures and there’s simply nowhere else like it in Vietnam. The melange of cultures is due to its turbulent history. You’ll see the diverse Asian and European influence throughout the town with the Vietnamese tube houses, Chinese tiled roofs, French-style shutters, and lampposts. It even has a Japanese bridge, known as Cau Pagoda (Chùa Cầu), which was built in the 17thcentury. Without doubt it’s a peaceful and picturesque place to explore, full of culture, charm and character.
Luxury & Location
The most luxurious hotel to stay at would be hands down Anantara Hoi An. The grand main building preserves the elegance of the town’s history. The ornate and charming hotel is surrounded by beautiful, lush gardens, flora and fauna and vintage elegance. You’ll see elements of art deco, wooden and wicker furnishings, and a colonial-style influence. The hotel sits along the serene Thu Bon River, a famous river known to light up in colour when locals and travellers celebrate the lantern festival on the water, on certain times of the year when the lunar month is at its brightest. You’ll also spot local fishermen working hard to catch fish. Along the river, it’s a great place to feel the active atmosphere of buyers and sellers trading at markets.
Anantara Hoi An is a stone’s throw from the historic quarter. You can literally walk into the bustling part of town within a few minutes – it’s only 1 km away by foot. Although Hoi An is more of a place to visit for culture and history it’s also not far from Cua Dai beach and An Bang beach, so you can definitely enjoy some beach time too.
To get there, the nearest airport is a 35-kilometre drive from Da Nang International airport, which takes about 50 minutes by road.
Design & Rooms
White-washed, low-rise buildings, with Asian and French colonial architecture, spread across landscaped grounds, with garden or river views from each balcony or terrace. In total, there are 94 rooms and suites with split-level living areas. Unparalleled to other hotels in Hoi An, all rooms and suites at Anantara Hoi An Resort feature an indoor living area and outdoor daybeds. You can laze in your living area or out on your balcony daybed, swing in rattan nests on your private balcony and choose from views overlooking the pretty gardens or soothing river sights. The bathrooms are also luxurious with a rain shower and deep tub. One of the most exclusive rooms is the one-of-a-kind Anantara Suite overlooking lush gardens or Thu Bon River, where you can enjoy unrivalled views from the comfort of your private corner balcony. And throughout the hotel, you’ll see original photography by local famous French artist Réhahn.
Choose from several room categories: the smaller rooms are the Deluxe Balcony Rooms overlooking the charming garden courtyard. One step up are Deluxe Garden View Suites, each have an exotic garden view from your private porch, and Deluxe River View Suites that allow you to savour an elegant living space. It also had a cosy daybed on the balcony, with soothing river views. You can even request interconnecting suites, which are ideal if you’re travelling with a large family. However, pick a Premium River View Suite, and you get to enjoy an elevated position on the first floor. Step onto your balcony to watch boats gliding along the tranquil water way.
The corner rooms are Anantara Garden View Suites are ideal for small families or a spacious retreat for couples. These refined suites offer contemporary style rooms, infused with luxury comforts and beautifully-dress king size beds. Anantara River View Suites also include corner room balconies that are a luxurious haven, with 84 sqm of living area. Unwind with a bath in your sunken tub. Stretch out on your large sofa bed with modern amenities to cater to your every need. There are peaceful river views whilst swinging on your daybed on the balcony.
Food & Flavours
There are several exquisite restaurants to choose from. Guests start the day at Lanterns where they’re welcomed with a wonderful breakfast buffet overlooking the river. Lanterns presents the best of local and international cuisine in a charming colonial setting. You can sit outside on the peaceful balcony and enjoy your meal whilst overlooking panoramic views of Thu Bon River.
Art Space is another restaurant with a casual and earthy vibe. As its name suggests there are a plethora of art pieces and paintings on display which are available for sale. Art Space is a creative collaboration between Anantara Hoi An Resort, the March Gallery and the Precious Heritage by Réhahn Museum. Its innovative menu includes modern tapas-style Eastern and Western cuisine. We love the freshly made pizzas made from the wood-fired oven. You can also enjoy breakfast here or enjoy afternoon tea or freshly brewed coffee throughout the afternoon. As the sunsets try some innovative cocktails on the pretty outdoor terrace.
Our favourite eatery at the hotel is Hoi An Riverside Restaurant. Designed like an elegant European bistro-style setting with monochrome floor tiling, a chic chandelier and Vianna-inspired interior. It has quite a romantic feel and the outdoor terrace is even more pleasant. Enjoy a culinary experience by the waterfront overlooking the Thu Bon River. You’ll simply fall in love with the peaceful vibes and tantalising Asian food on offer. And don’t forget to try their Vietnamese High Tea.
If you’re looking for something more bespoke, try their Dining by Design which enables guests to experience a memorable meal in special areas of the hotel grounds. Here, you’ll choose a menu of personal favourites from Vietnamese specialities to more of an international choice. You simply can fine tune a culinary sequence with your personal chef. You’ll also get a butler to take care of your every need. Advanced reservations are required for this though.
For lazy days by the pool, you can enjoy some light snacks and refreshing drinks at Reflections Pool Bar. You’ll also get to catch glimpses of fishing boats on the river, as you totally chill out and enjoy your afternoon. Enjoy a few cocktails whilst watching the sunset.
Family Fun & Adventures
There’s plenty to do at Anantara Hoi An from cooking classes, cycling around town, adventurous and cultural activities. The list is endless; you won’t ever get bored when staying here. First, it’s worth noting that this hotel is very family friendly. Kids get to enjoy the outdoor pool and play at the kid’s club.
If you want to test out your culinary skills, we suggest you try the Anantara cooking school, Spice Spoons. Explore the exotic culinary culture of Vietnam, blending Chinese, Asian and French influence. Master the five fundamental taste elements of sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, and salty, and learn to combine them in authentic dishes with instruction from a professional chef. It’s family friendly activity so if kids are accompanied by adults, they get to have lots of sensory experimental fun too.
To get more of a feel for the town you should venture out and explore Hoi An. The hotel offers so much like a sunset river cruise that shouldn’t be missed; or take a day to visit the My Son ruins, or the Ba Na Mountains, by Jeep; visit local artisan villages; take an easy bicycle ride through lush rice paddies to An Bang Beach; stroll along the promenade past small cafes, and into the charming UNESCO World Heritage Site; explore Hoi An’s alleyways, discovering shrines, modern art galleries and teahouses; venture into discovering nearby peaceful villages like Thanh Ha pottery village, Tra Que vegetable village, Thanh Ha pottery village and Kim Bong carpentry village and learn more about Vietnamese arts and crafts or local organic food.
Here are some samples of enticing adventures that the hotel can organise:
Early Morning My Son by Jeep
Setting off at dawn, this trip beats the heat and avoids the crowds. Whisking travellers off the usual route to My Son, this half day tour starts at sunrise, passing through lush rice paddies and the Thu Bon River delta region. A stop at a rural market introduces the bustling morning rituals of country life. Upon reaching the ancient Champa Kingdom capital of My Son, guests enjoy a continental breakfast and take a silent stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Site at a time when few others visit. In this celebrated historic vestige, the story of impressive ruins is brought to life by a well-informed guide. In the background, Champa music plays as a traditional dance performance begins. The return journey is equally insightful, traversing small country lanes and pretty hamlets.
Hai Van Pass Adventure by Jeep
This full-day adventure packs in diverse highlights, in a way few travellers are privileged to witness. The first stop is Thap Bang An – home to a 1,000-year-old Cham tower. Zooming up Bo Bo Hill, passengers discover its historical importance during the American war. After coffee with the locals, the jeep ascends the famous Hai Van Pass – renowned for its hauntingly beautiful mists and magnificent viewpoints. An equally scenic descent arrives at a pristine stretch of coastline near the village of Lang Co. After a picnic lunch and a paddle in the sea, the return journey offers a different perspective, delving into traditional fishing village life.
Bho Hoong and Co Tu Experience by Jeep
Deep in the central highlands, this voyage packs in a weeks’ worth of discovery. From the golden coast to emerald mountains, the timeless rural scenes of the river delta and a glimpse of the Laos border area, this intriguing trip also visits minority villages. The day begins cruising through quaint villages and hamlets to reach the Co Tu village of Bho Hoong, for a first-hand experience of ethnic tribal culture, a traditional lunch and music performance. Meandering through tea plantations to the Co Tu town of Trung Mung, travellers stop off to visit the former king of the Co Tu people, see traditional wood carvings, and enjoy a local brew of tea, coffee or a potent nip of local rice wine. The route back takes in spectacular Non Nuoc beach for a refreshing ending.
Celebrate the Lantern Festival
Known for its quiet back streets and beautifully preserved Ancient Town, Hoi An, on Vietnam’s central coastline, also lights up in colour once a month when locals and curious travellers join to celebrate the lantern festival. The monthly institution in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An bursts to light on the 14th day of every lunar month when the moon is brightest. As a complement to Hoi An’s monthly lunar lantern festival, Anantara Hoi An Resort celebrates the town’s luminous appeal with a Full Moon Lantern Festival package.
Relax & Unwind
Pamper yourself at the spa and relish blissful solo time or a shared experience with someone special. Choose from scrubs and wraps, massages and facials using nature’s finest ingredients to nourish. Treat yourself to nail care treatments in a pretty garden cabana with a relaxing river view. Guests can even design their own spa journey with a tailored sequence of treatments to suit mood.
We love the Vietnamese Four-Hand Massage where two therapists perform synchronized massage strokes, gentle chopping, and Vietnamese pressure point techniques in rhythmic tandem. Feel your stress and tension just melt away. The Vietnamese Green Tea & Salt Body Scrub is also highly recommended. Banish away dead skin cells and impurities with this exfoliating treatment. Feel the stimulating properties of mineral salts and green tea combined to scrub your body clean. You’ll come out feeling totally refreshed and rejuvenated.