A rich national heritage, a vibrant natural landscape, tantalising cuisine and the perfect balance between old and new, that’s Vietnam. Couple that with gentle people blessed with innate hospitality, and this Southeast-Asian nation is easily one of the best destinations for a luxurious retreat.
Here are 11 hotels and resorts in Vietnam that make an escape to this beautiful country even more memorable.
1. Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, Phu Quoc
Along the shore of one of the most serene stretches of sea that I have ever seen shines the Sheraton Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort. It’s perfectly placed on the western coast of Phu Quoc, meaning that its brilliant ocean view rooms let you sleep late instead of interrupting your holiday zzzs with the first rays of the sun.
The view of the sprawling pool from the rooms is magnificent, especially as just metres beyond, the saltwater laps gently at white sand.
Its modern rooms are beautifully appointed but if you want to live in the lap of luxury, rent one of the 2- and 4-bedroom villas just adjacent to the main building. With a vast grassy area around and beyond the private pool leading to the beach, each villa is the perfect setting for a bachelorette party or destination wedding.
The dining experience here is a wondrous series of discoveries. Their main restaurant, Wok & Curry serves authentic Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, Indian and Chinese dishes. How authentic?
A dedicated chef from each of those countries ensures that every flavour tantalises you as it would thousands of miles away in its native land.
The fresh sea breeze at the Prime Bar & Grill is the perfect accompaniment to the freshly caught local seafood and succulent steaks at this modern Southeast Asian star. Homesick for your favourite morning cup of Joe? Walk over to the Starbucks on the grounds.
Perhaps the ultimate indulgence on holiday is a 5-star spa experience, and you get precisely that at Sheraton Spa. Specialising in Balinese techniques, the team will coax out every last kink with treatments using premium natural and organic products.
Would you scoff if I said you could go on big game safaris in Vietnam? I would have… but then I came within inches of a lion pride at Vinpearl Safari. About 15 full-grown males and females strode majestically past our safari vehicle and lazed in the middle of the road. The pair of full-grown Bengal tigers were less interested in us and persistently paced one enclosure wall; our guide told us they could smell prey near that perimeter.
Later, I caressed a giraffe when he leaned his head down curiously at Giraffe Restaurant and gushed at the hilariously cute little baby rhino ambling about with his mum. The zoo is a short 8-minute drive from the Sheraton and a highly recommended visit. The hotel sells the Safari package too!
2. JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Phu Quoc
If it’s a beach getaway that you are after, it is hard to look past Khem Beach on Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc. Taking pride of place on its gorgeous white sands is the luxury JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa.
This is a Bill Bensley creation. His creative signature is evident in the marked black-and-white palette as well as the oversized room fittings, heavy with curves. Bensley had an exquisite framework on which to base this magnificent creation— the structure was originally a 19th-century French university. The reception and many other buildings are replete with antique furniture, tools and machines which guests are free to discover.
While still retaining that aura of intriguing heritage, the accommodation is unabashedly luxurious. In true Bensley style, there is artwork to espy and savour at every corner. Some are paintings on walls while others are entire edifices; meanwhile, others hide in plain sight atop buildings or in nooks to uncover.
Rooms and suites enjoy pristine ceiling-to-floor mirrors on their private balcony walls. If you savour every moment of your privacy, pick one of the enchanting villas that come with their own plunge pools. Else, there is always the huge seashell-shaped pool to see and be seen in.
The epitome of grandeur, though, is Lamarck House. This sprawling 7-bedroom colonial-era mansion features marble bathrooms and panoramic views of the aptly named Emerald Bay. Look out upon the open sea from the serenity of your very own infinity pool. Meanwhile, the spa provides a full complement of restful and calming treatments.
The stalwart of the dining scene here is Tempus Fugit, a laid-back beachside restaurant, which specialises in both traditional Vietnamese and international fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Head to beachside Red Rum for Latin American cuisine with the ambience to suit.
Chic and laid-back French & Co. sits along a street lit with colourful lanterns. This quaint little French deli regales you with savoury pastries, snacks, freshly brewed coffee and fine teas. Perhaps the jewel in the crown is Pink Pearl. An almost indescribably intricate and captivating décor is the landscape on which their stellar French fine dining cuisine is served.
3. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Da Nang
Nestled in a mountainside and overlooking its own private cove is the impeccable InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Not just a luxurious utopian getaway, it is a testament to the limitless expanse that is human creativity. For that reason, its sprawling 39 hectares are also almost impossible to describe.
Architect and art-itect Bill Bensley has conceived an unparalleled vision of beauty that regales the eyes and entrances the mind. Almost every corner, feature and surface of this jewel of the Son Tra peninsula is a work of art.
You would think that it would be impossible for the daily running of the hotel to live up to those lofty standards. Well, what a delightful mistake you would make! No, every moment of a stay here is a page out of your dreams.
And dream you will at the Mi Sol Spa. Cruise in a transcending experience of touch, aroma, sound and vibrational resonance. Oh yes, the first stop at the exquisite circular building— that’s only the preview; the spa itself is nestled deeper in the verdant surrounds.
It is virtually sacrilege to reduce the variety, flavours and creativity of the food to just words.
Signature restaurant La Maison 1888, everyday dining hub Citron, Barefoot by the beach and one of the world’s longest seaside bars at 50 metres, the Long Bar all conjure up a heady mix of authentic local cuisine, international fare, irresistible desserts and flawless cocktails.
Suites, villas, majestic buildings and Vietnamese tradition embrace the lush mountain spread across 4 levels: Heaven, Sky, Earth and Sea. A funicular railway connects them. From the shores, the lullaby of waves gliding in serenades you morning and night.
Rooms are opulent but not garishly so. Subtlety at all the right times and in all the right places. Much can be done in the vast expanse of the stone bathtubs.
Luxurious premises are not altogether rare. Much more elusive is the one factor that elevates InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort to the cream of our list. People.
To experience this KING of resorts is to enter a world where you are at the centre of every moment. No request is too complicated, nor made too late. There is nary a question you can ask to which you will not receive the answer; they will find out and tell you. This is a realm where they anticipate not just your needs but your wants and desires.
The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is an easy choice for number 1, and it wasn’t close.
4. Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa, Da Nang
Central Vietnam is home to the impressive beachfront Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa. The expansive property houses close to 400 residential choices, including 22 villas with private pools.
The beachfront residential buildings have a decidedly Miami vibe to them. Compared to the majority of other resorts here that tilt quite readily towards the local in terms of architecture, Hyatt Regency Danang espouses what I would say is a more Western condominium feel and layout.
Its buildings are set around a series of 5 pools amidst swaying palms. When you feel peckish, there are 3 restaurants, a lobby lounge, a bakery and a deli shop to satiate you. All-day dining at Green House, authentic Vietnamese cuisine and international favourites at the Pool House, and fresh seafood on the grill at the Beach House await.
While families may love the resort’s ‘kids stay free’ policy, those hoping for a quiet getaway in idyllic Da Nang will be glad for the soundproof rooms. Those rooms also feature stylish walk-in wardrobes for that extra dose of holiday enchantment. For even more respite from the bustle of every day, the indulgent treatments at VIE Spa will not disappoint.
5. The Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
It’s like King Midas walked in and decided to touch everything, followed by the most flamboyant interior designers the world has seen adding their touch. The Reverie Saigon is very easily one of the most elaborately-decorated and gilded premises on the entire planet. Yet, the execution is elegant, albeit unrestrained.
Really, this is the place to stay if you appreciate the wondrous works of art that man can create; they adorn virtually every wall, floor and ceiling.
Impeccably located in the heart of District One, the business centre of the capital city, this hotel is the perfect place to begin a discovery of Vietnam. It occupies the 29th to 39th floors of the Times Square building.
Every one of the 286 rooms across 12 different room classes is unique. They do have one thing in common: furniture from the world’s most luxurious brands such as Giorgetti, Provasi and Colombostile. Bathrooms and heated bidets are imported from Chopard and Hermes while Frette towels sit on the counters.
If you can tear yourself away from admiring the finesse, perhaps you may try their excellent spa or have exquisite dim sum at the Royal Pavilion restaurant.
6. Caravelle Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
The Caravelle Saigon carries on its shoulders the weight of history. The building dates back to 1959, when it represented the peak of cutting-edge facilities and became a hub of international journalism. Fast-forward to today and the hotel has been completely refitted to provide efficient functionality within the heart of the city.
If you are looking to blow off some money as well as steam, Caravelle Saigon even has a casino on its premises. There are 3 restaurants, including the rooftop bar that was the site from which countless of the most important news stories of the day were written all those decades ago.
An upscale spa on the premises promises a revitalising series of treatments to keep your mind and body at ease. The District 1 location puts you within walking distance of dozens of local tourist attractions. Business travellers will appreciate the proximity to the financial heart of the city.
7. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hanoi
With a heritage stretching across more than a century, the Sofitel Legend Metropole is one of the most notable hotels in Vietnam. It bore witness to the first screening of a motion picture in Indo-China and has since hosted national and international dignitaries, as well as film stars.
There are 364 suites (divided into 5 grades) and rooms (divided into 5 grades) in this opulent example of French Colonial architecture. Considering its storied pedigree, it’s no surprise that each one is luxuriously appointed. However, they still possess an understated character.
There are 3 restaurants offering elevated French, Italian and Vietnamese cuisine. These are some of the most coveted seats in the city for any gastronome. Between the 2 wings is an elegant inner courtyard, garden and pool that is the place to see and be seen.
If you are a guest, you can ask for an exclusive tour of the air raid bunker discovered in 2011 under the poolside Bamboo Bar.
8. Capella Hanoi, Hanoi
Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the 100 best rising hotels in the world, Capella Hanoi is the only one in Southeast Asia to receive the accolade.
Its location along the Hoàn Kiếm Lake near the Hanoi Opera House puts you near the heart of the vibrant emerging local fine arts scene. There is the Bill Bensley touch here, too— the opera house was given a facelift under his masterful supervision.
There are just 47 resplendent rooms in this jewel, a nod to the embrace of quality over quantity. On their walls hang operatic memorabilia, paying tribute to the art’s finest.
Looking out on a sublime view of the Old Quarter locality from the top floor are the 4 Opera Suites, the epitome of luxurious living. If that isn’t enough indulgence, Capella Hanoi’s Auriga Spa will pamper your body and soul with its array of exquisite treatments timed to the lunar cycle.
9. Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An
Regarded by some as the leading resort in south-central Vietnam, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai encompasses 35 hectares of sea-facing and mountain-hugging bliss. Accommodation consists of standalone villas, from single-bedroom to triple-bedroom layouts among the lush coconut trees.
Each villa is designed on an open layout concept that unifies modern features with hints of the Vietnamese ethos. With the verdant surrounds and the azure seas both regaling the landscape, it’s easy to forget you are anywhere near civilisation.
Your dining options also embrace the open layout. La Sen restaurant which specialises in Vietnamese cuisine, the bar, and the beach bar are all constructed in such a way that you can see right through the buildings.
Their spa offers the expected range of luxurious treatments but also a dedicated routine specifically for kids aged 6 to 12. Guests may also appreciate the intriguing works of local art, particularly sculpture, that occupy nooks and crannies around the resort premises.
10. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Khánh Hòa
Sheltered within a crescent-shaped cove within a peninsula, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay truly is a world unto its own. Accessible only by boat for those of us unwilling to trek miles of dramatic tropical jungle-covered mountains, it feels almost like a private island.
The exclusivity extends into the premises with just 59 private residences in the traditional thatched-roof design. Some of these are spread across multiple levels, giving you the feel of a paradisiacal home away from home.
Those for whom solitude is a priority should opt for the Hilltop Reserve villa. Sprawled across 3 levels and 3,186 sq. ft., it has an 820 sq. ft. heated infinity swimming pool and your personal buggy with a driver.
All guests have access to the 4 restaurants, one each by the bay, on the granite cliffs, by the pool and even inside a cave. A magical experience, each one. Most importantly, though, the deli by the pool doles out unlimited scoops of complimentary ice-cream to all guests.
11. Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, Quy Nhon
Quy Nhon is one of the virtually-known destinations on the Vietnamese tourist trail, which makes Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa all the more idyllic and tranquil. Not only does that give visitors a more authentic experience of the country’s south-central coast, but it also helps their dollar go a longer way.
With only 63 ocean-view rooms, this is an intimate resort that is able to shower personalised attention on every guest. Its backdrop of orchard-covered mountains on one side is matched by the beauty of the blue-green ocean on the other.
The private beach is a stretch of golden sand between the resort and the sea. Venture further into the public area and it is almost as private, too. You have to visit the Anantara Spa. In its clifftop tropical jungle setting, the wellness centre seems like a getaway within a getaway.
Nearby, and at the same altitude, is Tre restaurant. It serves excellent Vietnamese and international fare.
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