Just a few decades ago, Vietnam was a war-torn third world country. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Whether you want to relax in a luxurious spa or take a trek through the mountains to minority villages and rice fields, in Vietnam you will find unique and surprising hotels where you can pamper yourself. And isn’t that the point of the holidays?
1. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang
If seclusion is what you’re looking for, a stay at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is for you. This bayfront resort on the East Vietnam Sea is a 20-minute boat ride away. Villas and suites offer water or mountain views, wineries and private pools. Some villas are within walking distance of the main accommodation, increasing the isolation. At this incredible hotel, you will find white sand beaches and water sports, as well as yoga sessions, or a boat on the Cat River and a mud bath in a hot spring.
2. Pension Hang Nga, Da Lat
Da Lat’s Hang Nga guesthouse has been described as surreal, quirky and innovative, living up to its nickname “Casa Loca”. The architecture of this guesthouse looks more like an amusement park than a place to sleep peacefully. It has also been described as something of a scary fairy tale: Walt Disney with Salvador Dalí. But you don’t have to stay there to see it, as the facilities offer guided tours.
3. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
The Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi is one of Southeast Asia’s most famous hotels. Located in the historic French Quarter of the city, the white colonial building with green shutters offers 364 luxurious rooms. Located near the Opera House, the hotel was built in 1901 and underwent extensive renovations in the 1990s. A popular meeting point during colonial times, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi counts among its guests celebrities and heads of state. The decor of the rooms ranges from colonial classic to contemporary, all designed to make guests feel at home.
4. An Lam River Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
Am Lam Saigon River Private Residences is small – it has just 15 rooms – but it exudes luxury and serenity. Named one of the world’s best hotels by Conde Nast Traveler in 2013, it is a 20-minute speedboat ride from central Ho Chi Minh City. The architectural style of the hotel is classic South Vietnamese, elegantly presented with lush greenery. Pampering customers is key here, as each has their own 24-hour butler to take care of them.
5. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is not your typical five-star hotel. It was named the world’s leading luxury resort in 2014 and 2015 by a consortium of upscale travel professionals and tourism companies. All the luxury that attracts world leaders is found on the hillside overlooking a private bay. Days here are filled with activities, from cooking classes and conical hat-making, hiking, playing on a private beach, and watching monkeys play.
6. Mango Bay Resort, Phu Quoc
Rustic yet elegant simplicity is all the rage at Mango Bay Resort, Phu Quoc. This secluded island resort is eco-friendly and nature-focused, with solar-powered showers; is a supporter of endangered wildlife. When you are not visiting the historical attractions nearby, you can enjoy a private beach of 800 meters. The accommodations have a private terrace with ocean or garden views. Visitors say the terrace restaurant is a great place to relax and watch the sun set over the ocean.
7. Mai Chau Lodge
Mai Chau Lodge is the place to stay if you want to experience Vietnam’s tribal culture. Located less than 145 km from Hanoi, the Mai Chau region is home to several hill tribes. The hotel offers several sightseeing packages, all of which involve learning about the hill tribes in one way or another, such as farming or nature. The rooms are traditionally furnished, including modern amenities, with views of the mountains or the valley.
8. Laguna Vedana, Hue
Vedana Lagoon, located between the historic towns of Hue and Hoi An, is located on the shores of Tam Giang Lagoon, one of the largest in Southeast Asia. It was the first village on the water in Vietnam. Known as a wellness and spa resort, the Vedana Lagoon combines the concept of modern art with upscale luxury to provide a sense of peace and serenity. The hotel offers 29 villas, each with a private sun terrace and water or garden views.
9. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
If you’re traveling on business, the World Travel Awards have named the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake the best business hotel in Vietnam for two consecutive years. The hotel, located on Hanoi’s largest lake, also receives high praise from vacationers. The luxurious rooms with private balconies face the lake, with bridges connecting the buildings. The historic Old Town and the 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda are minutes away. Dining options include French, Italian, and Vietnamese cuisine, with seating that takes advantage of the water view.
10. Seaside resort of Whale Island
The Whale Island Resort is the only resort located on a protected tropical island, two hours north of Nha Trang. It is possible to observe marine life while diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the bay at Whale Island Resort; fishing is prohibited. The island is small enough that you can walk around it observing nature in a few hours. Guests say this is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s big cities. Resort guests can stay in traditional or modern bamboo bungalows; both have thatched roofs and bathrooms with showers.
11. Topas Eco Lodge, Sapa
Serene beauty is an apt description of Topas Eco Lodge. It is located on top of a hill in Hoang Lien National Park. Your adventure begins with the drive from Sapa, just over 15 (10 miles) away. The journey takes about 45 minutes as the roads are not very good. However, the trip is well worth it once you are on the balcony of your one bedroom bungalow with the mountains as far as the eye can see. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, rest and visits to rice fields and minority villages.