Young twenty something is often synonymous with budget traveling. I am, of course, no exception. Airbnb, hostels, and crashing-on-couches are my best friends. However, the luxurious hospitality and scenery of top stars hotels are simply irreplaceable.
Here’s my bucket list for top 5 hotels & resorts I want to experience in Vietnam:
1. The Nam Hai Hoi An – A GHM Hotel
The landscape of this hotel is literally on my vision board! I wake up everyday using this image as my motivation to work hard to be able to afford a luxury experience here. To say I’m obsessed is an understatement.
I first heard of Nam Hai through my senior senior boss (aka super important man) at a very stressful company. He wasn’t located in Vietnam but every few weeks or so, he would take a getaway weekend to Nam Hai. It’s on average $1,000 a night but he said it was so worth it. Nam Hai helped him ease off all the tensions and feel refreshed for a new week. Every time he was there, he would send me a smiley face and one line email “Hi. I’m in Vietnam too Relaxing in Nam Hai.” And so, the repeated message plants the seeds for my ultimate dream vacation.
One day soon, One Day Soon
2. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Doesn’t it just look like heaven on earth?
Since its opening in 2012, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort has accumulated tons of accolades and become a luxury symbol in Vietnam.
I was initially attracted to the resort as it houses La Maison 1888, the first restaurant in Vietnam that featured a Michelin-starred chef. The classic french fine dining menu and the colonial decor just scream out luxury. You don’t find many places like this in Vietnam.
On top of that, the hotel is located in my favorite Vietnamese city, Da Nang. Well, to be exact, it’s secluded in the Son Tra Peninsula, about 20 mins from downtown Da Nang. With a private beach and a butler service, it surely feels like a treatment reserved for only Kings & Queens.
Room night starts at $398 so it doesn’t seem too outlandish for me, especially if splitted between two people. I tried to book it once but couldn’t because they didn’t accept one night stay. I didn’t know that most luxury resorts actually have a minimum stay length required! I guess they are afraid they would waste too much work & time for one night crashers like me? Haha.
Anyways, this place would definitely be one of my stops sometimes soon. In the meantime, I just need to save up more and wait for a special occasion.
3. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
Cave Dinner? Yum…! Right?
The setting looks intriguing but I don’t know if I can survive in such a closed space. But there’s always a first time for everything
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is on my list as it’s just a boat ride away from Nha Trang, a famous coastal city that I’ve surprisingly never been to. It can be often forgotten when you make travel plans across Vietnam.
Also, I really want to visit the museum dedicated to Dr. Alexandre Yersin, whom my French middle school in Hanoi was named after. He was a francophone bacteriologist who fell in love with Vietnam, learned to speak Vietnamese fluently, and settled in Nha Trang. I would love to learn how the Vietnam scenes play a role in his life and scientific contributions.
The Six Senses brand is famous for its spas. Looking at the options, I can already picture myself getting a “Sunburnt Soother” body treatment after a day chilling on the beach and showering outdoor. The tangy sweet scent of lavender infused with the fresh feel of aloe vera would calm my often chaotic mind.
Plus, the resort’s activities list seem to be unlimited from scuba diving to hiking to mud bath excursions! This would be the place to go when I’m in the mood for a secluded but still, action-packed holiday.
4. Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc is often called the Jeju of Vietnam and the island has been on my bucket list for years. It’s often seen as a dream destination for lots of Vietnameses. The hard part when planning to go to Phu Quoc is choosing the resort as there are so many good options from Vinpearl to MGallery. I’ve decided to settle for Salinda as they have the most wanderlust pictures! Just kidding…but not really Hotels, please take notes! Pictures do dictate consumers’ choices I love the MGallery brand but their website for Phu Quoc doesn’t seem as inspiring as Salinda. My only worry for Salinda is this is a popular wedding venue and I definitely would not want to be lost in a honeymoon-ers fest.
It seems like the island is filled with activities from fishing to snorkeling so you would spend more time exploring than lounging at the resort. My guess is that the island itself would be the highlight of the trip rather than the hotel.
Nevertheless, the resort seems to offer impeccable service with extremely friendly staff. Guests can have direct access to the beach as well. To be honest, I have not found a distinctive character from this so called luxurious hotel but maybe that’s why I’m excited to find out to see what all the fuss is about
Tip: For non-Vietnamese travelers, you don’t need a visa at all if you just travel to Phu Quoc.
I can’t contain my excitement as I write about Amanoi – a new discovery for me! I was writing this blogpost at lunch break when my colleague glanced over. I told her how I was assembling my fancy resorts bucket list in Vietnam but struggled to decide on my 5th choice. She instantly iMessage me a link and smiled “No one knows about this place. You’re welcome.”
I was in total awe and utter shock when I start seeing pictures of Amanoi – just breathtaking! This is a resort nestled in Nui Chua National Park, overlooking lakes and oceans, meaning it’s surrounded by forests, mountains, AND water! You can’t go wrong with such picturesque natural setting. Plus, it’s from the Aman brand!
I googled around about this location – of course it’s on some luxury lists but the press coverage is minimal compared to the hotels listed above. I looked over at TripAdvisor, only 79 reviews compared to 1,600+ reviews of Nam Hai which has similar price tag range, but still, Amanoi’s reviews are all 4 and 5 stars. So nope, I could not find any fault with this facility opened since the end of 2013. I guess some places are just better when kept a secret
The resort is perched on a cliff 90 minutes south of Nha Trang. Very secluded but airport transfers are easy and available from the hotels. Reading the reviews, the guests seem to enjoy the drive through the rural and uncharted roads.
Amanoi is a quiet retreat so it would be perfect when you want some tranquility to write, meditate, and reset. I’m actually in hermit mode as I write this post so all I want to do is to just pack up and move to Amanoi! 😛
Who wouldn’t want to wake up contemplating sunrise between the ocean and the mountains? Then perhaps, enjoy a private yoga session followed by a picnic breakfast on the private pool deck? In the afternoon, you can immersed myself into the natural setting through kayaking or hiking. There are not many places where oceans and mountains fused together effortlessly like Amanoi. At least from the pictures and reviews, this seems to be the ideal place to unplug from the world’s noises, rejuvenate, and rediscover our rudimentary self.
Location: Núi Chúa National Park, Vinh Hy Village
Ninh Thuan Province (90 mins south of Nha Trang)
Price: From $1,068 / night / person
Official Website | Trip Advisor Reviews | Ampersand’s Review
How about you? What are your dream luxury hotels & resorts to travel to? Are any of them in Vietnam? Thanks for reading and please leave comments & suggestions below
PS: Duh – this is not sponsored haha Just inspiring wanderlust…