From a coastal base with culture on tap to a sea-facing spa stay, we’ve combed 3,000 miles of shoreline to find the best barefoot breaks in the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam.
Beach-lovers are spoilt for choice in Vietnam, but with so many sandy coves and peacock-hued bays to distract you, making the tough decision of where to stay might just be the trickiest part of your holiday. After that, we assure you, these hotels with spas, bars and restaurants, will do all the hard work for you, no questions asked…
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Amiana is set on a private peninsula that reaches out into Nha Trang Bay with an unspoiled beach that offers utmost privacy. It’s especially geared up for couples, with romantic touches ready and waiting on standby, such as private beachside dining hosted by a butler and chef, or dinner à deux on the private jetty overlooking the ocean. Reconnect further in your room: even the most basic have indoor/outdoor bathrooms with hand-carved stone tubs and rain showers. The Ocean Pool villas are next-level good, with canopy beds and a plunge pool overlooking the sea. Round off the indulgence with a mud bath for two (yes, really) – this resort is the only spa in town that offers oceanview treatment rooms.
If you’re after a hotel with oh-wow views, look no further than Mia Resort in Nha Trang. Arriving here feels like being welcomed into a family home – albeit an incredibly opulent, grand one, that’s built into the hillside and has three restaurants and a spa. Upgrade to the Ocean View villas for uninterrupted sea views from your own private plunge pool. For large groups or families, the beachfront residences offer five bedrooms and ample space for everyone to sprawl out. Thoughtful touches like hammocks in the gardens and after-sun lotion make it easy to extend your stay here.
Culture meets the coast at Peppercorn Beach Resort. This boutique resort, near the small fishing village of Ganh Dau, is located on the island of Phu Quoc, just off the Cambodian coast. Named after the peppercorn vines found throughout the grounds, the resort boasts a palm-fringed beach, gardens full of frangipani and mango trees, and beachside hammocks for relaxing. For active sorts, the resort has a pool, outdoor gym, bikes to borrow and kayaks for getting closer to the stilted fisherman’s houses. Staff can also arrange fishing trips, visits to the nearby pepper farm and scuba-diving tours, too.
Indulgence levels are off the scale at Sol – a modern hotel that’s known for its friendly atmosphere and service on Phu Quoc’s peaceful west coast. There’s a holy trinity of restaurants and a trio of bars on site. But the beach area and pools are the real centre of the hotel, with not one, not two, but (you guessed it) three pool areas – from a splash-ready kids’ corner to a relaxing adults’ zone. The beach-themed rooms have a hint of the ocean, too, with deck chairs and bright pops of colour.
For ultimate comfort, look no further than Phu Hai Beach Resort & Spa on the south-eastern shoreline of Vietnam. The resort is located close to Phan Thiet, a port city known for its harbour full of colourful boats, outdoor markets and seafood restaurants. The resort offers a Cham-inspired bar, a pool with a boulder-strewn waterfall feature and simple, clean rooms, suites and villas – some with open-air ensuites and a sunken tub.
There’s a lengthy list of activities at Bamboo Village Beach Resort near Mui Ne – a southern beach town, not far from Ho Chi Minh. You can visit the quaint Mui Ne fishing village for fresh crabs and scallops, spend a day exploring the area’s sand dunes, try your hand at kite-surfing or join a yoga class in the hotel’s meditation garden. A real highlight when you return to base are the simple-yet-elegant bungalows, suites and cottages, with private balconies, bamboo floors, open-air bathrooms and ocean views.
Rustic-chic design and a planet-loving ethos underpin a stay at the Mango Bay Resort on Phu Quoc island. Indeed, you can book any of the 44 jungle-clad bungalows safe in the knowledge that the resort has gone to great lengths to protect the natural environment. The wooden bungalows were built with locally sourced materials from the island and nature lovers will appreciate the all-round down-to-earth vibe – which extends to offering free yoga and tai chi classes, snorkelling equipment, kayaks, paddleboards and bodyboards. This is low-key luxury at its finest.
This Sunrise Beach Hotel is located in Nha Trang – minutes from major attractions and the entertainment district – making it a great beat for those who want to combine the city with the sea. At this urban retreat, there’s a column-lined pool and the hotel also has its own private beach, exclusively reserved for guests. There are 125 sea-facing rooms, most featuring a balcony with gorgeous views of Nha Trang Bay.
Crowded beaches are unheard of at the Anam. This resort in Cam Ranh, south of Nha Trang, has 300m (1,000ft) of shoreline running along the fittingly-named white sands of Long Beach. Old-world Indochine atmosphere pervades in the red-roofed villas, which peek out from its immaculate grounds and gardens. All are decorated with original artwork and beds are smack in the centre of the room, facing the ocean. There’s an amorphous pool, set against a mountain backdrop. But to really tap out, visit the 10-room spa for detox treatments and sacred stone therapies.
This refined hotel sits across from Man Thai Beach on the East Vietnam Sea. On the 14th floor, there’s a swimming pool and a sky bar decked out in colourful lanterns, with 360-degree views of the beach and Da Nang’s cityscape. Rooms and suites are simple and snug for a good night’s sleep. In the early morning, rent a free bike from reception to explore nearby fishing villages – it’s a great time of day to see the fresh haul and traditional methods on display.
This remote all-pool-villa Banyan Tree is enveloped by Lang Co’s traditional fishing villages and beautiful lagoons, which you can visit by attempting to paddle a round basket boat (much to the delight of locals). You can also learn to make bun bo Hue, a regional noodle dish; plan day trips to the twin Unesco-listed cities of Hoi An and Hue; or tour Bach Ma National Park, home to waterfalls and wildlife. This being a Banyan Tree, the spa is something special: expert therapists start every treatment with a foot-soaking ritual, as you sip tea and listen to bullfrogs bark from the lantern-lit canals that lace through the resort.
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