Along Vietnam’s S-shaped coast, Hoi An stands out for its Unesco-listed old town and authentic resorts that nod the port city’s past as a historic trading hub.
Ancient trading post Hoi An, on Vietnam’s central coast, is three treasures in one: an atmospheric old town, known for its lantern-lit streets, age-old shopfronts and a thriving textiles industry where you can get tailor-made clothes in a matter of days; a tranquil riverside retreat, with serene restaurants gracing the banks of the Thu Bon and De Vong; and a buzzy beachfront base, with miles of coffee shops and cool bars lining the sandy strip between Cua Dai and An Bang. It’s no surprise, then, that there are scores of resorts to choose from. Here are the very best that Hoi An has to offer.
Holiday in style at Anantara Hoi An Resort, located on the banks of the Thu Bon River and a 15-minute walk from the Unesco-listed “Ancient Town” (old town), where the buildings date back to the city’s golden era as a trading port between the 15th and 19th centuries. Reflecting the area’s melting-pot makeup, the hotel’s 94 rooms and suites are designed in a spacious split-level layout, blending French, Chinese and Japanese architecture. Staff can arrange a 4×4 countryside tour, a railway adventure along the country’s S-shaped coast, a private dinner amid the paddy fields or Vietnamese cooking classes.
Immerse yourself in local Vietnamese culture at the Hoi An Beach Resort, a tropical hideaway where the boundaries between design and the nature blur effortlessly – the best example is the infinity pool, which faces onto the East Vietnam Sea and seems to back straight into the De Vong River. Start your day with a Tai Chi lesson on the private beach or learn the basics of Vietnamese at the language classes. In the evening, book a riverboat cruise to see some of the lesser-known areas of Hoi An.
Couples-ready Koi Hoi An Resort & Spa is set on its own private palm-fringed island in the De Vong River, that guests reach by crossing over a wooden bridge, where a welcome drink awaits. Other perks include fresh flowers and a nightly turndown service. The resort offers couples massages at its spa and direct access to a private patch of Cua Dai Beach. Rooms feature warm tones, intricate wooden lattice motifs and Chinese moon-gate doorways. For almost total seclusion, book the Pool Villa for its private balconies, plunge pool and garden, crowned by a pool and pergola.
Imagine being chauffeured around the rice paddies and rural countryside in a vintage sidecar. It’s just one of the unique experiences at the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa. At this family-friendly riverside property, you’ll also find a kids’ club, babysitting services and a playground, too. Take to the seas with sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kayak excursions – or rent a thung chai (bamboo basket boat) to try paddling the Vietnamese way.
Employing a holistic approach to health and wellness, Almanity Hoi An offers daily spa treatments, yoga, massages and other activities to revive the body and mind. Free in-house activities include herbal-tea meditation and sunset Tai Chi rituals. The resort is also home to an art gallery, lush lily ponds and one of the largest spas in Vietnam. On arrival at the spa, guests are greeted by a subtle aroma of sandalwood and lemongrass before being introduced to their Soul Guide, who walks them through treatments.
Scenically positioned right on the shores of An Bang beach, Sea’lavie Resort is a lovely boutique retreat for those who want to stay near the beach. Each room has been individually decorated with contemporary furnishings and local touches such as silk lanterns; some of the suites have small kitchenettes, too. The beach is just a few steps away through the resort’s charming garden. With help of staff, you can even arrange a visit from a local tailor who’ll deliver you a customised piece within 24 hours.
For those seeking an authentic beyond-the-guidebook Hoi An experience, consider a stay at La Siesta. Situated in lush tropical gardens, the high-end rooms and suites are located within two wings, each packed with local character. Behind the ochre-daubed facade, you’ll find arched doorways, dark-wood furniture, swooshing ceiling fans and period tiles that transport you to a bygone era – though the spa and pool are unmistakably modern. Next to the resort, guests can access an ancient temple via a secret garden path and Japanese postman bikes are free to grab for exploring nearby villages.
Channelling age-old charm, Le Pavillon Luxury Hoi An Resort & Spa sits right at the historic heart of Hoi An, surrounded by tropical gardens. The location could not be more convenient: it’s only a 30-minute walk from the old town and a 12-minute taxi ride from An Bang Beach. All rooms are decorated in an old-world Oriental fashion and all rooms feature balconies that overlook the Bay Mau coconut forest. Elsewhere at the resort, there’s a spa, restaurant and a pool with a swim-up bar.
Hoi An Ancient House Resort is a lovely family-run resort built in the style of Hoi An’s old town, with clay-tiled houses, small streets and water ponds to complete the scene. Paying tribute to local culture, it features a 200-year-old house, where family members still live and work today making artisanal Vietnamese rice noodles that are featured in the restaurant’s delicious cao lau and pho dishes. The resort’s spa, water gardens and circular pool add space to spread out and relax.
It’s hard to resist the charm of Hoi An’s Silk Sense River Resort. Steps from the Co Co River, this guilt-free eco-luxe resort is made up of four villas, 18 suites and 60 hotel rooms, all with balconies or private pools. You won’t find any plastic here: the hotel has a number of sustainable practices in place – a hydroponic vegetable garden, renewable energy and water conservation – making it a great choice for eco-conscious travellers. Also check out Caman Village, a farm-to-table restaurant where you’ll be seated in small thatched-roofed huts overlooking a lily-covered pond with a bamboo bridge.
The Senvila Boutique Resort is a modern hideaway with the friendliness of a homestay. It’s located in the Cam Thanh countryside, an area dotted with traditional wooden houses, rice paddies and winding waterways. Because of its remote location, the resort provides a free shuttle service to the Hoi An centre. The design draws inspiration from the four-petal lotus, with a quartet of wings fanning out from a central swimming pool. For dramatic sunset views, borrow a bicycle to reach Cua Dai Bridge, which spans the Thu Bon River.
This eco-friendly resort in a rural village setting has a rustic-chic style, light-touch ethos and serene atmosphere. Simple and sophisticated, the neutral-toned rooms feature sustainable teak, rattan and bamboo. The grounds are equally picturesque: bamboo-lined pathways lead to the spa, and the restaurant and bar overlook a lotus-covered pond. Borrow bicycles from reception to pedal to the Old Quarter, a short ride away through rice paddies, or take the free electric shuttle offered by the hotel.