The Nam Hai - Hoi An, Vietnam
12 April 2011

The Nam Hai is the kind of place you just never want to leave; albeit in an unlikely location – situated on the beach between Hoi An and Da Nang in Central Vietnam. This is not Samui, this is not Bali, however the owners along with GHM Hotels have come up with an interesting concept here. There is so much culture to take in around this area; the Nam Hai is an ideal base to explore central Vietnam. Three UNESCO heritage sites are located on Vietnam’s central coast: the ancient port city of Hoi An, the ruins of My Son and the former imperial capital of Hue.

Managed by GHM hotels, the company that is in charge of the Chedi, Setai and the Datai brands and run by Adrian Zecha, founder of Amanresorts, this hotel is a design fans dream. With interiors by Jaya Ibrahim of Jaya and associates, this is one of the best designed resorts I have yet to come across. Modern, however with a distinct Southeast Asian touch, this combinations is the blueprint for today’s luxury resort.

All Rooms are stand-alone Villas, featuring raised beds with a sunken tub, indoor and outdoor showers and all creature comforts expected of a resort of this quality. The one, two and three bedroom pool villas however is where the Nam Hai sets itself apart as one of the world’s finest luxury resorts. In addition to the “bedroom” Villas, which are the very similar to the other rooms, the pool villas feature an array of amenities to make your stay truly memorable. The living room Villa boasts a 50 inch Plasma TV, dining and relaxation facilities with an open bar that is included in the package. The private outdoor pool has direct beach access, an outdoor shower as well as day beds, loungers and a table to enjoy your complimentary afternoon tea, canapés and complimentary cocktails. All pool villas have a dedicated personal butler that is on hand to make your stay more comfortable, serve drinks and organize anything else you need during your stay. Complimentary laundry, breakfast and local drop off and pick-up car service are also included in the villas.

The butler service is not the standard “butler” that is listed in many hotels, as out butler Wung, really made our stay a great one. She would arrive in the morning before we woke up to bring us a selection of international newspapers, prepare our morning tea and coffee and lay out towels for the morning swim. On request, she would also order and serve our breakfast, take care of the laundry that was cleaned the same day and restock the mini bar and drinks as we needed.

The closest Town is Hoi An, which is an ancient trading port that was specialized in fabrics. As a remnant of this heritage it is one of the premier towns in Vietnam for custom tailoring with over 600 tailors spread across the village. In addition to the culture, Hoi An also offers great culinary pleasures such as the local “White Rose Dumplings” and “Cau Lao” a noodle soup starring hand-made noodles using water from a single ancient well in Hoi An. Also, definitely try the Banh Mi at “Tiem Banh Mi Phuong” by far the best Banh Mi I ate while in Vietnam and one of the world’s best sandwiches IMO.

Another great option is Da Nang, about 20-30 minutes by car, and also the closest airport to the Nam Hai Hotel, served by Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City (Saigon), as well as Singapore Airlines’ subsidiary Silk Air. Located just past China Beach, one of the landing spots of the US Army during the Vietnam conflict, Da Nang boasts a famous War Museum as well as a wide variety of seafood restaurants along the beach.

Combine a stay at the Nam Hai with a visit to either Saigon or Hanoi and you are sure to have a memorable vacation. Simply send us an email if you have more questions.

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