Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today (July 3, 2017): Top 10 most exclusive hotels & resorts in Vietnam.
I recently enjoyed a tremendous holiday in the fascinating country of Vietnam. With its rice paddies, undulating hills, unspoiled beaches, lush jungle, modern cities, and French colonial architecture, the nation is a magnet for lovers of authentic culture, pristine nature, urban life, and rich history. Since Vietnam opened its doors for tourism, its selection of boutique hotels and ultraluxe resorts has been growing quickly, including big-name players like Six Senses, Aman and Four Seasons to name a few. From south (Ho Chi Ming City) to north (Hanoi), the buzz about the place is palpable, and you should put the country now on your bucket list before it’s overrun by tourists. I hereby present you my selection of the best luxury hotels & resorts in Vietnam, that easily rank among the finest in the world.
There is more info (with reviews and Youtube clips) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Leave a comment or take my poll below!
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10. ANANTARA MUI NE
Set on Mui Ne’s pristinely sweeping beach, Anantara Mui Ne Resort is an oasis of elegance and comfort offering a unique and exclusive way to experience the southern coast of Vietnam. Mornings are spent by the pool deck, afternoons by hikes through nearby sand dunes, and evenings by a soothing spa treatment before starlit dinners near the beach. Expertly blending Vietnamese tradition and legendary Anantara service, the resort offers a tropical retreat, worlds away from Vietnam’s urban bustle. Rooms are set in the serenely designed main building that embodies a contemporary grace infused with touches of Vietnamese charm, while more exclusive private villas are located in impeccably landscaped, tropical garden.
9. AVANI QUY NHON RESORT & SPA
Sheltered by a private golden beach and soaring cliffs, Avani Quy Nhon Resort & Spa, located along Vietnam’s stunning south central coastline, offers a tropical beach and spa retreat generous in spirit and beauty. Upon arrival, guests have a seamless view of the deep blue ocean. Colorful, wooden fishing boats anchored in the bay add to the exotic ambience. This is pure Vietnam – unpretentious and alluring. The spacious comfort of each of the 63 Avani Deluxe Studio Rooms and Avani Junior Ocean Suites comes with muted shades of mint and white with splashes of aborigine that offer a soothing palette and contemporary comforts. Apart from visits to the 11th century Champa ruins, divine spa treatments, and long siesta’s, there is little else to do other than stroll and swim.
8. INTERCONTINENTAL DANANG SUN PENINSULA RESORT
Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is a luxury five-star beach resort nestled in the heart of Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve, overlooking a private bay. Here, you can delve into the soul of Vietnamese culture and heritage with nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hoi An Ancient Town and Hue Imperial City. The resort has been designed by famed architect Bill Bensley, who reimagined Vietnamese design, history and mythology with his characteristic whimsy, creating a magical retreat over four levels – Heaven, Sky, Earth and Sea. Guests can enjoy culinary artistry at La Maison 1888 restaurant helmed by world-acclaimed chef Pierre Gagnaire, soothe their body and soul at HARNN Heritage Spa, or simply kick back and enjoy the resort’s 700-meter (2300 feet) private beach.
- Hotel website: InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit; For Peninsula Suite or Pool Villa bookings: also roundtrip transfers per room per stay).
7. SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HANOI
Situated in the heart of Hanoi with its leafy boulevards and lakeside pagodas, this colonial-style hotel is ideally placed within walking distance to the famous Hanoi Opera House. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been Hanoi’s legendary landmark since its establishment at the turn of last century and has always proved a popular rendez-vous spot for both business and leisure travelers. The hotel offers 364 rooms and suites, spread over two wings: the original grandeur is preserved in the historical Metropole Wing, whereas the Opera Wing offers a neo-classic elegance. Other facilities include French, Vietnamese and Italian restaurants, three bars, a heated swimming pool, and the luxurious Le Spa du Metropole.
- Hotel website: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $75 USD food & beverage credit, and afternoon tea with chocolate buffet or a glass of champagne in Bamboo bar or Le Club bar per person for maximum of 2 people).
- Review: coming soon
6. BANYAN TREE LANG CO
Located in Central Vietnam, Banyan Tree Lang Co is an ultraluxe, beach-front, all-pool villa resort that comes with dramatic vistas spread across a rugged landscape. Here, you can feel the warm waves of the East Sea tickle your toes, and raise your gaze to behold the magnificent stretch of the Truong Son Mountain Range. Within touch of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the imperial city of Hue, charming old town of Hoi An and My Son’s historical ruins – culture aficionados will be satiated. Those with a bent for the physical will also find joy in a wide range activities. Golfers can tee off in style at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed 18-hole championship golf course, meandering through rice paddies and trickling streams against the backdrop of a staggering mountain range.
5. THE REVERIE SAIGON
In 2015, The Reverie Saigon debuted as the most spectacularly extravagant hotel in Vietnam and as the one and only member property of The Leading Hotels of the World in all of Ho Chi Minh City. Taking pride of place on the topmost floors of the landmark Times Square Building in prestigious District 1, the much-lauded hotel presents world-class hospitality with its impeccable service and its unique celebration of haute Italian design and inimitable luxury. Don’t expect a sense of place as you may imagine it to be. To say it’s over the top is an understatement. When you first enter you may well ponder if there is any marble left in Italy. The sky-high Reverie Saigon offers an incomparable perspective on the city with its spectacular views from all of its marble-clad rooms, which are the largest of any in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Hotel website: The Reverie Saigon
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- Review: read here my review of The Reverie Saigon.
4. SIX SENSES CON DAO
True to Six Senses’ philosophy of selecting remote yet accessible destinations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, Con Dao – a 40 min flight south of Ho Chi Min City – is a breathtaking location, which has been protected for decades as a national and marine park. Six Senses Con Dao is the only five-star resort in the archipelago islands, located along a massive private beach with sweeping views of the snap-worthy islands against the dramatic backdrop of the Lo Voi Mountains. The intimate, all-pool villa resort is contemporary in design and reflects the essence of a traditional fishing village. The spa and dining options are world-class. With a passionate commitment to supporting and protecting the environment, Con Dao has been built with the very lightest ecological footprint. It will be very, very difficult to return to ‘real life’ after a vacation here.
3. FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE NAM HAI
Embellishing heritage with Four Seasons flair, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a harmonious ode to coast, culture and community in Vietnam’s UNESCO-strewn centre. Along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand – hailed by Forbes as one of the best beaches in the world – a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas lines the dramatic beachfront. Inspired by 2,500 years of history, The Nam Hai’s architecture and interior design present a dramatic play on wind and water inspired by ancient feng shui philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Duc royal tombs of Hue. All of the 100 private retreats are elegantly finished with Vietnamese lacquer and diaphanous silk, reflecting the soul of Vietnam’s cultural heartland and illuminating the spirit of all who visit.
2. SIX SENSES NINH VAN BAY
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay enjoys a spectacular setting in a dramatic bay that gives the feeling of being on an exclusive private island resort, with impressive rock formations overlooking the East Vietnam Sea. Impressive rock formations, a coral reef, a golden sand beach, a playful stream and the towering mountains behind, all add to the sense of being luxuriously at one with nature. The spa resort presents the reality of the destination, with an architectural style incorporating traditions of Vietnam. The 58 superb accommodations – done in Six Senses signature eco-chic design – are all personal villas with private plunge pools. The restaurants at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay serve international and local favourites plus East meets West specialties complemented by the best local seafood
In 2013, Aman brought the brand’s signature sleekness to its debut resort in Vietnam, a contemporary beachside resort alongside a full-service Aman Spa. Named for the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and noi meaning ‘place’, Amanoi is a tranquil, ultraluxe retreat situated on a gorgeous golden sand beach overlooking spectacular Vinh Hy Bay in Nui Chua National Park, northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. The luxury hotel’s polished, slate pagodas peek out from a lush green landscape; its infinity pool segues into the sea; and its spa rests by a lotus-blossom-dotted lake. Amanoi offers total privacy in beautifully designed accommodations that are located in 31 Pavilions, a number with private swimming pools, and five Aman Villas, all positioned on the hillside with impressive views.
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