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Central Vietnam Hotels

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ana Mandara Hue
An Hai Village
Thuan An , Phu Vang District
Vietnam
Tel: 84 54 398 3333
Fax: 84 8 6291 8144
info@epikurean.ws
epikurean.ws/ana-mandara-hue

This former imperial capital lures explorers of nineteenth-century architecture and of regional cuisines—and now, of blissful tranquillity. The Ana Mandara occupies a private expanse of golden sand along the South China Sea. The first beach resort to take advantage of an undeveloped coastline, this 78-room property is built around a rectangular granite pool on seven acres of palm and frangipani trees. At night, the only sounds are crashing waves and chirping crickets, though you're just a 20-minute drive from the city. Design cues are taken from vernacular Hue, with wide-eaved, red-tiled roofs edged in hand-carved wood, ornate recessed ceilings, and mahogany furniture. Platform and four-poster beds are dressed in wine-colored silk quilts; writing desks double as vanities. In the larger villas, long violet couches and low coffee tables set with petite porcelain teapots face a veranda; standard rooms have marble-tiled terraces and cushioned daybeds. Traditional music is regularly performed in the restaurant, which serves local specialties like beef grilled in betel leaves. But to take full advantage of the seaside location, request a seafood barbecue right on the beach.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Evason Ana Mandara & Six Senses Spa—Nha Trang
Tran Phu Street
Nha Trang
Vietnam
Tel: 84 58 352 2222
reservations-nhatrang@sixsenses.com
www.sixsenses.com/evason-ana-mandara-nha-trang

It's no surprise Six Senses selected Nha Trang back in 1997 to be the site of Vietnam's first luxury resort. The three-mile arc of golden sand rests between lush green mountains and a blue-water bay visited by some of the country's sunniest (and least humid) weather. The 74 rooms are arranged in a villagelike setting of bungalows that delivers small-scale intimacy, and the six and a half acres of grounds keep the bustle of busy Tran Phu Street and the beach at bay. The rooms are models of romance and restraint, with clean lines, canopy beds, and private outdoor rain showers. Expect delicious small touches like a welcome-box of chocolates in sensual flavors such as ginger and passion fruit. Spa treatments take place at a pair of outdoor pavilions overlooking the sea and incorporate lemongrass and aloe from the on-site garden. Vietnamese-style massage, including toxin-removing cupping with special heated glasses, is also available. Free yoga and tai chi classes are held Monday and Friday mornings at an adjacent relaxation area overlooking a lotus-filled pond. Of course, there's an infinity pool, water-sports center, and on-site PADI-certified dive shop. The excellent staff can negotiate taxi charters or organize a shopping excursion via one of the hotel's cyclos. Avoid rooms 101–132, which are closest to the road; room 310 has the best views of the bay and islands.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fusion Maia Da Nang
Truong Sa Street
Khue My Ward
Ngu Hanh Son District
Da Nang
Vietnam
Tel: 84 511 3967 999
Info-dn@fusion-resorts.com
fusionmaiadanang.com

While most new developments along My Khe beach, Danang's booming 19-mile-long stretch of sand, are towering eyesores, the Fusion Maia is low-key and chic. Its 87 single-story villas lie tucked behind low, russet-tinted laterite walls and interconnected by bamboo-lined stone paths. The spacious, L-shaped villas (the smallest at 540 square feet) are built to an open plan, with a plump beige cotton sofa at one end and a bathroom fitted with a gray terrazzo soaking tub, glass-encased rain shower, and handmade brass sinks at the other. A canopy bed swathed in gauzy caramel-hued cotton faces glass doors that open onto a plunge pool and garden shaded by ferns and palms (a steal, with room rates starting at $290). Smart design touches include a swivel TV that can be viewed from the bath or bed and built-in closets behind textured fabric framed in glass and dark wood. The extras here are noteworthy: Fusion Maia is the first hotel in Asia to offer unlimited spa treatments with the room rate, and at Five, the snazzy restaurant, decorated with tiered silk chandeliers and purple velvet chairs, the show kitchen delivers outstanding dishes like a duck-and-herb ravioli. There's also complimentary shuttle service to the nearby riverside town of Hoi An, famed for its well-preserved shophouses and lantern-lit lanes.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Saigon Morin
30 Le Loi Street
Hue
Vietnam
Tel: 84 54 823 526
sgmorin@dng.vnn.vn
www.morinhotel.com.vn

The landmark Hotel Saigon Morin has stood since 1901 on the banks of the Perfume River through war, flood, and typhoon. Remodeled a decade ago and expanded last year, the practical-minded 184-room hotel offers easy access to the Citadel from Truong Tien Bridge, which is just across Le Loi Street. Supersized second-floor rooms in the original wing have 13-foot ceilings and Continental-style furnishings such as cabriole chairs, beds with padded headboards, and thick drapes (though they unfortunately don't quite muffle the traffic noise outside). The quietest quarters, rooms 140–168, are in the rear of the hotel. A peaceful inner courtyard holds a kidney-shaped swimming pool and a tree-shaded café with Parisian-style wrought iron furniture. Hotel service is attentive, from the rose-petal-strewing housekeepers to maintenance workers who arrive moments after a glitch is reported. The four-star amenities also include a tour service, currency exchange, beauty salon, and free lobby Wi-Fi. And breakfast might be the longest buffet in Vietnam: Platters of mango and pomelo, croissants and cheese, and banh khoai (steamed rice paper pancakes) stretch at least 30 yards.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
La Residence Hotel & Spa
5 Le Loi Street
Hue
Vietnam
Tel: 84 54 837 475
la-residence-hue.com

La Résidence was the Jazz Age home of French envoys to the royal court, and the grandeur of the Art Deco building must have made the emperors feel their wooden palace was très frumpy. Today, the updated La Résidence is easily the poshest address in Hue, appealing to diplomats, independent travelers, and—say, isn't that Colin Farrell in the bar? The boutique property's 122 rooms and suites sustain the period glamour with hardwood floors, canopy beds, and porcelain washstands. The architects may have taken the retro realism a tad too far, however: The rooms are short on electrical outlets to power all the gadgetry that modern travelers require. Just steps from the Perfume River, an infinity swimming pool delivers wide-angle views of the Citadel. Le Parfum restaurant maintains a détente between classic Continental fare like veal Rossini and Vietnamese entrées like bo luc lac (marinated beef with peppers and onions baked in a bamboo tube). An in-house travel desk can arrange cooking classes, sunset dinner cruises on the Perfume River, or guided tours of the Citadel and royal tombs. Upon your return, the housekeeping elves will have rehung every towel and washcloth. It's good to be the king, or at least an envoy, for a day.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Life Heritage Resort Hoi An
1 Pham Hong Thai Street
Hoi An
Vietnam
Tel: 84 510 391 4555
hoian@life-resorts.com
www.life-resorts.com

Built in harmony with a riverfront block of colonnaded French-era buildings, the colonial-style Life Heritage Resort is Hoi An's best in-town hotel option. Its 94 large rooms mix Western touches with Eastern art like hill-tribe textile wall hangings. A large sitting area, oversize bathtub, and high ceilings give a sense of space, but the basic work desk and flimsy sliding closet doors aren't quite up to style code. On the plus side, the rooms have high-speed Internet access, safes, and AC, as well as private outdoor porches on the sun-drenched gallery. Second-floor rooms 201–209 have the choicest views of the Thu Bon River. Open-air Senses Restaurant, which serves up fine panoramas and a smorgasbord with omelet and pho stations, is a good bet for breakfast before exploring the old quarter, just a five-minute walk away. After reaching cultural overload, splash around the small infinity pool, relax with an affordable spa session ($35 for a one-hour deep-tissue massage), or take the complimentary shuttle to Cua Dai Beach. Life Heritage also offers free Vietnamese-language instruction, silk lantern-making sessions, and—just in time for Saturday happy hour—a cocktail-making class. Nguyen Thi Kim Lien and the rest of the highly capable front-desk staff can organize any excursion, change currency, and book train tickets. Bear in mind the normally sluggish Thu Bon River can rise dramatically during the monsoon, especially in October and November, and cause enough flooding for the resort to temporarily close.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Nam Hai
Ha My Beach
Hoi An
Vietnam
Tel: 84 510 940 000
www.ghmluxuryhotels.com/NamHai.htm

With its late-2006 debut, the design-driven Nam Hai instantly assumed the mantle of Vietnam's most elegant resort. You enter through a gracious, open-air pavilion that spills onto a trio of tiered pools descending to a mile-long beach with views of the Cham Islands. All 60 villas and most of the 40 pool villas, which range from one to five bedrooms, have water views. Inside, Parisian architect Reda Amalou and Indonesian interior designer Jaya Ibrahim have reimagined the classic Vietnamese house, with a central king-size platform bed on a dais surrounded by amenities, including a flat-screen TV and an eggshell lacquered bathtub. Dock the iPod—which has a prerecorded selection of chill-out music—part the curtains, and drink in the immaculate sands, which the grounds crew seems to groom grain by grain. Rip currents can make swimming tricky, but the consolation is an Olympic-size infinity pool. Chase a dip with complimentary green-tea-and-mint facial mist, then rinse off under your villa's private outdoor rain shower. Other features include a showstopping restaurant specializing in Vietnamese and Indian cuisine, a high-caliber gym, a spa with eight treatment pavilions perched over a lotus-filled lagoon, and a gallery with paintings by Bui Huu Hung and other nationally acclaimed artists. A shuttle operates five times a day to Hoi An, just six miles away, but even its allure may not be enough to pry you from your villa.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Pilgrimage Village
130 Minh Mang Road
Hue
Vietnam
Tel: 84 5 488 5461
info@pilgrimagevillage.com
www.pilgrimagevillage.com

Set in the hills south of Hue amid Nguyen dynasty tombs, the great-value Pilgrimage Village is a rural refuge from the city's traffic and touts. Solidly built of brick and laterite stone, the villas are a nod to ancient Cham temples. The lush grounds, rustic setting, and relative seclusion also encourage romance: Twenty of the 99 rooms are honeymoon bungalows with hardwood floors, canopy beds, private pools, and butler service. Bungalows 153–159 overlook the man-made Lotus Lake and are the quietest. The on-site Vedana Spa has a full menu of treatments, including a one-hour "four hands" massage with two masseuses. Though the resort feels worlds away from the city, a free shuttle connects you to Hue in a mere ten minutes. The resort also rents bikes for $2 a day, a pleasant way to explore the rolling, wooded countryside.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Sandy Beach Resort
255 Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street
Da Nang
Vietnam
Tel: 84 511 3836 216
info@sandybeachdanang.com
www.sandybeachdanang.com

The Soviet-style lines of the '80s-era buildings may seem dated, but Sandy Beach Resort is by far the best value along rapidly developing China Beach. For starters, it's situated at Non Nuoc, the still-quiet midsection of the 20-mile-long strand. Out back are five vaulting limestone outcrops collectively known as the Marble Mountains. In front, rolling dunes give way to white sand lapped by gentle waves and punctuated by thatched-roof shelters. The pool staff provides free sea kayaks and canoes for oceanic exploration. After you work up an appetite, you can relax at the China Beach Grill over comfort food like chicken wraps, pizza, and fried spring rolls. At night, a Filipino band turns up the reverb and gamely covers everything from Beyoncé to Bob Marley. The 119 rooms, which are decorated in Holiday Inn Functional, appeal to a colorful mix of Euro families and American vets revisiting their old stomping ground. There are also perks—complimentary Internet in the lobby, a free daily shuttle to both Da Nang and Hoi An, and helpful staff that quickly organize everything from restaurant reservations to outgoing faxes—not found at your average budget hotel.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay
Ninh Van Bay
Nha Trang
Vietnam
Tel: 84 58 728 222
reservations-ninhvan@sixsenses.com
www.sixsenses.com/six-senses-hideaway-ninh-van-bay

It may be Vietnam's most expensive resort to date, but don't expect high-tech gadgetry and marble bathrooms. Instead, organic fabrics and coconut fixtures accessorize the 55 thatch-roofed huts set around coral-rich Ninh Van Bay. Upper floors are outfitted with homey wooden dining tables and chairs as well as pillow-strewn daybeds ideal for star- and sunset-gazing. Downstairs, mosquito nets cocoon the funky bamboo beds, and tree-stump footpaths lead to the double-headed exterior showers. The scarcity of outdoor lights makes nighttime navigation a challenge, and the helpfulness of the personal butlers is hampered by their limited English. But with sea-facing private plunge pools and nonstop activities, including dives, the Hideaway feels like sleepaway camp for grown-ups, albeit one with a French chef and a top-notch spa.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.