Manicured gardens being tended by uniformed staff in pith helmets are perhaps the only clue as to what lies behind the facade of the five-star Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort which was previously known as the Lifestyle Resort located on beautiful Bac My An beach on Vietnam’s most famous coastal stretch. It’s a few kilometres from Vietnam’s fastest growing city, Da Nang, and a half-hour shuttle bus ride from Hoi An with the majestic Marble Mountain range, two world-class golf courses and the Son Tra Peninsula all within spitting distance.
The resort is high on facilities. How many hotels have you stayed in with a dedicated butterfly enclosure or a cooking class fronted by the head food and beverage staff while someone else is off sinking balls down the golf course and the kids are being thrown around the sea on a jet ski? There’s a spa (of course), two pools, those beautifully manicured gardens, private squeaky sanded beach and a restaurant that will spoil you for any other dining you intend on doing outside of the resort – this is a tried and tested fact.
With more than 180 rooms, the villas win our vote hands down. They’re massive single-storey, lounge-y spaces with bathrooms that make you go ummm, private gardens, lap pool and each one is located within a hop, a skip and a jump from the ocean. Suites, superior and deluxe options are beautiful, but like most five-star resorts the world over are a bit samey, giving the impression that you could be anywhere in the world (although a big, luxurious, comfortable part with rather wonderful balconies and views).
With prices ranging from $135 for a superior to $284 for the mama of all two-bedroomed villas, it’s a blow-out for the budget conscious, but in comparison with other resorts nearby it’s the cheaper option if you are hoping for a villa. The nearby Hyatt Regency has a teeny bit more character to its rooms, but falls flat on its face when compared with the friendly service and food and beverage prices at Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort. Nearer Hoi An, the Sunrise has similar room layouts and a slightly better location if you want to make the most of the old town, but its sandbagged beach is no competition for Bac My An.
Lifestyle is the perfect option for beach-bum families looking for more personality in their staff than in their lodgings; for gourmets, even if you don’t stay in the resort, Senses restaurant should be pretty much top of your list of incredible dining experiences; sports fanatics could easily reach burnout between the tennis court, gym, golf courses and water sports on offer; and honeymooners and those after a romantic escape will find it hard to leave.
Staff are almost invisible until you need them and the management are very hands-on, happy to do the rounds to introduce themselves and be available to guests for whatever reason, making the Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort stand out from the competition.
The hotel is very popular with Asian guests which is more due to its location (being nearer Da Nang) than by design. The resort was recently aquired by the French Accor group and is run to exceptionally high international standards. It’s worth booking in advance if you are after a cheeky offer but is also a good last-minute choice as it’s unusual for them to be full due to the high number of resorts lining the coastline.
The overall atmosphere is of quiet decadence, with the racket of the town replaced with soothing crashing waves and birdsong. The beach bar caters to those in search of a bit of background music and socialising while gazing out to sea.
Pullman Da Nang Beach Resort ticks all the right boxes with us — it’s a good value blowout on accommodation and food.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.