Big and busy
Head down to the Cham Island ferry point along the Cua Dai Road in Hoi An and you can’t fail to miss the futuristic, towering white and glass exterior of the five-star Sunrise Hotel basking high on a hill surrounded by tropical gardens.
Located on the outskirts of Cua Dai, there’s not much within walking distance except a line of local seafood stands so good they give Hoi An’s best restaurants a run for their money, although a 10-minute taxi drive will take you into the old town if you want to test the theory.
Sunrise is all about a secluded, relaxed escape with rather a lot of luxury thrown in; they’ve got a kids’ club (just within eyeshot of your infinity pool sun lounger), a Facebooker’s dream gym with touch screen internet on the running machines and three astonishingly good value restaurants – this is where they serve up the biggest burger we have ever seen along with beach barbecues and some fine dining as well (plus the inclusive breakfast here is outstanding). They have a lobby you can get lost in — when we checked out the library there were kids playing hide and seek there — a spa, several bars, private beach with surfboards and kayaks, and they even offer coracle boat lessons.
The rooms are phenomenal and even though there are 210 of them somehow they’ve managed to make each one feel like a luxury bolthole with a view. Standards have a romantic couple-friendly bathroom, where it’s up to you whether you shower with a view (of the bedroom) or pull down the privacy blind. Step up a rung and you’ve got yourself one of the sweetest suites we have ever slunk through in our flipflops, with masses of space including a lounge furnished with such a fabulous sofa I wish I had taken a bigger handbag to stuff it in.
Villas come in a choice of ocean facing, island view, private infinity pool or garden facing and pack a punch with their prices compared to the extortionately expensive Nam Hai or the rather tired Victoria Hotel further along the beach. Although this isn’t for purse pinchers it’s incredibly good value for midrangers as they are not afraid to shy away from a discount when occupancy is low.
Whether you are coming for work, a romantic weekend or with the family, the Sunrise ticks all the boxes. Despite or should we say because of its size even at the 80% occupancy while we were there it managed to offer peace and plenty of outdoor privacy. If you want to mingle, happy hour down at the beach bar pulls in the punters and you get a cracking view of the sun setting over the ocean. At night the Sunrise fluffs up its plumes with beautiful ambient lighting creating an even more intimate feel to its surroundings.
The downside to Sunrise is its beach – or rather, lack of beach, a problem shared with all the hotels on Cua Dai. Due to coastal erosion the Sunrise has lost its beachfront. Peer over the concrete retaining wall to see rather ugly sandbags. To give guests some feeling of sand between the toes, there’s an oversized sandbox flanking the infinity pool with sun loungers, umbrellas and palms. Don’t stay at Sunrise if your main desire is beach.
One last tip worth knowing about the Sunrise (and this is why we know it so well) is that it has an open-door policy towards day visitors which means if you are holed up in a hotel in town you can pack your bathers and go hangout by the pool. Yes, you can give yourself a five-star upgrade for the price of a few nibbles or happy-hour cocktails.
We were quoted rack rates at the hotel reception (it’s Christmas and they are almost full) which started off at $275++ for a garden deluxe and finished at $2,200 for a grand two bedroomed pool villa, which is a bit steep. The same rooms and dates which included Christmas Day online (via Agoda) were $100 and $650.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.