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Saltwater Hostel

A great budget choice

What we say: 4 stars

If you like your hostels tending toward the fancy side — think three-storey colonial-style mansion with views over paddy and the distant Cham Islands — then you are going to feel very at home at Saltwater Hostel.

Saltwater's grand entrance

The grand entrance.

Located at the beach end of Cua Dai Road, down from the penitentiary block exterior of the Indochine Hotel, Saltwater holds enviable positioning on the main beach road leading between Hoi An’s old town and the palm-fringed shores of Cua Dai beach. The hostel throws in free bicycles and an extraordinarily good map so you can explore the surrounds, should you feel obliged to leave the beautiful pool area, on-site restaurant and well-stocked bar.

Civilised by day, potential for debauchery at night.

Civilised by day, potential for debauchery at night.

Saltwater’s greatest strength is its five roomy air-con dorms, which are some of the first of an international standard in Hoi An and are going for just US$8 a night. Choose from a six- or 10-bed room, a separate dorm for women and one family room that comes with a double bed as well as bunks. Comfortable bunk beds are dressed with cotton sheets and each has a personal night light, two powerpoints and a separate locker. Blackout curtains and fibre optic WiFi are standard additions to each room while breakfast is included too. We thought the bunk spacing in the 10-bed dorms was a little intimate – you are likely to be sharing head space rather closely with a fellow dormer’s feet.

Each floor has a huge separate cubicle shower room fed by a solar-powered water heating system and male and female toilets (so there really is no excuse for stinky soles, at least).

With more space between heads and tails the six bed dorm is our prefered choice.

With more space between heads and tails, the six-bed dorm would be our preferred choice.

While the dorm beds are a great deal, the two private double rooms, which although spacious and beautifully furnished come with shared bathroom facilities, are a little pricey at $30; elsewhere in Hoi An a similar standard ensuite can be had for slightly less.

Just missing a loo. Saltwater's private double room.

Just missing a loo. Saltwater’s private double room.

Hoi An’s backpacker scene may not be a new thing, but decent dorm accommodation has not until recently turned into more of a strong point. Cua Dai Road’s Sunflower Hotel, famed for its huge buffet breakfasts, was the popular choice, but the 2014 addition of both Saltwater Hostel and beachside Under the Coconut Tree means the Sunflower now has its work cut out to compete.

Bar, restaurant and TV lounge with cable TV and live sports.

Bar, restaurant and TV lounge with cable TV and live sports.

The staff we met here are excellent and previously worked at Ha Noi Back Packers, so they are great for providing onward trip advice as well as helping create a relaxed and friendly vibe at the hostel. During the day things are peaceful but signs around the common area lead us to believe that evenings are filled with pool games and drinking competitions at the bar. Light sleepers will be pleased to know that it closes at 22:00.

Saltwater is exactly what a great hostel should be: a sociable base to meet other like-minded travellers, explore the area and have a comfortable night’s sleep.

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Contact details:

97 Cua Dai St, Hoi An.  T: (01510) 393 9988 
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What we were quoted

Type of room Low season High season Notes
Dorm air-con 8 USD 8 USD Double dorm bed $13.50
Dbl air-con share b'room 30 USD 30 USD

Added to Travelfish on: 15th May, 2014
Last visited or updated on: 15th May, 2014

Last reviewed by:
After years of camping in her back garden in the New Forest, Caroline Mills’ parents went wild and jetted her off to Morocco where her dream of becoming a traveling belly dancer was born.
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Saltwater Hostel
97 Cua Dai St, Hoi An. 
T: (01510) 393 9988

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