An Bang Beach, Hoi An T: (0913) 005 214
A terracotta-tiled roof and a bunch of banana trees sitting behind a cheerful blue stripy gate are pretty much the only clues you’ll need to track down family-friendly An Bang Beach House, sitting on a corner plot between a mishmash of newly built Vietnamese tube houses and village houses.
It’s just 50 metres from the sand on a quiet stretch of An Bang beach, a five-minute drive from the heart of Hoi An’s old town and a 10-minute village amble down to the local seafood market, which is one of the best (and cheapest) in Hoi An. It’s also just a 150-metre skip south of all the beach bars and restaurants that line the main beach.
It’s a private bolt hole in the heart of the community offering sprawling communal spaces including a relaxed open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining area set under a roof of exposed beams and tiles. There’s a shaded, wrap-around terrace tropical garden complete with a party sized barbecue, king-sized sun loungers and a dining table.
Sleeping quarters come in the form of two large double bedrooms, the master with its own ensuite and the second shared access to the main bathroom via secondary, brightly painted shutter doors that open directly in to the bedroom. Both rooms are decently proportioned with comfortable mattresses, crisp cotton linen and beachy, locally sourced artwork. A mezzanine level provides an extra twin single sleeping deck, ideal for older children or to accommodate larger groups. The house sleeps six adults quite comfortably and is icily air-conditioned throughout, which during the dry season you really don’t want to be without.
The house is priced at $100 per night for up to four people sharing, with a surcharge of $25 per extra bed, making it a really reasonable option for flashpacker families or larger groups of friends happy to share. If you are looking to splurge, call upon the services of a local chef to man the barbecue for the evening. Provisions are all brought to you at local market prices – they even have cheat sheets with language and prices if you’d prefer to go yourselves, which you should at least once.
Family accommodation is thin on the ground in Hoi An unless you are happy to dig into your wallet and check-in to a resort or able to find a hotel with inter-connecting rooms, but you are more than likely going to have to pay a fair amount more for your stay. An Bang Seaside Village is a worthy second choice for value and style, while the Temple House (also on An Bang) is a step up in both cost and surroundings.
Younger kids may struggle with the mezzanine stairs, but extra sleeping areas can be set up downstairs (kids under eight stay free when sharing a bed). Neighbouring families are friendly; while we were there they dropped round to ask us to join them for an evening swim. You are for the short time you stay welcomed as part of the community, and once you’ve had your fill it’s easy to shut the gates to the sleepy village surroundings and relax in your own little beach hideaway.
For the moment the beach house opens onto a small sand-tracked road, across from which is a shady casuarina wood that opens directly on to the beach. There are plans to pave the road here at some point in the future.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 18th June, 2014.