Out of the way, but great value
Thon 5, Cam Thanh, Hoi An T: (0510) 393 3933
If you don’t mind the slightly out of the way location, Hoa Su, a five-villa resort located next to the river on Cam Thanh, makes for a serene, top-range retreat away from the madding Hoi An crowds.
The man behind Hoa Su was involved in the building of Vietnam’s most exclusive resort, the Nam Hai. Now he’s copied it in miniature here, using the same quality finishings at this remote little riverside spot, three kilometres from both Hoi An town and Cua Dai beach.
Rooms are small but well designed, with a raised sleeping area, sofa, flatscreen TV, minibar, desk, DVD player, air-con and the most jaw-dropping outdoor bathrooms, complete with marble tubs and tropical shower. Each villa looks out over a lotus-dotted moat surrounding a chill-out area/restaurant housed in a classic ancient house.
The miniature eternity pool is only just about big enough to float around in, but it’s right for the location. This is Vietnam at a slow, slow pace, and even the (loud) frogs here seem to chorus in slow motion.
We were quoted prices for a villa room starting at $50 a night for the solitary standard room, rising to an unbeatable $60 for the suites, including breakfast and bicycles. Airport transfer is included if you stay for more than a few nights.
For the similarly styled Nam Hai on the beach road from Hoi An, prices for a one-bedroom villa start at around $460. Nearer town the new Hoi An Marina and Spa Resort has a similar boutique feel at similar rates to Hoa Su, but even their beautiful suites feel a little underwhelming when compared.
Hoa Su is an ideal couples’ retreat, as its isolated location makes it a romantic hide-away, but once the sun goes down you’ll probably want to arrange a driver to take you back down the dark maze of roads to town or the beach — expect to pay approximately $5, so factor that into your budget.
For big groups the five-suite set up would be great, but other than splashing around in the pool there is not much to keep children entertained for long unless they’ve got a few pals to muck around with.
The staff at Hoa Su are well trained and welcoming, and while the resort never feels busy, we’d certainly recommend booking in advance as at some point word is going to get out about this fabulous little resort overlooking the coconut palm-fringed river.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.