Real rural living
03 Hai Thuong Lan Ong, Hoi An T: (0510) 392 9459
Pulling up outside the cheery blue three-storey family home Vesper Homestay with its windows flung open to views of far flung paddy is reward enough for the amount of trouble you will have finding this place. If you were looking for off the beaten path then you’ve come to the right place: Vesper is right down the end of a really beaten dirt track barely visible from the main road in to the old town, smack bang in the heart of real rural living. Vesper offers a rather quirky vacation stay offering just four en-suite rooms in what would be considered a rather plush new build among typical Hoi An family homes.
The Vesper family provide you with free bikes which believe me you will need, free WiFi, a couple of communal balconies with breathtaking views and their lovely selves as host. Breakfast is included and this is where it gets quirky; breakfast is served in a cute little restaurant in town, which on foot will take you a good 25 minutes, or by bike five. This seems to work for the odd day you planned on ambling around the old town, but with dozens of really great Vietnamese restaurants lining the road leading to the homestay it might make more sense to negotiate a lower rate and forego the breakfast. Vesper also add ‘all kinds of service’ to their list of amenities but though asking, we’re still not quite so sure what those are.
What the rooms lack in accessories – they are startlingly clean but minimalist — they more than make up for with light, space and views. Beds are firm but comfortable and the low-key approach has been echoed in the bathrooms, but with good pressure hot water showers, air-con, satellite TV and minibar.
In short they have everything you could need for a comfortable stay at staggeringly decent prices. Standards start at $15, superiors at $20 and the family room, which offers the best views, comes in at $30. Negotiate with them however and prices drop to backpacker rates; we were offered the superior at $15 and $10 for the standard including breakfast. If you try to find that rate in town your choices narrow to the rather shabby-in-comparison guesthouses Hoa My on Tran Phu St or the Vinh Huy on Ly Thuong Kiet, both pretty average lodgings when compared to the family-friendly Vesper.
Having only opened a few months ago and relying on the powers of online agencies to fill its rooms rather than employing the services of the local motorbike “mafia” to drag new arrivals to its doors, they were devoid of guests when we dropped by. We’d say however that this would be a perfect spot for families and weary travellers looking for a bit of warm family hospitality. Party animals would be better off looking elsewhere.
The best thing about Vesper (apart from the family running it) is the fact that you are staying in a real Hoi An country lane among real locals. You could sit for hours on the balcony overlooking tiny houses with generations of families going about their business. Sadly this does includes a man across the road who has taken up welding, which can create a fair bit of noise every now and again.
Over the last six months Hoi An has seen a number of small family homestays opening their doors to visitors, which finally means we have some budget accommodation that gives the backpacker hotels on Ba Trieu Street some much needed competition. Vesper Homestay, for all its strange little quirks, is definitely worth the five-minute cycle in to town.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 19th June, 2014.