This time a month ago there was only one place to stay on An Bang Beach in Hoi An; now there are six, and three of those make up An Bang Seaside Village, which has been very quirkily styled around the pretty Vietnamese fisher-family houses located along the beach.
The three houses share a tranquil tropical garden. The cheapest at $35 a night is the ensuite double bamboo and thatched Avocado, which is fan-cooled and opposite (but far enough away to maintain privacy) flashpacker one-bed house Mango, which is currently priced at $50 a night. Mango is air-con and has an outside kitchen — it’s next door to a two-storey family house, Papaya, which has a beach-view balcony, air-con and an indoor kitchen for $60 a night.
The village is about a 10-minute stroll down the beach to some of the best beachside restaurants, should you fancy dining out or a cocktail or two before stumbling back over parked up coracles in the dead of the night.
Each house is equipped to keep you entertained should it rain, with WiFi, flat screen TVs and a reasonably priced minibar. Bathrooms have hot-water and all of the houses have an open-air shower, which you share with a tropical explosion of jungle plants.
Rooms are modern, with skimmed concrete floors and shipwreck-style accessories. Bamboo-framed mosquito nets give the beds a four-poster feel although they do have rather firm mattresses. Breakfast is included and is served wherever you choose.
The two houses with kitchens are well thought out and have everything you need to cook for yourself, though food delivery menus make it a cinch to order in. If you do want to venture afar they offer bicycles free of charge and scooter hire is available at 120,000 VND per day — a little more than you’d pay in town but they come with a litre of fuel, which balances things out. It’s a four kilometre ride into Hoi An’s old town.
The best and most confusing bit is the low season prices, which run from April till September — the best time for beach weather. I’m certainly not telling them this because it makes them the best budget accommodation on the beach. I wouldn’t, however, discount a stay here in the rainy season, when An Bang beach is one of the most incredible places to sit and watch the storms roll in under the thatched roof of one of the many bars. Their high season rates at $45, $7o and $80 a night are, however, pretty over the top.
Other alternatives on An Bang are the luxurious Temple Beach House at $200 a night or the similar La Maison Cabane at about $100 with no breakfast.
The village is really family friendly, but would also make a great sociable stay if you were able to pull in a crowd of friends. Things tend to die down in the village quite early, as everywhere else does in Hoi An, which at least guarantees a good night’s sleep. In the day there’s a relaxed vibe with plenty of shaded space to lounge or chat. At the moment only a few know of An Bang Seaside’s existence, so you can pretty much turn up and get a bed for the night, but to be on the safe side it’s worth emailing ahead to avoid disappointment.
The village and its cleverly designed garden is about 67 steps (I counted) from the beach and your neighbours are friendly fisher-families – generations of them. It’s a unique setting and quite a unique idea in what is for now one of the most beautiful and under developed areas in Hoi An — and it doesn’t flood.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 18th June, 2014.