As boutique as Hoi An gets
Peacefully perched between paddy and a river, the two-storey, family-run Rock Villa stands as an eco-inspired architectural wonder. Built with local products, the 10-villa homestay sits among landscaped tropical gardens and a kid-friendly 25-metre pool, and offers rooms that are spacious, airy and beautifully furnished. Quaint with a great staff and creatively decorated throughout, the place is oozing with character and is as close as Hoi An gets to boutique.
Location wise, you can’t get much better than this in Hoi An. It’s an easy three kilometres to town and just one kilometre to the beach, but far enough from Cua Dai Road to feel away from it all.
Very few restaurants or cafes lie within a walkable distance of Rock Villa but fortunately the family here have a very good Vietnamese restaurant on-site and also run cooking classes for guests on request. If you prefer something Western, they can order in from Dingo Deli. Breakfasts are epic three-course affairs and included. Dining locations are aplenty — eat in the garden, by the river, poolside, at the restaurant or on the balcony.
The villa’s private walled garden has a grassy area and swings for kids and is safely sectioned off from the secluded pool area. The small lap pool has a shady lounge area and the kids splash pool comes with plenty of toys to keep the little ones entertained. Bicycle use is free and they have child seats and small bikes for older kids. Motorbikes are available to hire for around US$5 a day. WiFi is free and a good signal can be had throughout the villa and gardens, though it drops when you hit the river.
In the rooms, mattresses are a little on the firm side but are dressed with crisp white linens and scattered with cushions printed with kids drawings. Rooms have lots of natural daylight and come with air-con, flatscreen TV, a big modern bath/shower room and plenty of storage space. The best rooms are on the second storey and come with a choice of balcony or terrace. River One is easily the best for views while the garden-facing, two-bedroom family villa can easily squeeze in a few extra beds. It’s a US$10 charge per extra occupant.
While advertised rack rates are US$60 for a deluxe and US$120 for the family room, we were immediately offered a discounted rate of US$30 and US$50 respectively when we visited in July 2014. We get the impression that Rock Villa is still trying to find their price point but regardless of the walk in or discounted rate, you’d be hard pressed to find something similar.
The nearest competitor to Rock’s quirky style, quality finishes and friendly service is An Bang Seaside Village, where prices start at $53 for a one-bed villa. Rock Villa is a great choice for young families as it’s quiet, safe and the staff look after you as if you were part of the family.
While the small size of the homestay and the clever design will appeal to couples, the tranquility of the place could be trashed by kids bombing into the pool. Seeing as most visitors to Hoi An stay only a few nights and fill their days with sightseeing, we can’t imagine this would be a huge problem, but it’s worth being forewarned of the possibility.
Finding Rock Villa can be a nightmare. Look for 171 Cua Dai Road and you’ll see Rock Villa’s signpost instructing you to go straight for 150 metres. The road forks after 10 metres so head left but keep your eyes peeled to your right as you pass the houses. You’ll see yet another rice field and then the back of the villa. Head towards that and you’ll find the entrance.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.