Feb 18 2011
Although traditionally most — and certainly the most desirable — accommodation has been located on the beach side of the road through Mui Ne, on my last visit I discovered two guesthouses that made me re-think the value of a beach view.
It was somewhat through chance that I contacted Mui Ne Hills Guesthouse. I was visiting at Tet and the couple of places I’d tried were full, the more expensive places were even more expensive and the cheaper places weren’t committing: “We might do, I don’t know” was one response. So I looked further afield and found a couple of good reviews for Mui Ne Hills. I had reservations — it’s up a bit of a hill a few minutes’ walk from the beach — but it looked lovely and to be honest, I didn’t have much choice.
But how glad am I that we found this wonderful place! Erik, one of the owners, picked us up from the bus and was wonderfully charming, friendly and helpful throughout, as was his partner Long. They were the perfect hosts — willing to do anything to make our stay more pleasurable. The guesthouse is up a bit of a hill but while that loses a few points for the walk it gains a lot more for the views: Mui Ne is all low rise so there are no buildings to obstruct the view across the bay.
Rooms are set around the gardern and are bright and simply decorated, almost in a Mediterranean style, with fresh white bedding and terracotta tiles. Standard rooms are absolutely fine but you can upgrade to a larger room, including the upstairs suites which are huge and have even better views from their private balcony.
The pool is small but big enough for a dip or to float around on an inner tube — provided — and although only a couple of loungers and beanbags are on offer, one was always available when we wanted it.
Breakfast is served at an outside communal table or, if you prefer, inside the house, and is simple but tasty and plentiful: eggs, toast, jam and so on. All in all they are trying — and succeeding — to create a friendly, family atmosphere: there’s an honesty bar, Erik and Long are usually around and happy to chat and the communal table encourages guests to mingle over a beer.
We extended our stay and moved to another off-the-beach guesthouse: Ever Green. It’s on the main road and though not beachside, more convenient for the beach. It’s a lovely house surrounded by immaculately groomed gardens and with a good sized pool at the back.
When I walked in to check availability Ken greeted me like an old friend and took delight in showing me the room — I was sold. They have just six rooms, four in the main house and two in a building at the back, and the room we had was really lovely: well-decorated, spotlessly clean and very spacious with a sofa and coffee table, a desk, LCD TV, mini bar and a super bathroom with huge shower cubicle. It opened out onto the rear garden, very convenient for the loungers by the pool. They didn’t serve breakfast but there were plenty of places within a few minutes’ walk.
I absolutely loved both places and they really made my stay in Mui Ne. Indeed, I really can’t say which I’d stay in if I went back again. Mui Ne Hills has the home-from-home family feel about it, and is perfect if you want to mix with other people or just relax in a cosy atmosphere. It also has the views and is at the posh end of town. Plus, the rooms are a bit more stylish and beach-like — although the bathrooms are open (see photo) so only really suitable if you’re intimate with the person you’re sharing with. (You could always kick them out when the need arises I guess.)
Ever Green is also a friendly place, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more of a place to go if you are happy keeping yourself to yourself. The room itself was certainly better equipped and really good value from that perspective, plus it’s a bit more convenient for the beach — shaving at least 5 minutes off the walk.
A final note on price: we paid $40 at Mui Ne Hills (larger suites were going for up to $70) and $35 at Ever Green, but it was peak season and prices vary throughout the year so best to check.
Neither guesthouse has a website but Mui Ne Hills has a Facebook page.
Mui Ne Hills Guesthouse
69 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne Beach
T: (0120) 4 599 221 / (0908) 052 350 / (06) 23 741 480
Ever Green Guesthouse
105B Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne Beach
T: (09) 3218 1945 (Mai)
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