Aug 16 2012
The traditional yellow-fronted, wooden-shuttered frontage of the Long Life Riverside Hotel blends in so well with Hoi An‘s ancient town ethics that it’s very easy to discount this as yet another tailor/restaurant/spa. But this is a place to stay, and the hotel’s quiet riverside location on the An Hoi islet offers some of the best views over to the old town, especially at night as the river twinkles with reflections of silk lanterns and floating candles. From here it’s just a short walk to the beautiful night market.
The owners have seen the light and reflect (oh la la) this in the price plan for the rooms, with all 36 deluxe suites priced according to their outlook — it’s $55 to $125. If you want the luxury but can’t stretch for the view, they have saved the best views for the dining area, so you don’t miss out.
The hotel is separated into two wings connected by a bridge over a sparkling swimming pool. At the pool there’s plenty of room to relax, and you’re sheltered from the city noise. Other than the comfy reception, that’s pretty much it for facilities — I can see why, as each of the deluxe suites are kitted out with widescreen TVs, WiFi, fridge, huge but rather firm beds, a separate lounge area and the most amazing bathrooms, with a choice of a sunken Jacuzzi or a freestanding roll-top bath as well as a monsoon shower. For $55? You could have knocked me over with a feather – which is how I tested the mattress. These rooms are stunningly good value and the best bit is it’s much harder to book the one with a view than the cheaper alternatives.
I checked out four rooms, including a peek into the family room, which is perfect for parents with young kids, and the high standards were consistent throughout.
For a similarly priced hotel elsewhere in Hoi An you lose the location, but if it’s riverside you are looking for then The Bamboo Resort overlooking the CoCo River just off Cua Dai Road offers villas in the same price range. Though it’s new, it doesn’t compete with the size and luxurious extras of the Long Life Riverside – and it’s a taxi ride into town. The Long Life Riverside’s sister hotel on Ba Trieu, the Long Life, is the cheaper alternative — don’t get these two mixed up. You’ll lose the spangly bathrooms and lounge, but gain a good sized garden at flashpacker prices.
The hotel draws a quite midrange crowd. The receptionist there used to work in a backpacker hotel and her short experience at the Long Life has completely changed her opinion of tourists now she’s away from needy backpackers and dealing with the serene and happy clientele here.
This is a popular choice in town, but the management always hold a few rooms back from booking sites for walk-ins and to be able to offer guests checking out a room to shower if their pick up isn’t until later in the day, which is a lovely gesture, but also means it’s easy to get a room even if you do not book ahead.
I’ve always raved about An Hoi islet’s outlook over the old town and for $55, I’m in.
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