French colonial riverside charm
Anantara Hoi An (formerly the Life Resort) is a spacious property on the Thu Bon River at the eastern edge of Hoi An old town.
The French colonial-style buildings are set in an immaculate tropical garden which has plenty of space to roam and a modestly sized swimming pool.
While the exteriors are charming, the resort has the challenges a reputable company faces when taking over an existing property -- the rooms aren’t of the best design. Most of the 93 rooms have the same basic layout, though the deluxe suites are slightly larger. Connected by an open corridor, each room has a front porch with sitting area. Inside, the bed is awkwardly sandwiched between a living space and the bathroom door. The bathroom, though modern and obviously recently upgraded, has issues as the shower has no curtain or door and water sprays everywhere.
It seens they’ve done touch ups, though when we stayed in a Junior Garden View Suite in 2015, the uncomfortable mattress, thin pillows and clunky, loud air-con directly over the bed needed to be replaced. This hotel is hopefully a work in progress.
The original structure of the building presents design challenges but the exceptionally pretty property, the location (an easy bike ride or stroll to town), service and experience of staying on the river overshadows the flaws. What you can expect are all the four-star amenities and excellent service. Rooms come with air-con, WiFi, safety box, minibar, a plate of fruit, posh toiletries, hair dryer and evening turn down. There’s a spa, a generous breakfast buffet spread in their restaurant overlooking the river, two bars, weekly buffet dinners and a trip on their private boat.
Address: 1 Pham Hong Thai St, Hoi An
T: (235) 391 4555; F: (235) 391 4515
Coordinates (for GPS): 108º20'9.83" E, 15º52'38.05" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over US$100
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||US$155||US$295|
|Deluxe double room|
Junior Garden View: $185/$330; Deluxe River View: $250/$360; Premium River View: $260/$400
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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