Victoria is an interesting blend: part golden age of travel, part Mediterranean village, with a few Champa statues thrown in. Somehow it works, creating an exotic escapist resort perfect for an ocean-side getaway, only slightly diminished by the fact that there is no beachfront.
The breezy high-ceilinged lobby has gorgeous details and the accommodation and service standards remain high. The rooms are split into two areas, with multiple-storey Mediterranean buildings at the rear of the resort and smarter duplex bungalows towards the water's edge. The buildings facing the garden or the road/river are well appointed, with cherry-wood flooring, simple and tasteful decor livened by dramatic accents, and classic modern hotel amenities: minibar, desk, luggage stand, flatscreen TV, WiFi and a generously sized bathroom with toiletries. High-end touches include fresh fruit and turn down service.
Of course, the junior ocean suites are the stunners and despite not being directly on the beach, it's still an amazing way to wake up in the morning to a view of the ocean. Open the sliding glass door for a fresh sea breeze and the sound of the waves. Junior suites come in two different styles: French colonial or Japanese zen. Both are comfortable and refined, with the added bonus of an outdoor shower and an oversized tub.
Like the rest of Cua Dai, coastal erosion has completely eaten away the front beach. Guests can head to a modestly sized empty patch of white sand adjacent to the property -- there's umbrellas, loungers and they clean it daily, though it certainly is missing the fun-in-the-sun ambience of a typical beach resort. If beachfront is what you dream, look elsewhere. Cua Dai's decline translates to savings and look out for online offers, you get a great deal for a solid four-star.
So, no beach, but so many other things to look forward to: the pretty palm-lined swimming pool, spa, bar and restaurant, and they have classic Ural motorcycles with sidecars to run guests to and from town -- they also offer day tours in them, a unique, cute and fun way to get around. They pad on other experiences: happy hours, a dinner with traditional dance show several times a week and a Sunday brunch, 490,000 dong per person or 690,000 dong including bubbly.
The pool, beach and outdoor dining is very seasonal and the value of staying here is questionable during cold, wet season (November to March). Those ocean view rooms may not be so pleasant with grey skies, big winds and waves. Other times of year, Victoria Hoi An Resort & Spa is an intimate, charming classic -- this is in stark contrast to the other Cua Dai hotels, including large group tour series hotel The Sunrise.
By Cindy Fan
Last updated on 5th June, 2016.