When it comes to planning a trip, deciding on where to stay in Hoi An can be the toughest part. For such a small town there’s a glut of accommodation, with many places less than stellar value for money or very forgettable. We’ve whittled it down for you, searching for places that stand out from the crowd of bland hotels. Here are some noteworthy places to stay in Hoi An, all researched independently by us.
In this town it’s a challenge for backpackers and flashpackers to find a hostel that ticks all the boxes: location, cleanliness, friendly staff and atmosphere. One that manages to balance all of these is Phong Le Villa Hostel. Located on An Hoi Islet, it’s an easy cycle along the river to the old town while providing guests a laidback pocket to hangout, chill out and socialise. The air-conditioned dorms have beds, not bunks, and those with five beds have oodles of space. The price is on par with other Hoi An hostels, but Phong Le Villa stands out as being backpacker friendly and good value.
If you don’t mind the out of the way location, Paddy’s Hostel offers backpackers a ton of flashy extras and very comfortable air-con dorms that were refurbished in 2016 (some even sport double beds). It’s a friendly, easygoing place and you’ll no doubt find yourself relaxing in their ground floor Irish pub, shooting pool or lounging on a sunbed next to the large swimming pool, a luxurious touch for budget travellers. You’ll need to rely on bicycles or motorbikes to get around though, as Paddy’s is located close to Cua Dai Beach, or three kilometres from the old town. It’s worth the distance if you have your heart set on a clean, affordable bed.
Can you believe, Hoi An’s prime beach An Bang has accommodation mere steps from the sand for under US$10? The longstanding Under the Coconut Tree Homestay boasts character and is a budget beach bum’s dream. Built of bamboo, thatch and rattan, the large dorm house is rustic yet solidly built and well-cared for. Sturdy wood bunks are kitted with mosquito nets, lockers and power outlets, and the bunks are quite spread out to keep everything feeling spacious. It’s simple yet has everything a low-key backpacker needs to be close to the beach.
Flashpackers will have to stretch their budgets and spend more than US$20, but at this price you usually do get more bang for your dong (oh dear, that didn’t sound right). Let’s just say that for US$27, guests are spoiled with clean, comfy, cute rooms at homey Orchids Homestay. The location is ideal (at the eastern edge of the historic centre, in the French Quarter), the owners are friendly and eager to help yet not pushy and the rate includes a hearty breakfast and bicycle rental. A lot of care has been put into the details and maintenance of the incredibly tidy rooms which have air-con, piping hot water, good water pressure and daily housekeeping. You’ll look forward to returning at the end of a long day.
Another hotel in the US$20-30 range that gets top marks for fantastic service is Hoang Trinh Hotel. Rooms are old fashioned and orderly, the location is convenient — easy walking distance to the historic centre — and as indicated by the impressive towel art adorning the beds, staff here go the extra mile to please.
Stepping into the mid-range, a cosy book-nook awaits at Vinh Hung Library Hotel. A standout on backpacker block Ba Trieu Street, the library-themed hotel is a bit kitschy though we appreciate their effort to be unique compared to so many of the bland hotels in town. We recommend paying more for the beautifully designed and decorated deluxe rooms that feature natural wood furniture and a sliding glass door leading to a balcony shrouded in greenery. The rooftop plunge pool is a bonus.
At the mid-range level, we start looking closely at value for money and it’s clear that going outside of the town centre will yield better value. Rock Villa is a perfect example. Sandwiched between a river and rice paddy, not only are the rooms stylish, there’s a welcoming swimming pool and plenty of space to spread out. Chill out in the garden, by the river, your balcony or under the communal covered terrace. The family who run this place is lovely to boot.
You may choose Red Flower Cottage Homestay for its fantastic location on An Bang Beach but you’ll remember your stay for Ms Kim, who goes out of her way to ensure her guests are happy and in want of nothing. It’s homey hospitality that could outshine a five-star hotel, a perfect compliment to these low-key, breezy modern cottages at US$45 a night.
If you have more to spend, you’re really spoiled for choice in Hoi An. A boutique hotel with the works can be had for US$50-100. For less than US$70, enjoy exceptional service at Hoi An Ancient House Village Resort and Spa. Surrounded by countryside and endowed with lush tropical gardens, the 56-room property doesn’t feel overly big or impersonal. Rooms have all the high-end hotel creature comforts and the restaurant and pool overlook a serene rice paddy. The free shuttle will whisk guests to town or An Bang Beach, alleviating any qualms about being three kilometres from town.
If a location in town is important, Lantana Boutique is one of our top picks. It ticks the boxes: riverside location, steps to the historic quarters, chic decor, restful rooms with river views. The US$50 room rate is an absolute steal and it includes buffet breakfast, underground swimming pool, decent gym and shuttle to An Bang with their own chairs set up for guests.
Finally, splurge and splash at Almanity, a wellness-centric oasis that offers a resort atmosphere with a location close to the old town. The hotel wraps around an inviting, generously sized courtyard pool. It also boasts a spa — the room rate includes one spa treatment and yoga classes. The rooms themselves are in line with the spa theme: calm, cool and chic. Look for online deals, as we noticed good discounts off the regular rack rate.
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.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Hoi An