Vietnam’s luxurious side is anything but ordinary
There’s so much to experience in Vietnam, and deciding where to stay isn’t always easy. These three unbelievable spots will allow you to experience some of the country’s vastly differing landscapes. Firstly settle into luxury beach life in a private villa with your own pool and butler, then stay overnight on a modernised rice barge down the Mekong surrounded by thick jungle, and finally hit up the bustling capital Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for some bright lights and city sights.
Luxury Pool Villa: An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas
Kick back with a good book in the open-air, sala-style living area by the private pool in your secluded villa. And don’t get up from your comfy spot if you need anything – just give your personal butler a buzz and let him get it for you. This is tropical luxury at its best.
The 33 villas that comprise An Lam Ninh Van Bay are set back from a private beach, which you access by a 10-minute speedboat ride. Along with the aforementioned pool and outdoor living area, every villa has its own outdoor rain shower, Wi-Fi, entertainment system and even a wine fridge, which you can have stocked with your favourite drop.
The villas are open plan to make the most of the tropical surroundings.
Starting off the day with some traditional Vietnamese pho along with a glass of bubbly ain’t too shabby. And enjoying your brekkie selection just metres from the resort’s main pool and private beach makes it that much better. Then you can spend the day as you please – that might be simply lying by your villa’s pool sipping on cocktails, or if you’re more physically inclined you can go on a hike to the mountaintop viewpoint. The idea behind An Lam Villas Nin Vanh Bay is that you can make the experience your own – you can do lots, or nothing at all.
Hop on a transfer to Nha Trang and check out Skylight bar above Havana Nha Trang Hotel to watch the sunset with 360-degree views over the city and beach below. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few drinks and light nibbles as the sun dips behind the horizon.
Then as night takes hold, head over to the nearby Sailing Club to recline in a comfy cabana and sip away on fruity cocktails. As the DJ picks up the pace and Nha Trang’s party people pour in, expect to see some serious shapes being thrown on the beachside dance floor.
Overnight River Cruise: Mekong Eyes
The top deck of the Mekong Eyes.
For the next stop take in some of Vietnam’s historical river culture – which is still very much thriving – aboard a huge wooden rice barge down the Mekong. But just because you’re travelling on a boat, don’t expect to suffer the usual inevitable consequences of on-board life – i.e. a titchy cabin with port hole windows the size of CDs and an airplane-style bathroom. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The rooms aboard the Mekong Eyes are spacious with large windows that offer spectacular river views. And each cabin has an ensuite bathroom kitted out in floor-to-ceiling marble – you’re even given those mini lotions and potions you get when staying in a hotel on dry land.
A bedroom aboard the Mekong Eyes.
Sitting on a deckchair on the open-air deck of the Mekong Eyes, drink in the scenery of one of the country’s more rural regions. After a five-course on-board lunch, a mini village tour on foot, and a cocktail on the top deck at sunset, you can’t help but feel pretty relaxed. On day two you’ll tour the famous floating markets and a traditional noodle factory. There are both two- and three-day tours aboard the Mekong Eyes.
InterContinental: Stylish City Stay
As the majority of international flights leave Vietnam via Saigon, it’s a great place to have as your first or last stop. And when in town, you could do a lot worse than a stay at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon. It’s a modern, convenient and comfortable place to rest your head before jetting off back to reality. The hotel has a spa, fitness facilities, three restaurants, a bar and a cocktail lounge for you to peruse.
To take your stay up a notch, stay in a Club InterContinental room to gain access to all the associated perks, such as complimentary afternoon tea, evening cocktails and a fancy breakfast away from the rest of the guests.
The rooms at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon combine contemporary design with Asian influence.
If you’re in Saigon, a few drinks at Broma are a must. It’s a popular (with those in the know) rooftop watering hole on the top of a nondescript building on Saigon’s trendy drinking strip. With exposed brick, leafy greenery, mood lighting and the co-owner on-hand, you’ll immediately feel at home in this funky bar. The crowd primarily comprises well-heeled locals and resident expats who willingly lap up the venue’s unique cocktails, which include a martini with chilli salt dusted on the rim of the glass.
By Christina Wylie