While we know Dubai has Signature Villas and Signature Restaurants, I think the GHM (General Hotel Management) Group may just have a Signature Swimming Pool. The luxuriously long (49 m by 14 m) pool at the Nam Hai hotel in Hoi An Central Vietnam is a joy to swim or soak in. The Infinity end has the South China Sea (or the East Sea as the Vietnamese prefer) at one side and the promise of more lush water on the level nearer the hotel. No wonder it reminded me of the pool at the Datai in Langkawi. But unlike Langkawi, Hoi An is a beautifully preserved UNESCO world heritage site, this ancient town together with the Nam Hai hotel provide a winning combination that satisfies both the body and mind. The Nam Hai seeks to look after the big things in holiday life on a big scale, with huge open space living areas (both indoor and out) but somehow the little things are dealt with just as seriously. Like having a fully loaded IPad by your bed with soothing sounds of Asian night music to Classical rock.
Unlike the Southern Kenyan Coast there are no beach boys here urging you to buy nautical trinkets on this wide private stretch of sand, walk down in the morning and trace the same paths American GI’s did in between the furious fighting years ago. Weary after a long day of travelling from Ha Long Bay, we ate at the hotel’s restaurant which had some surprisingly good South Indian Prawn curry. We’d become eclectic in our tastes over the previous 10 days so of course we ordered an equally authentic Banana Flower salad to start. Breakfast had the usual fare you’d expect from a hotel like this but the open kitchen serving fresh Pho pronounced Fur (Vietnamese noodle broth soup) was a nice touch. I liked the array of fresh juices in particular the “cleanse” which comprised of celery, carrot, apple and other equally healthy ingredients.
We’ve taken part in our fair share of unusual hotel activities around the world but have never been invited to conical hat making or self defence classes (for children) I couldn’t get up early enough the next day for meditation or yoga but the following day I made it and the Nepalese teacher again was authentic in his approach. They also manage to get kids to take part in junior yoga classes.
We made it into Hoi An a few times and loved the Chinese Assembly Hall that houses the goddess of the Sea to whom seafarers prayed for safekeeping while sailing. The incense coils on the ceiling hung rather like lampshades and housed yellow rectangles of paper with family names on them, this time a small fee (US dollars 25) would ensure protection and prosperity, but our guide assured us that our smaller donation for a couple of incense sticks was protection enough and the goddess would be satisfied. Don’t take my word for it, go to Hoi An and stay at the Nam Hai and see for yourself. And if this article has whetted your appetite for luxury in Vietnam, subscribe to free posts by putting your email address in the box and hear more genuine stories of equally beguiling hotels and cities. Click here for what you NEED TO KNOW. If you want to know more about visas, tour guides, incredible places to eat and where to shop etc then leave me a query in the comments section under this post, and as usual please like and share using one of the buttons below, Thanks Monica.