Hoi An in Vietnam’s Quang Nam province was an important trading centre during the 16th and 17th centuries. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ancient Town (or Old Town), Hoi An is now a bustling tourist hub.
Surrounding the mouth of the Thu Bon River where it flows to the East Vietnam Sea, Hoi An has both riverside and beachfront accommodation across all star ratings.
Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa won out in our search so let’s take a tour.
Palm Garden Resort’s entrance is impressive. The open-air reception on the right melts into glimpses of gardens and pool as the culdesac curves past Contino Bar and returns to the entrance. At check-in, passports are swapped for refreshing tropical welcome drinks and cold towels.
One of the drawcards at Palm Garden Resort is the room size. At almost 50M2, there is little chance of claustrophobia. Additional balcony space, or lawn for ground floor accommodation, extends the room substantially.
All power outlets are universal, there’s a widescreen LCD TV (as if you’ve come to watch that!) but it’s the tub that demands attention. Sunken into the bathroom floor with a view through the bedroom out to sea, an immediate image of bubbles appears – both in the bath and in a glass.
A teensy drawback is the room’s open shower. A fabulous concept, but in execution, the gradient of the floor doesn’t quite allow for the water flow which seeps onto the bathroom’s main floor. A small issue, yet noticeable.
Out on the 5 hectares of meticulously manicured grounds, there’s plenty to keep you amused.
The pool, an unusual design (picture Mickey Mouse ears) separates leisure swimmers from game playing children. Sun lounges are plentiful and shady nooks around the pool provide seclusion for holiday reading.
Double tennis courts keep the fit and competitive occupied while water sports from jet skis to catamarans are available from the private beach.
A visit to Palm Spa is essential. Surrounded by tropical plants and soothing water features, refreshments are served before and after treatments. On our visit, a special package including 60-minute body massage, 60-minute deep cleansing facial, and a mani/ pedi or hair treatment set us back just 1,500,000 VND (US$66 at time of publishing)
The breakfast buffet is one the hotel is proud of and well they should be. Catering to Asian and European tastes, cooking stations freshly prepare phô, banh mi and eggs all ways. Fresh tropical fruits, baguettes baked on the premises, cold meats & cheeses and, of course, the pastries!
Breakfast is served in the Terrace Restaurant in air-conditioned comfort or out on the breezy deck with birds in the trees for company.
Colibri, with its bow designed roof pointing out to sea, offers a wide range of Vietnamese classics next to western favourites. Servicing the pool area, offering a casual lunch menu then morphing into a romantic evening dining experience, Colibri is Palm Garden Resort’s central entertainment area overlooking Cua Dai Beach.
Breeze Bar, right on Cua Dai Beach, opens from 10 am to 10 pm daily. Watch the sun sink into the sea while enjoying 2 for 1 cocktails, wine & selected beers during Happy Hour from 6 – 8 pm.
Happy Hour extends to Contino Club Bar should the breeze at Breeze bar be a little too breezy. Return to Contino Club Bar after dinner to kick on while Jessie & Janice entertain.
Across the Road.
There’s no real need to leave Palm Garden Resort’s tropical oasis, but if the mood takes you, an easy stroll across the road will introduce you to Mi Casa.
Chung, her mother, father, and husband, welcome their guests like family and cook up some of the most delicious Vietnamese classics with their fresh spring rolls the best we’ve eaten hands down.
The prawns are steamed to order, par-cooked pork is finished over charcoal, Chung carefully adds the salad then closes the parcel. The cold crunch of salad contrasts deliciously with tender, warm pork & fresh prawn. These take a little longer than most but they’re definitely worth the wait.
Mi Casa also has a cost-effective laundry service and a small shop selling all and sundry.
Palm Garden Resort is perfect for a beach stay in Hoi An. A complimentary shuttle from the hotel on the hour, the 10-minute taxi or 20-minute bike ride makes Old Town very convenient. With tropical gardens, colourful birds, frogs & cute geckos minimising the mozzie situation, Palm Garden Resort is worth a look on your next trip to Hoi An.
Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa: it’s a place we love….
Disclaimer: Our stay at Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa was self-funded through a fantastic last-minute deal through booking.com.