A stylish beach resort near Danang in central Vietnam offers the chance to chill out and immerse yourself in an ancient culture.
As the sun rises over the South China Sea, heralding another perfect day at The Nam Hai on Vietnam’s spectacular Central Coast, there’s a difficult decision to be made: Should you roll effortlessly from breakfast to the pool, a spa treatment, lunch, the tennis court, the beach, out for cocktails, and then dinner, or head out to explore some of the most fascinating sights in Southeast Asia?
Thankfully, there’s no need to choose between chilling out or charging around in central Vietnam, because The Nam Hai, widely considered the finest beach resort in the country, offers the best of both worlds.
One day’s adventure might lead visitors to the wonderful old trading port of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and a labyrinth of beautifully preserved merchant homes, temples, and museums alongside bustling shops, restaurants, and market stalls.
Another day offers the chance to explore the 1,500-year-old temple complex of My Son, lost to the wider world for centuries until re-discovered by French archaeologists in 1898. Then there’s the intriguing Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble-and-limestone hills that played a key role in the Vietnam War.
Located 20 miles south of Danang and nestled on 90 acres of palm-fringed land on Ha My Beach, this stylish resort not only encourages guests to relax in the spa, on the beach, or by one of three seductive pools, but also to immerse themselves in the region’s cultural riches.
Each of the 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villa residences offers a sumptuous retreat and a design aesthetic rooted in Vietnamese history and architecture with split-level living and sleeping areas; a raised platform with room for a king-size bed, desk, and sunken bath; and a private outdoor shower garden.
Tear yourself away for a few hours each day and you’ll be rewarded with memorable sights and sounds of a much-less-traveled region of Vietnam that’s far from the teeming streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. thenamhai.com
The Nam Hi Spa
The Essentials: Danang, Vietnam
Where to stay
Danang is bustling with new hotel, resort, and golf developments, but by far the best place to stay is The Nam Hai, 20 miles south of the city. This exceptional beachfront resort offers 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villa residences, including a stunning five-bedroom pool villa—a 7,000-square-foot compound with vast living and dining areas, five sleeping villas, private butler service, and direct access to the white sand beach. thenamhai.com
Where to eat
The Nam Hai’s Vietnamese-fusion dining experience is outstanding, incorporating the freshest produce from local markets and the resort’s own organic garden. The best tables are on the outdoor terrace of The Restaurant and poolside at The Beach Restaurant. If you want to be more adventurous, nearby Hoi An has several good restaurants; order a banh mi (a delicious baguette filled with grilled meats, vegetables, and chilis) at Phuong, next to the central market. visithoian.com
What to do
At the top of your list should be a visit to the beautifully preserved former trading port of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Vietnam’s cultural treasures. Other must-sees are the ancient temples of My Son, 30 miles from Hoi An, and the intriguing Marble Mountains (five miles from Danang), a stronghold of Viet Cong rebels during the Vietnam War. The Nam Hai can also arrange trips to the nearby Cham Islands. vietnamtourism.com