Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HometravelFun in the sun on the Vietnam coast

Fun in the sun on the Vietnam coast

Vietnam, deemed to be the next tourist hotpot in Southeast Asia, is busy. If you can get past the online visa hassles (should you need it), which require at least 10-15 days application in advance to be on the safer side, nothing like a mini break to revive the soul. Enter Danang, the popular resort and casino town with an endless coastline that stretches far beyond the eye line.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

A quick 25-minute drive brings you to a resort so large that I have never seen anything like it in Danang. Coupled with residences, private villas and main resort, Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is nothing short of expansive. The lobby is an open gateway that leads to rooms, club lounge, pools (yes, plural), restaurants, residences, villas and a tranquil stretch of the white sandy Non Nuoc beach.

STAYING IN

Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa reflects contemporary design accented by Vietnamese-style architectural elements, ceramic tea settings, which greet you as soon as you open your room door, and Oriental art creating a relaxing Asian resort ambiance. Offering a choice of room types, many with a sea view, the resort comprises 198 guestrooms and suites, 142 one-to-three bedroom residences and 18 three-bedroom villas.

There is so much to do here that going out would be pointless. And by so much to do, I mainly mean dipping in all of the various pools, while children can indulge in a large kid’s play area with pool. Though come high summer holiday season and the resort tends to get packed. The pools are filled with kids and parents, and the only sun loungers available are the ones on the beach, which to me was a plus. Come during the off-season months and experience the same charm the resort has to offer. The villas are spacious and come with private pools and kitchens and are perfect for family holidays, if that’s the holiday you’d like. Though the club lounge has an adults-only pool with day beds and the gym has a pool for the serious swimmers. The gym is fully-equipped with a sauna and various classes for those who want to keep their beach bodies in shape.

Breakfast is served at two or three restaurants within the resort and vary, so you can eat at a new one daily. The main breakfast buffet is in the Italian restaurant, Osteria al Mare, where I would avoid going during the peak time between 9-10am. Breakfast choices reflect the number one tourists in Danang — Koreans. Unshamelessly, I will admit to having got used to eating Korean pancake with kimchi for breakfast. Yum! There are Vietnamese choices, too. Noodle soup and the quintessinal bahn mi, which is presented in a do-it-yourself manner. Also on offer is the strong Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk, should you like a caffeine buzz all day.

There are two places for a good lunch without having to leave your surroundings of either beach or main pool. The Pool House, adjacent to the main pool, offers a good selection of Vietnamese dishes, though fair warning, portion sizes are large for Asia and each dish can easily be shared between two people. Do order the Bò lá lôt, which is the southern Vietnamese street food of grilled beef wrapped in betel leaves. Tender, juicy parcels of smoky meat best enjoyed with a cold beverage or a coconut; barbeque on the beach vibes. The pho is excellent in case you’re here for a light dinner with sunset views of Non Nuoc. Though the Pool House has indoor and outdoor dining, in case you are done with the humidity for the day and need air.

Offering views of the endless beach and sea is Vive Océane. This is the quiet spot during the day but as the sun goes down, it is party-central! Enjoy French Mediterranean and Vietnamese cuisines that celebrate the freshest local seafood. In the evenings, a DJ spins beats and by nightfall, the space turns into Danang’s first and only beach club. Dancing under the stars with the sea breeze in your hair is a thing. The al fresco lounging spaces are great for sundowners and to soak in the chill-out vibes. If you’re here for lunch, I highly recommend the Goi xoai or the Vietnamese mango salad and the Canh chua, which the Vietnamese sweet and sour seafood soup. A favourite of mine, the soup is bursting with flavour and various local seafood. Delish!

If you’ve had enough of the casual dining and need a bit of finery, enter Osteria al Mare. Though it’s the restort’s all-day dining restaurant, the evening brings fine Italian fare to the table. The dining room offers floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light, locally-inspired wood furnishings and stone from the iconic Marble Mountain. Order the prawn linguine, which uses local prawns that put the Thai prawns to shame. The tuna tartare is also an excellent choice and cap the meal off with a shot of housemade limoncello.

End the night by partaking in a few cocktails at Terrasse, which also doubles up as the resort bar. Sit in the al fresco area on comfy sofas with brazero fire pits, while looking at the building wall… and I don’t mean it quite like that. On the wall, a black and white “silent” movie is screened nightly. Terrasse is also open for pre-dinner drinks, cocktails and canapés.

Offering the concept of a “hotel within a hotel”, the Regency Club is the ideal place to enjoy exclusive benefits, including personal concierge, complimentary daily buffet breakfast, complimentary evening cocktails and canapés, complimentary all-day refreshments and a private pool and sun-deck area for guests with club access. If you ever tire of the sea view, head to Baguette, the resort’s European-style eatery and convenience store.

The best indulgence at Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is revealed in its name. Just entering the spa is the best relaxation and the space has been designed as a hedge maze. Each treatment room is more like a private villa, complete with a water feature, outdoor bathtub and spacious treatment room and bathroom. The therapists are expertly trained and this is evident in the massage you are given. Bliss.

GOING OUT

Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is close to all the central coast attractions. The heritage town of Hoi An is around 30 minutes away and makes for a delightful evening getaway. It is also a a few hours away from Vietnam’s former capital of Hue, where those with a penchant for history will not be disappointed. My Son, home to the remaining palatial constructs of the Champa Kings, is just outside Danang. Naturists will also be enchanted by the forested areas of Bach Ma and Son Tra Peninsula, where rare monkey species and other beautiful sights abound. Marble Mountain is also close for a scenic drive.

FINAL VERDICT

If in need of a quick weekend getaway from Thailand and it’s hustle and bustle, Danang would be it. The resort offers a little something for everyone and the entire family, age no bar. With the choices of restaurants on property, dining is never boring no matter the number of days spent. All encompassing, Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is the place for the perfect beach holiday. Visit hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/vietnam/hyatt-regency-danang-resort-and-spa.


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