Everyone knows the saying about saving the best for last; with that in mind, I’ve left The Nam Hai as my last hotel review from my recent trip to Vietnam.
To call The Nam Hai a five star resort is somewhat of an understatement – it goes above and beyond expectations in every way possible, setting a new standard for luxury. From the jaw-dropping property design to the amazing service and amenities, The Nam Hai is by far the most spectacular hotel I’ve ever experienced.
Arriving at the hotel is guaranteed to take your breath away. After driving up the winding palm-lined entranceway we stopped at the reception villa; open walls welcomed the sea breeze and revealed a dazzling set of three swimming pools below, each seemingly flowing down to the ocean.
Located along Ha My Beach, The Nam Hai has 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas – each with their own landscaped garden and picturesque view. Vietnam’s ancient architectural traditions inspired the hotel’s design, and each villa is a modern interpretation of a traditional Vietnamese home.
Our one-bedroom ocean-view villa was exquisite, with a raised platform bed and bathtub in the centre and flowing white canopy curtains all around. In the morning, we opened our patio doors to enjoy an espresso in our private outdoor lounge. The bathroom opened to a private garden with an outdoor rainfall shower (needless to say it was surreal to shower with birds flying overhead). The design has incorporated every meticulous detail – from soft music playing and fresh tropical fruit served upon arrival, to candles lit throughout your room each night during turn-down service. Every villa is equipped with an iPod – so you can rock out to surround-sound music if you so desire – and the television boasts over 400 complimentary movies.
The Nam Hai’s larger pool villas – with two, three, four or five bedrooms – also include a kitchen, butler service, and private temperature-controlled swimming pool. The villas are accessible by a private courtyard entrance that leads to a living and dining area, overlooking the pool.
Along with the villas, the hotel’s 35 hectare property hosts a library, art gallery, spa, boutique, kid’s club, fitness centre, and tennis, basketball and badminton courts. There are two restaurants and a bar on site, where both traditional Vietnamese and western meals are served with immaculate service; live traditional Vietnamese music adds to the ambiance during dinnertime.
The spa – resting beside a lotus pond – is comprised of private floating pavilions with either double or single beds, steam showers and a relaxation lounge. Treatments are based on holistic principles of aromatherapy, Ayurveda and herbalism, combining ancient techniques with modern expertise.
At The Nam Hai, no detail is overlooked – from the immaculate gardens to the twice-daily room service. A personalized welcome card was waiting in our room upon arrival, along with an invitation to canapés with guest Swiss chef Guerino Coldesina. In the room, complimentary drinks and coffee are available for your taking; if you’re lounging by the pool, staff will bring you water, sunscreen and fresh juices throughout the day – it’s all part of the service.
Amenities include complimentary bike rentals, and free meditation and yoga classes every morning (and class instruction was also top-notch). The hotel also offers tours to Hue, Cham Island and My Son and local fishing villages; complimentary shuttle busses travel multiple times a day to the nearby village Hoi An, 11km away.
In July 2013, Travel + Leisure magazine voted The Nam Hai one of the top four Spa Hotels in the World and one of the top 12 Resorts in Asia. It was also ranked the best resort in Vietnam by Frommers. In its efforts to give back to the local community, The Nam Hai also founded a charity fund, called Sympathetic Hearts, to provide impoverished families with food, clothing, housing and medical care.
Text: Lydia Parafianowicz