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Five Star Luxe in Hoi An – Review of the Nam Hai with young kids

Da Nang me, Da Nang me!  Dragonair now fly direct to Hoi An from Hong Kong.  Which means we can all save up our pennies and dream of visiting the luxurious Nam Hai.  My friends Cath & Steve share their review below:

Who:  Two families (4 adults, 1 four yo, 1 three yo)
Where:  The Nam Hai Hotel, Hoi An, Vietnam
When:  Nov 2012

Hotel booked directly via telephone +84 510 394 0000

Obtained Vietnam visas before travel.  If you arrive by Air, you can buy a visa on arrival but if you are travelling with kids, it pays to be prepared http://www.myvietnamvisa.com/vietnam-visa-hongkong.html

Flights
Vietnam Airlines booked through Flightcentre Hong Kong.  Oubound HK-Hanoi-Danang.  Return Danang-Ho Chi Minh-Hong Kong.

The flights were pretty good, on time with nice food.  There are no TVs so bring your own entertainment.
Vietnam Airlines would not check the bags in all the way through to Da Nang.  On collecting our suitcases again at Hanoi airport, we forgot to remove our laptop out of our unlocked suitcase.  This got stolen on the Hanoi-Da Nang leg.  Some advice from us – lock your bags & keep your laptop with you!

The Nam Hai Hotel

Location
The hotel is approx. 30 mini drive from Da Nang Airport.  You can organise transfers through hotel but we picked up a taxi at the airport.

It is situated on a beautiful stretch of beach and is approx. 20 minutes by car into the UNESCO world heritage town of Hoi An.  The hotel is in a quiet area and you can’t wander out of the hotel to nearby shops.

The Room
We were 2 families travelling together and had originally each booked separate 1 villa bedrooms.  Prior to our arrival the hotel sent us a note saying that there might be some refurbishment work but it shouldn’t impact our stay. We replied to this mail and I think on realising that we were 2 families travelling together, they upgraded us to a 3 Bedroom Hilltop Pool Villa

Nam Hai Hilltop Villa

This villa was amazing, it consisted of 5 separate pavillions (3 individual one bed villas, one kitchen and one communal room).  Each of the 3 bedroom pavilions has its own small pool and then the villa shares a large pool.  The villa comes with a 24 hour butler (although we didn’t have this benefit as we had been upgraded).

The bedroom pavillion has a King sized bed, bathroom, lounge area and is tastefully furnished.  At night, the staff turned the day bed into a bed for our 3/4 year olds.

Nam Hai 2

Facilities
In addition to the villa pools, there are 3 swimming pools (1 lap pool, kids pool and adult only pool).  The kids pool has steps leading into it and is not particularly shallow so you wouldn’t leave your kids in there unattended.  There is a Kids Club (we didn’t use), nice gym, tennis court and spa.

Nam Hai Main PoolNam Hai Main Pool 2

The hotel is situated on a beautiful stretch of beach where the sea is very clean.  The sea can be a little rough.  It is a short walk from the villas to the beach although they do provide golf buggies.

photo Restaurants
Breakfast is amazing!  The hotel has 3-4 restaurants although we spent most evenings in Hoi An (the hotel recommended some great restaurants).

Upsides….
Staff were very friendly and helpful. After our laptop was stolen somewhere enroute from Hanoi to Da Nang, they were great in trying to sort it out (Vietnam Airlines were useless).

The hotel is situated in a perfect location in that you can be in the heart of the beautiful town of Hoi An but also escape back to the tranquility of the Nam Hai.

Downsides….
For younger kids (2-3), it is not ideal to have them sleep on the daybed as it is on a raised platform.  Our kids at 3 & 4 were ok but we still surrounded the bed with cushions in case they fell out.

The Lounge Pavillion within the 3 bed Hilltop Villa complex is not that great, it’s just one big room with seats in either corner and a big table in the middle.  It lacks ambiance and is not the sort of place where you would want to hang out with your friends in the evening.

In Conclusion….
We would definitely go back.  Check packages and deals as they sometimes offer reasonable rates on rooms.  The Nam Hai has everything and we could have easily just stayed there all day.  However, Hoi An is an amazing place to visit (we spent every afternoon there) and staying at the Nam Hai makes it an ever better experience.

As a UNESCO world heritage centre, Hoi An is a must-see for anyone holidaying in Vietnam.  It has been well preserved, we had last travelled there 10 years ago and it still retains its glorious charm.

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