The Jewel of Hoi An

Set on a stretch of white beach, below the Marble Mountains, and outside the UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An, The Nam Hai hotel has everything at its doorstep–but it’s so luxurious that you may never want to leave the property. Being spoiled for choice while being spoiled rotten…these are the problems you hope to have on a honeymoon. We spent three days soaking up every bit of this fascinating region and all the amenities this Leading Hotel of the World had to offer.

We checked into the resort and had fun exploring the 35-hectare grounds by traditional Vietnamese pedal cab (complimentary tandem and single bikes are also available). The first thing you notice about the hotel is the presence of water. The Hoi An sea laps up against the beachfront property but it’s the swimming pools, floating spas, and the reflection pools that bring a sense of calm wherever you go.

We had heard about how delicious the food was at The Nam Hai so at the stroke of noon we sat down for lunch. Every meal we had was better than the last, which is hard to believe considering the looks of this sesame steak and mint salad.

On the 14th day of every lunar month old town Hoi An hosts a full moon lantern festival and cultural extravaganza to honor their ancestors. We went into town and the streets were abuzz with shoppers buying flowers, candles, and sweets to adorn their altars and celebrate the night.

The town was strung with colorful paper lanterns, music was in the air, and the river was filled with candlelit paper flowers. It is tradition to light a candle for good luck, love, and happiness and send it out to sea. Thousands of people partake, leaving the water twinkling with lotus votives and positive vibes.

The energy of this historic Vietnamese trading town was too hard to capture with just words and photographs so we took this video to give you a feeling for the night. Gotta love that street opera!

The next morning was a day to sleep in and enjoy the sheer luxury of our room. The 861- square-foot space contained a canopy bed, two seating areas, a sun deck, and a private courtyard that served as possibly the largest outdoor shower ever.

We eventually made it to breakfast and were so wowed by the food that we had to find out the chef’s secrets. It turns out the kitchen uses fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs grown in their very own garden. To insure he has the best flavors at his fingertips, the Netherlands-born chef has gone as far as to have his friends from around the send him seeds for their crop.

In the afternoon we ventured to the nearby Marble Mountains. Using existing caves and grottoes, Buddhist and Hindu worshipers carved temples right into the rock. We were hiking up the natural marble stairs, ducking into caves, often to find that a simple crack in the rock could open up to an ornately decorated sanctuary. We explored the area for hours discovering unsuspecting spaces and incredible artwork.

If religious history and monuments tickle your fancy, take another day trip to My Son, the incredible Champa kingdom complex of Hindu temples from the 4th-14th century.

Every time we returned to the hotel, we were wooed all over again. From the seductive spaces to the warmth of the people, The Nam Hai is impossible not to love and this scene says it all. The sweet sound of this singer’s voice drew us in and her charm kept us there for most of the evening. She took all our song requests until the end of the night and we stayed a half our longer just to chat about music and life. When you only have 100 rooms and 568 people on staff, personal attention is at its best.

Just when we thought the day could not have been better, we returned to our suite. Roses, champagne, bubble bath, and a chocolate cake with frosting letters that said it all…“Happy Honeymoon.” Our honeymoon was total bliss at The Nam Hai, filled with surprises, luxury, adventure, culture, and plenty of romance.

Much love from Hoi An,
Anne & Mike

P.S. The Nam Hai invited us to be their guests; however, all opinions are our own.

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