With the lack of public holidays between July and August, and summer stretching out tantalisingly before us, now’s the time to book a red-hot summer break where you can kick back with your Kindle on the beach, or relax by your private plunge pool and speculate on how many cocktails you can sample in one night! Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have selected three chic and unique Vietnamese hot spots – Princess d’An Nam, Phan Viet; Mia Resort, Nha Trang, and the Nam Hai, Hoi An – guaranteed to inject a dash of glam to your summer. All you have to do is pack your bags…
Best for eco-chic courting couples: Mia Resort, Nha Trang
Style Beach peach
Setting Green, serene Cam Lam Bay
With romantic rooms set on sand or cliffs and a ton of watersports (including snorkelling and paddle boarding) at your toes on the private beach, Mia Resort is an easy shuttle away from Nha Trang for fab fine dining and happening nightlife. Its eco-friendly principles are displayed by rooftops of manicured grass and its use of local produce, from fresh seafood in the restaurants to Nha Trang peat in the spa.
Set amid Mia’s landscaped gardens with shady coconut palms and fragrant frangipani, Garden Villas have four-posters and terrace sofas whilst Cliff Villas boast unobstructed 180-degree views of the East Sea, plus private gardens and splash pools. Come dinner time, pull up a chair at Sandals for a seafood platter under traditional oil lamps, then head over to Mojito’s for ginger, lemongrass and lychee varieties of the Cuban highball, which are crafted using rum and green sugarcane from local islands.
Best for getting down with the locals: Princess d’An Nam Resort & Spa, Phan Viet
Style Fisherman’s friend
Setting Secluded Ke Ga Bay
Set on a private white beach with charmingly lo-fi attractions such as a fishing village, ancient salt lakes and an old lighthouse nearby, Princess d’An Nam Resort & Spa comprises 48 colonial-style villas set around two inviting swimming pools. Decked out in traditional Vietnamese design – think chic wicker sofas and chairs plus lashings of dark wood – the resort overlooks the shoreline, where fishermen lay out their catch for the day and resort staff select the juiciest specimens for dishes including spicy snapper and bouillabaisse for dinner at the Dining Room or the Terrace.
Borrow a bicycle and wind your way through rice paddy fields and dragon fruit orchards, or simply zone out at the spa for a body scrub and facial treatment with mango, raspberry or guava fruit marmalade or a dragon fruit wrap. It may be a 150km drive from Ho Chi Minh to Princess d’An Nam, but you won’t regret the journey to this serene and special spot where you can rub shoulders with the locals for a week or three.
Best for spa-lovers and culture vultures: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
Style Seaside design shrine
Setting Iconic China Beach
Situated between the cultural hubs of Hoi An and Hue, there’s an irresistible imperial elegance at the Nam Hai, where platform beds draped in white muslin and eggshell-lacquered baths open onto private gardens with lotus ponds framed by perfectly manicured grass. If you can bear to drag yourself away from the quiet opulence of your villa and Ha My Beach – a pristine stretch along China Beach – make the 8km jaunt to the nearest cultural hotspot, Hoi An, where charming architecture, cute boutiques, cafes and galleries await.
Back at the ranch, dine on whole local lobster or Tasmanian salmon at the Restaurant then climb the polished wooden staircase to the Bar for a Nam Hai Sling, which mixes gin, Cointreau and cherry brandy with Dom Benedictine and pineapple juice – packing quite the punch! The spa is another don’t-miss, with eight treatment rooms set atop a koi-filled lagoon. Put aside 150 minutes for the Nam Hai Oriental Ritual, which comprises a foot polish, jade massage, facial, reflexology session, Himalayan crystal body polish and Oriental bathing ceremony.
To get under the covers with Smith, visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326