After a 5 year hiatus from this blog, I decided to write about a really fantastic experience in central Vietnam, Da Nang.
After searching quite a while for a destination for a family holiday in South East Asia, I stumbled upon Da Nang. I always heard of it in old Vietnam war films but never been there. Given the haze situation we had to suffer from, I decided to black list Indonesia from my holiday spot for this year. Luckily I did, too, because while Bali came recommended, there was a volcano that erupted near Bali causing delays in flights to and from Bali. Guess there goes Tourism Indonesia, huh.
There was no direct budget flight from Singapore to Da Nang at the time I was searching for tickets. So, I had to stop over in Ho Chi Minh City on my way there. Luckily the direct flight (Jetstar) commenced 2 days prior to my return.
From the long list of local and international hotels, I found this gem. Melia Resort in Non Nuoc beach near marble mountain. The resort had just started business not too long ago and every thing was brand new. This may not be a blessing, though. There was only 1 restaurant open in the resort but everything you’d need from 2 pools, bars, gym, kids club were there.
The rooms were simply amazing! Even the smallest room was comfortable and had enough living space for 2 large guests (with separate wash basins).
Breakfast was included in my package and it was a good balance of local and international fare. The Banh Beo (steamed rice cakes with crispy shrimps) was very good.
Happy hour stretches from 3pm to 5pm (pool bar) and 5pm to 7pm (blue bar, next to restaurant).
Location: 8.5 (Taxi ride from Da Nang City was about US$8-10 and from airport was about US$12-15). The resort sits right on the beach and has a landscaped garden. There is little in the way of activities outside the resort but great for quiet and relaxation. Marble mountain, which is about 1km away, is within walking distance (saving me the US$1-2 in cab fare).
Hoi An, half an hour’s ride away, would cost about US$15-18. The video below on Hoi An is dated but the general feel is still there.
Other than Marble Mountains and Hoi An, the rest of Da Nang is pretty much a more laid back version of Ho Chi Minh City.
Ambience: 9.5. Quiet beach, earth, wind, sand, sea and sun. Couldn’t asked for more.
Room: 9.5. I got 2 rooms, adjoining. The larger room was almost a mini suit and the smaller room was still spacious, nonetheless. spread over 5 floors in the shape of a ship/sail, the views are to die for.
Value for money: 9.5 (~S$180 per room per night averaged, excluding tax and other stuff. Includes breakfast for 4.)
Service: 9.5 (I did not see a room service menu but I think the staff do accommodate). A special shout out to the reception staff, room staff, kids club staff and especially the expat hotel manageress at Melia. You gals and guys are the best I had experienced in a long time. Very attentive and helpful!
Return to stay: Definitely! A great time was had in and outside the resort! Coming back to a clean, neat and comfortable room is always a plus. Coupled with great staff!
Note: October to December is supposedly the monsoon season. Yes, it does rain almost daily but when I was there in late November, the rain did not bother us. It was heavy for about 10 mins and followed by light drizzle for another 30 mins or so. Being the low seasons, you could get good rates during this season if you don’t mind the rain.