Pools are a fixture throughout Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai’s property.
Vietnam’s reputation precedes itself. I land in Da Nang, about an hour north of my final destination, Hoi An, ready to experience the food, the culture and especially the people who make this a unique country that is often overlooked for its neighbor Thailand. The city of Hoi An is smack in the middle of Vietnam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port, and its crown hospitality jewel is Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai.
A one-bedroom pool villa includes a heated pool with views of the ocean
For my entire stay, I feel the tug of wanting to stay on the gorgeous property and laze about yet also go out and explore all this unique seaport city has to offer. Let’s start with the property: At Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, you are greeted by an open-air lobby, with a striking complex of pools in the distance. There’s not a bad room, but you will want to stay in one of the 40 one- to five-bedroom pool villas. Design is based on feng shui principles and the grandeur of 17th century royal tombs, and a Zen moment can be found looking out over the edge of your private infinity pool. An additional 60 resort villas round out the offerings.
The inside of a villa, with design based on feng shui principles.
Find over 1 kilometer of pristine beachfront with three resort pools, including one for adults only. Additional amenities for the health-inclined include a lap pool, tennis courts, a gym, a basketball court, and a vegetable and herb garden, which can be toured. You shouldn’t leave the property without booking a course at The Nam Hai Cooking Academy, unique to the resort. In addition to four top-notch dining options (I went crazy for the Asian breakfast at Cafe Nam Hai with traditional items like cao lau and supercharged Vietnamese coffee), the cooking academy offers a host of experiences to help visitors understand the intricacies of Vietnamese cooking. Daily excursions into town to find fish and produce, hands-on cooking classes and more will make your stay feel extra unique.
Cafe Nam Hai
Also on the book-now list: The Heart of the Earth Spa. Spa addicts will be overjoyed with the sprawling complex comprised of private treatment villas. The signature ritual is truly that: A cleansing smoke is followed by a breath ritual, scrub and bath—featuring herbs from the farm—a deep pressure massage including tuning forks and an immersive sound bath. Follow it with the spa’s Goodnight Kiss to the Earth, a lantern and crystal singing ritual, and supplement your days with yoga, meditation and one of several other complex spa offerings.
a tranquil pool overlooking 1 kilometer of pristine beach.
After you’ve taken advantage of all the resort has to offer, you’ll want to take one of several daily shuttles into downtown Hoi An, which wasn’t decimated by the war. Visit ancient temples, view traditional architecture and indulge in Vietnam’s famous custom clothing and tailoring trade—the shuttle conveniently drops you off at Yaly, one of the town’s most well-known tailors. There, you can have a custom suit or dress made in days and dropped off at the hotel. Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai can also arrange a local food tour through Vespa Adventures (we were often the only tourists in the places they took us); a tour of My Son Champa Sanctuary, inhabited for over 900 years; and a boat trip and experiential tour of UNESCO site Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve and Cham Island.
What they say about Vietnam is true—it’s an unbelievably special place where the food, people and hospitality make a stay even more memorable. A trip to Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is an excellent way to pair an exploration of Vietnam with world-class luxury. Rooms from $760 per night, fourseasons.com/hoian
Photography by: courtesy of Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai