Six-Star Luxury in Vietnam: Vinpearl Da Nang Resort & Sofitel Saigon Plaza
October 20, 2015
Welcome to the Cudo Travel Blog, where you can read first hand reports from our expert team of travel consultants, jam-packed with photos and real accounts. The blog has been prepared by travel experts who have visited the hotel.
The Vinpearl Da Nang Resort & Villas offer has been structured to allow travellers to choose whether they would rather stay in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) or Da Nang first (and travellers aren’t restricted, the package can be mixed in with other parts of South East Asia, like Cambodia or Singapore, or even taken on the way back from Europe or the US).
The six-star Vinpearl Luxury Da Nang is highly-rated on TripAdvisor and is the winner of the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award for 2015 in the Luxury Hotels category, while the five-star Sofitel Saigon Plaza is also highly rated and winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014.
Quick tip – We chose to stay at Vinpearl first, followed by two days in Ho Chi Minh at Sofitel Saigon. If you’re planning to do lots of shopping, it’s probably better to best to plan the Ho Chi Minh leg at the end of the trip.
There’s no better way to start a holiday than utterly stress-free. Vinpearl had arranged handy return shuttle transfers from Da Nang International airport to the beautiful resort (just a 15-minute trip) and it really set the mood for a grand escape.
Vinpearl Da Nang Resort & Villas is situated on a long stretch of white sandy beach – the kind of beach you could easily wile the days away on, sipping pina coladas, and soaking up the afternoon sun. It is seriously nicer than anything we have experienced in Thailand, and although the beaches of Da Nang are fast gaining popularity, it is well and truly free from the throngs of people who descend on the overcrowded beachs of Phuket and Bali.
One of the nicest aspects about this stunning resort, purchased by Vinpearl (Vietnam’s premier resort group) from the acclaimed Raffles chain, is the beautiful symmetry of its landscaped gardens and six pools.
In the evening, it’s a spectacular site to behold; looking back at the grand façade of the classically designed resort and its glowing lights, giving you a true sense of being on holiday.
The rooms at Vinpearl have a real touch of luxury, complete with 46″ LCD televisions and a generous 54 square metres in size.
We stayed in both a Pool View and an Ocean View room. The Pool View room had a lovely outlook over the vast pool and was a few floors down from the Ocean View rooms. The Ocean View rooms have a stunning view of the pool as well as towards the sea, which is great if you like a quiet drink as the sun sets. Rooms are stylishly furnished with hardwood floors.
The bathrooms at Vinpearl Luxury are nothing short of exceptional – with polished marble interiors and a double basin. Below is an image of our bathroom (we were staying in the Ocean View room) – check out the views of the sea and pool.
If you prefer the spectacular Ocean View Room, you can choose to upgrade and luxuriate with stunning sea vistas right outside your window…
Ocean View Upgrade
If, to you, being on holiday means treating yourself to the ultimate indulgences, then we definitely recommend going that little bit further for a whole lot more luxury. The Ocean View Upgrade offers a double step-up in upgraded rooms to the decadent Ocean View Room for two adults at Vinpearl with spectacular sea views.
If you’re travelling with family or a group of friends, your best bet is to upgrade to one of Vinpearl’s magnificent Villas – boasting a whopping 500+sqm of luxurious living space and three separate bedrooms!
The Lobby at Vinpearl is breathtaking – truly one of the finest we’ve ever seen. It is completely decked out with polished marble, and the service from the many staff members was impeccable. The lobby is six-star all the way – back home, we’d expect to pay a small fortune to stay amid this type of luxury.
Wine & Dine in Style
Food is a big part of any stay at Vinpearl, Da Nang, and of course Hoi An; known as the culinary capital of Vietnam.
Included in the offer is a mouthwatering buffet breakfast including a variety of Western and Asian cuisines. We chose something different each day, alternating between dumplings and noodles, to a fantastic egg station where you can select how you prefer your eggs. Try challenging the chef by coming up with different ways to have your eggs cooked!
The pastries were superb, more like a French patisserie than a standard hotel, which makes sense since Vietnam was originally a French colonial outpost.
There are two main restaurants at Vinpearl, and with this offer you’ll be lucky enough to experience the incredible delicacies at both of them (a daily lunch and dinner at the resort is included). Each serves a stunning range of cuisine including locally caught seafood, traditional Vietnamese dishes and European favourites created by the professional, published Executive Chef (and his world-class team) with more than ten years experience in five-star hotels and authentic Asian cuisine.
While Hoi An itself is famous for its food, we found we ate most meals at the resort as the food was extraordinary and prices very reasonable (especially by international western standards). We recommend gourmet dishes like the steamed snapper in lotus leaf, or lemongrass and chilli squid, Vietnamese specialties like Hoi An Noodle Soup and Pork Belly Spring Rolls, or Western comfort dishes like roasted lamb rack and chocolate ganache tart with strawberry salad.
Spa and Pampering
We couldn’t speak highly enough of the in-house spa at Vinpearl, the Vincharm Spa, which is part of Vietnam’s most prestigious day spa chain. The spa itself was pure relaxation and the treatments were excellent.
While you might find more inexpensive options in Hoi An town, we loved the elegance of the in-house spa, and it’s a lot easier than having to travel for a massage. The prices are substantially cheaper than what you’d expect to pay back home too. Included in the special package are two heavenly full body massages to share as you like; just perfect as a relaxing afternoon treat or to soothe aches after a day of shopping.
For those looking for health and fitness, the Vinpearl resort has a fully equipped gym, and boasts five modern pools, including an enormous infinity lap pool that spans the width of the resort’s façade!
There are also two large tennis courts available for hire at the resort, complete with instructors if you want to perfect your ace serve.
Visiting Hoi An Town
Vinpearl is located near the famous city of Hoi An. Known as the culinary capital of Vietnam, and it’s a must-see location if you ask us. You can catch a shuttle bus from the resort to Hoi An (surcharges apply and it takes about 30-minutes). Hoi An is famous for its food and cooking schools – we didn’t have time to take part during this trip but it’s certainly worth trying and a great way to pick up lots of fantastic foodie tips to take back home with you. There are literally hundreds of little restaurants and bars in Hoi An… far too many to visit them all, but we’d certainly suggest making at least two trips in.
Moments down the road in the Old Town of Hoi An, you can visit the markets filled with fresh local produce too.
Ho Chi Minh City Stay: Five-Star Sofitel Saigon Plaza
Either before or after the Vinpearl stay, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the wonderful sights and sounds of Vietnam’s eclectic city of Saigon / Ho Chi Minh at the five-star Sofitel Saigon Plaza.
We chose to go to Ho Chi Minh after Hoi An, but since the two parts of the trip are booked separately, you can pick and choose whatever suits you best. Airport transfers were provided as part of the package, making the trip easy. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride (in a private limo!) through the vibrant city.
Perfectly positioned to experience bustling Ho Chi Minh, the Sofitel Saigon Plaza is a contemporary luxury hotel on tree-lined Le Duan Boulevard, just moments from the commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City.
We used the Sofitel as a perfect base to experience a taste of real history with the famous War Remnants Museum (which is a haunting and interesting reminder of the devastating war) just a short cab ride or public transport trip away. Ho Chi Minh also has a thriving commercial sector with fantastic shopping and a wealth of restaurants to try.
There’s also the famous Bến Thành Market to visit, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant Vietnamese culture and atmosphere. The market building itself is a sight to see as one of the earliest surviving structures in Ho Chi Minh. It’s filled with local handicrafts, textiles, traditional áo dài costumes and plenty of souvenirs, as well as local cuisine that’s hard to resist.
Marvel at the stylish French touches in the newly renovated, five-star Superior Rooms at the Sofitel Saigon. Tasteful, comfortable and well-appointed; the rooms feature the comfort of a Sofitel MyBed with your choice from the heavenly pillow menu, Saigon River or city views, spacious elegance and modern amenities.
Guests travelling on the package also have the chance to holiday like a VIP with unlimited access to the hotel’s Club Sofitel Lounge where cocktails flow into the night!
Don’t forget to try Sofitel’s two unique restaurants – Cafe Rivoli which features exquisite international cuisine and L’Olivier Restaurant which offers delectable French cuisine. Sofitel’s buffet breakfast is also included in the offer so you can wake up to a tantalising selection of Western and oriental delights each morning of your two-night stay.
Sofitel Saigon also has a luxurious rooftop pool to help you escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh after a day of sightseeing, plus a fully equipped fitness centre and sauna – just to top off your decadent trip.
So Pack Your Bags for Paradise
Surprisingly, flying to Vietnam didn’t cost a small fortune with Vietnam Airlines offering reasonable fares. The luxurious Vinpearl Da Nang Resort and Sofitel Saigon Plaza not only met but exceeded our wildest expectations with ease. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your exotic Vietnamese escape now!
“This place was by far the best place that we have stayed at. From the moment we were picked up at the airport it was perfect. We had an upgrade to an ocean view suite which was unreal. The room was huge with everything available at the touch of a button. The bathroom had a view over the balcony which was great. The pools were spectacular and you never had a problem finding a spot to relax. Sitting at poolside bar I can honestly say that when looking down the beach we agreed that this is where they get those shots that you see in magazines but rarely in reality. The food was great and always plenty of different things to choose from including themed dinner nights. The happy hour that was held in the bar was tremendous and the staff were the best and made you want to be there each night and not just for the cheaper drinks. Shuttle bus operated all the time to Hoi An which was only a short distance away and also a great experience. As I said SIMPLY THE BEST!”
Five out of five stars
We stayed at Vinpearl on a luxury escapes package and I have to say it was absolute luxury. We had a beautiful room with a view of the beach and the extensive pools. The room was opulent and huge. The pools are magnificent – all tiled in blue tiles and the beach is kept clean daily. Breakfast and dinner was included in our package and the food was very good. I would recommend that you dine at the Oriental Restaurant for it’s ambiance and great service. There is plenty to do in the resort with daily activities such as yoga, cooking classes, lantern making and the day spa. Also a shuttle bus to Hoi An leaves and returns regularly during the day so that you can enjoy sight seeing, great shopping and food in this quaint little town. All the staff were friendly and so helpful. They all provided exceptional service and made sure we felt very welcome. We have referred this resort to friends and would love to go back again ourselves.”
‘Truly 5 star Experience’
Five out of five stars
We stayed in this hotel for our last three nights in Ho Chi Minh and it was an excellent choice. The service was truly a 5 star experience. The staff were all so helpful and everyone made you feel so welcome. We ate several times from the cafe and the food was delicious. We would highly recommend this hotel.”