Thursday, May 30, 2013

A lovely four-star hotel called Boutique Hoi An Resort in Vietnam

The beach of the Boutique Hoi An Resort
I'd like to share with you a great little find of a hotel in Vietnam, because I was so pleased with it.

There I was in Danang last week, having spent 7 nights at the five-star Fusion Maia Resort right on the beach. This is supposedly one of Asia's best destination spas, and I really enjoyed my stay here.

FUSION MAIA RESORT
www.fusionmaiadanang.com

But this blog entry is not about the Fusion Maia but about another hotel about 30 minutes away.

Read more about my experiences in Vietnam in the June - July 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine.




GOING HOME TO PICK UP A NEW WARDROBE

After spending a week at the Fusion Maia, I was supposed to go home and pick up a new luggage before going off on another Travelife to an entirely different climate, environment and time zone.

Complete wardrobe change, in other words.



THREE MORE NIGHTS...

But I just wasn't ready to leave lovely Vietnam just yet.

So we decided to stay on for three more nights. Just like that.

I wanted to see at least one of the three UNESCO World Heritage sites around Danang, and laze on the incredible beach awhile longer.

So we extended our airline return tickets.


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Read more about
VIETNAM
in the June-July issue of Travelife Magazine.
On sale everywhere from June 15.



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WE NEED TO BOOK A HOTEL

And then came the business of booking hotels.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that I am pretty finicky about staying in good hotels.

I also like luxury when possible, although I do put up with less if needed. But if I have any say in the places to stay and the budgets, it's almost always five-star deluxe.

THIS IS WHAT FLOATS MY BOAT

This is one of the places we're staying in, in Tanzania...

Everyone has something they really like in life. And I'm not talking about the finer philosophical things in life here, please.  I'm just referring to whatever floats people's boats.

In my case, I just happen to enjoy staying in really nice hotels.

So if I'm going somewhere, I usually always choose the best of breed in terms of hotels.

Just finished booking my hotels for France and Tanzania, by the way, and they're truly amazing for the places I'm going to.

This is one of the places we're staying in, in France...

NO RESERVATIONS.
IN VIETNAM.

Anyway, back to Vietnam.

So we decided to stay three more nights and we had no reservations.

We could've stayed on at the Fusion Maia, of course, but we wanted to go to a different area. This isn't a big deal, but for some reason, I wasn't in my usual five-star deluxe mode. I was completely relaxed and focusing on the spa.

So I actually let my friends check out the hotels on the Internet.

MY (HOTEL) LIFE IN THEIR HANDS

Yes, I was too busy getting massages to  think about my next hotel. In this sense, considering how OC I am about hotels, you might say that I put my life in their hands.

When I got back from my nth treatment and we were having drinks by the pool, one of them said: "What about the Boutique Hoi An Resort? It looks nice and it's very reasonably priced."

To tell you the truth, I was hardly listening. They could've suggested a no-star hotel at that point and I would've said yes. So I said: "Sure."

And that's how the Boutique Hoi An was booked.


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Last two weeks to get the April - May issue of Travelife Magazine.
Still on sale everywhere until June 15.


TRAVELIFE Magazine's April - May 2013 issue

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A HAPPY ENDING

This is a happily-ever-after story, however.



The Boutique Hoi An Resort is a four-star property and it's about #9 in the online user rankings for the area of Hoi An alone.

If I had actually been paying attention while my friends were booking this place -- yes, someone else was actually booking a hotel for Travelife -- I would never have said yes to this.



And if I had actually been choosing the hotels myself, I would never have chosen this as it's outside my usual universe of preferences. If ever I look at online user ranking at all when checking hotels out, I have to admit that I usually keep to the top 1 or 2, in the five-star deluxe category.

But, guess what. I loved it.

WHAT A WONDERFUL HOTEL

Reception at the Boutique Hoi An Resort

It's not super luxurious as it's a four-star property, so please tailor your expectations accordingly.

Think simple and streamlined. There's no impressive lobby and the spa is perfectly nice, but you are not going to walk in to either the lobby or the spa and say to yourself: "OMG. This is absolutely out of this world. Where am I?"

The simple spa reception at Boutique Hoi An Resort

But for someone like me who pays attention to everything in a hotel, there was nothing to complain about. I truly enjoyed my stay here.

It was lovely, relaxing and incredibly nicely designed.

The gardens and pool, right by the beach, can certainly rival a top luxury property in this area.




I also had one of my best massages ever at the spa.

No kidding.

They also did a delicious version of a local specialty called Chicken Rice at the one restaurant on the premises. It's not like the chicken rice in Malaysia or Singapore, but it's a version unique to this part of Vietnam.

It's much sweeter than the chicken rice we know in our part of the world, and it was very good.

And, on the brighter side of life, you won't be checking out and looking at your credit card statement either, and saying "OMG..."

THESE ARE THE ROOMS TO BOOK

The dining area of Villa #702

I don't know what the regular rooms are like, but I'm assuming they're very decent. The rooms are all really nicely designed in a contemporary black-and-white theme.

And I can give you the room numbers for the best rooms in the house: the two-bedroom villa right by the beach (#701 or #702) and the adjacent deluxe rooms right by the beach as well (#603 and #604).

These are the rooms we booked so the above rooms have been Travelife certified.

Villa #702

I've stayed in them, and I'd stay in them again. I really enjoyed.

The best part is that I saved some money staying in a four-star hotel instead of a five-star hotel. Then I used the savings to buy a lovely painting in Hoi An that's now hanging in my living room.

More on this hotel in a later blog, and how there is life after five-star deluxe hotels after all.

Even in a never-endingly eventful Travelife.

BOUTIQUE HOI AN RESORT
www.boutiquehoianresort.com




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