The majority of the Vietnam resorts will be found on the beautiful beaches that line the country’s more than 2,000 miles of coastline and on the thousands of islands that lie offshore. You will also find Vietnam luxury lodging in the largest cities of Hanoi (the capital) in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south. The country opened to visitors from Western countries only in the 1990s, and it is natural that people began flocking to the beaches in the beginning. It is also natural that the best five-star accommodation in Vietnam would be opened in one of the two cities with a major airport, where most business travelers stay, and where almost all tourists must arrive and/or depart. In the last few years, more resorts in Vietnam have been built inland around some of the other attractions that the traveling public has begun to discover.
Beach resorts in Vietnam actually began during the American Vietnam War. You may not call the barracks of an army station a resort, but the thousands of GIs who were sent here for leave in the 1960s and early 1970s certainly thought they were in paradise. They came home with stories of pure white sand for miles, waving palm trees, and superb surfing on China Beach. This area near Da Nang also received fame when it appeared in the surfing scene of the film Apocalypse Now, and it received more fame in the eponymous hit television series. There are more beaches stretching for miles both to the south around Hoi An and further and to the north around Hue; numerous Vietnam resorts are located here. Probably the finest of the luxury hotels and resorts here is the Furama, located right on the best section of China Beach. It boasts all the facilities and amenities you’d expect of a fine, international property and will assist you with tours and excursions in the region.
A bit further south are prime scuba diving regions with some of the best coral diving in all of Asia. There are newer Vietnam resorts catering both to divers and jet setters along the beaches of Nha Trang. Some of these are laid back “beachbum” type resorts, but several are large and luxurious complexes and many are becoming fairly well known spa resorts. Scuba diving is so big in this region that one of the best Vietnam luxury lodging options, the Evasan Ana Mandara, has one swimming pool deep enough for scuba lessons. One of the largest resorts here, the Vinpearl, is such a massive complex that guests rarely need to leave the property, and it is one of the only all-inclusive hotels in the country.
Drive about two hours south to Phan Thiet, and you’ve reached the country’s Mekong Delta coastline near Ho Chi Minh City. This is where beautiful Mui Ne Beach is located, and your choices for Vietnam luxury lodging here are numerous. Other beach resorts in Vietnam can be found in beautiful Halong Bay and on Phu Quoc Island. Phu Quoc is the largest of the country’s islands, located in southwest in the Bay of Thailand just off the coast of Cambodia, is fast becoming a competitor of the quintessential tropical island, world-famous Phuket Island in Thailand. Cruises in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay have long been the most popular of things to do in the country. In Halong, look for the Tuan Chau Resort on a small private island. In Phu Quoc, try the La Veranda Grand Mercure with its villas set right on the beach.
You will find that more and more Vietnam resorts are found inland every year. The small city of Dalat, once a backcountry provincial French colonial hill station, is now a center for world class golf in the country. There are resorts here, including another Evason Ana Madara, that offer both golf and the beautiful undiscovered mountains of the central highlands.