There are Vietnam hotels just about everywhere a tourist might want to visit, from the mountains in the remote northern highlands to the fertile alluvial plain of the Mekong Delta in the south. And you will find different kinds of Vietnam accommodation to match any budget and interest, from cheap hotels in Vietnam cities to deluxe five-star beach resorts on the country's beautiful coastline.
Numerous Vietnam hotels served the sizable expatriate communities of traders from countries in Europe who came to the trading ports of Hoi An and Hai Phong, and more were built to serve the needs of colonials from France during the first half of the 20th century. There were French traders, diplomats, and soldiers here for about 100 years, from the mid-nineteenth century until the early 1950s.
Those colonials in the south wanted Vietnam lodging in the cooler hills around Dalat to escape the summer heat of Ho Chi Minh City; they even brought the sport of golf here for recreation during their holidays. Those in the north around Hanoi and center of the country around Da Nang liked their vacations on the beaches. So there is a long tradition of hospitality in the country, and many of those Vietnam hotels survive today and provide the gracious elegance of a bygone era for visitors.
However, tourism and Vietnam accommodation for visitors (except for thousands of soldiers who flocked to China Beach and Mui Ne Beach for military leave) virtually disappeared during the American Vietnam War. For twenty years after the war, the country remained almost completely closed to the West, and did not open for tourism until the 1990s. Since then, the tourism infrastructure has grown rapidly as war veterans and vacationers from the West began to discover the many attractions of this enchanting country.
Numerous cheap hotels in Vietnam were opened on the beaches around the prime scuba diving spots from about Nha Trang south to about Vung Tau. They also sprouted up on the idyllic tropical paradise of Phu Quoc Island. These were to accommodate the backpackers, surfers, divers, and other young travelers who were among the first to visit the country as soon as it opened to tourism. Travel companies specializing in vacation packages for older tourists began arriving at about the same time, and they spurred the building of deluxe traditional junks for cruises in Halong Bay and the refurbishment of some of the lovely old colonial villas into resorts. At the same time, business travelers flocked to the two largest cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so luxury hotels complete with business centers were opened here.
Tourism has exploded in the country during the last few years, and it is almost impossible to make a complete list of Vietnam accommodation options in any given area that will remain complete for even a single year. Within a month or two, more properties will spring up just about everywhere you look. A good example is the coastal area south of Ho Chi Minh City around the Vung Tau area. Ambitious plans are currently underway for large projects that include a Disneyland type theme park and new golf resorts. North of Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay, new resorts are going up virtually every month. There are plans for a large new golf resort on Phu Quoc Island. Those looking for cheap hotels in Vietnam may bemoan this kind of development, but it is providing much needed income to a very poor country and providing more opportunities for travelers of all sorts to enjoy its many attractions. The country remains a fairly inexpensive place to visit and there are still plenty of budget hotels and low cost resorts.