While tourism, like most other sectors, unexpectedly is down for the count in 2020, Asia will – hopefully relatively soon – once again be open for travelling.
Da Nang is a trending and growing seaside city in central Vietnam, with sandy beaches, a wide selection of hotel choices – including many international five-star brands- and with the popular Hoi An Ancient Town in its vicinity. One can fly there from many of Asia’s other main destinations.
Da Nang’s development (a commercial port since in the early 18th century) is also supported by a master plan with a vision to 2030, under which the central city will become one of the major socio-economic hubs in Vietnam. Under the revised plan, the city has set a target of becoming a centre for start-ups, innovation, tourism, trade, finance, logistics, and information technology etc. Tourism development will be paired with environmentally-friendly industrial projects and eco-industrial zones, is the aim.
An impression one easily gets of Da Nang is that it is very spread out and with many empty plots of land waiting to be developed. Along the beachfront hotels are however lining up for many kilometers, while there are also many seafood restaurants right by the beach. One handy transportation service to get around is the many Grab motorcycle taxis. The city also has a patchy bus network that is not used by many, and very affordable, if one can learn its routes.
For excursions these are some highlights: My Son Holy Land, one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam, 70 km fr Danang; Hoi An Ancient Town; and the Marble Mountains.
Among the many hotels we have experienced two of the beachfront five-star resorts.
Pullman Danang Beach Resort
It is easy give a strong nod of approval for the resort’s hallmarks: distinctive cuisine and creative beverage concepts, as well as its excellent Nang Spa.
A crew of female bartenders at the lobby-based Infinity Bar (with two evening Happy Hour periods) hosts cocktail classes as well as mixes excellent ‘Collection’ concoctions and other drinks from an eclectic list. This al fresco venue overlooks the resort’s expansive garden with pond and pool as well as the sea beyond.
Nearby the pool (large, blue with white under-water spotlights at night), Azure Beach Lounge seafood restaurant sits directly on the soft white sands of Danang’s shores, offering both indoor and outdoor dining in a Mediterranean atmosphere, with seasonal BBQ buffets.
Pan-seared scallops and grilled mushroom, green bean puree, pumpkin puree and herb salad is an example of one of the sumptuous dishes there, perfectly paired with wine by the glass: Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
Next to Azure is the spa, which reveals a truly calming setting. The signature treatment: Harmony of Energy Massage (inspired by ancient massage rituals and combining 7 massage techniques) is recommended as truly different!
Accommodation comes with backlit bathroom marble counters, tubs with glass window, and overall beige and white colours accented by dark brown timber floors and furniture. Choices include cottages, rooms and suites, where the penthouse type boasts vast terraces with sea view.
Finally, the choices from the International buffet on Saturdays at Epice is not to be taken lightly. Steamed seabass with soy sauce, Potato gratin, Grilled oyster, Spanish Omelette, Paella, an array of desserts etc. form an awesome and really delicious buffet selection, also with option for free flow wine and beer.
Hyatt Regency Danang Resort & Spa
Some three kilometres southeast down the road the Hyatt brand’s Da Nang property, including Residences, sits on a sprawling piece of beachfront land, where guests can directly step on to the powder white sandy and long stretch of beach.
The resort boasts several pool zones, with the main pool featuring a water slide, while adults also have a pool for themselves – as do the Regency Club guests.
The guestrooms and suites, two-bedroom residences as well as three-bedroom villas come with white and creamy-white hues (such as the tub) and sandy veined marble twin sinks, bathroom walls and floors.
Especially striking is the see-through blonde/brown wood planks enclosing the walk-in wardrobe plus foyer. Woven cocoon lamps hang to the left and right of the bed. There is a Vietnamese traditional teapot and cups, with tea to brew – ideally paired with some pastries brought from Baguette’s bakery (also selling Vietnamese chocolate and with late afternoon happy hour).
Elsewhere, Terrasse, on lobby level overlooking the resort and beach, offers three hours of happy hour on drinks.
Friday BBQ at Beach House is recommended for dining (incl. free-flowing wine, beer) with grill stations outdoors and choices of seafood, meats, or à la minute Vietnamese pancake with peanut sauce – all washed down with a French Sauvignon Blanc! Heart of palm salad with prawn and pork and a very crisp Vermicelli noodle salad are buffet recommendations. The background music is just right for the stylish Vietnamese dining setting: down-tempo and bossa nova tunes. For a lighter dessert choose Coconut & Mango Pannacotta.
Elsewhere, Green House serves à la carte throughout the day and an imposing breakfast spread featuring for instance bircher muesli, smoothies (banana, mango, almond and vanilla etc.), feta cheese and Vietnamese fried eggs (with fish sauce).
Guests opting for Regency Club access also get to enjoy evening canapés and drinks served on top of a huge marble slab placed in the centre of the private club lounge (including separate adult zone): Chicken Ratatouille, Tuna Foccacia, Smoked Salmon etc. These are hours to savour and good moments for intimate conversations or book reading and wine sipping.