Vietnam is an emerging destination for U.S. tourists that is seeing more visitors than ever before. The country is more than just the big cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. What Europeans and regional travelers (especially Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese holiday makers) have long known is quickly becoming a focus for American visitors, too. The coastal cities of Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hue and others have a lot to offer the curious traveler. It’s not all temples and tourist sites, either. Mui Ne, for example, is famous for its pristine beaches and the incredible and hilly desert around it where sand boarding and other adventure activities are popular.
If you’re looking for the most luxe hotel in Mui Ne, it may not be that familiar…yet. The Anam Mui Ne is a luxury resort property that ticks all the boxes for international travelers, and now comes with World of Hyatt points earning and redemption opportunities as it joins the Small Luxury Hotels of the World grouping this summer. It is the only hotel in Vietnam to be a part of the high-end, boutique hotel group.
Here are five reasons why The Anam Mui Ne, along the country’s southern coast, should be top of mind when planning a trip to Asia.
Featuring Indochine furnishings, artwork and fabrics, the look here transports you back decades to imagine what things looked like. Luckily, the designers here kept this as a central focus when planning the new hotel, which opened earlier this year. Everything from the public area décor to the tilework in rooms and around the property are replicas of something used in real buildings in the past. This resort embraces the past, present and future through design, hospitality and technology.
Take the artwork, for example. Every piece around the property (and there are hundreds) is unique. No two rooms have the same art, and even the hallways are dotted with different pieces crafted by local artists. It’s like a museum through which you want to stroll every corner. The staff uniforms showcase Vietnamese fashion styles, and trickling waterfalls around the property drown out any exterior traffic noise. It’s truly an oasis within the city.
Guest rooms are mostly in the main building with open-plan bathrooms featuring locally made toiletries, Irish bed linens and colorful art. Ceiling fans, teakwood floors and furniture, colorful tiles and fresh flowers fill each room, and furnished balcony views include the landscaped ground and pool.
The suites are along the garden pathways leading to the beach. These include many of the pool suites that give guests a private plunge pool and patio to enjoy a dip in the shade. All accommodations feature locally made decor, beach bags, flip flops, complimentary bottled water and fresh fruit.
Eco-conscious efforts are top of mind including a ban on single-use plastics, water filtered in a soon-to-come bottling plant, water repurposed for garden use and new wooden key cards to replace plastic.
Two main restaurants plus a lobby bar handle all the delicious cuisine here. It starts with a colorful buffet served indoors beneath whirling fans or outside on the terrace. Made-to-order dishes complement the long menu of other choices including traditional pho, Vietnamese pancakes and omelets at The Indochine. Fresh fruit and juices abound, and the staff does an exceptional job of serving every type off coffee imaginable from iced macchiatos to traditional Vietnamese coffee using condensed milk.
Later in the day, the main restaurant offers a continental menu for lunch and dinner with European and American dishes as well as a smattering of Asian choices. For the most local experience, head to the beachfront Vietnamese restaurant, Lang Viet, where the menu was carefully arranged into three parts of the country (north, central and south) showcasing the primary dishes and flavors from each region. Not only is the food fabulous, but it’s an educational window into the food history of Vietnam.
The lobby bar serves craft cocktails and some of the best smoothies you’ve ever tasted; on certain evenings, there’s live music, too. Coming soon is a new sunset cocktail bar on the rooftop that will offer mesmerizing views of the surrounding areas and beach.
While Americans are not exactly the number one clientele here (yet), the staff does an impressive job with English skills. From the spa team to servers in the restaurants, it’s easy to communicate with the hotel staff. And with more than one staff member per guest room, there are plenty of them to help you. If you’re familiar with southeast Asian hospitality, it’s in full force here.
During the day, you’ll see gardeners carefully tending to every corner of this resort to keep the lush trees and flowers looking amazing. Around the pools, lifeguards and staff members set up towels and umbrellas for guests while also delivering special treats in the afternoon like fresh fruit skewers and chilled towels.
The same dedicated team leads kids activities as well as beachfront yoga sessions from the hotel’s own yogi. Guests can make their own fun in the billiards room where other games are available to borrow. Staff here can also attend to small groups that hold functions here thanks to al fresco gathering space as well as a full ballroom.
There are two pools here: one freshwater option just outside the open-air lobby with cushioned day beds beneath fabric umbrellas. Another is filled with salt water and sits in front of the beach with more umbrellas and a breezier setting. The resort is adding a new feature that allows guests to press a button at their seat to summon a staff member to bring towels or offer something from the menu (instead of having to wave over someone).
The lawn area is perfect for receptions and get-togethers. Also by the beach is the fitness center with modern workout equipment from Precor including many types of free weights. In the spa, sauna and steam room facilities are available as well as a long list of massage and beauty treatments. Couples can take advantage of dedicated rooms for two people.
Its beachfront position means guests can stroll directly to the sand where private umbrellas and beach chairs await. Also close by are numerous food vendors and tourist stalls that make a walk along the sand quite interesting. Watersport activities are popular along this part of the East Sea. Given the frequent winds here, wind surfing draws a lot of visitors interested in trying their hand at the adventure sport.
Other activities include exploring the nearby desert, wandering through the limestone formations of “Fairy Stream,” visiting local markets or walking along the main shopping street outside the hotel. While this property used to be about a four-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, it now takes half that time thanks to a new highway that makes this the ideal add-on trip for a visit to Saigon.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.