Anantara Hoi An

Hoi An, Hue - Danang - Nha Trang, Vietnam Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Masses of charm and a pool with a view at this riverside hotel in dreamy Hoi An
This extremely comfortable hotel stands on the banks of the River Thu Bon and does much to encourage a certain laziness, but resist the urge and you'll discover one of Vietnam’s cultural hot spots. You get 2 World Heritage Sites for the price of 1: enchanting Hoi An with its super old town, and nearby My Son, where spectacular temples adorn a lush valley. If you want a cultural stopover between the big cities, this is one to grab.

As for Anantara Hoi An (previously Life Resort), you couldn’t hope for a better base. It comes in colonial style with open walkways, while tropical gardens flank the river. There’s a pool with loungers, a garden and pool bar, a spa for massages, a first-floor restaurant and an irresistible patisserie café with river views from the terrace. Delightful rooms and suites are very well priced. All have shaded terraces to the front. Some are big, others bigger, most overlook garden or pool and quite a few have river views too. There’s peace at night, but you’re close to the old town and a shuttle bus potters to the beach twice a day. All in all, it's a very friendly place.


  • The 93 big comfy rooms have attractive prices and give you more than most
  • Hoi An is the real star, a great place to spend 2-3 days
  • You’ve got a pool with a view set in manicured grounds
  • The feel here is smart yet relaxed, making it a lovely place to linger


  • The hotel is laid out over 3 floors, but there’s no lift
  • Sunken baths in the Suites take quite a time to fill
  • Like many Vietnamese hotels, food isn’t the strongest suit
  • Service may seem a little slow at times, but it's just the laid back pace of life

Best time to go

December and January are the coolest months; the hottest are June and July - the best time to go depends on if you'd rather the heat or not. The rainy season falls between September and January (we visited in November and found the river had broken its banks and part of the old town was flooded). Try to avoid this time if possible.

Our top tips

Visit the Marble Mountains, 18km to the north. You’ll find 5 forested limestone hills, which you can climb for the views or explore for their mysterious caves, which house elaborate altars.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 93
  • Restaurant, café + bars (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Excursions
  • Lessons + classes
Room: Premium River View Suite


All rooms are delightful and roughly the same layout. We had a Junior Suite (Garden View) and loved it: airy, uncluttered, a little colour to add some style and a very good bathroom. They are accessed from wide verandas that curl round the front and overlook garden or river. Steps lead up to a small open terrace with plaster-cast cushioned sofas built into each side (thus giving every room an outside sitting room). Shuttered French windows act as your front door; step through and find green-tiled floors, ceiling fans, an open-plan feel and a soft colonial air. You walk directly into a sitting area - bamboo chairs in Deluxe Rooms, sofas in Junior Suites.

Beyond, more steps lead up to your bedroom, which is rather nicely separated from the sitting area by balustrading. Low-slung beds come coated in crisp white linen; silky throws and wall hangings add the colour. You get all the usual extras: WiFi, TVs, air conditioning, minibars and bathrobes; there’s a turndown service too. Excellent bathrooms come with deluge showers, delicious potions and big white towels wrapped up in bamboo baskets. Some Junior Suites have sunken baths, too.

Deluxe Rooms (Garden View) open directly onto the swimming pool; these are really worth going for and offer great value for money. Deluxe Balcony Rooms (Garden View), positioned on the upper floors feature generous private balconies.Junior Suites (Garden View) are not that much bigger than the Deluxe Rooms; the main difference is a slightly bigger sitting area, but the Deluxe and Premium River View Suites are lovely and worth splashing out for.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


A grand staircase sweeps you up to the first-floor Lanterns restaurant that comes in colonial-style, with covered balconies giving views of river and gardens. Ceiling fans hang from exposed timber-frames and bamboo blinds drop to defeat the glare of the sun or monsoon rains when needed. Both breakfast and dinner are served here.

The buffet breakfast is a notch above most, with very good patisserie and some of the best coffee in Vietnam. There are jugs of freshly-squeezed orange juice, plates of freshly-cut fruit, a proper continental array of cold meats and cheeses, crispy bacon and that Vietnamese favourite - an egg station where the chef will cook up an omelette just as you want it. For dinner, you get traditional Vietnamese and Asian food alongside grilled steak and seafood.

Light bites, small lunches and drinks are served in the Riverside Café, Reflections and Heritage Bar, all scattered throughout the gardens or by the pool and river. Choose from delightful Viennese-style patisserie, afternoon teas, Vietnamese tapas and baguettes or more European fair (pizzas and burgers). The bars and cafe all have river views and spacious terraces.

Hoi An - a short stroll away - has a number of popular old-town restaurants, cafes and bars, where you eat, drink and make merry in attractive courtyards or on river terraces. Mick Jagger once stopped for a bite at Mango Rooms, where excellent food has won itself a big reputation. The Hai Scout Café offers good Vietnamese food (if you’re impressed, return for cookery classes that start at the market, return to the kitchen and finish in the dining room); the restaurant supports the WWF. If you want to eat by the river drop into Restaurant 96, where the food is as good as the view. Tam Tam Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a French colonial house with a very pretty courtyard; the menu swings both ways, there’s a 1st-floor pool table and the bar serves a mean cocktail, making it one of the most popular spots in town day and night. Café des Amis offers an owner-cooked, no-choice, 5-course dinner that is extremely popular. Good Morning Vietnam is Italian-owned and cooked, so come here for a crispy pizza. Finally, try Brother’s Café for a little style and a garden overlooking the river.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Café
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • The hotel offers something interesting to do every day: free Vietnamese lessons for beginners; quiz nights; yoga classes; how to make the perfect cocktail etc

  • Bliss out in the hotel's spa which has a range of wonderful treatments: try a lemongrass Cham steam bath or a 6-hand massage!

  • Wander the very pretty old-town streets of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find Chinese temples, a Japanese bridge, grand French colonial houses and traditional Vietnamese homes. There’s a market, too, and lots of lovely cafés

  • Catch a taxi boat through the river streets and discover yet more handicraft shops selling woodwork and silk products (the traditional Vietnamese lanterns are gorgeous)

  • Get some clothes made: Hoi An is a hot-spot for tailoring, and the prices are rock-bottom. Bring a suit and ask them to copy it or flick through the piles of design books for inspiration. They'll whip you up incredible imitations of YSL, Prada and Gucci for a fraction of the price

  • Don’t miss the much-ignored Museum of the Revolution. It’s above the rather dull Hoi An Cultural Museum and is full of fascinating propaganda art

  • Catch a tuk-tuk to My Son (45km), another World Heritage site. This religious sanctuary was the capital of the Champa Kingdom, which flourished between the 4th and 13th centuries. A spectacular setting in a lush valley adds to the drama. My Son is one of the most important cultural legacies of Vietnam’s past

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets


Anantara Hoi An is child-friendly and there are lots of classes for older children and teenagers to participate in, plus there is a children's pool. Under 12s stay for free in their parents’ bed or in an extra bed for a small supplement.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms and suites can sleep 2 adults, a child and a baby.


Available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...


{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for Anantara Hoi An