Ancient Hue Garden Houses

Hue City, Hue - Danang - Nha Trang, Vietnam
Book from GBP Book from £225 per night

Ancient Hue Garden Houses

Hue City, Hue - Danang - Nha Trang, Vietnam

Modern luxe meets living history in this stunning gourmet retreat on Vietnam’s central coast

Modern luxe meets living history in this stunning gourmet retreat on Vietnam’s central coast

Near the banks of the Perfume River in the historic Vietnamese city of Hue, the Ancient Hue Garden Houses seamlessly marry centuries-old heritage with contemporary design and services. This Zen haven is found in the village of Kim Long, a historic residential district outside the bustling metropolis. The Mandarin-style architecture mirrors the traditional garden houses of the Nguyen Dynasty (who ruled the city until just after WWII) and the unique style of the nearby Imperial City – landscaped gardens, traditional folk colours, intricate wood panels, carved pillars, glazed ceramics and decorated terracotta.

The mood here is all about elegance and serenity. You can laze around the shaded, heated swimming pool, wander through the labyrinth of flower-lined pathways, enjoy fantastic food in one of three restaurants, or a rubdown in the well-equipped spa. The residences and suites encapsulate the Ancient Hue’s ethos of modern luxury meets historic grandeur. There are five beautifully restored Imperial houses once home to former Mandarins and members of the ruling family, and four French colonial villas – each with 1-2 bedrooms. It's tempting to cloister yourself away from the world, but do take a wander out the huge entrance gates and explore wider Hue with its markets and restaurants, tombs and temples, meandering river and the spectacular Unesco-listed citadel of the Imperial City.

Highs

  • Great location – away from the tourist hordes but only a 5-minute cab ride to the Imperial City
  • Authentically restored and artistically decorated accommodation, each with a private terrace, some have Jacuzzi tubs, all are surrounded by gorgeous gardens
  • Three on-site restaurants to choose from, offering French to fine dining fusion as well as Vietnamese cuisine
  • Fantastic spa with two treatment rooms offering everything from aromatherapy to reflexology, skin treatments and mani/pedis
  • The service is calm, efficient and impeccable

Lows

  • Kim Long village, just outside the gates, has its charms but the most interesting shops, markets and nightlife are a cab ride away
  • Pricey but good value for money for the service, design details, spacious suites and villas, and tranquil location
  • A little hard to find if you are walking back from town

Best time to go

The best time to visit central Vietnam is between February to May, when the weather is hot and dry, temperatures can soar from April to August. August-November typhoons can bring torrential rain (note that Hue has the highest rainfall in the country so downpours can occur at any time). November to February is the rainy season, and temperatures can plummet, particularly at night. The Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday falls in either January or February, when some services and sights will be limited or closed.

Our top tips

It takes a full day (including an early start) but a trip to the Paradise Cave is not to be missed. The 31km long cave system has been called the most beautiful in Asia and boasts spaces as big as cathedrals, enormous stalagmites and glistening stalactites. Genuinely jaw-dropping.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23 rooms
  • Restaurants and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

This is a small collection of beautifully restored former Royal Homes and wooden houses, comprising five garden houses – the most spacious – and four French colonial-style villas. All showcase traditional and artisanal details fit for royalty, and offer an insight into the traditional Mandarin lifestyle once unique to Hue.

Two of the garden houses are one-bedroom residences, aimed at couples and honeymooners. Lavish Kim Phung is inspired by the Nguyen Dynasty and decorated with watercolour murals, and boasts its own courtyard garden with a tub. The beautifully calm Ngu Binh has a kingsize bed and small dining table.

The other three have a pair of bedrooms apiece, which can be booked individually, and also work well for families if both rooms are taken together. Bach Ma features two kingsize beds each with a private terrace and a Jacuzzi tub in the ensuite bathroom. Truong Tien is themed with musical instruments and portraits of performers. It has one double and one twin room (and a bathroom for each), while floral-accented Vong Canh has one kingsize and one double bedroom.

The French Villas are smaller (though not small) and named after French notables (Gustav Eiffel, Marguerite Duras etc.). They have both kingsize beds and twin beds, so again, perfect for families.

Some just have showers, others have showers and bathtubs; all rooms and suites come with private terraces, a few have Jacuzzi tubs, too. Everything has been carefully thought through and is immaculately maintained.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Cots available
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Slippers
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

With three restaurants on site, all serving delicious fare, you never have to leave in search of nourishment. The buzziest is the bright, airy Le Soleil de Hue, with its Art Deco furniture and French menu. (It’s also got a great cocktail bar.) Phu Mong specialises in ‘private and royal dining’ and is an altogether grander, more formal affair – it even has a king’s table. For fine dining, the Kim Long is located in the main Garden house and mixes local specialities with European and Asian flavours (tiger prawn in tamarind, sweet and sour fish broth, duck in ginger sauce etc). If you like what you're eating do partake of their popular cooking classes (you'll need to book ahead).

But Hue itself is a culinary paradise and your best bet is simply to take to the streets. Eateries abound, the nearest is just a kilometre stroll away, but the street sellers offer the most authentic taste of Vietnam. You can feast on banh khoai (crepe filled with shrimp, quails eggs and pork belly), banh beo (rice cakes topped with shrimp, pork crackling, shallots and scallion oil) and bun hen (vermicelli with baby clams).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian options
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • A day-long city tour will take you to most places of note in Hue, including a dragon boat tour, the Thien Mu pagoda overlooking the Perfume River, the Royal Antiques Museum, the royal tombs and the Unesco-listed Imperial Citadel (although that is worth an afternoon and a tour on its own)
  • Shoppers will love it here. First stop is Dong Ba market which is a paradise of fresh produce and exotic seafood (at night it is a heaving local destination). Elsewhere there are silk shops, bespoke tailors, porcelain shops, souvenirs, craft shops…
  • The Bach Ma National Park with its waterfalls and lakes (which you can swim in) is worth the hair-raising bus journey to get there. The views are astonishing
  • Take a bike from the hotel to the ancient town of Bao Vinh with its temples and moss-covered buildings. Once a major trading route, it’s surrounded by paddy fields and tiny villages that are ripe for exploring
  • Don't miss out on a visit to Phu Xuan spa, which has a sauna and steam room as well as treatment rooms for facials and massages (you get a free massage for booking through i-escape)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Children of all ages are made very welcome. Extra beds and baby cots are available, and some properties have connecting rooms. Children under 11 also have the option of sharing a bed with their parents (those aged 7-10 incur a surcharge for breakfast), or they can sleep separately in an extra bed. The gardens are great for exploring, and there's a heated pool to splash in.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Book one of the two bedroom houses in its entirety to get two bedrooms. Truong Tien has a double and a twin so is best set up for families, while Vong Canh and Bach Ma have two double bedrooms. The French Villas also have doubles and twins.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Dong Ba Market
  • Imperial City
  • Perfume River cruise

Distances:

  • Airport: 25 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Ancient Hue Garden Houses are situated just outside the city of Hue, once the former capital, in Central Vietnam.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Phu Bai, and has frequent flights from HCMC and Hanoi. It's about 17km away and transfers can be arranged on request. There is a car rental at the airport but most will prefer to take a taxi, and the journey time is about 25 mins.

By Train:
Vietnam is well served by trains. Take the Reunification Express, which operates along the coast, and serves Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Phu Bai International Airport 17.0 km HUI

Other:

  • Beach 18.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

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