Vietnam is a fascinating country with a big history. Long and thin, it encompasses a stunning array of cities, beaches, mountains, rivers, temples and more, making it a hugely rewarding honeymoon destination. But with indulgent and remarkably good-value hotels at every turn, it can be hard to find your niche. Luckily we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up our favourite romantic resorts for a south-east Asian sojourn, so all you have to do is follow your heart. And don’t forget to send us a postcard…
City glamour in Hanoi
Vietnam’s capital is an elegant blend of French architecture, royal legacies and artisan influences – beautiful to wander around, and a mecca for shopping. Better still, to the east lies the UNESCO-listed seascape of Ha Long Bay, where limestone outcrops rise majestically from the water. Experience the city’s colonial splendour from one of its best-loved historic hotels, the Sofitel Legend Metropole. This grand dame has epic chocolate afternoon teas, classically glamorous rooms, and an oasis-like courtyard leading to a fabulous spa. Service is, of course, impeccable – even Charlie Chaplain honeymooned here.
Spa heaven near Hoi An
Delightful 16th-century Hoi An, another UNESCO site, is famed for its world-class tailoring, street boats and pretty French quarter. Stay in a spacious villa with a private garden and plunge pool at nearby Fusion Maia, set on 30km of unspoilt beach. As well as having 4 restaurants, it also offers shuttles to Hoi An and bikes to borrow. That said, you may struggle to tear yourself away from the pampering. Guests receive at least 2 free treatments per day in the hotel’s super-slick spa, where you’ll also find an adults-only pool, a waterfall, a Jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna. Choose from scrubs, wraps, reflexology, massages and beauty treatments – heaven.
The hidden gem
Little-known Qui Nhon has an airport, and we’re all the better for it. Thanks to this handy connection, we can now easily access the hitherto overlooked bay between Danang and Nha Trang, on which Bai Tram Hideaway Resort sits. Our stay here felt like being in our own Robinson Crusoe paradise… albeit with thatched parasols and iced drinks on tap! Other than the local fishermen, you’ll have the entire beach to yourselves, and the resort itself is made up of just 6 villas (each with a private pool). Go now, before the rest of the world catches on!
A serene slice of Saigon
Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) is a mesmerising cacophony of motorbikes (4 million of them!) and people, whose excellent street food and beautiful French-colonial architecture draw hordes of visitors. It’s chaotic, but stay outside the city at serene An Lam and you’ll have ample respite. It’s a real fly-and-flop luxury break, and within 40 minutes of landing you can be in An Lam’s restaurant sipping cocktails overlooking the beautiful Saigon River. When you’re ready to explore, simply hop in the hotel’s private speedboat for great river views and Bond-style glamour as you zip towards the city lights.
Hidden just a short drive from super-chilled Phu Quoc island’s main town, Mango Bay is one for the backpackers at heart. Half jungle forest, half Swiss Family Robinson, this secluded eco-friendly resort has sandy coves, authentic Vietnamese food and a wonderful laid-back vibe. Mod cons are limited (all the better for it), showers are open-air, and the rates are seriously great value. Our favourite hours were spent lazily playing chess over cocktails while watching the sun glide below the horizon (this is one of the only places in Vietnam where you can see the sun set, as it’s west facing).
All-out island luxury
A 45-minute flight south of Saigon, the tiny island of Con Dao awaits. Despite having just 1 road, a village and a handful of hotels, it boasts a colourful and dramatic history, plus a vibrant modern-day life. On a perfect mile-long crescent of private beach, Six Senses have worked their magic, creating an eco-village from which to discover this enchanting place. Wood-panelled villas complete with sea views and private plunge pools are the last word in luxury, and there’s no danger of getting itchy feet – choose from snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, diving, squid fishing, Vietnamese cooking classes, guided island tours and more.