A Vietnam High at The Nam Hai
By Peter Rosenfeld
With the constant UK weather barrages, take a moment out to imagine endless glistening beach being massaged by clear blue ocean water. So gently that only the loosest sand particles dance in a tango of each wash as the warm sunshine caresses your gently bronzing body. Now turn and face the luxury villas strategically blended along the Ha My Beach to form the 5-star Nam Hai resort. Don’t you just know that life doesn’t get better than this in Vietnam?
I was lucky enough to visit this tranquil paradise in November 2013. A beach resort located 30kms South of Da Nang and 11kms North of the historical City of Hoi An on the East Coast of Vietnam. It comprises 60 one-bedroom villas with a further 40 two, three, four and five-bedroom pool-villas sprawled generously and discreetly over a 35-hectare site.
The resort is owned by Indochina Capital Land and managed by GHM (General Hotel Management), renown globally as operators of exclusive accommodations, with this one arguably their flagship. “I always feel very envious of the guests who arrive here..” commented my host, General Manager and Englishman Anthony Gill. “…staying here must be wonderful!” he joked.
The next 48 hours were to bring a satisfying and unrivalled climax to my visit to Vietnam.
From the moment I arrived to the fond, hand-waving farewell the Nam Hai didn’t disappoint. After a speedy and efficient check-in I was driven in a golf-caddy the 50 meters to my one-bedroom villa. Upon entering one couldn’t help marvel at the design concept and interesting use of space. A humongous window provided an unobstructed view of the ocean as gentle jazz dissipated around the spacious asymmetrical structure through discreet Bose speakers. A raised platform in the centre of the room provided the base of an enormous double bed encompassed by a gleaming white mosquito net. It made a wonderful “room within a room” yet could be opened up to integrate back into the main structure. Clever stuff!
Other features within the living area were a writing desk that you “slipped” into like entering the cockpit of an aircraft and a large bathtub with all the water-jet trimmings you could imagine. Open any cupboard whilst trying to guess what’s in them was fun too. From a well-stocked bar to books, music collections, fridge, magazines and games. It felt like an Easter egg hunt not knowing what was going to pop out of the next drawer!
I turned down the golf caddy for a stroll through the grounds to spend the next hours in awe at what I would find. 3 swimming pools with water so silent, so still, so quiet and so level with the surrounding walkways you could quite easily have strolled straight into one, only for the mirror effect of the blue skies reflecting to warn you of your ways.
Then there are the 8 spa villas overlooking the lotus pond. You could easily be forgiven for thinking, as I did, that these were further accommodation villas. They aren’t. They literally are to savour a spa or massage whilst enjoying your own space, so-be-it resembling a well-furnished luxury London apartment!
There was an endless list of things to do although in the blistering sunshine I have to be honest in declaring my desire-less motivation to try them. A well-stocked gym, cycling, badminton, tennis, basketball, golf and pitch & putt beckoned but the beach-side, sipping sweet milk from a freshly fallen coconut won!
Breakfast at the Nam Hai delivered yet another experience. The warm smiles of the welcoming staff who appeared to genuinely be interested in whether you had slept well makes the “good morning” welcome special. The colours, smells, aesthetics and presentation of the six counters of breakfast choice were overwhelming. You could stay here a month and not eat the same breakfast twice. I tried a combination of choices that to this day I haven’t a clue what I ate, but it was good….so good! Later that morning I was shown the acres of gardens where fresh ripe ingredients of fruits, spices and vegetables were enjoying their final hours of sunshine before being harvested for tonight’s menu.
On my final morning I tried the Yoga followed by a meditation class. I’ve never been good at either of these life skills but my tutor, and the rest of the 8-strong group, were very forgiving in my attempts. It added to the experience and all went to leave me very disappointed. Not in the Nam Hai; but in the fact I was leaving! It really was a setting for a high-budget movie and for a savoured and most memorable 48-hours I was the star!
The Nam Hai is conveniently located in 35-hectares of sea-front heaven just 11kms north of Hoi An and 30kms from Da Nang Airport. The hotel provides private chauffer transfers but local taxis also deliver an adequate service.
Da Nang Airport is Vietnams 3rd International airport with regular flights from most other regional domestic airports. Vietnam Airways proved the easiest option with a good online facility that includes taxes, baggage allowance and a mish-mash of other “hidden” charges that some of the other budget airlines hide until check-in.
The Nam Hai has 2 restaurants (aptly called “The Restaurant” and “The Beach Restaurant”) and a bar. There is a free complimentary shuttle service to Hoi An running 4-times a day that opens up a vast and diverse range of eateries (see main Vietnam feature).
Things to see, try, do & relax to
- The Spa
- The Boutique
- The Health Club
- The Pools
- Gift Shop
- Massage Services
- Yoga Sessions & Classes
- Meditation Sessions & Classes
- Kids Activities