We chose the Victoria Resort as the base for our 9-day Hoi An holiday because (a) it gave us direct access to the beach combined with an easy shuttle trip to Hoi An town and (b) it was the only resort to offer both direct beach access and views inland over the river. I'm a keen photographer and wanted to be able to watch the local comings and goings along the river and the road. I contacted the resort by email requesting a room on the top floor with good views and they gave us just that. Spending an hour first thing in the morning on our balcony watching the local life was a very enjoyable part of our stay (see photos) so unlike some reviewers I found location away from the beach a plus (and the noise insulation in our room was excellent so traffic noise wasn't a problem).
The Superior riverview rooms are comfortable but not particularly luxurious or large. We found them fine for our needs as we don't spend much time in or room on holiday apart from sleeping. Some negative reviews on this site made us a little apprehensive about service but we found the resort itself has a pleasant overall atmosphere and
the staff were helpful, friendly and competent. The pool attendants were particularly attentive and cheerful. Occasionally a junior staff member did not have good enough English to understand a request that did not relate to their normal duties but some of the strong criticisms in other reviews bear no resemblance to our observations. Either the management has raised its game or some guests have had unreasonable expectations.
The resort food is not cheap, but is excellent in quality. Dont miss the breakfast pho, and a bowl of cau lau and a local beer by the pool is a great lunch. The evening set-price buffets are expensive by local standards ($US 24-6) but the quality is such that an equivalent meal in Australia would coast a lot more, so opinions about value are relative. We found the buffets well worth trying; excellent seafood and desserts in particular.
Hoi An is a fascinating and beautiful little town, particularly if you like photography. In July it was not too crowded, though if you don't like heat and humidity you'll probably want to do your exploring in the morning and evening and spend the middle of the day round the resort pool and beach (the pool is good to lounge around but too hot to swim in at this time of year). The resort shuttle service is reliable and quite adequate unless you have the unreasonable expectation that it should run hourly throughout the day and night. Taxis are easily available for that.
When exploring the town make sure to look at the Japanese quarter west of the main town and the French quarter to the east. Both are less busy than the main heritage area and have a great charm of their own.
For something different, go for a walk or bike ride through the fishing village south of the resort, or the smaller village on the right of the road to Hoi An just before crossing the bridge. The are off the main tourist track and well worth exploring.
The resort offers excursions such as river trips and trips to the Cham ruins at My Son but as usual for resort-booked trips they are very expensive by local standards. We booked our trip to My Son in town and though a little rustic it was great fun and very cheap.
When eating outside the resort, I'd avoid the cheaper options such as the cafes down the road from the resort towards town. They won't poison you but the food is very mediocre. The prices are certainly higher at places in Hoi An such as the Mango Room or Sakura but the food is genuinely enjoyable. Remember, 300,000 VND is still only 20 Aussie dollars and you can get a great view over the river thrown in.
Overall, we had a fantastic holiday in Hoi An, and the Victoria Resort was a great base.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover Hoi An, splendor of the past Annam, a most charming town listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Explore the vestiges of a glorious Cham past. Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa replicates a traditional fishing village with small streets, water ponds and village houses with clay-tiled roofs, providing a warm and restful environment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort And Spa
- Victoria Hoi An Beach Hotel Hoi An