Our stay at Palm Garden Resort in Hoi An was to put it simply perfect. It only took seconds to realize it. As the taxi drove up the drive way to the open air grand entrance of the Resort I knew we were in for a treat. The entrance of the hotel is grand and beautiful. The staff welcoming, warm and professional. And if the modernity and bright cleanliness of the hotel is not what you envisioned Vietnam to be like, the traditional clothing worn by the staff will quickly remind you of where you are. Before arriving, we were concerned with the distance from the actual town of Hoi An but all our worries were put to rest as soon as we arrived. There were free hotel shuttles taking guests to and back from town which is only 5 KM away. It’s best to stay at the beach resorts rather than the town because the hotels have so much more to offer as oppose to staying at the town.
After a smooth check in we were walked through the lush green grounds of the large hotel to our room. The hotel is split into various sections across 5 hectares of beach front property. Of course not all rooms are ocean view but I certainly enjoyed the tropical garden view to that of the beach. Pathways connect all rooms and buildings to the beach, central pool, spa and various restaurants.
Our room was exceptionally clean, with large sliding windows leading out to the patio and directly on to the gardens offering a peaceful and relaxing environment where you can only hear the birds and bees. The furnishings were modern Vietnamese. The air conditioning was on full blast and worked really well. The bathrooms were nice and modern although they could use an update as there was a musty smell in the air. My only real complaint about the rooms were the thin walls. In the case that you had a neighbor staying next door, conversations and television noise came through the thin walls. It wasn’t much of a concern of ours since we started our days early in Hoi An either in the fishing village or lying by the beach and ended our nights by coming back late from the village, hands full of shopping bags (I happened to buy some amazing art in the village).
The food at the hotel is really good and authentic but costs well above what an average meal in Vietnam typically costs. The traditional Vietnamese food specific to the region of Hoi An is available on most of the menus at the hotel and is not to miss. Definitely try the white rose dumplings and lemongrass beef. The breakfast buffet is out of this world with a selection of European continental treats such as waffles and pancakes but also a selection of chinese dim sum, congee, vietnamese pho and much more.
The Spa is serene and beautiful from the outside. There are fish ponds surrounding the spa and many of the hotel grounds. And while the grounds are beautiful, the actual services are not very professional (and cost more than what you would typically expect in town). I had a massage and a facial at the Spa which was definitely not what I expected and paid for. The change rooms include a steam and hot sauna and an older jacuzzi.
The experience at the Palm Garden Resort was exactly what we needed after our dizzying whirlwind experience in Hanoi and Halong Bay. It is the perfect place on the beach to relax before making your way south to Saigon.