Ah, our Vietnam honeymoon. Where to begin?
The rose petals, elaborate cakes and swans made from towels that adorned the swimming pool sized beds upon arrival in each of our hotels. Waking up dyed pink and covered in crumbs the next day. The batshit crazy energy in Hanoi. Knocking back too many cocktails and singing Adele so so badly with the house band in our Danang resort. The most revolting train journey on earth spent silently screaming as a gang of noisy live birds sat squawking behind us.
After 14 years of holidaying together, we decided that when it came to honeymooning, it was time for a little adventure. Both massively into food, and after hearing so many rave reviews about the place and the people, Vietnam it was.
Likely to have good weather in early June, honeymooning in Vietnam also allowed us to embrace a little luxury for less and explore the country that we’d been talking about visiting since watching that episode of Top Gear years ago.
We decided to travel around a little, hitting up Hanoi, Danang and Hoi An, also heading to Quy Nhon on the recommendation of a friend. After spending many an hour on Booking.com and Trip Advisor, here’s where we chose to rest our just-married heads.
Honeymoon hotels in Hanoi
We stayed in four hotels during our time in Vietnam and it was the cheaper hotels that offered Next Level customer service.
This one, in particular, tucked away on a busy street in Hanoi’s old quarter, made us feel like we were Beyonce and Jay Z. It was quite the comedown upon leaving and remembering that we are actually just Aldi shopping plebs.
Incredibly welcoming and helpful, the staff here were a delight. Our room, the Oriental Suite with Terrace, was apparently the best in the house. Hugely spacious with a plant laden terrace looking across the city and gorgeous bathroom featuring an oh so deep roll top bath, it’s a total steal for around £90 a night.
I’d toyed with the idea of getting the honeymoon off to a super luxurious start by staying at Sofitel Legend Metropole. After reading all the outstanding reviews about this place, however, decided to save £200 a night.
While not the height of luxury, it was the perfect start for our honeymoon and left plenty dong for lip-smacking pho, Vietnamese coffee that made our hearts race and ‘handcrafted,’ bags that were actually from China. Obviously.
We stayed here for two nights, went on a cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay for one night, left our luggage at the hotel and then returned the following night. The staff went above and beyond when we got back to dry land, welcoming us out of our taxi with a massive umbrella and escorting us across the road ( much needed after the slow pace of the bay.)
They also got us to and from the airport, confirmed our cruise for us, helped us check-in for our onward flights to Quy Nhon and provided heaps of advice about keeping our shit together in Hanoi.
When the sweaty, amazing, frenetic pace of Hanoi all got too much for us, and it certainly did for me a few times, we could just nip back to the hotel, make a quick call to reception, pop on our robes and schlep up one flight of stairs to the dreamy spa. Here we went for a couple of wonderful couples massages that were perfect for soothing our wedding addled bodies.
I would fly for 18 hours just to stay in this hotel for another three nights. Maybe. OK throw in some sexy Vietnamese pancakes and it’s a deal.
Honeymoon hotels in Quy Nhon
After getting the honeymoon off to an excellent start in Hanoi and Bai Tu Long Bay, we took a flight to Quy Nhon, where we would stay for three nights before getting the train down towards Hoi An and Danang.
I’d been really excited for this part of the trip as Quy Nhon is known for its gorgeous beaches and lack of tourists and we’d be staying right on the beach in reasonably priced semi-luxury.
It just didn’t quite do it for us though. To be fair, the weather wasn’t good as there was a storm out at sea and so we were frustrated knowing that we might just be experiencing paradise vibes if it wasn’t for the grey skies.
The resort itself was also a bit lacking – there weren’t many people staying and those that were just weren’t very friendly. Plus, while some of the staff were pleasant, a few weren’t so. In terms of customer service, it wasn’t a patch on Oriental Suites, which was more than half the price.
Don’t get the tiny violins out just yet though – it was hardly doom and gloom. We enjoyed chilling out in our beach front room, which was kitted out with a sweet sound system, massive bed and gorgeous shower.
We seriously enjoyed going for massages, drinking cocktails out of coconuts and venturing into Quy Nhon one night to hang out with the locals, which was way more fun than sticking to the resort. The ginger tea was incredible and slurping Vietnamese coffee and staring out to see every morning over breakfast was bliss.
If it has been blazing sunshine and a little busier then I reckon our experience would have been quite different so I’m loathed to judge this place too harshly.
Walking back to our room one evening we followed the sound of fun around the beach to the backpacker’s hostel and spent one evening drinking ridiculously strong beers with a friendly bunch of travellers at least 10 years younger than us. I did wonder if we’d have had more fun staying there.
Honeymoon hotels in Hoi An
From Quy Nhon we took the train to Danang and then got a taxi to Hoi An where we were staying at the newly opened Allegro Hoi An – Little Luxury Hotel & Spa.
Our room here was beautiful and the staff were brilliant – I’d 100% recommend this hotel if you’re staying in Hoi An as it offers great value for money and a touch of luxury in the design and attention to detail.
A short walk from the centre of town, it has a pool and a gorgeous breakfast buffet with the staff pilling our plates up high and insisting that we try all the local dishes. We didn’t use the spa here but did hit up the gym as all that eating and lying down was beginning to catch up with us.
Around the same price as Oriental Suites, this was one of my favourite hotels that we stayed in.
Honeymoon hotels in Danang
The most expensive of all the places that we stayed on our honeymoon, Furama is one of the oldest resorts that lines the beautiful beach in Danang.
Offering Colonial style vibes, we really enjoyed padding between our room and sun loungers, quaffing too many cocktails and heading back to the room to pop on our robes and watch crappy tv in bed, happy and exhausted from too much sun.
It took us a couple of days to realise that we could actually leave the compound and prefered eating at spots around the hotel – where we enjoyed incredible meals and felt a bit more worldly and alive.
What can I say? We’re clearly not the type of honeymooners who want to dine at a romantic table for two on the beach and preferred tucking into £2 Vietnamese tacos ( yes, they’re a thing, an utterly marvellous thing) and necking freezing cold beers.
While I would stay here again in a heartbeat, the resort felt a bit stagnant. Maybe it was the time of year or fact that there weren’t any fellow Europeans/Americans to chat to and gossip about.
The spot on the beach was just dreamy and never felt remotely crowded or busy. We also enjoyed happy hour (a little too much) and they put on a house band every night – although some people, ahem, us, clearly found it more fun than others.
Top tips for booking honeymoon accommodation in Vietnam
Luxury in Vietnam isn’t the same as UK luxury
I read a hell of a lot of Vietnam hotel reviews in the run-up to our trip. A common theme was people complaining that they were promised luxury but that wasn’t what they got.
Our hotel in Quy Nhon for, example, was lovely and had a private beach in a fantastic spot. It touts itself as being 5 stars but I certainly wouldn’t say it was the equivalent of a 5 star UK hotel – the clue was in the price.
Everywhere we stayed was gorgeous and the staff were, on the whole, fabulous – way more friendly and helpful than I’ve experienced anywhere else in the world.
Take some beach time first
We did Hanoi and then some travelling around before we hit up the beach for relaxing times. On reflection we might have been best doing the beach first as, what do you know, getting married and then travelling for 18 hours is really bloody tiring.
By the time we arrived in Hanoi I was a shell of a woman and had a cold sore the size of a golf ball – sexy times.
On the same token, I’d think carefully about how much you want to travel around. While you’ll want to cram in seeing as much of beautiful Vietnam as possible, it’s likely that you’re going to need a recharge so pick a couple of places and stick to that.
Happy Honeymooning xxxx