Top 5 Beach Resorts in Vietnam

By: Tom Owen

We explored the very best beachfront resorts in Vietnam. You could visit any of the luxury beach resorts mentioned as a fantastic way to celebrate your honeymoon or a landmark birthday, or just as a truly decadent vacation treat.

Sipping a cold cocktail on a white sand beach, with a dense jungle at your back and the lapping of the tide gently soothing your senses – what could be better? Vietnam’s luxury beach resorts are some of the best in Asia, with luxurious accommodation available at affordable rates all along the country’s 3,200 kilometers of coastline.

Fantastic Vietnamese food and the sunny warmth of both climate and its people make this a great choice for relaxing and unwinding in stunning surroundings.

Six Senses Con Dao


Who stays here? You mean, aside from Brad and Angelina? The Hollywood couple stayed here once in 2011 putting Six Senses Con Dao firmly on the luxury travel map.

What makes it such a great beach resort? It takes less than an hour to reach by charter plane, directly from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao Island, where a Mercedes van picks you up and drops you off at the resort.

Situated on one of, arguably, the best beaches in Vietnam, with flat, firm sand that stretches out for a few kilometers and inviting blue water, the private villas all come with an infinity pool and butler. Films are projected nightly in the open air, while the food and drink options are second to none. The service is finely-tuned, leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a pleasurable stay for the customer.

With a hefty VND12 million price tag per room, it should be no surprise that the service is immaculate, but there are plenty of other aspects which go beyond the basics and may surprise even the most well-travelled luxury-aficionado. A pre-check-in list offers anything you might need on the house, from razors to nail clippers to scented pillows to snorkelling gear. Guest can even specify the music they want playing upon entering their private villa for the first time.

The island is a beautiful and scenic attraction in itself, but if you prefer some more activity in your day then there are options to suit most tastes. For the history buff, there is a (now-decommissioned) prison which makes for an interesting visit.

For experienced and inexperienced divers alike there are abundant opportunities to explore what is widely known as Vietnam’s best scuba diving location, while those who prefer to stay above the surface can rent a catamaran for the day.

How long should you stay? As one of the most desirable and delightful resorts in Vietnam and with an outlay of around USD100 all but unavoidable for the charter plane, you’d be missing out if you didn’t spend at least four days here soaking in the atmosphere.

Offers: Six Senses Con Dao offers discounts ranging from 10% to 28% for early, non-flexible and extended stays.


Princess D'Annam

Six Senses Con Dao

Who stays here: Families with kids in search of some luxury treatment.

What makes it such a great beach resort? A short distance from Phan Thiet, Princess d’Annam is around a 3-hour trip by car from Ho Chi Minh City, making it the nearest beachfront resort on our list to Vietnam’s largest city. If you have young kids in tow then Princess is probably the best option. And it’s on the lower end of the luxury price spectrum (around VND5 million for a private villa).

The hotel is peaceful, secluded and stylish. For your money you get immaculate 24-hour service and some beautiful sights: the East Sea, rolling sand dunes and an unspoilt local village where you can pick up local fruit and coffee on the cheap.

What marks Princess out as a top spot for families is its excellent kids club – with a raft of activities on offer. That’s not to say adults will feel left out though, with cooking classes, karaoke and surfing all available at your request.

How long should you stay? Three or four nights. In such a small and secluded area you might consider taking a taxi trip into Phan Thiet to check out the city for something to do.


Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang

Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang

Who stays here? People who want to balance the beach with some lively city life.

What makes it such a great beach resort? Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang is for beach lovers who don’t want to be too far away from Nha Trang, the busiest coastal city in Vietnam. It’s also the only resort in town that’s actually on the beach, instead of across the road.

This idyllic beach resort is a delightful hideaway despite how close it is to the city. The noise is low enough not to disturb your stay, while the gardens, the exclusive beachfront and the inviting swimming pools all boost the peaceful atmosphere.

Six Senses, known for their world-class spa facilities, are the managing company behind Evason Ana Mandara so do yourself a favor and make use of the facilities here.

How long should you stay? If you want to explore the bustling city of Nha Trang, which has plenty of landmarks to check out, then around five days will be sufficient. If you’re all about that beach then stick with two or three nights only.

With a voucher you can get each night in the lower-priced rooms for under VND5 million. For the more luxurious options the cost is almost double. 


The Nam Hai

The Nam Hai

Who stays here? The luxury-minded older crowd, no loud partying but plenty of fun.

What makes it such a great beach resort? With more than 1,600 reviews the Nam Hai has five bubbles on TripAdvisor – that’s no mean feat. When we visited we spotted a few things that made this beach resort stand out: the rooms are beautifully decorated with a nice view of the beach meters away; lounging by the pools is idyllic; and the beach sand is spotless. Of all the hotels in Vietnam, this place is easily one of the best.

Service in general is straight out of the top drawer and the price tag matches this (USD500 and up). Every villa comes with its own butler, ready to oblige your every whim, and small but significant details like the low-emission, low-noise electric buggies and bicycles used by the staff give the Nam Hai a push over the edge into veritable 5-star territory. This is the place for world-class treatment, rest assured.

How long should you stay? At least two nights. If you can afford more, go for it. Two nights to a week is best.


An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas

An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas

Who stays here? Luxury travellers in search of peace and seclusion.

What makes it such a great beach resort? The peace and tranquility of An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas marks it out as a truly special spot to get away to. Whether you’re an expat based in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, or on your way through Nha Trang as part of a tour of Vietnam, you’re going to want to make time for a visit to this truly special spot. 

The dense trees and jungle in which the villas are situated helps to build up the sense of privacy and serenity, despite the near proximity of other holidayers. You may not be the only ones here, but it’ll certainly feel that way.

With a private butler for every villa, you’ll find that your merest whim is indulged almost as soon as it enters your mind – this is a place to leave behind any memories of the outside world and submit yourself to total indulgence.

The breakfast at An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas stood out as extra-special – not only is it a la carte, but you can order to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content.

How long should you stay? Situated on a remote and totally private peninsula, the resort is accessible only by boat transfer – this adds a little bit of time to your transfers, and for this reason we’d recommend staying two-three nights here rather than just one. 

And that completes our list of the top beach resorts in Vietnam. If you think we’ve missed one off or want to share your experiences at one of the luxury hotels mentioned in the article then please leave a comment! If you’re planning your own trip to the best beaches in Vietnam, check out our top 10 most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.


Mercure debuts in Hai Phong, Largest Port in Northeastern Vietnam

By: City Pass Guide

Mercure Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of its first midscale property housed in a 28-storey mixed-use development in northeastern Vietnam. Located in the central business district, Mercure Hai Phong is the tallest building in the city and is located within SHP Plaza shopping centre.

Mercure Hai Phong

Ideal for both short-term and long-term stays, Mercure Hai Phong boasts 176 spacious guest rooms and suites as well as 57 one to three-bedroom serviced apartments perfect for short term and long term stays. ItsDeluxe Suite features a separate living room while the Presidential Suite offers a panoramic view of the city.

“Whether in the heart of a bustling city or nestled amidst tranquil mountain scenery, Mercure offers unforgettable stays and authentic experiences. The opening of Mercure Hai Phong offers guests a great city centre location where they can explore nearby attractions, including Lach Tray football stadium and Lach Tray Street and enjoy a range of street food options to live like a local”, said Mr. Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Mercure Hai Phong

Dining options include two restaurants and three bars. The all-day dining Flame Grill & Bar, located on the 6th floor of the hotel, serves the best of international and local flavours with à la carte and buffet menu choices, while Cuppa Café offers a selection of special coffee and tea brews with daily fresh bakes. The first roof bar in the city that overlooks the skyline of Hai Phong on the 28th floor, Cloud28 Sky Bar & Lounge offers a range of special signature cocktail concoctions, wines, mocktails and light snacks. Guests staying on the 25th to 27th floors of the hotel can enjoy breakfast, evening cocktails and complimentary access to the meeting rooms at the Privilege Lounge.

For pampering massages and facials to rejuvenate the body and soul, Bloom Spa offers a range of signature herbal bath and aromatherapy treatments. Other leisure facilities include a 24-hour gym and an outdoor infinity pool. For meetings, events and weddings, the hotel boasts six meeting rooms all equipped with modern technology, including the city’s largest grand ballroom that can cater for up to 380guests.

“We are excited to the first midscale hotel in Hai Phong. Travellers coming to the city can take part in the festivities that take place all year round or climb the rocks and visit the caves and grottoes of Cat Ba and Voi Mountain”, said Mr. Marcus Wirsching, General Manager of Mercure Hai Phong.

With over 790 hotels located in 63 countries, each Mercure offers its own style and personality with a classical modern twist and contemporary design decor that creates an authentic and inspiring experience. Whether by the sea, in the city or up in the mountains, each stay at a Mercure hotel is a new experience whether it’s in Indonesia, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria or France.

Enjoy a Superior Room stay at VND 2,290,000++ with breakfast for one from 8 November to 8 December, 2018. Accor Plus members enjoy a rate of VND 1,504,800++ per night for a Superior Room.

For reservations, please email H9183@accor.com, call +84 225 3 240 999 or visit www.mercurehaiphong.com or www.accorhotels.com for more information.

With Mercure, AccorHotels offers hotels that are all different and locally inspired.

Mercure is the only mid-scale hotel brand that combines the strength of an international network with a strong quality commitment and the warm experience of hotels that are rooted in their local community. Mercure hotels are managed by enthusiastic hoteliers and welcome business and leisure travelers across the world. Mercure has over 790 hotels in 63 countries. They are ideally located in city centres, by the sea or in the mountains.

AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, as well as in over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.

Image source: Mercure Hotels & Resorts


Fusion To Open 10 Hotels and 1,385 Hotel Rooms Across Vietnam

By: City Pass Guide

The wellness-inspired hotel group will launch new brands and expand into emerging destinations

Fusion is substantially expanding its Vietnam’s presence by tripling the number of properties in the Land of the Blue Dragon. Over the next three years, the pioneering wellness lodging specialists will launch 10 new hotels and resorts, representing 1,385 rooms and private villas, suites, and apartments. Expanding into exciting emerging markets, the brand’s new properties will open in developing destinations that span the length of the country.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to expand Fusion’s presence in the country,” explained Peter Meyer, chief executive officer of Fusion. “Recognising that there are so many beautiful, and largely undeveloped destinations in Vietnam.”

Fusion Suites Vung Tau, located in the weekend getaway beach destination near Saigon, is set to welcome guests from early 2020. This chic new-build features 100 apartments and 71 suites, a spa with 12-double bed treatment rooms, aerial yoga studio, rooftop infinity pool with cocktail bar, and the Suite signature Fresh Restaurant.

Fusion Resorts

The oceanfront Fusion Resort Quang Binh is located at the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. Also located in this park is Son Doong, the world’s largest cave. Fusion’s three hectare property will feature 60 private villas, each with its own plunge pool. The resort will offer a spacious spa with treatments included in the nightly rate, and several dining options. This latest resort addition will start taking bookings in late 2020.

Fusion Resorts

Maia Quy Nhon, will be the first of a new brand line. Fusion breaks ground on the property late this year, and expects to open by mid 2020. Maia will continue Fusion’s wellness ethos, but the focus will be expanded to a more immersive foodie experience. Culinary journeys will be tailored to the location, and guests will be able to choose a different program each night of their stay. Options include experiences like farm-to-table & sea-to-table dining, a local food tour, cooking classes as well as pop-up dining. One complimentary daily spa treatment will round out this new brand’s offering.

“Food is an integral part of any holiday adventure,” said Meyer. “Vietnamese cuisine has now become popular worldwide. Playing to this cuisine’s popularity, we want to take guests beyond well-known dishes like pho and banh mi, educating them on the histories of these iconic foods and other lesser known regional specialties.”

Fusion Resorts

The completely new product of HIIVE will also be introduced in 2020. With a business traveller focus, this three-star plus line will cater to the lodging needs in Vietnam’s industrial zones and developing townships. Five HIIVE hotels are slated for development over the next three years in four different locations. These include Binh Duong, north of Ho Chi Minh City; Bac Ninh, just east of Hanoi; Hai Phong, on the northern coast; and, Dong Nai, also near HCMC.

Another hotel is also set to join Fusion’s growing inventory. Adding to their existing hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, plans are now underway for another property in Vietnam’s largest city. A new Fusion accommodation option will open with 146 rooms in the heart of District 1, the city’s culinary and cultural hub.

Similarly, in the most developed beachfront destination of Da Nang, Fusion currently operates two hotels - the spa-inclusive Fusion Maia Da Nang and the Fusion Suites Da Nang. The latter located on a major access road across from the beach. During 2021, Da Nang will see Fusion’s latest generation resort with the opening of Fusion Resort & Villas Da Nang. This luxury property of 157 hotel rooms and 85 villas will offer comprehensive facilities & spa amenities, which will set the standard on the beach strip.

With a portfolio of about 550 keys, wellness-inspired Fusion currently has four high-end spa-inclusive resorts and two modern apartment-style suite hotels. Their locations include the tourist destinations of Da Nang, Hue, Phu Quoc and Cam Ranh, and the country’s most important commercial center of Ho Chi Minh City.

ABOUT FUSION 

Fusion is a pioneer of wellness-inspired hotels and resorts and the only fully vertically integrated hospitality company in Southeast Asia. Blending an innovative ‘all-spa inclusive’ approach to wellness vacationing with their signature ‘breakfast anywhere, anytime’ concept, they offer welcoming, down-to-earth hospitality in outstanding holiday destinations to create unique, memorable experiences that set them apart from others.

Fusion Resorts blend stylish and sophisticated accommodation options with bed-to-beach living and holistic wellness to provide a fresh take on the traditional beach vacation. Fusion Suites give urban adventurers or family explorers a place to recover in a city to discover, mixing comfort and convenience with funky, fun and informal. Fusion Originals are bold and brave, leading the way and setting trends, dedicated to the originators and pioneers who change the world by daring to be unique. Fusion Retreats are health conscious and fitness focused, rebalancing body, mind and soul in sanctuaries of holistic restoration and indulgent pampering.

Fusion currently owns and manages 6 properties in Phu Quoc, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Sai Gon and Hue. The company is expanding its portfolio with new hotels and resorts opening in Vung Tau, Quang Binh, Hoi An and Quy Nhon.

For more information, contact:
Ms Minh Thu Lam – Group Marketing Director at minhthu.lam@fusionhotelgroup.com
Ms Hong Phuong Nguyen – Communication Manager at phuong.nguyen@fusionhotelgroup.com

Image source: Fusion Resorts


Fusion Resorts in Vietnam Invite Weddings and Romance

By: City Pass Guide

Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc

Fusion Resort Cam Ranh

Fusion Maia Da Nang

Wellness-inspired resorts launch honeymoon, wedding and commitment ceremony packages 

Guiding guests down white sand aisles, crafting romantic backdrops for beachfront vow renewals, and catering to the romantic whims of enamoured couples, Fusion Resorts across Vietnam are rolling out new wedding packages, ethereal commitment ceremony setups, and indulgent honeymoon possibilities.

“We’ve seen a clear rise in honeymooners and couples who want to say ‘I do’ at our properties over the last few years,” said Atilla Erda, chief operating officer of Fusion. “We believe it’s because Vietnam has the right balance of stunning beaches, rich cultural experiences and exoticness, without the high price tag of some other popular honeymoon and destination wedding locations.” 

Fusion Resorts

Saying ‘I do’ in Vietnam’s Former Imperial Capital 

The newest member of the wellness-inspired hotel & resort brand, Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion, taps into its natural location, surrounded by verdant mountains and steamy hot springs, and is launching a new wedding package.

The comprehensive offering includes set-up of the ceremony location amid lush tropical gardens, a celebrant, a photographer to capture the ceremony and reception, a champagne fountain, live music and an MC, a banquet service inclusive of wedding cake, a room for the bride to get ready with a makeup artist, and a complimentary honeymoon night with a late checkout. The resort can host up to 100 wedding guests and has a range of accommodations from private bungalows to chic suites overlooking a lake. 

“Our authentic Japanese onsen spa and our range of wellness activities, from sunrise yoga to water meditation in our natural hot springs, helps our couples find balance at an exciting and busy time in their lives.” said Hylton Lipkin, general manager of Alba.

Wedding package prices start at USD236 per person for the three days, two nights package and applies for weddings with a minimum of 40 guests. 

Fusion Resorts

Sandy Nuptials on Vietnam’s Largest Island

The all-spa-inclusive resort, Fusion Resort Phu Quoc, has just launched the "Lovers Embrace," an intimate beach wedding package on a tropical island.

Couples who wish to say ‘I do’ on the resort's white sand beach will be able to walk the aisle through a bamboo archway and say their vows under a wedding arch dressed in white silk and fresh flowers. All that's needed for the service is provided, including a wedding guestbook, boutonnieres and bouquets, and a welcome drink for guests before the vows. A wedding gala dinner is also included with set menus of the bride and groom's choice, two-hours of live music, and two-hours of free-flow beverages including beer & wine.

The couple (and their guests) can relax pre- and post-ceremony at Fusion's Maia Spa & Wellness Facility, with at least two therapies per day being included in the room rate. Massages, wraps and facials, along with wellness activities like yoga, are on offer there. Each villa also has its own private plunge pool to unwind in.

Package rates start at USD 3,850 for 10 people and from USD7,950 for 50 people, exclusive of the nightly room rate. 

Fusion Resorts

From Proposal to Vow Renewal on the Beach in Cam Ranh

The all-spa inclusive Fusion Resort Cam Ranh beach resort on Vietnam’s south central coast is introducing two new romance-filled packages: one for romance and possibly a proposal, and one for couples who want to reaffirm their commitment. 

‘From the Heart’ is for couples looking to pop the question or just enjoy a romantic evening on the water’s edge. Guests of this package enjoy a two night stay in a one-bedroom garden villa with private plunge pool, along with breakfast anywhere and anytime and a minimum of two spa therapies a day. At night, a private beachfront BBQ is set up on the sand, with a personal chef grilling up freshly-caught local seafood (vegetarian options are available with several different BBQ menu options) served with sparkling wine. Prices start at USD1,787 per couple. 

‘Moonlight Lovers’ is for couples who want to create a lasting memory by saying ‘I do’ one more time, or who want to reaffirm their love for each other without the legal preparations. In addition to what’s included in ‘From the Heart,’ a celebrant is also arranged to guide lovers through a commitment ceremony. Prices start at USD2,256 per couple. 

Fusion Resorts

Beachside Honeymoon Experiences in Da Nang

Fusion Maia Da Nang’s Celebration Menu is a pick-and-mix of insta-worthy experiences for couples. 

The Floating Romance Tray sets the tone for a weekend of amore with pink sparkling wine paired with fresh Western and Vietnamese bites, and floating letters spelling L-O-V-E on the surface of the guests’ private pool. Each tray starts at USD75. 

The Fresh by the Sea experience is a candlelit beachfront dinner for two with a stellar selection of seafood, like Vietnamese king crab, razor clams, sea snails and grilled langoustine. Dinner for two starts at USD195. 

Other options include several in-villa Bath Bliss packages that combine sensuous essential oils, naturally therapeutic herbs, zestful citrus fruits, or a room full of balloons for a romantic and picture-perfect evening. Each bath set-up starts at USD32.

These experiences complement the resort’s range of all-inclusive spa treatments that couples can enjoy together.

ABOUT FUSION 

Fusion is a pioneer of wellness-inspired hotels and resorts and the only fully vertically integrated hospitality company in Southeast Asia. Blending an innovative ‘all-spa inclusive’ approach to wellness vacationing with their signature ‘breakfast anywhere, anytime’ concept, they offer welcoming, down-to-earth hospitality in outstanding holiday destinations to create unique, memorable experiences that set them apart from others.

Fusion Resorts blend stylish and sophisticated accommodation options with bed-to-beach living and holistic wellness to provide a fresh take on the traditional beach vacation. Fusion Suites give urban adventurers or family explorers a place to recover in a city to discover, mixing comfort and convenience with funky, fun and informal. Fusion Originals are bold and brave, leading the way and setting trends, dedicated to the originators and pioneers who change the world by daring to be unique. Fusion Retreats are health conscious and fitness focused, rebalancing body, mind and soul in sanctuaries of holistic restoration and indulgent pampering.

Fusion currently owns and manages 6 properties in Phu Quoc, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Sai Gon and Hue. The company is expanding its portfolio with new hotels and resorts opening in Vung Tau, Quang Binh, Hoi An and Quy Nhon.

For more information, contact:

Ms Minh Thu Lam – Group Marketing Director: thu.lam@fusionresorts.com

Ms Nguyen Hong Phuong – Communication Manager: phuong.nguyen@fusionresorts.com

Image source: Fusion Resorts


Airbnb My Guest

By: Sivaraj Pragasm

When Airbnb first appeared elsewhere in 2008, it created a new alternative for travellers seeking a nice, personalised home in non-touristy parts of the city they were visiting.

However, the idea of home-sharing came with concerns, mainly from homeowners who weren’t too sure if it was a good idea. After all, not everyone is comfortable having a stranger in their home. Here in Vietnam, things took a while to warm up but by 2016, the number of listings in Ho Chi Minh City alone tripled from the previous year with up to 3,500 listings across the city. So, how did that happen?

A Natural Extension to a Local Concept

Thi Nguyen, who runs a few listings of her own in Ho Chi Minh City, sees Airbnb as a natural extension to the Vietnamese homestay concept. “It's an opportunity to showcase our living and cultural abode to our visitors,” she says.

“So what we give is more than just a room for the night. It’s an experience which you can't get in most hotels.”

airbnb viet nam

Originally from Hanoi, Thi moved to Saigon eight years ago and runs her own events company. Needing funds to feed her passion for travel, she opened up her apartment for rent and she’s never looked back since. She currently has 11 listings on the site.

A Fresh Tourism Industry with Potential

“Vietnam’s tourism industry is very fresh compared to most other countries in Asia, which brings about both opportunities and challenges,” says Thi.

This sentiment is reflected by Hue-born Tai Phan, who spent the last few years working and studying in both the United States and Vietnam, specialising in finance and real estate investment before relocating to Da Nang where he decided to start his Airbnb venture.

airbnb viet nam

“I was back in Vietnam consulting for some investors and had a house with empty rooms,” he says. “I used Airbnb before and liked it, hence I wanted to experiment with hosting part-time. Thousands of guests and many properties later, I’m still enjoying this ‘ongoing’ experiment as if it was my first week doing it.”

Selling the Experience

People like Thi and Tai represent the archetypical modern business entrepreneurs of Vietnam by taking full advantage of an existing online model to provide a service.

Both of them also strongly believe in the importance of not being dodgy, by establishing a credible online presence in the form of well-taken photos and descriptions of their listings, and going the extra mile by giving local recommendations on places to visit and things to do.

airbnb viet nam

Guidebooks often give you recommendations that are tourist-friendly but may be slightly pricier, so you will never get to know about that particular com tam stall down your street which the locals swear is the best in Vietnam.

The Perfect Mix

According to Forbes Magazine, one of the main reasons why the Airbnb model is working so well in Vietnam, and especially in Ho Chi Minh City, is because it conveniently incorporates a perfect mix of Vietnamese culture in the form of sharing and entrepreneurship, which is a fast-rising trend among the Gen-Y and Millennial demographics in Vietnam.

However, infrastructural issues such as power outages and water shortages are also major issues among guests, although some hosts like Thi and Tai have their respective solutions.

Thi ensures that all plumbing, electricity and air-conditioning equipment are constantly maintained and replaced.

airbnb viet nam

Tai ensures that he has contacts for electricians and contractors who can respond within an hour, but if that doesn’t work, “You can explain to your guests sincerely about these issues in a friendly way and they would understand,” he says.

The Future of the Sharing Economy

Tai believes he can further expand his enterprise by recruiting good people.

“The objective is to create a hospitality group that can help travellers maximise their time during their stay and give good suggestions as to where to go and what to do.”

airbnb viet nam

Just like Tai, Thi plans to expand and focus on selling the experience, rather than just the accommodation. In the case of HCMC and Vietnam in general, this could mean a new generation of hosts who incorporate the spirit of entrepreneurship into the sharing culture that runs deep in this country.

Image source: Thi Nguyen


Vietnam’s New Position in Affordable Hospitality

By: City Pass Guide

Vietnam really is an astonishing country, its people are resilient, cheerful and welcoming. When you consider that they have spent a millennium defending themselves from various incursions, it is remarkable that they are so accepting of foreigners. The giant neighbour is something of an elephant in the room, but that apart, they welcome strangers here more so than most countries. They remain industrious, peace-loving and one of the most driven people we have met. They are also quick to forgive and forget as the many American’s living happily here will bear testimony.

Growth and More Growth

A 2006 study by Agence France-Presse, the third largest news agency in the world, placed them as the happiest race on the planet. By 2016 they have become even more satisfied as the country enjoys a growth of GDP in excess of 6.5%. Their excellent work ethic coupled with good planning has them performing better than any of their Southeast Asian neighbours, who are achieving about 4.4% growth. The future looks good as well, with the World Bank, last year, saying that these factors have meant a developing confidence which will hold them in good stead for the mid term.

Photo by: Bear Beer Photography

Country Director for Vietnam for the Global Bank recently said, “This is a good time to solidify macroeconomic stability and rebuild policy buffers, including through decisive efforts to rein in fiscal imbalances and tackle remaining vulnerabilities in the banking sector.” The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) has also been improved by a raft of recent trade deals, adding further to the improvement of Vietnam’s standing among ASEAN countries. Turnover in total exports was up 9.2% over this period due mainly to a large increase in mobile phones, electronic equipment and computers.

TPP and Lifted Bans

Further good news comes in the form of the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement: analysts are stating that Vietnam will be the biggest beneficiary of the 13 nations involved. The signatories of the TPP account for 40% of global GDP and Vietnam could see theirs increase by as much as 8%. At the same time it is expected to add 17% to real exports and 12% to its capital stock. The ASEAN group is looking healthy from Vietnam’s point of view as the association is now the country’s third largest export market following USA and Europe.

Photo by: UN ISDR

There have been significant changes in foreign ownership and share trading recently. This will stimulate growth and investment, and reduce sectors where foreign investment was banned from 51 to only 6. This, in addition to the abolition of the 49% cap on foreign ownership of shares on the stock exchange, will now allow foreign investors to fully acquire listed companies, excluding, of course, the banking sector.

A New Class of Travellers

Vietnam’s affordable hospitality sector is set to take off with news that low cost carrier, Vietjet has just added two new routes. They now have connected Ho Chi Minh City with the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Tainan City in Taiwan. More routes are planned as well.

Photo by: DAIHYUN JI

Millennials are being seen as a new class of traveller. The Vietnamese are prudent by nature, meaning that the cheaper hotel accommodation sector is likely to find a new home in the country. The new brand of cheap hotels offer good Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning that young business people are taking advantage of a good deal as well as the more expected backpacker crowd. The Malaysian experience bears this out with the mid-priced hotel brand “Vivid”, set to open in Georgetown by 2018. Penang is predicted to enjoy something of a renaissance in the M.I.C.E. business with the addition of two new convention centres.

Photo by: Ronald Tagra

Malaysia’s MM2H visa is valid initially for a period of ten years, depending on the validity of the applicant’s passport, and is also renewable. Penang is now seen as an exciting potential growth area for Vanguard Hotels. Together with other on-going projects in Kuala Lumpur, this adds up to US$40 million worth of investment in Malaysia for the Vanguard Group. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recently released a new consumer research report which they called “Stepping Out of the Crowd: Where the Next Generation of Young Asian Travellers is Heading, and How to Win a Place on Their Travel Itinerary”. This examines travel trends of young Asians and explains how secondary destinations and further attractions will benefit from the rise in outbound travel from Asia.

It looks highly likely that the $60-80 hotels will be seen as sensible choices for travellers in Asia. Vietnam looks to be a prominent player in the new market of affordable hospitality in Asia.

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