Hyatt Regency Danang, Vietnam
Danang is located in central Vietnam and has recently featured prominently on 'where to visit this year' lists. It is the third largest city in Vietnam but feels more developed and cleaner than Hanoi. With interesting cultural sights including UNESCO World Heritage sites of Huế and Hoi An, as well as a fabulous beach and great cuisine, this is a rewarding location for a family vacation or a relaxing trip for couples.
We had previously planned to stay at the Hyatt Regency Danang in 2013 but our plans had been scuppered by Typhoon Haiyan when we were advised to evacuate from the area whilst staying at nearby Fusion Maia. This trip was part of the d2t Vietnam Do, so we travelled with around 10 new friends. Thanks to the excellent team headed by the charming Zulki Othman, organising the stay at the Hyatt was simple and we chose to book a couple of rooms plus a couple of 3-bedroom villas for our group. We flew down from Hanoi after a beautiful cruise on Paradise Peak, Halong Bay and arrived in Danang just in time for happy hour in the club lounge. Check-in was swift - the group were invited to enjoy drinks and canapés whilst we viewed the rooms and sorted out paperwork. There is an extraordinary range of accommodation at this resort, from self-catering units in the condo buildings to three bedroom villas.
Regency Executive Suite
We were very generously upgraded to a Regency Executive Suite for our personal stay, which had stunning sea views. All suites in Danang are large and designed in a similar style. Our impressive Regency Executive Suite was the best Executive Suite we have had the pleasure to stay in. Situated on the top floor, in the corner, the suite had expansive ocean views and a double balcony with a range of seating options (our preferred choice was the circular day bed). The indoor area of the suite was huge (126 square metres) with lounge area, dining space and kitchen. The marble bathroom was also palatial in size with one of the largest bath tubs we have seen, twin sinks and a walk-in shower, which also functioned as a steam room.
We were delighted by our welcome amenity of a bottle of wine, fresh fruit plate (refreshed daily and including dragon fruit, Asian pear and sweet crunchy apples), Vietnamese dark chocolate and sweet cashew nut rice paper snacks. Great to see an amenity with a local touch and our first introduction to Vietnamese chocolate!
In addition to the Regency Executive Suite above, we also booked a couple of pool villas for the Vietnam Do. We were lucky to be assigned villas 1 and 2, which have the best location, closest to the beach and with full sea view. At 307 square metres, these villas are larger than most homes and very impressive on entering. Double height ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of that sea view and light flows into the villas. On the ground floor, a dining room for 8, large, well-equipped kitchen and huge lounge area provide plentiful space for families or groups of friends. The master bedroom is similar to a junior suite in most hotels, with generous bathroom, small seating area and balcony. A twin room behind also has its own bathroom, although it unfortunately cannot be configured to a King. A separate third bedroom stands alone outside (perfect for teenage kids) and has a shower room attached. However, this room was not as luxurious as the two in the main building. The villas have a washer-dryer, so are ideal for longer stays, holidays with young children or as a break in the middle of a long trip. The highlight of each villa is the private infinity pool, which is a good size - plenty big enough for a refreshing dip in the morning, although you're not going to swim laps! A sizeable garden and terrace is the perfect location for a private BBQ.
In addition to the private villa pools, the hotel offers 5 swimming pools, including one just for Regency Club guests and an adults-only pool in the spa. Complimentary activities are arranged each day, such as kite flying, swimming lessons and tai chi. The fitness centre is excellent with a variety of cardio equipment, free weights and resistance machines, as well as a separate studio for classes, such as yoga. Changing rooms offer segregated sauna, steam room, cold plunge, jacuzzi and relaxation room in a stylish, quiet environment (we didn't see anyone else using these facilities). Service was exemplary, although communicating in English was sometimes a little challenging.
The spa itself is beautiful - treatment pavilions, complete with changing area, outdoor tub and pond, surround a calming pool with stepping stones to get to reception. Our massages were very good - perfect pressure and ideal for soothing tired muscles.
The beach is stunning and kept clean by hotel staff. Hammocks and shaded seating are available for relaxing and you can hire a kayak for a bit of exertion. The water itself is clean and warm but be careful to observe the flags - rip tides can be a problem, so if the flag is red, stay out of the water.
During our stay, we viewed a few room types, which we will feature here. The standard rooms are very generous in proportion offering 42 square metres of modern design with crisp, clean lines. Whilst the rooms are designed to international 5* standard, there are also hints in all to remind you that you are in Asia, such as ceramic tea sets and oriental art. All rooms feature a spacious bathroom with separate free-standing bath tub and walk-in shower as well as twin wash basins. A chaise long provides ample relaxing space and an outdoor terrace area provides the perfect location to relax and enjoy the sunny weather.
View rooms are identical but are on higher floors, affording a superior view of the beach and South China Sea from the balcony. Club rooms are also identical but come with access to the excellent Regency Club, offering local and international delicacies for breakfast and evening canapés, as well as a range of wines and soft drinks. There is also a separate pool at the Regency Club, solely for club guests and diamond members of Hyatt Gold Passport.
In addition to the main hotel, the Hyatt in Danang also has condominiums, some of which are on the hotel inventory and thus bookable online for holidaymakers. These are in larger blocks (up to 12 stories high) and all offer a lounge area and kitchen-diner, so they are great for those who prefer to self-cater.
The residences (either one, two or three bedroom) are designed in the same style as the main hotel and a few have balconies (only a couple do not have sea views). In general, the residences are cheaper than the Regency Suites in the hotel, so they offer great value but may feel a little less special.
Although the condos are a little further from the main hotel complex, guests have access to all services, including the gym, pools and restaurants. Naturally, diamond members of Hyatt Gold Passport receive all normal benefits, including club lounge access.
We took breakfast and dinner in the Regency Club most nights. Although the offering is aimed to provide only pre-dinner canapés, we found it ample for our evening meal with breads, cheeses, salads and desserts available. In the morning, the breakfast offered a good range of Western and Vietnamese cold and hot options - each day eggs were available to order or one local hot dish (usually pho). We would have appreciated a greater range of fruit at breakfast as each day offered the same choice.
On the final evening of the Do, d2t sponsored a group BBQ in the grounds of villa 1. This was simply superb. The free-flow beverage package was generous (especially as the hotel agreed to change the chardonnay in the standard package to sauvignon blanc and then served Mrs d2t's favourite from Marlborough New Zealand). Food was plentiful, starting with delicious salads (pomelo chicken and spicy squid were very popular in our group), then serving fresh fish, prawns, satay chicken and mini pork burgers from the BBQ. Accompaniments of rice, breads and vegetables were tasty and we finished with fresh fruit. At the end of the BBQ, leftovers were wrapped and placed in the villa fridge. We strongly recommend booking a private BBQ if staying in the villas - there will be enough food provided to last a couple of nights, so it is great value and the hotel do not set a minimum on the number they will cater for.
We really enjoyed our stay in Danang and will definitely be back. Although the resort is large and some have commented about how much concrete there is, the gardens are extensive and beautifully maintained. Service in the Regency Club was highly personalised (we were addressed by name throughout; gluten-free bread and goat's cheese was delivered automatically after the first morning because of our food allergies). The resort is popular with families, which can be a turn-off for couples. However, the site is large enough for it to be easy to find quiet places away from children. The spa pool is only for adults and we never had to share it with anybody! Rooms are modern and tasteful in design and offer a lot of space. Whilst we were very happy in our Executive Suite (and would keep fingers crossed for our next stay) standard rooms were more than adequate. The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus service to nearby Hoi An where you can get a suit or dress made in a day at a fantastic price. A walk in the lantern filled streets in the evening is simply magical. Our private beachfront BBQ was the perfect ending to our Vietnam Do. Many thanks to Zulki and his team - we will be back!