Danang, a coastal city in central Vietnam is a popular beach destination (in huge part thanks to direct flights to places like Hong Kong). There’s a huge range of accommodation options available, many of which we’ve reviewed on Jetlag & Mayhem including the Hyatt Regency Danang, Intercontinental Danang and a few closer to Hoi An, the Victoria and the Nam Hai.
However today we share with you a new-ish Danang gem, the holy grail of decently priced villas in a luxury hotel setting! Although if the prices go up following this review then I’m terribly sorry…
Over to our regular reviewer Claire who shares the review of her stay at the Premier Village Resort Danang (managed by Accor)
When did you go?
1st March 2016 for 4 nights.
Myself, my husband, my almost 4-year-old son and 15 month old daughter, my brother and sister-in-law and their twin 18 month old daughters. We also took our adored Filipina helper.
How did you book it?
We booked the holiday as a package through Flight Centre in HK. Originally we intended to stay at the Hyatt after reading the great reviews on Jetlag & Mayhem but, after typically procrastinating for too long, the Hyatt was fully booked over that period. Our agent suggested the Premier.
How did you organise your visa?
British passport holders no longer need a visa- hurrah!
Any flight tips?
The flight from HK is only an hour-long, and the one we took was the early morning 8am flight. Highly recommend taking this flight (although there is now an afternoon one) because we were all in the pool by 10am and got to enjoy the whole day. The kids were able to acclimatize better too, and of course they are no strangers to an early start! We flew Dragon Air and they provided baby and kids meals on the plane, as well as nappies!
How far was the hotel on arrival?
We had pre-booked a transfer with FC, but the hotel would have provided one (we found out later). The drive to the hotel from the airport was not even 15 minutes- what a dream!
What did you think of room?
We were lucky enough to have a 4 bedroom, Ocean View Villa, which was absolutely stunning.
Huge bedrooms and all with en-suite bathrooms (fabulous bath and separate power shower). The living areas were enormous as well, and well laid out. We had a private infinity pool attached to the back of the house with a large sitting-out area, and a stunning private garden complete with large lawn for the kids to play on. Coming from HK, this was a real treat and the kids were ecstatic! They provided cots and high chairs for the babies, which were excellent.
What did you think of hotel facilities?
The beauty of this holiday was the intimacy of villa living, combined with the convenience of being in a “hotel” complex. This resort does not have any hotel rooms as such, it is all villa residences and it is set out like a village. It would be absolutely ideal for families and friends to have villas next to each other if you were doing a big group holiday. You can request bikes (even tandems!) to ride around, or you call for a very efficient buggy service. Mostly, we walked as it was only short distances to the resort swimming pool, beach, spa, kids club and 3 restaurants. We had a good massage at the spa- not super luxurious, but clean with kind and competent staff.
How was the beach?
The beach was beautiful- very quiet (although the resort was at 97% occupancy at the time) and very well maintained. The water was clean, but a little choppy for our little ones to do anything more than paddle.
The resort had made the cutest little area for kids at the top of the beach in between some palm trees with some tarpaulin to shade from the sun. They’d provided loads of buckets, spades, watering cans and other beach paraphernalia for them to play with. Best of all, they’d set up a hosepipe with a network of plastic piping which could be used to channel the water- it was adorable and the kids were entertained for hours.
Next to the “sandcastle” there was also a lovely lawn where kids could run and there was a basketball net attached to one of the palm trees. There was also badminton and volleyball nets set up for older kids (and adults!) to enjoy.
How was kids club and/or babysitting service?
We brought our helper with us, but I do know they have a very reasonable babysitting service which we would definitely have made use of since we wanted to eat out in the evenings in Hoi An. The resort has an amazing kids club set over 4 floors for every age of child. The ground floor has an outside area with a playground and a pond for “fishing” with magnetic rods. Inside has a ballpit, all manner of toys for toddlers, Lego and toy kitchen, carpenters bench etc. They also have a floor for older kids with loads of PlayStation consoles and games, and a separate room for kids cinema. The girls who were overseeing were very sweet and great with the kids.
How was the food?
For me, a great foodie, the food was the only downside to an otherwise first class resort. Breakfast was good- the fresh Vietnamese noodle bar was especially delicious, and we ate outside every day. A (man dressed as a) dragon came round to greet the kids every morning and to give them a balloon (great hit with the kids, but not so convenient to eat your breakfast with 4 balloons being waved around!).
The staff were super accommodating and even provided takeaway boxes so we could stock up on pastries and fruit for the kids for the rest of the day! We were greeted with a red rose on International Women’s Day and thanked for everything we do which was a lovely touch.
However, for the main meals, the food was fine, but not brilliant, and the kids menu needs to be more extensive. We chose to make the 2 minute walk down the beach to the Pullman next door which had an excellent beach front restaurant and fantastic kids menu. It was fun to get outside the resort, but still be close enough to get back for naps- we ate there most days. It has a playground on the beach so we could sit at the table and enjoy as glass of wine and have the kids playing in full view.
I know from speaking to the General Manager of Premier Village, that they are currently building a “deli” on-site which will stock fresh and ready-made food from the resort kitchen for you to eat in the comfort of your villa- which will be a good option for those travelling with small children that don’t always want to eat out and don’t want to order room service. The kitchen in the villa is adequate to self-cater if that is what you’d like to do, and there’s a big supermarket only a couple of minutes drive away.
One of the highlights of our stay was a magnificent in-villa BBQ. There were 2 chefs and a waitress who served the most decadent meal all freshly cooked on the terrace outside our back door. The kids absolutely loved it. There was SO much food- seafood of all descriptions, meat, noodles, breads, salads and so many condiments I lost count! All in the comfort of your villa so the kids could run riot without worrying about annoying fellow guests! It truly was a memorable evening.
Another detail, which was gratefully received, were amazing handmade chocolates which the staff brought to our villa every afternoon which were divine.
What trips did you do outside hotel?
We were only there for 4 days, but we did manage to get into Hoi An- the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site- which is unmissable. The hotel provides a shuttle service for the 25 minute trip, but we chose to flag a taxi from the road so we could make our own schedule. Taxis are extremely cheap. We ate a fabulous (and cheap!) lunch at Morning Glory (hand down best meal of the trip) and shopped for ceramics and souvenirs in the charming town. My sister-in-law and I also did the cooking course (Vy’s Market Restaurant & Cooking School) which was awesome and included a fun shopping trip to the local wet market! The restaurant attached to the cooking school was yummy and highly recommended. We also had dinner one evening in the breath-taking Intercontinental Hotel’s Citron restaurant in one of their Sky Booths. The food was disappointing, but the venue was unbeatable. It is about a 25 minute taxi ride from Premier Village, but worth a visit as it is arguably one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.
What tips would you have for someone booking a similar holiday?
If you have (fresh) milk-drinking babies, it is worth a trip outside the hotel to pick up milk as it is very expensive to order it from room service. Alternatively, take a big bottle and fill it up at the breakfast buffet if you’re audacious enough!
I think Danang is the total package and such an easy hop from HK. I don’t usually like to go back to the same hotel more than once, but we are already planning our next trip to Premier Village. I would highly recommend it for family holidays- especially ones with multiple families who want to stay in a villa together (or in adjacent villas) but still have the convenience of word class hotel facilities.
A HUGE thank you to our regular contributor Claire for her review of the Premier Village. She also happens to run Hong Kong’s best stationery business so if you are in the market for anything themed HK from greeting cards to Christmas ornaments, check out the Lion Rock Press