One of the most beautiful parts of Hoi An is the Thu Bon River that lazily flows through the old town and is never far from sight. Its banks are lined with palm trees, grazing cows and Hoi An's signature basket boats, while fisherman float in dusty bamboo canoes catching fish in woven silver nets.
In the evenings, especially during the monthly lantern festival, paper lanterns carrying wishes float downriver with the tide. The lights of small houses twinkle in the river’s mirror-like surface and laughter, music and the sounds of karaoke softly drift through the air.
The Anantara Hoi An Resort is right here on the river - elegant, unobtrusive and perfectly luxe for families, couples and friends seeking a five star Hoi An stay.
We we lucky enough to stay here for two nights to celebrate Emmie’s birthday, and we loved the luxury, the peacefulness and its location right in the historic Hoi An old town. One of the stand-outs was the caring staff who treated Emmie like a princess, the delicious traditional food at the Riverside Cafe, the fabulous pool and our divine room.
Emmie’s favourite part of our stay was the traditional lantern making in the pavilion where she made her own yellow silk lantern to bring home and I loved the feeling I had staying here - completely looked after, completely relaxed and completely at home!
The resort is all about laid back elegance and luxury. Grey stone pathways wind through green gardens of tropical palms and frangipanis and its’ colour palette - delicious pinks and greens - is understated and calming and complements the surroundings.
Rooms with wide porches and day beds face the river and are perfect for watching fishermen, boats and evening paper lanterns float past. Lantern hang from the trees and wide paths wind their way through the gardens leading to private pavilions and the swimming pools - one larger adult sized pool and a smaller shaded children’s pool - within a garden courtyard, again facing the riverfront.
The resort is perfect for a romantic getaway, a girls weekend and family holiday. Young families are welcomed and so well looked after here - and the Resorts proximity to the old town makes it so easy to pop back for afternoon nap time.
Check in and lantern-making:
Emmie was given a chuppa chup at check-in (scoring big points for the Anantara!) and was absolutely doted on by the staff.
The Anantara hosts lantern making classes and we sat in the lovely pavilion for our class, making a traditional lantern each with beautiful yellow fabric - so much fun and very hands on. Cutting fabric, squirting glue and sticking it all together is so much fun for kids and I really enjoyed it too. The lovely Chau who taught us was super patient and kind and we both finished the activity with beautiful hanging lanterns complete with tassel!
Our room overlooked the lake, and its porch and cushioned daybeds with cushions were perfect for lazing, reading and watching the world go past on the river.
When we arrived the staff had written happy birthday in petals and the best surprise of all was cupcakes and flowers sent to the resort for Emmie by my mum, dad and Emmie's aunty Ren. What a welcome!
The room is split level with a large lounge area on entry and and up a few stairs was the queen bed and large bathroom with full amenities and rainwater shower. Blissful! We love a comfy bed. While we spent most of our time exploring we did laze on the daybeds, just reading and watching the river and life passing us by.
Rooms are reached by walking along open galleries that face the riverside or garden courtyards and the pinks and greens are so beautiful - great photos opps here :)
Every morning breakfast is served on the first floor of the restaurant overlooking the river and catching the breeze. The buffet features everything from Coco Pops, nuttella crepes, pastries and cheese plates to traditional Pho, an egg station and fresh juices.
The Riverside Cafe is beautiful and surrounded by trees with hanging lanterns. We had dinner here on our first night and of course I went for the traditional tasting plate - and oh my gosh I am so glad I did. Prawns, duck soup, spring rolls, soft, tasty fish, chicken and so many delicious tastes as well as two deserts…it was so decadent and you definitely should try it!
The evening was magic, sitting under the lanterns and watching paper lanterns float past along the river.
And then the staff brought out a surprise birthday cake for Emmie after the meal! You know when your child is surprised and their face just lights up? That was Emmie. I had tears :)
We loved the Anantara swimming pool. It’s surrounded by super comfy lounges with pillows, and is quite shallow around the edges with the deeper part right in the middle. Such a great idea - kids can then enter the pool right near where there parents are sitting and stay close by. There’s a smaller baby pool with shade cloth for babies and toddlers.
Cooking classes are held in an open kitchen near the pool and we watched one while we swam and relaxed - what a great spot for a cooking class.
Munching on fresh lychees we sat back in a wooden boat as we followed the river around islands and watched the golden light sparkle on the water as the sun set behind the clouds. A river cruise is a beautiful way to see the town and Hoi An daily life as you pass by houses and locals tending their animals, random cows and buffalo grazing at the waters edge and fisherman casting their nets. It's a lovely way to watch the sun set and welcome the evening...and chat with other guests from all over the world. We met a lovely Swedish family on our cruise and spent our time chatting and gazing out across the water.
If you want to mix luxury with Ancient Town exploration, be cared for by kind, attentive staff and treat your family to a relaxing and pampered stay then the Anantara Hoi An is for definitely for you. I loved it, Emmie loved it and we will definitely be back. Make sure to put it on your list.
Mum is coming to visit us in a few weeks and I think we will plan a special surprise to share the luxe. See you soon, Anantara Hoi An Resort!
Our stay at the Anantara Hoi An Resort was generously hosted by the resort.