Far from the Vietnam of madness and mopeds, Monisha Rajesh finds true luxury (and the most striking rooms she’s ever seen)
To call the Nam Hai a hotel would be an understatement. At the entrance on the long highway from Danang, a hen with a tumble of yellow chicks pecks around the grass, eyeing guests as they draw up to a pair of secure wooden gates and begin a winding drive into the heart of what is really a village of villas. At the centre is the mothership of a main building where one swimming pool after another, descends to the private creaminess of Ha My beach dotted with palm trees criss-crossing at the waist and women in white chiffon snoozing under straw hats. Elsewhere there is little but the sound of hoses on the grass, the hum of electric buggies ferrying guests to and from the spa, gym and three different restaurants, and the song of cicadas thronging in the trees.
At night, flickering golden orbs light the way along dark wooden decking to The Beach restaurant. It is built around an open kitchen where steam bursts off fresh shrimp and pork dumplings and the sizzle of lemongrass and chilli seeps into an atmosphere of clinking G&Ts. It’s a menu rich with delicious meat and marinades from caramelised pork belly with crunchy quail egg and winter melon, to grilled bamboo chicken, dark and rich with charcoaled skin and a sharp spritz of lime, but the vegetarian dishes are also sublime. Simple morning glory sautéed in chilli paste and flecked with chips of chewy, sweet fried garlic, render big bowls of rice unnecessary.
What else does this beautiful hotel have to offer?