Sea spa: Respite for culture vultures at Anantara Hoi An Resort in Vietnam
by Caroline White
Why the hype?
The graceful colonnades and rustling palms of Anantara Hoi An Resort occupy an enviably breezy position on the banks of the Thu Bon River. But despite the airy, natural feeling that pervades its lush gardens, the hotel lies close to the heart of one of Vietnam’s most ancient and beautiful towns – and is the perfect pied à terre for exploring. The spa, tucked away beneath the lantern-lit Hoi An Riverside restaurant, is a haven for visitors weary from a day of exploring the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town.
What to have?
Change into your fluffy robe and enter a spacious, pure white and wood treatment room for the 120-minute Hoi An Signature Ritual. It begins with a floral foot bath, followed by a gentle body scrub and a massage using both Eastern and Western techniques (including a spectacular head rub) with the Anantara’s aromatic signature oil blend. It will melt away the afternoon’s exertions and any lingering jet lag. Afterwards, relax in the lounge with a steaming cup of ginger tea.
Where to chill
Saunter through the gardens to the green-tiled pool, stopping to pick up a book at the little al fresco library. In the morning there is refreshing yoga on the adjacent lawn, overlooking the river. In the evening the hotel offers a cruise in a traditional boat so you can catch sunset on the water, just as the jewel-toned lanterns of Hoi An begin to shine.
Best by boat
Nearby An Bang beach is a good spot to have your yacht drop you and tender in – stop off at the Cham Islands for scuba diving or sunbathing on quiet beaches.