It has been slightly over five years since my last visit to Vietnam and after hearing quite a bit about Danang, I decided to make use of a weekend to go check it out for myself. At the time of writing, there are only two airlines that connect Singapore (SIN) to Danang (DAD) directly - SilkAir and Jetstar. While I have previously considered the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort (especially since it has won the Best Resort Hotel in Asia-Pacific), I decided to go with the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa in the end and I am truly glad I made that right decision.
After revisiting the beautiful Qantas Lounge in Terminal 1 of the Changi Airport, I arrived on an evening flight into Da Nang International Airport - in fact, the brand new airport has not even been officially opened for a full week when I got there. Since I did not wish to worry about getting from the airport to the hotel, I have made prior arrangements with the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa to pick me up directly from the airport. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the hotel has sent me a brand new seven-seater Audi which accommodates up to four guests comfortably - this is priced at VND 1,200,000++ (SGD 73++) and VND 2,000,000++ (SGD 121++) for a one-way and round-trip respectively.
Upon arriving at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa, I was greeted the moment I got out of the car and was quickly escorted to the Regency Club for a private check-in. In fact, the first person that I officially met at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa was an intern from Singapore (whose accent I recognised almost immediately). The keycards to the Regency Suite were issued without delay and I was given a quick orientation of the property at the Regency Club. Since I was fairly tired the evening that I arrived, I decided to get dinner at the Green House which was running a Vietnamese-themed buffet that very evening.
The Regency Suite of the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa comes with 84sqm of homely space - the design is clean, subtle and inviting (exactly how a luxury home with a view of the ocean should be). You will also notice how much wood the suite utilises and from my understanding, most of these are sourced locally as well. As expected, guests of the Regency Suite will not only have exclusive access to the Regency Club but also enjoy a suite of benefits like complimentary breakfast daily, evening cocktails and access to a private pool (more on these benefits later!).
The living space is extensive and apart from an incredibly comfortable sofa, a dining table (for four adults), a work desk and an impressive cupboard that opens up to a full-size refrigerator and illy coffee machine, you will also find a half-bathroom here in the living room (something I truly appreciate when traveling). If you are traveling with children or a bigger group of friends, there is also the option to get a connecting room here - in this case, both 'rooms' get to enjoy the living area which really is a great idea!
Since I am no longer a Globalist (or Diamond as we more fondly remember it to be) member with the World of Hyatt problem, the welcome amenities were pretty standard - I got a small bowl of fruits, some chocolates and a local snack on the side.
The Regency Suite has two balconies that are not connected - one via the living room and one via the bedroom. The first thing anyone should do when they get into their room in a resort is to check out the view - nothing screams a great vacation like the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore. The particular suite that I was in also had a view of the main swimming pool (there are five different pools in the resort!) which had a shallower area for kids to play at.
The bedroom was probably my favourite area of the whole Regency Suite - as mentioned earlier, you will find another balcony here. There is also a second TV here in the bedroom where you can find a nice selection of cable and satellite channels. Guests who prefer to embrace the surroundings of Danang may choose the ceiling fan over the air-conditioning as well. Do take note that the doors have to be completely closed for the air-conditioning to work - I have initially thought that it was broken but only to realise that one of the doors weren't closed carefully after the room has been made up in the morning. With that being said, I did find that the air-conditioning wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to be - I personally like to set it at 18 (or 16 if possible!) degree Celsius.
There is a small dressing table by the side of the bedroom and interestingly enough, this is actually where I ended up doing most of my work from - there is a large work desk in the living room but somehow, I just found this place a lot cosier. There is also a small walk-in wardrobe here and it's completely hidden away if you do not know where to look. Located on the left side of the dressing table is a small wardrobe where you will find the safe, ample space to hang your clothes, laundry bags as well as various other storage spaces for you to utilise during your stay here at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa.
The bathroom, which is directly connected to the bedroom of the Regency Suite, is possibly the most beautiful area in the whole suite - it enjoys plenty of natural light (especially the huge tub area) and the mirrors make the entire place a lot brighter and bigger than it actually is. There are two sliding doors here and the toilet is located on the other end of the bathroom.
The bathroom of the Regency Suite comes with a massive bathtub that fits more than two adults very comfortably - if you like, you may also open the door by the side where you will get to enjoy the natural breeze and listen to the waves crashing upon the shore. One thing I really liked about the bathtub is how it is located in the wet area of the bathroom. The rain shower is located next to the tub and you do not have to worry about getting the floor wet when you exit the tub. Due to the sheer size of the tub, it takes quite a while to get it completely filled up but no issues with hot water running out at all here at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa.
Bath amenities were provided by Pharmacopia which apparently utilises eco-friendly ingredients and environmentally-friendly packaging which is recyclable. I am not familiar with this brand and all but it does smell quite refreshing which I thought was quite suitable for a beach destination like Danang.
As mentioned earlier, you will find a lot of wood here in the room and the two huge lanterns by the bed are inspired by the some of the characteristics of Hoi An (which is located just a short drive away). Guests staying in the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa can travel to the ancient town of Hoi An fairly easily as the property provides a daily shuttle (VND 80,000 per person) to and from Hoi An. I heard that this service is complimentary for Globalist members but I can't say for certain. Tickets have to be purchased at the Concierge desk at least 30 minutes prior to departure and the bus leaves the property at 10:00AM, 2:00PM and 5:00PM - it then returns from Hoi An an hour following the aforementioned timings. Since the last bus leaves Hoi An at 6:00PM, you will have to find your own transport back to the resort if you intend to stay until it gets dark (to see the lanterns!). Most taxi drivers will quote you a flat rate but if you are looking to save some money, open your Grab app (provided you have a 4G connection) and get a car instead - this will save you a lot more money!
I love how beautiful the bedroom of the Regency Suite looks and how the wood is so elegantly utilised throughout the whole suite. The king-size bed is also incredibly comfortable and like I said, the only thing that would have made it perfect would be the ability to make the room colder (perhaps it was just a faulty thermostat that I experienced?).
For breakfast, I decided to head down to the Regency Club as I wanted somewhere a little more private and quiet. The Regency Suite that I stayed in was located literally a stone's throw away but some of the rooms and villas can be located up to 15 minutes walk away. In these situations, feel free to pick up to phone and get a buggy to come pick you up instead. With that being said, the walk around the property is truly quite relaxing as you will get to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings.
The Regency Club serves breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening cocktails (as well as canapés). Regency Club guests are also given the option to have a full buffet breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa's all-day dining restaurant, the Green House. I love the different seating configurations within the Regency Club and it is apparent that the club was created with the traveling family in mind - most of the seating areas cater for up to 4 adults and during my visit there, I noticed that a lot of the hotel guests were families who traveled down from South Korea.
Couples and young adults without children may opt for a quieter area towards the back of the Regency Club. While there are no restrictions on who gets to actually sit in the quiet area of the club, most families actually opt for the area at the front of the lounge so you generally do get a little more privacy at the end.
Food is a huge thing here at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa and I simply cannot recommend the Regency Club experience enough - if you visit this stunning property, getting access to the club lounge is an absolute must!
There is an outdoor area here at the Regency Club where guests are able to bask in the sun and enjoy the company of ultra-adorable kittens. The kittens are not at all mentioned by the property (it is not a "published benefit" after all) but I have heard quite a bit from friends who have been to this property previously. For some reason, there are so many kittens around the hotel and you will notice them the most here at the Regency Club so hey, cat-lovers have to get access here!
The real show starts when you actually bring food out to the outdoor dining area. Honestly, I don't think I have ever been surrounded by that many kittens (and I am a dog-person!). They are completely harmless and extremely adorable so I do not mind it at all - with that being said, make sure someone looks after the food if you intend to leave the table unattended. Otherwise, some of these felines might take the opportunity to load up on some delicious pho and tropical fruits in your absence.
You will find a variety of fresh tropical fruits here in the morning and there's nothing more enjoyable than eating fresh passionfruit and yoghurt in the morning.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of pastries as well as croissants here. Most club lounges serve a pretty lacklustre version but the ones here would make the French proud!
The highlight during breakfast would definitely have to be the local dishes - I really enjoyed the pho, the congee and some other local dishes that I could not quite identify. The staff over at the Regency Club were also incredibly helpful in teaching you what the right ways to eat these dishes are. While I did find the existence of a slight language barrier throughout other parts of the property, everyone in the Regency Club seemed to be super nice and comparatively fluent in speaking English. One thing you should definitely try over here at the Regency Club is the iced Vietnamese coffee which is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning!
Once you get past the outdoor seating area of the Regency Club, you will find the beautiful Private Pool which is only accessible by the hotel's Regency Club guests. This adult-only swimming pool is a respite from the family-centric swimming free-form swimming pools around the resort and while it does not boast a spectacular view of the Andaman Sea like the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, the peace and quiet that you get here is really something to behold - grab a magazine (or a book!) and spend your mornings here with a Vietnamese coffee and you are all set!
The exclusive pool here at the Regency Club definitely caters to couples and young adults more - I love how many tanning chairs there are on both sides of the swimming pool so there is definitely one available when you want one. In fact, on three separate visits throughout my stay, this particular swimming pool here was almost empty (completely different from how the rest of the pools were!).
Simply because of how convenient it is to get to Hoi An from the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa (and partly because I could earn World of Hyatt points), I hopped on the shuttle bus that took me directly to the ancient city of Hoi An (a UNESCO World Heritage site!) in approximately 20 minutes. While I did not personally stay until nightfall, I did find the experience to be quite refreshing. Walking out of the property would get you nowhere - there are no restaurants or shops around the property - so getting out to Hoi An (without getting ripped off) sounded like a great idea.
The shuttle bus from Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa will drop you off outside Yaly Couture (which is also one of the most reputable tailors in Hoi An) and from there, it is an approximately 10 minutes stroll to the ancient city of Hoi An. One interesting thing to take note is this - you will be approached at some point to purchase an entrance ticket and while I did end up purchasing it (I believe it was approximately VND 180,000 per person), it is completely unnecessary unless you wish to visit certain attractions (e.g. temples and bridges). Otherwise, you can roam about and visit the restaurants as well as cafes freely. It is to my understanding that this fee goes towards the upkeep and maintenance of the area but I have come to realise later that this is not always the case.
I spent a good amount of time checking out the cafes and restaurants in the area - make a stopover at the Hoi An Roastery for a really strong Vietnamese drip coffee that you will remember. There are also a few things you should try and I definitely recommend the Com Ga (Chicken Rice) which you will see all over the town (to be honest, I would think that they are fairly similar across). While I really do enjoy the Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore, I was really impressed by the version over at Hoi An. That being said, the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa served what I think was the best version that I have eaten during my trip (albeit at a much higher price) but I will share more about the amazing restaurant in a separate post. Another dish that you will notice is the Cao Lau which is basically a regional dish that is made with a special type of noodles with pork and vegetables (also had an amazing one in the resort!).
As you walk along the river, you will definitely be asked if you are interested to take a boat ride (for a fee!) and while I did not take up that offer since I visited it in the afternoon and it was incredibly hot, I did remember it to be relatively affordable (probably VND 100,000 per person). There are definitely things to see and do over here at Hoi An but I can see how a visit in the evening can be infinitely better. From what I hear, the lanterns by the river is truly quite a sight to behold. Once you get tired of the area, getting a GrabCar back to the resort is not exactly an arduous task so long you have 4G or a WiFi connection - just make sure you walk to the edge of the town and find yourself a prominent landmark. Otherwise, make your way back to Yaly Couture and wait for the shuttle bus to take you back to the resort. Along the way, make sure you drop by Banh Mi Phuong which is extremely famous ever since Anthony Bourdain called it a 'symphony in a sandwich' on his TV Show. He was not lying.
I was terribly reliant on room service during my stay at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa and I think decided to eat in my Regency Suite (since there was a dedicated dining area in the living room) on three separate occasions. The property does not charge a delivery fee so make sure you tip the person that brings you your food - don't be a stingy AND lazy customer (just being lazy is justifiable!).
The Asian dishes are definitely better than the Western one and I would recommend for you to go with them if you want something hearty - if you have not tried, the Hoi An Chicken Rice is just truly beautiful (again, I want to save this for another time so I shall refrain from posting a photo of that amazing dish here).
I checked out the breakfast spread at the main restaurant one day and while I did have the most delicious omelette ever, the crowd did put me off a little. Perhaps I visited it during the peak hours of breakfast but I did encounter a rather unpleasant episode over at the restaurant which basically encouraged me to have breakfast at the Regency Club instead on subsequent mornings (not a bad thing!). There is definitely a lot more variety over at Green House but as I have mentioned, be wary of the crowd and poorly-behaved tourists!
The Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa is a destination in itself and while it did not win the Best Resort Hotel in Asia-Pacific, I thought that the property was truly beautiful and very accessible - you can go to Danang City or Hoi An fairly quickly and easily. I love how many swimming pools there are and how it caters to different types of travellers (the pool at the Regency Club for instance, was my personal favourite).
What makes the stay over at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa more amazing was the easy access to one of the region's most beautiful beaches, Non Nuoc Beach where you get to enjoy the beautiful white sand, clear waters and a very long stretch of beach.
While I was not particularly blessed with perfect weather the entire trip, I really did enjoy my time at the resort - the beach is amazing, the waters are great to swim in without being overly cold, there is plenty of space to enjoy the area and more importantly, it just feels so detached from the city (in a great way) even though it is essentially just a 20 minutes drive away from two major towns. While eating in a resort may not necessarily sit well with some travellers, I thought that the prices were fairly reasonable (approximately S$25-30 per person per meal) and the quality was truly outstanding (especially the Pool House which I hope to share in a separate post!).
Oh and finally, how can you resist the kittens which can be found all over the property (but typically near the outdoor areas of restaurants)? I'm not sure why are they there but they definitely add a new dimension to having a perfect beach vacation!