The small Vietnamese city of Hoi An seems to have achieved what we’re all seeking: balance or as they say here, equal harmony between Ying and Yang. Strolling the streets of Old Town as dusk settles, you see it everywhere from the ‘eyes’ set above shop entrances to the architectural designs of its UNESCO World Heritage Site houses. In this old town that romances its past, everything is done to achieve balance and harmony. Nestled by the Thu Bon River, the town’s wealthy trading artery from the 15th to the 19th centuries, its fall from commercial importance and relative isolation has bequeathed an Asian trading port left largely intact and ready to be explored.
Along with temples and meeting houses, some occupied by eighth generation family members, the Old Town offers a blend of high end clothing boutiques and galleries like Hay Hay run by New Zealander Shann Whitaker – an active patron of local artists – cocktail bars and restaurants including Cargo Club and Morning Glory run by legendary local Ms Vy. Along Le Loi Street, we encounter fresh additions like Coco Box café juice bar and farm shop plus good quality silver jewellery, leather shops selling inexpensive made-to-measure shoes and the ubiquitous silk shops offering fast turnaround tailoring.
The red lanterns of Hoi An, a symbol of good luck, are everywhere including the Hotel Royal Hoi An, a new addition to the MGallery suite of hotels. With all the hallmarks of classic French Indo-Chinese style, the foyer furnished in subtle, muted tones is a quiet oasis to sit and peruse coffee table books on this unique city. Along hotel corridors, warm breezes waft through open windows affording views of the river as it curves sensually below. Room décor evokes Hoi An’s historic past as a spice trading centre with richly hued artisan fabrics patch-worked into bed heads, espresso-coloured timber furniture and the town’s signature red lanterns inspiring orientally-infused light fittings.
Now You See It…..
Sliding wooden fretwork screens conceal and reveal bathrooms which are cleverly integrated into open plan bedrooms. All smoky glass and mirrors etched with Hotel Royal’s signature motif, glossy bathroom tiles in black, grey and opalescent blue shimmer darkly as you take a soft rain shower or bathe in the sleek oval tub. Sensitive use of traditional Hoi An elements are highlighted in floor tiles that reference the lotus, an emblem that’s also subtly screen-printed on to black and white photographs throughout the hotel.
Sitting by the hotel pool as the afternoon storm blows through, the morning’s intense heat is swept away leaving Hoi An (and us) refreshed and renewed. Sinking into a cloud-soft bed for a superb night’s sleep could also have contributed!
Hotel Royal Hoi An is part of Accor Hotel’s MGallery Collection and with 119 rooms over 5 categories, there’s something to suit every budget. Overlooking Hoi An city’s terracotta roofs, sixty-seven deluxe rooms provide an affordable entry level while 38 Grand Deluxe rooms all have balconies and river views that stretch to open farmlands where villagers tend their crops. Top-of-the-range are ten 50sq.m king-sized rooms. To reserve yours go to firstname.lastname@example.org
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