Vietnam has been on my bucket list of travel destinations ever since moving to Asia, so when I had the chance to stay at A La Carte, a boutique hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam over the October holidays, my only question was “When’s the next flight out?!” Da Nang is a quiet, beautiful coastal town in southern Vietnam, with plenty of family-friendly activities and sights and sounds to experience. Unexpectedly, this was one of the best trips I’ve taken all year (that’s saying a lot considering I also went to Japan and Siem Reap for the first time!), and a large part of that was experiencing the cosy hospitality at A La Carte.
Da Nang has plenty of arts, culture and entertainment, from a vibrant downtown to high mountain views, but let’s face it – the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the beautiful beach! If you’re a mama planning on bringing along the little ones, it’s safe to assume they’ll be running to the sand with a bucket and shovel as soon as you check into your hotel, so a major draw of A La Carte for family stays is its prime seaside location. It’s just a skip and a hop over to the beach, where you can spend the day surfing the waves, sunbathing and boogie boarding up and down the coast. The sand at Da Nang is clean, soft and free of pebbles – some of the best I’ve found in Asia in fact!
After sunbathing all afternoon the first day, we headed back to the hotel to enjoy some of its fabulous in-house facilities. A La Carte is newly opened so the property is spotlessly clean and all amenities in tip-top condition. The concept of the hotel is based off an “a la carte” Add-On Menu, so you can customise additional services any way you like, with no hidden or unexpected charges. Our room was incredibly spacious, with a large, comfy bed, ocean-facing views and an adjoining kitchen. Pots and pans, a rice cooker and even a cocktail set are available as part of the add-on menu and are charged per day. You can also order iPods, iPads, a game basket (great for the kids), deluxe bathroom amenities, a DVD player and different pillows from the pillow menu as you like – all priced per day.
With the buzzing beach vibe all around us, we were definitely keen to get out of the room though! As evening set in, we headed up to the rooftop infinity pool (the first in Da Nang!) to enjoy a relaxing swim and soak in the last rays of sunshine.
The pool offers spectacular views up and down the entire coastline, and is definitely the highlight of the hotel in my opinion. After washing up, we headed back to the rooftop to listen to the nightly DJ and sip on some cocktails (my mango martini hit the spot)! Despite the booming club-like music, the rooftop was filled with families and many small children, too, so it’s definitely a family-friendly evening activity if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel after a long day.
The second day in Da Nang we enjoyed a bountiful breakfast at Bites, the all-day dining restaurant featuring international and local specialities. Breakfast included a selection of fresh fruit, salads, baked goods, smoothies and of course, hearty bowls of pho (Vietnamese rice noodles with herbs and thin slices of beef).
After fueling for the day, we were off on a motorbike to enjoy the famous attractions in Da Nang, including the Lady Buddha, the Marble Mountains and the Dragon Bridge (see the full list of attractions below!). At night, we chose to indulge in a relaxing foot massage at A La Carte’s Spice Spa, which offers an enticement array of aromatherapy treatments along with a steam room and sauna. With expertly trained massage therapists and fragrant aromas of cinnamon and spice in the air, it’s the perfect way to end a long day of sightseeing.
Although the prime location and fantastic facilities make A La Carte appealing to travelers of all ages, A La Carte definitely focuses largely on a family-friendly approach, with spacious combined suites, special kids packages and even a Kids Club on the 2nd floor offering fun games and activities throughout the day. From the kids’ add-on menu, you can order prams, baby monitors, hot water bottles and a Happy Meal Pass for free food for the littlies all day.
There’s so much to enjoy with the family in tow at A La Carte so if you want to sneak in a mini holiday before you head home for Christmas, book now and don’t forget to check out these other Da Nang attractions while you’re there:
- Ride around the island, stopping to see the Lady Buddha (you can’t miss it!)
- Ride bikes around Hoi An, and take a boat ride down the river
- Climb up to the peak of the Marble Mountains
- Head into downtown Danang and try out some local food like the city’s signature mi quang noodles!
- Watch the fire-breathing show at Dragon Bridge on the weekends
- Enjoy a seafood feast on one of the beachside open-air food stalls