Ancient House**** (Featured Hotel)

Our brief comments:
Exotic plants and orchids shade the entrance to the villa roomsOccasionally we come across a really special hotel. The Ancient House River Resort is one of them, and is one of our few 'Featured Hotels' - establishments that go well beyond being somewhere comfortable to spend the night.

View of the gardens and accommodation from the door of the Reception buildingThe Ancient House is on the bank of the Thu Bon River, midway between Hoi An Ancient Town and Cua Dai Beach. Free shuttle service provides quick access to both Hoi An town and the beach.

Villas overlooking the river and tropical gardenFrom the front it looks like an ordinary Vietnamese hotel. However, enter the lobby, and you find yourself in a stylish replica of a traditional house with rich terra cotta tiled floors, palm trees, an abundance of wooden pillars and beams, and attractive furniture.

A flight of steps takes you to a mezzanine floor with a games area and souvenir shops. The Water Palm Restaurant and Lounge Bar are located on the third level, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. The Riverside Cafe, actually floating on the river at the bottom of the property, serves a buffet breakfast and is open all day with a menu of international and Vietnamese specialties.

Step outside the rear of the reception building and you will be standing at the top of a cascade of stairs leading down to a circular swimming pool. On the left is a classically designed Vietnamese garden. To the right, you see the 36 rooms.White decor and dark wood combine to create a feeling of cool shade

The immediate impression is of a Greek mountain village - dozens of snow-white individual villas in a jumbled line down the slope, connected by paths and small flights of stairs. All villas are, in fact, carefully designed traditional Vietnamese single room houses, complete with stone walls and floors.

The 'pho' factory is on the right. The thin rice 'pancakes' are drying before being cut into noodlesInside, they're light and airy, with modern design and high quality fittings. Superior rooms have the same facilities as the others, but lack an open view and side window. The more expensive rooms have delightful small patios, each with a table and chairs. Those facing the rear of the hotel have views across the river at edge of the property, the rest overlook the tropical gardens.

But there's yet more! Behind the pool there's a real ancient house, the home of the proprietor's parents. Beside that is another building housing their traditional business, a pho (rice noodle) factory which was the family's original source of income and is still in full production. Early every morning, the family and local workers make 75% of Hoi An's daily requirement of pho! Guests at the hotel are welcome to visit the family, to watch the pho being made, or even join in (beware - pho making is a very early morning activity!)

Nearly all building materials for the resort were locally sourced, construction was by local builders, and all staff members are from the immediate area - many are family members. The garden, and the rest of the complex, was designed according to feng-shui principles.

As we said at the beginning, the Ancient House River Resort is special!

(Last Inspected July 2012)

Room facilities:

Room Categories
Number of rooms
Room position (floors)
Ground & 2nd
Room size (m2)
Bed arrangement
7 queen /
8 twin
10 queen /
10 twin
1 queen
River / garden
River / garden
River / garden
Extra bed
Baby cot
Air conditioner
Satellite television
Personal safety box
Wifi (free)
Cable Internet connection
Laptop/Internet TV
Laptop/Internet TV
Bath + shower
Bath + shower
Bath + shower

Additional room facilities: IDD telephone, coffee/tea maker, complimentary water, bathrobe, slippers, hair dryer, daily newspaper, connecting rooms available.)

Hotel facilities:

Outdoor pool
Non-smoking floor(s)
Pool bar
Non-smoking rooms only
Children’s pool
Vietnamese/Asian restaurant
Fitness/health centre
International restaurant
Patisserie/coffee shop/cafe
Business centre
Accessible for the disabled

Additional hotel facilities: Free bicycle hire, library, game room, local excursions, private jetty, ‘Ancient House’ and pho factory.

Other local options worth considering:
Dong An Beach Hotel****
Pacific Hotel****
Vinh Hung Resort****

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