When we travel, part of the experience for us, especially with kids, is the hotel/resort. It’s not about being the most expensive resort, or the most luxurious or the biggest, its actually much more about the overall experience, the intangibles that will make the trip memorable. On our recent trip to Vietnam we wanted each hotel which we stayed in to be authentic to the area and offer something unique.
When it came to booking a hotel property in Ho Chi Minh, I really had to research the area. While there were many five-star hotels and luxury apartment options available, it still felt like being in any city and I really didn’t know what to expect from Hoi Chi Min and if there would be much for the kids to do.
In hindsight, I’m so lucky with the hotel we stayed in as it was just perfect for us. I did not take much of a liking to Hoi Chi Minh city itself – I don’t know if that was because it was super-hot and humid or due to the fact we struggled to find kid friendly activities. We visited the standard tourists’ spots such as the central post office, park, Ben Thanh market and the observation deck at Bitexco Financial Tower but that took a few hours and was that great!
At the Grand Central Post Office, we did meet a gorgeous little Vietnamese girl – she was a Girl Scout who every weekend along with her mother and brother visited all the tourist hotspots in order to chat to tourists to improve her English! She was amazing, so polite, confident and very grateful that we sat and chatted with her and exchanged a full dialog. It was a genuinely wonderful experience and speaks to the resiliency and creativity of the Vietnamese people.
I won’t keep you waiting any longer from reading about the stunning resort which we booked in Hoi Chi Minh. An Lam Luxury Retreat is perfectly located on the banks of the Saigon River. Nestled in a lush jungle vibe, this 19-suite luxury property is not only child friendly but offers a peaceful hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and a sense of escapism. You can get to the retreat either by speed boat during the day or by car at night with complimentary airport pickups.
The retreat doesn’t have a reception desk; instead each room has an assigned butler who checks you in to the hotel via your room. With only 19 suites, the resort is small but very misleading as you only see a few doors which open to people’s suites.
Our room was next to the pool which was perfect for the kids to simply roll out of bed and dive in. There is also a gym and a cute spa. There is one kitchen which is at the side of the property with one large open window for you to see what’s going on inside as the only restaurant is a few meters away on the water’s edge providing a great view of the river and offers a great selection of dishes.
Next to the restaurant was an amazing private dining area in a tree, kind of like a tree house. It had a large table catering for a group of up to 10 people. The kids were blown away with eating dinner in a tree house and added to the adventure, so you can guess where we had dinner every night. The staff were amazing and certainly catered to our every need – anything you needed, you just call your butler and she would arrange everything.
Because we enjoyed the property so much we didn’t leave except to visit the city on one occasion which we did via speed boat down the Saigon river, which gave us a great insight into the size of the city. Then we were back at the resort for more rest and relaxation while the kids had a blast in the pool.
The kids loved staying at An Lam, to them it really was an adventure in a jungle, and I felt comfortable to let them wonder around the property on their own as it’s quaint and small. They ate in the tree house, played in the pool and used their imagination when exploring the grounds playing hide n seek in the jungle foliage and looking for creepy crawlies –fortunately the only creepy they saw was a giant snail!!
So, if Hoi Chi Minh is on your itinerary, then An Lam should be at the top of your list as a place to stay. Its unique, its adventurous, its comfortable, its beautiful and offers a different perspective to the city that you will end up exploring.