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Hotel Highlights

  • Fab freestanding villas where Vietnamese chic meets cutting-edge design
  • Three sexy swimming pools, including a beachfront infinity pool, and a serene spa
  • More than a kilometre of come-hither China Beach for you to comb


As much an icon as its legendary location, China Beach boutique hotel The Nam Hai is a spa-equipped designer escape that has become a destination in itself. Beside the South China Sea, between the cultural hubs of Hoi An and Hué, the imperial influence is evident in its opulent-yet-zen ocean-view villas.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Nam Hai with us:

A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival


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The Nam Hai – Hoi An – Vietnam

Need To Know


100 villas, including 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas each with one to five bedrooms.


Noon, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm, unless rooms become free earlier.


Double rooms from $670.00, excluding tax at 15.5 per cent.

More details

Breakfast is extra at US$28 for adults or US$14 for children under 12.


Heaven for sun lizards, the Nam Hai languishes on a pristine stretch of sand on China Beach. Just 8km down the road awaits the seductive charms of Hoi An. Wander the streets and spot kaleidoscopic influences from global traders who have made their home here. Golf fans can tee off at two-star courses nearby.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, health centre, yoga pavilion, tennis courts, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen cable TV, Bose sound system, multimedia player with preloaded movies, iPod dock, Panpuri toiletries, minibar, espresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

All designer dens are truly Zenic with romantic net-canopied platform beds flanked by divans and freestanding eggshell-lacquered baths opening up to private gardens and outdoor rain showers. The Beachfront Villas are particularly alluring thanks to instant access to China Beach and sexy sea views. 4010 and 4020 are closest to the infinity pool; 4030 is just one villa back from the waves, so is a cheap answer to the Beachfront Villa.


The temperature-controlled upper pool features artsy ceramic urns on plinths. Dropping down a level is a long, narrow lap pool for serious swimmers. Finally comes the definitive infinity pool blending into the ocean horizon.

Packing tips

Bring your favourite clothes, particularly retro numbers you can’t find in the shops anymore, as Hoi An is the unofficial tailoring capital of Vietnam. Getting designer threads skillfully recreated is a cinch.


Guests staying in any of the Pool Villas enjoy Club Benefits, including free airport and local town transfers, butler service, free minibar items, daily breakfast, in-room afternoon tea and complimentary pre-dinner drinks and snacks.


Kids are welcome and will enjoy the pool villas if money is no object. Baby cots are free; extra beds cost US$35 a night. You can also convert the sofa to a bed for US$60 in a villa or US$120 in a pool villa.

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Food & Drink

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The Nam Hai – Hoi An – Vietnam

Hotel Restaurant

The Restaurant is another style icon. Mod international cuisine complements the delicious artistically presented Vietnamese dishes. The Beach Restaurant is perfect for a lazy lunch by the pool.

Hotel Bar

The Bar sits atop the restaurant and the outdoor terrace offers panoramic views over the pools. A sneaky insider trick is to order food at the bar terrace, as bar table E3 has the best views in the house.

Last orders

The main Restaurant is open for dinner from 6pm–10.30pm. During the day, the Beach Restaurant takes up the slack and serves lunches and light bites from 11am-5.30pm.

Room service

Available from 6am to 10.30pm, with a more limited night menu from 11pm to 6am.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Don’t forget the designer wear as this place is mode to the max.

Top table

Settle outdoors on a balmy night and try to score E4, a table with both pool and beach views. On honeymoon? Request a private gazebo for a beach barbecue. It'll work wonders for proposals, too.

Local Guide

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The Nam Hai – Hoi An – Vietnam
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Just eight kilometres down the road await the seductive charms of Hoi An, a Unesco-listed World Heritage Site. The twee architecture is like something out of a film set and indeed it was used for many of the most memorable scenes from The Quiet American starring Michael Caine. Wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere, spotting influences from a kaleidoscope of global traders who made their home here, including Chinese, Japanese, French, Portuguese and more. With shops and galleries, cafes and bars, it is easy to spend hours just exploring on a whim.

Local restaurants

Owner Duc Tran whips up some of most exciting contemporary cuisine in Central Vietnam at the Mango Rooms (+84 (0) 510 391 0839; 111 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street). Vivid colours and creative cocktails make this a fine place to pass an evening.

Local bars

As if by chance, located conveniently across the street from Mango Rooms, Tam Tam (+84 (0) 510 386 2212; 110 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street), is Hoi An’s longest running bar, set in an imposing French colonial trading house.

Local cafés

Completing a trio of neighbourhood joints, Cargo Club (+84 (0) 510 391 0489; 107 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street) is a five-star patisserie at one-star prices. It doubles as a restaurant and bar where Mr Smith once bumped into Sir Mick Jagger, but that’s a story for another time. 

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Iconic China Beach

The Nam Hai

Hamlet 1, Dien Duong Village, Dien Ban District, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province

The Nam Hai is located on Ha My Beach, a pristine stretch of sand on China Beach (aka Cua Dai Beach), about eight kilometres north of historic Hoi An, on the coast of Central Vietnam.


Fly into Danang International Airport, about 22 kilometres north of the Nam Hai.


Danang is a major stop on the Reunification Express ( connecting the north and south of the country, although the train will seem pretty uncivilised after the Nam Hai villas.


Self-drive is not an option, but it is possible to arrange a car with driver through a local travel agent.


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The Nam Hai – Hoi An – Vietnam

Anonymous review

by Trevor Hannam , Luxury marketing whizz

I wouldn’t want anything less than perfection for my blushing bride, but when we’re shown around our villa at the Nam Hai I do worry that Mrs Smith may have raised expectations about what her newly appointed husband might come up with for future romantic sojourns. We’ve been buggied from reception to our room by a friendly fellow with a wide grin (perhaps anticipating our reactio…
Read more

The Nam Hai

Anonymous review by Trevor Hannam, Luxury marketing whizz

I wouldn’t want anything less than perfection for my blushing bride, but when we’re shown around our villa at the Nam Hai I do worry that Mrs Smith may have raised expectations about what her newly appointed husband might come up with for future romantic sojourns. We’ve been buggied from reception to our room by a friendly fellow with a wide grin (perhaps anticipating our reaction upon arrival) and because we’re on our honeymoon, we’ve been upgraded to a One-Bedroom Beachfront Villa. ‘Welcome home!’ calls our driver, and as we enter, from the look on Mrs Smith’s face I can tell she is ready, willing and able to call this place home for now. And maybe for ever more.

Exquisite is the word that springs immediately to mind as we explore. Neutral tones abound, and opportunities for lounging surround us. A raised platform in the centre of the villa is draped with white muslin and houses our king-size bed, a sunken eggshell-lacquered bath tub faces an LCD TV screen, an iPod plays the chilled sounds of Café del Mar, and there’s a cosy lounge area for two. And then we find the bottle of Moët on ice and chocolate cake left for us in celebration of our recent nuptials.

Having arrived after sundown, the true splendour of our surroundings isn’t revealed until we wake at sunrise the next day. Sweeping aside the muslin drapes at the foot of our bed, we open the French doors and take in the vista – the South China Sea stretching out to the Cham Islands in the distance.

Honeymoons are renowned for certain activities, but perhaps not early starts. We decide to kick off our stay with a swim in the ocean followed by one of the daily yoga classes conducted in an open pavilion. Afterwards, it’s off to the restaurant, overlooking one of the three gorgeous pools – for tropical fruit and freshly cooked omelettes. Sated, Mrs Smith chooses our sunloungers and one of the ever-helpful Nam Hai staff immediately rolls out fresh towels and proffers chilled face flannels and water. It’s a ritual that will be repeated many times during our visit and by the end of our stay Mrs Smith has fulfilled her ambition to spend half a day beside each pool.

Extracting ourselves from the prone position, Mrs Smith and I take a table at the Beach Restaurant. You won’t need to stretch your imagination too far to imagine the scene: tables by one of the large pools, under a cloudless sky and overlooking the ocean. The food is simple and local and we enjoy a delicious lunch of grilled fish.

Apparently, according to Mrs Smith, no tropical holiday – in particular, no tropical honeymoon – is complete without some pampering in the spa.

Complete? We only just got here. But I am a willing participant in this relaxation game, and so dutifully follow. We are met with iced lemongrass and ginger tea and, after selecting a massage oil from a choice of five, are led to a treatment room set over a serenely beautiful reflection pond. The session kicks off with a foot therapy performed while we sip tea and stare into the water. The massage itself is divinely relaxing and we float back to our villa to sup on rum and soda and watch the sky turn pink as the sun goes down.

Filling your days at the Nam Hai isn’t too tricky, given the seemingly limitless distractions. For the activity-inclined, there are tennis courts, a gym, golf courses, organised beach volleyball games and trips to the Cham Islands just for starters. Having discovered the local cuisine and a taste for it, we enrol ourselves in another of the hotel’s offerings, a Vietnamese cooking class. Early in the morning we cycle into a local village with one of the resort’s chefs, who guides us around the market showing us the tropical fruits and inviting us to taste each one. He is full of energy and fun and it’s a great chance for us to experience a little slice of local life. On return to the Nam Hai, we are given time for a quick swim before we are led into one of the restaurant kitchens to cook up a feast of rice-paper rolls, banana flower salad and a rice noodle dish with scrumptious prawns and chicken covered with an aromatic broth.

If it doesn’t involve food or being horizontal though, Mrs Smith and I find it hard to muster much enthusiasm. We are here to relax, so opt for gentle yoga, much reading time, mojitos by the pool and as many spa treatments as the missus can squeeze into her busy schedule. In our more energetic moments we trundle into the beautiful nearby town of Hoi An, a Unesco World Heritage site. It’s the most charming place, packed with hawkers touting handmade shoes, clothing and jewellery. We visit delightful eateries or simply drink the locally brewed Biere Larue and watch the world go by.

When the end of our stay draws near we try to sum up our time here and wonder how we can ever describe this place to our family and friends. Mrs Smith says it reminds her of a movie setting that you can’t imagine could be anywhere near as amazing in real life. But Nam Hai is. From the beauty of the natural surrounds to the luxury of our room and the allure of the hotel itself, every detail of our time here has been meticulously considered by someone intent on making sure we have the most relaxing time of our lives. And to whomever that is, Mrs Smith and I say a big cam on (that’s Vietnamese for thank you).

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Nam Hai's Guestbook below.



Stayed on

We loved

I liked the spectacularly modern rooms, huge beach and excellent service.

Rating: 10/10 stars