Mia means ‘sugarcane’ and stays at Mia Resort sure are sweet, thanks to the private beach, excellent restaurant and romantic rooms set on sand or cliffs. In the peaceful spa, guests are rubbed with coconut oil or coffee grains; if you want to explore, a free shuttle service deposits guests in nearby Nha Trang.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival; a 15-minute massage on arrival; return transfers from the city centre and a snorkelling lesson in the resort's swimming pool (Tues-Fri)
Noon; earliest check-in, 2pm. (For the five-bedroom villa, check in after 3pm and out before 11am.)
Double rooms from £157.35 (VND4,726,000), including tax at 15 per cent.
Rates include breakfast (choose from buffet options at Sandals restaurant, à la carte in Mojito’s bar, or in bed). For five-bedroom villa bookings, a US$530 damage deposit will be taken at check in.
Ask staff to arrange a picnic for you: your hamper will be groaning with sandwiches, cupcakes, a cheeseboard and a carafe of fruit juice. Take your haul to the garden, the beach or your bedroom. Just be sure to book it two hours ahead.
At the hotel
Beach, gardens, spa. In-room: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, WiFi, minibar, bathrobes, slippers, a fruit basket, Vietnamese coffee, tea and Thann bath products.
Our favourite rooms
For the best views of the bunch (and a private infinity pool that will have you throwing off your clothes and hopping into swimwear), book a Cliff Villa. Courting couples seeking seclusion will love the villas’ privacy (their distance from the beach, pool and restaurant may be less of an attraction for families); Villa 512 is the most remote, and therefore our antisocial favourite. Ocean View Condos are just a more dollars daily than the Garden Views; the uninterrupted sea views are well worth the upgrade.
Bathing bookworms will love the glittering turquoise pool, overlooked by Nha Trang Mountains, flanked by sun loungers, palm trees and cabanas, and equipped with a mini-library of novels for guests to borrow. The pool is right by the beach and restaurant, so you can hop from one to the other.
Don’t get bruises bringing your surfboard: the hotel has a little shop in the lobby, which caters to all your nautical needs. You can also pick up gifts and souvenirs for the folks back home.
Little Smiths will lose their hearts to the private beach and restaurant, where the young-at-heart menu includes ‘fisherman’s’ fish and chips, ice-cream, juices and milkshakes. Babysitting can be arranged from VND250,000 an hour; extra beds can be added.
Who doesn’t like a meal that comes with lantern light and a soundtrack of crashing waves? For both the above, sit out on the terrace: it’s dangerously romantic, come sunset: Smiths might find themselves spouting proposals (indecent or otherwise).
Mermaid/merman washed up on dry land: shots of aqua; light linen layers; wooden jewellery.
Recognising that sunbathing and sea-frolicking are hungry work, the hotel has an excellent beachside restaurant, Sandals, where guests can enjoy succulent seafood and refreshing fruity drinks/ice-cold alcohol. Different nights of the week are dedicated to different dishes: Monday honours pasta; on Wednesday there’s a Vietnamese buffet (with Vietnamese liquor for the brave/foolish); Friday is pizza night and on Saturdays, there’s a barbecue.
Fan of mojitos? You’ll be a fan of Mojitos, which served at least eight varieties, last time we counted (if we got our figures wrong, it’s the rum’s fault). Sip your way through ginger, whatijo (watermelon), lemongrass and lychee varieties, flavoured with fresh green sugarcane and rum from local islands. Wine-lovers will also be kept well lubricated, thanks to the Beachhouse South African collection that the hotel serves. The bar boasts all the charms you’d expect from a beachside drinking den: airy interiors, chill-out tracks playing softly in the background and dazzling views.
The set-up is relaxed: breakfast is served from 7am until 10am; anything else can be eaten from 10am until 1am.
Just reading the room service menu could take you from 7am until 1am (which is when treats can be brought to your room): the generous selection includes salads, burgers, wraps and pizzas, as well as Vietnamese options such as pho and spring rolls.
Mia Nha Trang is set on a private bay under the road that loops around the coast and leads from the airport to Nha Trang. Don’t worry about revving motors; you’re more likely to be aware of the crashing waves.
The closest airport is Cam Ranh International, 15 km away (www.nhatrangairport.com). Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific offer regular scheduled flights to and from Nha Trang (Cam Ranh) airport. Hotel transfers cost VND138,000 a person, each way.
Nha Trang station, 25km away (a half-hour drive), is a stop on the main railway-line connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (https://vietnam-railway.com). The Reunification Express (www.vr.com.vn) connects the north and south of the country with Nha Trang en route. Nightly sleeper berths are available to and from Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi – first class with air-con is really the only way to go.
Nha Trang city is a 20-minute drive away. Witnessing the traffic on the coastal highway, you’ll be relieved that self-drive is unavailable for visitors. Organising a car with a driver through the hotel is a more relaxing option.
Worth getting out of bed for
This is the kind of place where you can quite happily flop around all day doing diddly squit, or spend the day getting to grips with aquatic adventures: snorkelling at either end of the beach, where coral grows near the rocks and gem-coloured fish flit away happily; paddle boarding or kayaking, or simply borrowing a lilo and floating on the waves, working on your tan. Take part in free yoga sessions on the beach on Saturday afternoons (or a private class, for an extra charge). Staff can also arrange scuba diving sessions with experts. The hotel has a free shuttle service to nearby Nha Trang which makes three return journeys daily. Nha Trang is a buzzing town with vibrant nightlife, high-rise hotels and some excellent eateries, if you tire of what’s on Mia’s beachy doorstep (unlikely). You can hire a motorbike in Nha Trang and explore the local markets and beaches on two wheels, or even venture to the hot springs. Boat trips can be organised from Nha Trang by the hotel. Adults can take part in cookery classes run by the hotel. The advanced class is well worth opting for: guests start early with a trip to the local market for an iced coffee amid the locals and the chance to pick out ingredients from the street vendors. If you opt for this class, an apron and Mia cookbook is included in the cost. Sports fiends can also ask staff to point them in the direction of the nearest tennis courts, gym and golf course. Lovebirds: wander beyond the Cliff Villas and you’ll stumble across a secluded spot designed with trysts in mind: a sweet swing for two that faces the ocean. Keep this on the quiet, mind, nobody seems to know that it’s there…
Really, there are three restaurants at Sailing Club (+84 (0)58 352 4628; www.sailingclubvienam.com), covering Vietnamese, French, Italian, Indian and just about every point in between (the seafood is excellent). It’s the perfect spot for the indecisive diner. The stunning beachfront locale (72-74 Tran Phu street) makes it the place for a long lunch that turns into a sundowner. It shares owners with Mia, so you can expect quality. Mr Smith will be itching to drop by Louisiane Brewhouse (+84 (0)58 352 2259; www.louisianebrewhouse.com.vn), a legendary microbrewery at 29 Tran Phu Boulevard, with its ‘tasting platter’ of dark, amber, wheat and pilsener varieties. It’s also right on the beach and has a swimming pool. Oh yes, the food... There is a generous selection of international plates, plus some authentic Vietnamese as evidenced by the sheer number of locals here. Lac Canh (+84 (0)58 382 1391) on 44 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street is a Nha Trang institution: the Vietnamese come in their hordes to enjoy this establishment’s tabletop barbecue. Lobster, beef, prawns and squid all go one and you get to choose whether it comes off rare or well done.
Same Same But Different Café (+84 (0)58 352 4079) at gets the thumbs-up from travellers for breakfast, especially for those hankering for muesli, pancakes and other tastes from home.
As lounge-y as it gets in Nha Trang, Guava (+84 (0)58 382 6528) on 17 Biet Thu Street is a hip hangout with chill-out chairs and a lengthy cocktail list worthy of thorough investigation. If you like what you see, there’s a newer, bigger Guava around the corner run by the same folks.
‘OMG. Dad, you have to come and see this’. I was dragged from our stately four-poster by my Instagram-crazy, 15-year old daughter and led by the hand to the private infinity pool at the back of our suite. Even I had to admit that the view was pretty special: far out over the South China Sea and round an immaculate white-sand cove.
It’s not a bad start to this Smith family’s three-night escape at Mia Resort in Vietnam’s Nha Trang, and it’s a welcome respite after enduring a 10-hour train marathon yesterday, riding down the coast from historic Hoi An in ‘soft seat’ splendour aboard an aged workhorse of the Reunification Express. Express in name only, the family had agreed. So the local speciality – nuoc mia sugarcane juice – and light pudding we had been graciously offered on arrival at the hotel late the night before was especially welcome. We gulped them down in the cool splendour of Mia Resort’s reception area, open to the black starry sky, calmly watched over at a 45-degree angle by a seated Buddha.
A rather less serene topless Buddha with 16 arms greeted us over breakfast in the Sandals Restaurant, smiling placidly over the juice bar. We went Asian fusion, mixing maki rolls and wasabi with my new favourite dish, Vietnamese pho beef broth, together with eggs Norwegian and Nutella-slathered crêpes. All washed down with dragon fruit juice and the best cappuccino I had tasted east of Italy.
The bathroom is the most important part of any hotel for me, and la Mia didn't disappoint. But, I was left with a major challenge: which way to cleanse? A sunken marble bath tub so large I could almost do lengths, furnished with a prickly loofah and green-stone crystal bath salts? Or one of our pair of outdoor showers? Each with a modesty-protecting shield of bamboo trees and a sneaky door direct to our private pool, the banks of which were dotted with lounging blue-headed lizards? I wondered: could preprandial mojitos be delivered here?
Before hitting the harder stuff, green tea was the order of the day in the Xanh Spa, where Mrs Smith had convinced me to join her for the couple’s signature experience. So while young Master and Ms Smith gingerly tried their first facial massages – ticklish, but relaxing, we were later told – Mrs Smith and I were put into the care of two young Vietnamese women – with expert fingers – to guide us through our spa escapade. Stage one was being smothered head to toe in dark chocolate, good enough to lick, then wrapped in plastic and temporarily abandoned. With hot aromatic towels over my eyes, coupled with the masseuses’ lack of English, I had little idea what was coming next. Only a stifled giggle from Mrs Smith on the adjacent bed alerted me to the next new sensation. Our bodies were pummelled, scrubbed and soothed through the subsequent chapters of our adventure: a full-body massage and a sea-salt facial scrub finale.
As night was soon to fall, Mrs and Ms Smith scrambled over shallow rocks to reach the sea. After their escapade, we stayed by the beach for dinner, where a full moon, aided by an old-school paraffin lamp, provided all the light needed for us to peruse the menu. Feeling adventurous, Mrs Smith chose a meringue-based salmon dish, while the rest of the family selected more mainstream tuna sashimi, steak and meaty sandwiches. A Vietnamese jelly-and-fruit combo, served inside a coconut atop a banana leaf, was the dessert highlight.
The next morning, we decided it was time for some beach action. A blue flag fluttered in the southerly breeze, which we soon discovered meant that a summer storm was approaching, with heavy swell and strong foamy breakers. My 17-year-old son and I paddled out to the furthest possible point, marked by bamboo buoys, before we all retired to the relative safety of the resort’s main pool for free scuba lessons beneath the pineapple palms.
The pool, with overflowing Grecian urns marking out an area for the young to play in, was surrounded by immaculately manicured turf and trimmings, worthy of the world’s best golf courses, pruned by a team of gardeners sporting conical nón lá hats. I enjoyed the surreal show of them mowing the eco-friendly green roofs. They smiled as we mangled the complex intonation of the few Vietnamese words we’d learnt: cam on (thank you).
On our final night we’d planned to be adventurous and explore nearby party town Nha Trang. But Mia had us firmly under her spell, so we tried La Baia, her hideaway Italian restaurant. We walked around the coast from our suite to the far end of the resort. Along the way, we discovered tennis and basketball courts and a barn full of guest bikes. For dinner, we mixed and matched pizza with excellent local sea bass from the buffet. We had been offered the chance to host a private dinner on the beach, with a sizzling Vietnamese barbecue lit by four flaming torches around a linen-clad table. Too late for us to arrange on this trip, but the best possible excuse to return. Very soon.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Mia Resort’s Guestbook below.
The ground of Mia Resort was very nicely designed, put together and maintained. The setting of the resort is perfect for people who look for a relaxing few days at the resort, be it lounging lazily, sunbathing, watching the ocean and sunset or having some water sports to keep the body fit and in action. The room has almost everything that you need for a resort holiday. The amentities are well chosen and you dont need to be scared of using something then get you skin dried up and irritated.
One area that I have to pick which was less perfect is the food within the resort. The dishes are okay in general but not something that you would finish and want another dish of it. Amongst all, pizza, fried calamari and dessert are of better choice if you are hungry. Juice is always nice to have. The pho and banh mi are average. Certainly have room for improvement.