From hilltop hideaways to beachside boutiques, city centre stop-offs to sustainable havens, Vietnam has hundreds of small resorts catering to travellers who like to see the character and individuality of the country up close, and leave a light footprint on the landscape. We’ve whittled it down to our favourite fifteen boutique hotels and eco lodges in Vietnam that stand out from the crowd...
Mango Bay on the idyllic island of Phu Quoc is a rustic, eco-friendly hotel with a boutique style where travellers can relax in comfort and enjoy the unspoilt southern beaches. Several members of the Selective Asia team have loved spending their holidays here, sipping something cool and listening to the waves crash against the shore...
Mu Cang Chai Eco Lodge is set in a peaceful agricultural landscape off the tourist trail. This sustainable resort gives visitors an authentic taste of life in this rural, northern region of Vietnam, and contributes to the local economy by employing staff from the surrounding villages. Returning to the warm glow of lamplight through the lodge windows after a day exploring Sapa is a wonderful feeling.
Villa Song, on the banks of the Saigon River, offers visitors to Ho Chi Minh City easy access to the city without having to stay in the middle of the 24/7 rush. Relax in comfort by the secluded pool and watch life go by on the river, then, when you’re ready to see the sights, take a 15 minute boat ride straight into District 3 and avoid all the traffic!
Mai Chau Eco Lodge, in a bucolic valley in Vietnam’s rural north, has an impressive natural setting away from tourists, and a real sense of place. Built from locally-sourced, natural materials, the bungalows blend in beautifully with the backdrop of lush rice fields and misty hills, which you can spend hours gazing at from the privacy of your spacious verandah.
Poulo Condor Boutique Resort on the impossibly perfect southern island of Con Dao, is a laid-back alternative to the ultra swish Six Senses. With its vintage decor, infinity pool surrounded by the jungle, and blissful spa, away from any hint of urban bustle, this is somewhere to turn off the tech and tune into the island’s slower rhythms.
Nam Bo Boutique Hotel is what instantly springs to mind when you think of a mid-town boutique - an elegant colonial-style building on a busy corner, with cosy suites and a rooftop restaurant that has panoramic views over the riverside. Perfectly placed for exploring the canals and floating markets around Can Tho.
Blurring the lines between tented camp and eco-lodge, these raised canvas-covered chalets at Lak are little pods of serenity with cosy balconies that look out over the lake. The larger bungalows take the luxury up a notch and have lower floors with panoramic glass walls where, with no danger of being overlooked, you can lay back in a freestanding bathtub and gaze out through the trees…
Cat Tien Jungle Lodge is just a couple of hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City, but a world away from its non-top metropolitan energy, and the perfect spot for getting back to nature. The suites are chic and modern, flooded with natural light and powered by solar and wind energy which keeps the resort’s footprint low. A refreshing, simple base for exploring Cat Tien National Park.
La Siesta Classic, in the centre of Hanoi, is a solid, stylish choice from a dependable brand - just what you want to return to after sightseeing in Vietnam’s cutting edge capital. It’s neat and compact, serving up mid-city luxury in miniature, with a family friendly vibe and a warm personality.
Cham Villas brings a little low-key luxury to the postcard perfect beachside beauty of Mui Ne’s busy fishing harbour. Enjoy the gentle bustle of this industrious town, then wander back through the resort’s compact, well-tended gardens to the beach where you can while away the days as your cares are carried away on the tide...
Vinh Hung 1 Heritage Hotel is a small heritage boutique full of character and culture. We love finding properties like this - ones with their own story and plenty of personality, which also tick all the boxes for quality service and an excellent location. Meander through Hoi An Ancient Town, soaking up the rich history, and head back to the sanctuary of the hotel when you want a little more tranquility.
Mia Mui Ne, also known as the Sailing Club Resort, is almost next door to Cham Villas, and even closer to the sea - the sand stretches right up to the doorstep of the beachfront bungalows. If your idea of the ideal coastal boutique is rolling out of bed and straight onto a lounger, with the option to get active out on the water or chill out even further with a spa treatment as the mood takes you, this is the place for you.
Topas Eco Lodge sits high above the rice terraces of Sapa’s lush northern hills. When the mists roll in, it feels like you’re floating in a cloud, as far from the comings and goings of busy city life as you can get. Explore the gorgeous countryside, then head back to the hotel to sink into the heated infinity pool and let your mind wander.
Hue Eco Lodge is a handful of stark brick bungalows, softened by the thick tropical gardens that overflow into every space. Beside the Perfume River, and close to Hue’s sights, this resort has the perfect balance of uncomplicated comfort and sustainability. The laid back atmosphere makes it ideal for families taking some time out.
Matching true eco credentials with a feeling of luxury is a skill, and this resort has got it down to a T. The focus is on providing comfortable simplicity, and maximising the beauty and tranquility of the setting, which elevates a rather humble hotel to an uplifting boutique hideaway.