The Essence Hotel & Spa! If ever there was a hotel that deserved recognition, then it is this one. Located about 45 minutes from the airport via pick up service (arranged by the hotel), the Essence Hotel & Spa is situated in the heart of Hoi An, a ten minute walk from the magical Ancient Town.
The people of Vietnam are unfailingly courteous, a practice which extends to their business manner. As the cab pulled up to the hotel, the concierge took away our luggage, the manager greeted us with hot lavender towels and we were seated in the Lantern Cafe and handed complimentary mango and dragon fruit juice. The mood was calm and after days touring temples and enjoying the business of the city, the Essence allowed me to relax into a more rural yet sophisticated Vietnam.
As the calm washed over me, the manager re-approached and, with a smile, said the three greatest words I’ve ever heard; “You’ve been upgraded.”
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, accepting the Honeymoon Suite at absolutely no extra charge was the clear thing to do. I’d never been upgraded before so pushing the concierge towards the elevator seemed the only appropriate action.
Now, when I book a hotel, my main concern is the bath. It has to be big, it has to be bubbly and it has to be relaxing. The Essence’s bath was bigger than my studio in Hong Kong, almost, so a big plus for me. Added to this the fifteen jacuzzi nozzles and the open view of the rice terrace next to the hotel and you have a traveller who doesn’t plan to leave the bathroom for the whole trip.
The room came complete with CD player, CD’s, TV, DVD player, desk, laptop, robes, slippers, two sinks with all the toiletries imaginable and a lovely basket of fresh mangos and bananas replaced twice a day.
As with any hotel, the amenities or very important. The Essence boast a large, deep pool, gym, relaxation garden, spa and a spectacular breakfast buffet included in the price. Our second and last day there we sat around the pool, ordered food and drank milkshakes while playing in the cool waters and meandering around the secret garden.
The breakfast was out of this world with pastries, western options and a big table of Vietnamese options including pho (pha), rice, meats and veggies.
I truly cannot recommend this hotel enough! We were a little panicked about our second flight being cancelled as we had missed the first so we took the information to the lobby in the hopes that the staff could help us communicate better with the travel services. Instead, the staff took all of our information, demanded we sit around the pool and relax while they sorted everything for us! PARADISE!
I felt real sadness leaving this wonderful hotel and leaving the wonderful Hoi An as well. Anyone travelling here should definitely send me a message if you want any more information or, if you want to book the Essence, go to;