Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort is the original beach resort in Hoi An and is situated on Cua Dai Beach just outside of the UNESCO heritage old town. Expect ever present ocean views especially if you opt for one of the Ocean Front Deluxe rooms, where you’ll wake up to the ocean panorama and the sound of crashing waves.
Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
The vista is complete with clear views of the historically important Cham Islands (also part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) offering a truly beautiful backdrop to the resort.
Lanterns hang in trees outside and in the airy reception area, a reminder that Hoi An, famous for it’s lanterns, is only a stones throw away. For those wanting to visit the remarkable ancient town, there’s a regular free shuttle bus from the resort to the centre of town.
You’ll have a large pool to swim in; peaceful gardens containing coconut palms, tropical flowers, bonsai trees and lotus ponds and a spa to tempt you inside for a massage. What better way to relax than to book yourself a treatment in the spa where the expert therapists can pamper you with one of their signature massages?
But there’s more to Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort than just relaxing or lounging by the pool (as wonderful as this is), with complimentary Tai Chi Lessons for guests each afternoon (harder than it looks but give it a go), bicycles to use to explore the surrounding area and a range of daily excursions to keep you occupied.
We tried the motorcycle side-car tour where we cruised through the countryside surrounding Hoi An ancient town, stopping at a local village where they grow vegetables and herbs to take to market in town. This is a vegetable loving vegans dream tour, seeing the neat rows of lettuce and smelling all the fresh Vietnamese mint.
Rooms in the resort are classically designed with everything you might need during your stay from a comfortable bed to traditional Vietnamese hats to keep the sun off your head when you’re outside. Each night, housekeeping staff left us a little gift and even gave us our very own mini lanterns to take home with us.
But as great as a hotel and resort can be at getting all the usual things right, it can all fall apart quickly when a vegan guest arrives. Sometimes just wanting food made only from plants can cause a lot of confusion and difficulty but luckily (for us and for every other vegan traveller coming here) that’s not the case at Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort.
Even when we were checking in they were keen to show us the vegan menu they had prepared; this is the kind of thing that all food loving vegans want to be welcomed with.
The Vegan Food:
The breakfast options contained a good range of vegan options including soya milk, fresh fruit, fresh juices and a salad bar; there was also an interesting selection of homemade jam including papaya and vanilla, dragon fruit and banana and mango. Always nice to see a little something out of the ordinary.
We got to eat vegan sushi to our hearts desire, served with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy. This was one of our favourite breakfast options as it was wonderfully fresh, natural and healthy too.
There weren’t very many cooked options from the buffet suitable for vegans as they all seemed to have egg or meat in them, but the staff (who all spoke very good English) quickly went and whipped up some vegan food for us, serving us fried rice with vegetables, tofu and crushed peanuts or tofu and vegetable fried noodles.
For lunch and dinner, the regular menu at Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa already has a few vegan items on it but as we’d given a bit if extra notice about our stay, they had also prepared a vegan set menu for us. We thought it was a really welcoming thing to do but little did we know it would end up being amongst the best meals we had in Hoi An (and we ate some pretty amazing food during our month long stay).
Our first course was ‘banana flower salad, lotus salad and rice cracker’; which produced the most amazing smell from the crispy shallots. It floated upwards towards us when the dish was put on the table and we nearly dived straight in. If it weren’t for the pretty presentation making us stop and appreciate it all for a minute or two, then our first course would have been gone instantly.
When we did eat it though, the flavours were delicious; imagine lotus stems (they’re crunchy and juicy, a bit like a beansprout) tossed about with fresh Vietnamese mint and Coriander, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts and a sweet and tangy dressing, all topped with aromatic crispy shallots.
The banana flower salad had finely shredded banana flower (tastes a little like artichoke with a meaty texture), sliced onion and red cabbage with crushed peanuts and black pepper. Served with melt on the tongue rice crackers, there were some really enjoyable favours and textures going on,
When the soup arrived we were instantly impressed; soup served in a bread bowl has to be one of the world’s best inventions. We had a smooth and homely pumpkin soup inside a hollowed out nutty brown bread miniature loaf that was crusty on the outside but gooey soft with the pumpkin soup on the inside.
Oh. My. Word.
It’s hard to describe the satisfaction of eating soup this way, it was soothing, warming and just so delicious.
After that little pice of soup heaven, our main course arrived, a hearty portion of deep fried tofu, garlicky morning glory and steamed rice. The tofu had been cut into chunky triangles, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried; it was crunchy (not greasy) and the texture of the firm and juicy plain tofu inside was perfect (not sloppy, not rubbery, not crumbly). There were 3 sauces, a fresh sweet and sour, small pools of basil oil and a spicy chilli sauce to dip those crunchy tofu nuggets into.
The Vegan Essentials:
There were feather pillows on our bed when we arrived but a quick call to housekeeping got them replaced with vegan friendly synthetic pillows with no fuss.
The in room amenities were in environment friendly refillable containers so we are unsure of whether they are vegan so we happily used our own.
The spa had a range of vegan friendly treatments using natural plant based oils for massage. Our massages were professional and really very enjoyable with the therapists listening to our requests, using the scented oils that we chose and giving a very thorough treatment (highly recommended).
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Make a reservation at Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort and Spa for a relaxing beach break within striking distance of Hoi An, the popular UNESCO heritage site. Enjoy a good selection of vegan food at breakfast but do make time to eat a fabulous vegan lunch or dinner prepared especially for you.
Don’t forget to make the most of all the extras available, including one of those memorable motorcycle sidecar tours or a good quality massage for those wanting a little more relaxation.
We were guests of Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort
Cua Dai Street 1,
Telephone: + 84 8 6290 9720
Cost From: £80 / $120 per night (Oct 2015)