Lunar New Year at Four Seasons The Nam Hai

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As of March 22, 2020, Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreign visitors (except for diplomats) until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This blog post serves as a reference for travel later in the future. Nonessential travel is not recommended at this time.

When I began to spend more time in Asia back in 2019, there were several destinations that immediately shot up to the top of my bucket list. Vietnam was one of them. Deciding where to go in Vietnam became a big question, since the country has so many wonderful cities and points of interest throughout. I couldn’t decide between a few spots, until suddenly I zeroed in on the riverside (and somewhat seaside) city of Hội An, which is less than an hour south of Da Nang. My beau had been to Hội An a few times, and he continually spoke highly of it.

We had originally thought of visiting Hội An in the autumn of 2019, but an opportunity then arose for us to visit in January 2020 during Lunar New Year, or Tết as it is known in Vietnam. Tết coincides with Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong, China, Korea, Laos, Singapore, and Thailand, making it an exciting time to visit. There was one place that was more than perfect for not just my first visit to Hội An and Vietnam, but also for my first Tết – The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai. Read through to learn more about the Lunar New Year celebrations at this amazing resort.

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Getting There

We flew on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong into Da Nang airport on a flight that lasted just under 90 minutes gate to gate. If you’re traveling in from outside Vietnam and you cannot fly into Da Nang airport directly, I highly recommend connecting in Hong Kong.

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Getting To The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai provides a comfortable, luxurious car service to and from the airport with fresh water, AC, and assistance with luggage. The drive to the hotel is about 20 minutes south and provides a wonderful glimpse of Da Nang.

The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai

Located on a private stretch of the beautiful Ha My Beach, the all villa The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a stunning home away from home while taking in the beauties and wonders of Hội An. About a 20 minute drive from the main sights of Hội An, The Four Seasons resort is also close to the the Tra Que vegetable village, the Phuoc Hai fishing town, the imperial city of Hue, and the temple sanctuary of My Son. From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a warm, welcoming team who were eager to get us settled as soon as possible. As we climbed up the steps to the half indoor, half outdoor lobby area, we had an uninterrupted view of the ocean down the Four Seasons’s pools, which were flanked by beautiful red lanterns in preparation for Tết. We were then escorted to a golf cart waiting for us, and we were driven to our one-bedroom villa, driving past picturesque villas with white stone walls for privacy and tall palm trees that provide cool shade from the warm sun.

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Our One Bedroom Villa

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About Our One-Bedroom Villa

The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is an all-villa resort, with villas ranging from one-bedroom oceanview villas to five-bedroom beachfront villas, the resort is the perfect spot for a private, romantic getaway or a getaway for the whole family.

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About Our One-Bedroom Villa

We stayed in a one-bedroom oceanview villa, which means from the private outdoor terrace and the large king bed we had a gorgeous view of the beach and ocean. The villa also boasts a large outdoor shower, which is completely private and out of view from other nearby villas.

The next time we visit The Four Seasons The Nam Hai, we will need to try their One-Bedroom Pool Villa, which is exactly what it sounds like – a one-bedroom villa with its own private pool!

Indulging in Vietnamese Cuisine

The Four Seasons The Nam Hai boasts two restaurants – Cafe Nam Hai and Lá Sen, plus in-suite dining and poolside dining. For breakfast, we enjoyed in-suite dining one morning and Cafe Nam Hai on our second morning. Cafe Nam Hai has Vietnamese specialties and other popular morning dishes found around Asia, but also Western specialties for breakfast, so there is something for everyone. For our final night at The Four Seasons, we dined at Cafe Nam Hai for their Grand Tết Barbecue Buffet where we indulged on special Vietnamese dishes such as Nem Lụi Huế (ground meat skewered with lemongrass) and Nha Trang lobster.

For lunch and dinner on our first night, we had memorable meals at Lá Sen, where we dined outdoors on their beachside terrace overlooking the ocean underneath giant, swaying palm trees. Serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine, their menus also offer twists on other classics such as burgers and pasta. At Lunar New Year, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with swinging red lanterns, and on Lunar New Year eve, the restaurant hosts a special dinner complete with local dishes such as Hội An chicken and five color Tết rice. To keep the party going, you can try your luck at the traditional bamboo stick dance Múa Sạp before ending your meal with a kumquat sorbet.

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A Romantic Dining Experience

In 2020, Lunar New Year fell right after my beau’s birthday. Since he had been away for work during his birthday, I still wanted to surprise him with something special in Vietnam to mark the occasion. The Four Seasons The Nam Hai offers a super private, romantic barbecue dinner on the beach for two people (*ahem* it’s perfect for proposals too…. I’m just saying, ladies).

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A Romantic Dining Experience

Surrounded by swaying lanterns in the wind and a beach all to ourselves with a front row view of the ocean, the setting could not have been more romantic. We timed our dinner to begin just before sunset so we could watch the colors on the horizon change and reflect on the ocean as the sun went down.

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A Romantic Dining Experience

A multi-course custom menu was created for us by the chef, who cooked us dishes that revolved around my many allergies and dietary restrictions but were filled with Vietnamese twists and flavors. Between each course, we sipped delicious red wine from Napa Valley as the stars came out to play. Dining by candlelight and lanterns on the beach could not have been more romantic or perfect.

Romantic Ao Dai

Custom Ao Dai ( sold out; also love this one, this one, and this one), 14 Quatorze headpiece

A Rejuvenating Spa Day

Set beside the water amongst lily pads and underneath towering palm trees, the Four Seasons spa is an escape within an escape. There is no spa building… all treatment rooms are in little villas over the water so there’s no chance of coming in contact with anyone else during your treatment. The experience is immensely private and also one-of-a-kind, as I can say I have never had a spa quite experience this before. I chose the Nam Hai Earth Song treatment (Signature Ritual) for my spa day, which is a 2 hour treatment meant to transport you to a relaxing and rejuvenating mental space with Vietnamese culture entwined in your experience.

The treatment began with a calming moment of zen on the deck by the water of my own private treatment villa, with the smoke from sustainable Hội An agarwood cleansing me mentally and emotionally. I was then asked to write a wish and to place it in the water before being escorted into my treatment villa, where my therapist began a Vietnamese body scrub featuring herbs from The Four Seasons’s own farm. After my body scrub, I was brought back to the deck where a beautiful rose petal and fresh lemongrass-filled bath in the sun awaited me. The curtains blew gently in the wind as I soaked in one of the most relaxing baths I have ever taken. After a 10 minute soak, I was brought back into my treatment villa for a 90-minute deep pressure massage. To say I was relaxed was an understatement.

Other Activities at The Four Seasons

Besides the spa and magnificent dining, there are several other wonderful activities to keep you busy at The Four Seasons The Nam Hai. Each villa is provided with a bike, allowing you the opportunity to bike around the resort on several bike-friendly paths. Since I was recovering from a broken tedon in my left foot, I wasn’t able to ride the bike but we saw plenty of guests riding bikes to and from their villa to the restaurant or spa.

If the water is more catered to your style, there are plenty of water sports available at the resort. The ocean waters are calm along Ha My Beach (which has been rated one of the best beaches in the world), making them perfect for jet-skiing or windsurfing.

The Four Seasons has three tiers of infinity pools, with the uppermost heated pool perfect for families, and the lower two pools reserved for guests over 16 years of age. Even in January, Vietnam is quite warm, so a refreshing dip in the pool was called for several times during our visit. It was on this trip that I discovered my love for fresh coconut as I sipped delicious coconut water by the pool (I kept asking for more!), and I also discovered my love for Bánh mì. Bánh mì is a delicious Vietnamese sandwich stuffed with chicken or beef (or other meat), sweet and tangy vegetables, and Vietnamese pickles inside deliciously airy baguettes.

Speaking of food, if you can’t get enough of Vietnamese cuisine, then consider spending a few hours at The Nam Hai Cooking Academy. Learn to cook mouth watering, authentic Vietnamese dishes with the resident chef and the freshest ingredients from the garden before indulging in your freshly cooked dishes for lunch or dinner.