Stay for: the refreshingly unmanicured grounds with an abundance of tropical flowers and foliage, the comfortable rooms, the pool and the Ancient House itself. And the Vietnamese food in the restaurant (like the bo la lot – beef wrapped in leaves and grilled, yum!).
Hoi An is definitely beautiful, despite its sometimes overwhelming number of tailor shops and traipsing tour groups. The mix of architecture is stunning and you can’t help being captivated by the colourful lanterns adorning the restored shopfronts, and of course, succumbing to a bit of retail lure. The choice of hotels is also quite overwhelming, and we manage to never stay in the same place twice.
On our last trip to Hoi An we stayed in a character filled hotel called Ancient House. A family-run hotel, they have a house on the grounds where they make rice paper using traditional methods (with extended family also living there). You can wander in and see them at work and witness the rice paper rolls drying on racks in the sun. The family even invited us in for a chat in their lounge room!
Not for: the location – it was a little too far out of the centre of the old town to walk so we took a taxi there and back, which kind of put a dampener on the small town/walking around thing. But without a baby or little kids in tow you could cycle or take a motorbike.