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Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

After a hectic weekend at Hong Kong Rugby 7s, Carolynne Dear flew the kids to Vietnam for a beach break

Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

Sunrise over the children's pool at Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa

At just over an hour’s flight from Chek Lap Kok, Da Nang on the east coast of Vietnam is an ideal holiday destination for Hong Kong families.

A short drive from Da Nang airport is a dreamy stretch of golden beach that runs from the city to the ancient, UNESCO Heritage town of Hoi An. The land adjacent to this run of sand has been snapped up by a plethora of international hotel brands, including Four Seasons, Sheraton, Radisson, Pullman and more. A huge block of land is currently undergoing development for a Mandarin Oriental property. In addition, there are multiple, elite golf courses.

We were heading to Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa, which occupies a midway point between Da Nang and Hoi An. It’s a family friendly resort and during our stay the property was populated with many pint-sized holidaymakers, eagerly enjoying the pool and sandy beach.

Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

Low-rise accommodation overlooks the main pool

The low-rise resort is beautifully designed with accommodation blocks surrounding the central pool area. Our rooms on the second floor had large balconies overlooking the pool and ocean. The rooms were spacious and included a generous couch in addition to the king size bed, a tub in the bathroom and a daybed as well as table and chairs on the covered balcony. 

The resort is located on pretty Non Nuoc beach, a powdery soft beach with - during our stay, at least - gentle rolling surf. There were plenty of paddling and castle-building opportunities for littlies and many children had hit the beach equipped with buckets and spades. There was also enough wave action for older children to try the resort’s body boards. Surf lessons for kids are also available on the beach and paddle boarding, body boarding and kayaking equipment is available free of charge.

Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

Perfect paddling conditions on Non Nuoc beach

Back at the resort, there are five pools in total, the main pool is well designed and includes river ways, bridges and even a little artificial beach with sloping pool access for toddlers who maybe don’t want to head down to the ocean. There’s also a water slide (height restrictions apply) and plenty of swimmable areas for adults. The landscaping has been beautifully achieved; fragrant frangipani trees dot the pool area and beds of tropical flowers add pops of colour. If you fancy a little quiet, there’s an adults-only lap pool adjacent to the fitness centre.

Further facilities include Camp Hyatt which is available for four to 12 year olds, with a raft of fun activities to keep kids entertained. The camp is open from 8am to 6pm and resort guests are offered two complimentary hours a day. Additional babysitting is available on request.

There are day trips and activities available at extra charge - I was tempted by a trip to the ancient former capital of Hue, but in the end we didn’t have time. Having spent a couple of days relaxing with the kids on the beach as they recovered from a busy spring term at school, we eventually roused ourselves from our sun loungers to explore Hoi An on day three.

Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

There are five pools at the resort

The Old Town of Hoi An is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a major tourist attraction. Hyatt Regency is around a 30-minute drive from Hoi An, the resort offers a limited shuttle service but we found it easier to order a Grab taxi, which cost around HK$100 each way. 

Hoi An boasts more than 2,000 years of history and its Old Town, unusually for Vietnam, has been largely preserved. Pretty Chinese-style shophouses and winding lanes are brought vibrantly to life as dusk falls with thousands of colourful lanterns. The streets are crammed with market stalls selling all manner of tourist trinkets, homewares, leather goods and food. You can feast on delicious banh mi (warm, crispy Vietnamese baguettes stuffed with cheese or chicken and heaps of fresh herbs) for as little as US$1, or freshly made sweet coconut and mango buns. Restaurants spill onto pavements and line the riverside.

We ate at the infamous Morning Glory restaurant and enjoyed plates filled with Hoi An chicken, fragrant pho and herb-stuffed spring rolls. Morning Glory (and other restaurants in Hoi An) also offers cooking classes, which we had experienced on a previous trip. They are huge fun but probably suitable for older children rather than youngsters.

Hoi An has also become something of a hotspot for tailoring. Tailor shops can be found on every corner. We took the plunge with one of my daughter’s having a school suit made and another a cheongsam for a special occasion this summer. Both were beautifully cut, fit like a glove and were well worth the effort of heading into Hoi An on consecutive days for fittings. The initial pieces were put together in less than 24 hours, when we returned for the first fitting. Fortunately only minor adjustments needed to be made and the final garments were delivered to our hotel on the following day. If you’re interested in having tailoring work, it is a commitment heading in and out of Hoi An, so remember factor this time into your trip.

Family fun at Hyatt Regency Danang

Dining beneath the lanterns in pretty Hoi An

As well as Hoi An’s plentiful restaurants, we also enjoyed dining at the Hyatt Regency’s three dining spaces. Osteria al Mare hosted an Italian buffet night by the pool one evening (with heaps of pasta options that would please the pickiest of kids) and we also ate far too much at Vive Oceane’s Vietnamese Night, filling our plates with fresh spring rolls, Vietnamese pancakes, wok-fried pork and chicken and barbecued seafood. On another evening we took an ocean facing table at the Pool House and drank cocktails listening to the DJ spin tunes as the waves crashed onto the beach.

A buffet breakfast was served at all three restaurants between 7 and 10am each morning. The buffet breakfast is a highlight for our children and the offering at Hyatt Regency Danang certainly didn’t disappoint, with banh mi stations, a Vietnamese coffee bar and a DIY avocado toast counter which was a hit with our health-conscious teens. Of course there was also the expected egg station, cold and hot buffets and plenty of fresh fruit and juices (unfortunately the ‘Kids’ Corner’ was a disappointing plate of cupcakes and marshmallows on sticks).

As a short break destination, Da Nang is hard to beat. Flights from Hong Kong run frequently (both HK Express and Vietjet fly a Da Nang service). We flew mid-afternoon with HK Express and by dinnertime we were relaxing with a G&T by the pool.

The weather during our stay was perfect, hot but not humid and with a cooling breeze on most days. The recommended times to stay in Da Nang are between February and May when rainfall and humidity are at their lowest.

Carolynne Dear flew with HK Express and stayed for five nights in King Bed Ocean View rooms, Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa.

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