Visiting Hoi An and looking for a real “home away from home” experience while saving some money at the same time? You need not look further than one of Hoi An’s alluring Airbnbs. Depending on your budget and preferences, Hoi An’s Airbnbs have some pretty amazing properties with unique features on offer.

Hidden takes a closer look at how Airbnb operates here in Hoi An and how to improve your experience when renting an Airbnb. We at Hidden provide our top reasons for choosing to stay in an Airbnb in Hoi An and some great tips to improve your guest and travel experience, along with a few of our favourites finds to give you an idea of what’s on offer in this city.

May Villa: Airbnb in Hoi An
Hoi An’s Airbnbs have some pretty amazing properties with unique features on offer. Photo: Travis Hodges

Airbnb in Hoi An

If it is your first time visiting Vietnam, there are some notable differences in how Airbnb rentals are interpreted here compared to in the West. As with many parts of Asia, most of the places available for rent through Airbnb are not real homes. Instead, they are small, intimate hotels built on the site of a family house and usually referred to as “homestays.”

These units provide an additional source of income for many local families. Booking to stay with one of them means you have the pleasure of having local hosts during your stay while also supporting the local community.

So even if you don’t get to live in someone’s actual home, Airbnb is still your best bet in Hoi An when it comes to the “home away from home” experience. When you book a homestay, you have more opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture and have increased exposure to the daily life of the local Vietnamese.

Under The Coconut Tree Hostel: Airbnb in Hoi An
Airbnb in Hoi An takes many forms, from homestay to private villa. Photo: Antonia Lira

Our Top Five Reasons for Choosing an Airbnb

1. Live like a local, or even better, live with a local!

Airbnb is probably the best way to experience the local way of life in Hoi An. You’ll be living in a real neighbourhood, greeting the neighbours, visiting the local grocery store, and finding out where to get the best street food you have been dreaming about for days! You’ll actually get to see firsthand what life is really like in Vietnam. You cannot get that level of authenticity in a hotel—no matter how high its rating is.

For the ultimate, authentic stay, live with a local. Rent a spare room in someone’s home and don’t miss out on the opportunity for a genuine cultural exchange. The Vietnamese people are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world and will do everything in their power to make you feel part of their family. Sure a private room might be a little bit out of your comfort zone, but that is what makes it such a great adventure!

2. Have more space for less money

As in most cities around the world, Hoi An’s homestays usually offer better value than hotels as you get more space for less money. This could result in you having more travel money in your back pocket.

Hidden Hint: Want to save some extra cash? Sign up for an Airbnb account and get a 40 USD discount on your first stay, or invite people to join Airbnb and get 20 USD credit when they travel.

3. Enjoy the extra amenities

One of the most pleasant surprises when visiting Hoi An is the number of extra amenities that come with a homestay. In most cases, you’ll get breakfast, laundry, bicycle, or motorbike use for free. In addition to these, many hosts provide private swimming pools, hot tubs, ocean views, river patios, and gardens right in the heart of old city.

Annica Villa: Airbnb in Hoi An
Guests at Annica Villa. An Airbnb can feel much more like a home than a hotel. Photo: Courtesy of Annica Villa

4. Interact with your host and get some great tips on the local life

Airbnb hosts are usually people that wish to increase their income and enjoy meeting people from other countries. The vast majority of them will go that extra mile to make you feel at home. They enjoy giving you the local lowdown, sharing top insider tips on street food, restaurants, bars, sights, or transport, and warn you about common tourist traps. In a place as popular as Hoi An, this is really valuable information.

5. Support the local community

When you stay with an Airbnb host, you support the local community. By staying in real neighbourhoods with real families, you have a fantastic opportunity to experience their customs and daily life firsthand, all while contributing to the local economy.

When to Book

Looking for a homestay in Hoi An can be challenging as there are copious amounts on offer. This delightful little riverside town has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. Rooms in Hoi An fill up faster than ever before. In 2017, the city greeted 3.22 million tourists, which is up 21.6% from the previous year, with almost 1.45 million people staying overnight, occupying 51% of the city’s available rooms.

Hidden Hint: Accommodation in Hoi An fills up faster than you can say “Unesco World Heritage site.” If you are looking for cost-efficient accommodation that offers a unique experience, we advise that you book your Airbnb well in advance.

How to Choose the Right Airbnb

1. First, Ask Yourself: “Is Airbnb for Me?”

Airbnb is not for everyone and comes in many forms. Remember you will be staying in a home, not a hotel room. Space and amenities will, therefore, vary from place to place. If you are looking for consistency and standardised services (cleaning, breakfast etc.), or are in town for just one night, a hotel is probably a better, more hassle-free option for you. If you are a solo traveller, you might prefer the social atmosphere of a hostel.

However, if you are travelling with friends or family and could use the additional space, privacy, and authenticity, Airbnb could be just the right fit for you.

La Maison De La Mémoire 2: Airbnb in Hoi An
Personal touches like the stoked kitchen and honesty bar at La Maison de la Mémoire make an Airbnb feel more personal. Photo: Travis Hodges

2. Use Filters

This is the easiest way to set your standards while looking within your desired price range. The Airbnb platform gives you many options to choose from (bedrooms, amenities, facilities, host language, property type, etc.), so you can customise your search to meet your specific needs.

Hidden Hint: Turn the Superhost filter on. Superhosts are outstanding hosts who have been highly rated by previous guests. Staying with a Superhost could make all the difference to your trip.

3. Read the Reviews

We cannot stress this enough! The reviews will tell you if there are any concerns regarding the property or the host. The experience of fellow guests is the most valuable and reliable feedback you can get. If others have had an outstanding experience, then chances are you will, too.

4. Check if the Host has Other Listings

Beware: Hosts that have many listings on Airbnb are usually property or hotel managers that use the Airbnb platform to re-rent a property. These places typically lack the personal touch of a local host.

5. Message the Host

If you have any questions or concerns, then contact the host before booking. Keep talking to them until you decide that it’s a good fit for you.

6. Check House Rules

Most hosts have a few house rules for you to follow. Some will not welcome pets, while others may not allow parties or events. Make sure to read and understand these rules before booking.

7. Look for Weekly or Monthly Discounts

Sometimes, it is cheaper to book for seven days rather than five. Most hosts put on weekly or monthly discounts to attract long-term rentals. If you are considering staying close to a week or a month, make sure to check if booking for seven or 30 nights might be cheaper than your current rate.

Hidden Hint: Ask for a Special Offer! This feature on the host’s dashboard is one that most users don’t know about. If you have found your ideal Airbnb but is a little more expensive than you can afford, ask the host to make you a special offer. Some will be more than willing to drop the price, especially if you are staying with them for a longer period.

La Maison De La Mémoire 3: Airbnb in Hoi An
The outside seating area at La Maison de la Mémoire in Hoi An Old Town. Photo: Travis Hodges

How to Be a Good Airbnb Guest in Hoi An

Don’t forget that Airbnb guests get reviewed, too. Bad reviews might affect future host opportunities and many bad reviews may result in you eventually being removed from Airbnb’s system.

Here are a few things to follow to be a good guest:

• Treat your host’s home like it’s your own. Each host puts a lot of care into their home, so make sure to respect their space and their rules.
• Take off your shoes before entering the house.
• Turn off the air conditioner, TV, light, and water heater when you are not using it.
• Make sure to properly lock the property and secure windows before leaving, especially if you are visiting Hoi An during the raining season.
• Keep in mind that Hoi An is a rather quiet city. Make sure you do not disturb the neighbours, especially after 10:00 pm.
• Let your hosts know if you have any questions or issues during your stay.
• Read the house manual. You will either find it online, or it will be handed to you by your host. There is probably some valuable information in there for you, along with the host’s expectations of you during your stay.
• If you are going to stay with them for a while, ask if there is anything you can do for them, like water their plants.  
• Leave the place clean and tidy, and ask where to throw away the garbage.
• Smile! 🙂

Where to Stay – Our Top Airbnb Picks for All Budgets

Budget-Friendly

Facing the Rice Field – Face à la rizière

Location: Cam Thanh Guests: 2 – Rate/night: VND 667,000 VND (29 USD)

In the charming countryside of Cam Thanh, Jean opens up his home, welcoming you to his peaceful neighbourhood. This basic accommodation will offer you a unique Vietnamese countryside experience at an unbeatable price.

Face à La Rizière 1: Airbnb in Hoi An
The garden and yard at Face à la rizière in rural Hoi An. Photo: Travis Hodges

Jean’s lovely studio is located at the back of his spacious yard, right next to his house. Although it offers only the essentials, it is highly unlikely you will feel the need for anything else. You’ll wake up each morning to the sun peeking in from the curtains, and to the beautiful view of his colourful garden. Here, you can relax and enjoy some quiet time in the countryside, still just moments away from Hoi An’s busy centre. You can have your coffee on your private patio, or you are more than welcome to sit with Jean. He will be delighted to share the hidden gems of the countryside, stories from his daily life in Hoi An, popular Vietnamese customs, tips on the best markets nearby, and his favourite restaurants with you. He is also more than happy to open his art studio for you as well, so you can see his paintings, and while you’re there why not explore your artistic talents? If you are fortunate, his two stunning kittens may be around to let you pet them.

Cons

Quietness usually comes with a small price. Jean’s studio is situated approximately three kilometres away from the Ancient Town. If you don’t drive a scooter, you might find it a little difficult to get around. For visitors not fluent in English, Jean’s elegant French accent and slightly broken English might make it a little more challenging to communicate. Hidden found Jean and his studio genuine and incredibly inviting. Its uniqueness made us overlook these small imperfections.

Jean of Face à La Rizière
Jean in his art studio at Face à la rizière Airbnb. Photo: Travis Hodges

Luxury

Anicca Villa

Location: Cam SonGuests: 12 – Rate/night: from VND 9,315,000 VND (405 USD)

Anicca Villa is the place to stay if you really want to immerse yourself in luxury. This super high-end, private villa right on the riverside may make you wish you never had to leave—don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Pros

Anicca Villa is built on a 1,000 sqm. landscaped tropical garden and can comfortably welcome 12 guests in two separate houses. The main house is suitable for ten people and offers five bedrooms, a large pool, a fully equipped kitchen, four bathrooms, porches, patios, and terraces. The villa is built and decorated with great attention to detail, offering its guests many lovely corners to sit in and enjoy its relaxing views, either out towards the river, the garden, or the pool. The second property, a traditional wooden house with an outdoor kitchen and romantic private garden, can host two people and can be rented separately or along with the villa.

Annica Villa 2: Airbnb in Hoi An
The beautiful pool at Annica Villa, Hoi An. Photo: Courtesy of Annica Villa

Anicca is one of those villas that has been created to cater to people’s every need. What gives it life though are its people—Helena, the host, and Mrs Luong. Helena is from France and manages the property while the owners are away. Helena welcomes guests on arrival with her big smile and makes sure you have settled in comfortably. For the rest of your stay, you’ll be under the care of Mrs Luong. She is Vietnamese and stays in a separate house right next to the villa to attend to your every need. She prepares breakfast each morning, cleans the house for you, and arranges transportation and meals as necessary. In the case that you want your privacy, she will be just a buzz away.

Cons

We struggled to find a con for Anicca as it truly is a perfect villa. However, if we were to look really hard for one, it would be the privacy of the pool. Although the main house is rented with private pool access, the pool area is right next to the traditional wood house and quite visible from it. In the case the two houses are rented separately to different groups, the villa guests might feel a little exposed to their neighbours. However, after chatting with Helena, we found out that in such cases, most guests become friends and usually invite their neighbours over to enjoy the pool together.

Annica Villa 3: Airbnb in Hoi An
Annica Villa in Hoi An provides a truly luxurious setting to any holiday. Photo: Courtesy of Annica Villa

Hidden Gem

La Maison de la Mémoire Hoi An – Can Nha Xua

Address: Ancient TownRate/Night: VDN 955,225 VND (42 USD)

Hidden’s team loves this rare property nestled right in the heart of the Ancient Town. We think it is probably one of the most picturesque settlements you will come across in Hoi An. This fully renovated house manages to perfectly replicate the aesthetics of an ancient house, taking you back in time to a long forgone era.

Pros

The stunning two-storey house is carefully decorated with antique wooden furniture and offers a homely feel that most hotels lack. Guests can enjoy the comfortable living room, beautiful green terraces facing a narrow picturesque alley, the fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms, three cosy beds, and golden views of the Old Town’s ancient roofs.

La Maison De La Mémoire corridor: Airbnb in Hoi An
The ancient Vietnamese traders’ house La Maison de la Mémoire. Photo: Travis Hodges

Here you can soak up Hoi An’s culture and lifestyle. Everything is right at your fingertips, museums, ancient sites, shops, restaurants, and bars. And if you want some extra pampering your hosts, Phuong and Tam, can arrange anything for you—massages, bicycle and car rentals, breakfast, and even a cleaning service—you name it! They are two of the most lovely Vietnamese hosts you’ll come across—they speak fluent English and are always just a message away. Both of them are well-travelled and more than happy to share tips with you for your travels across Vietnam.

Cons

Due to the Ancient Town’s regulations, there are no air conditioners installed in the house. However, there are two evaporative air coolers to cool you down on hot, tropical days. You will also find mosquito nets in every window so that you can enjoy the natural evening breeze.

Bear in in mind that although the house has a 24/7 self-check-in, so if you arrive late at night, it might be slightly more challenging to find the place in the narrow alleys of the Old Town.

We were blown away by Phuong and Tam’s space, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting them. The house’s Airbnb pictures do not do it justice—take it from us, it’s a Hidden Gem and has left a lasting impression on us.

La Maison De La Mémoire bedroom: Airbnb in Hoi An
The beautiful wooden building La Maison de la Mémoire right in Hoi An’s historic Old Town. Photo: Travis Hodges

Hidden’s thoughts

We at Hidden think that although an Airbnb in Hoi An is a little different from most Western countries, it still offers plenty of unique experiences. By choosing to book an Airbnb, you have the opportunity to the immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the day-to-day lives of the Vietnamese people. If you are travelling with friends or family, the extra space an Airbnb can offer, at an affordable price, is a huge bonus.

There are some pretty exceptional listings with unique amenities for you to choose from. Think of your needs, use the filters, and narrow down your search to the Airbnbs that offer the experience you are seeking. Once there, remember that you are not staying in a hotel. You should think of yourself more as a house guest, rather than a hotel client. Feel free to interact with your hosts, respect their space, and indulge in their kind hospitality.

Hidden thinks that if you are prepared to expand your horizons and come out of the “hotel” comfort zone, you’ll benefit from the unique experience an Airbnb in Hoi An has to offer.