Where to Stay in Da Nang – Guide to the Best Areas and Hotels (MUST READ • August 2019)
Traditionally a launching point for Central Vietnam’s world-renowned cultural heritage sites, Da Nang is now a bonafide destination in its own right. Vietnam’s third-largest city has quickly become a popular stop for travelers of all tastes, styles, and budgets. Why? Da Nang accommodation is abundant and high quality. There’s a progressive food culture, temples, museums, buzzing nightlife and active daily life. Therefore enough to keep any visitor entertained or unwound, whatever your pleasure.
In recent years, the city, which is thirty-five kilometres north of Hoi An, has experienced double-digit growth in its visitor numbers. This is in large part because of the variety it has on offer. While a ‘city’ by name, Da Nang, with its 1.23 million residents, has a more suburban feel with no real downtown. The only skyscrapers are hotels on the western bank of the Han River and along My Khe Beach; a few kilometres east.
Da Nang is it should be noted, still, a developing tourist destination. Therefore accordingly, the infrastructure is working overtime to keep pace. You’ll notice plenty of construction–particularly along the beaches–as entrepreneurs and big businesses alike rush to fill vacant lots and shop fronts. Watch your step.
In this article, Hidden looks at the different areas of Da Nang along with accommodation options to suit every budget.
- Da Nang Neighbourhoods
- Da Nang City Accommodation
- Luxury Accommodation in Da Nang City – Grand Mercure
- Mid-Range Accommodation in the City – Samdi Hotel
- Budget-Friendly Accommodation in the City – Pariat Hotel
- Backpacker Accommodation in Da Nang City – Da Nang Backpackers Hostel
- Da Nang Beach Accommodation
- Luxury Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Premier Village Da Nang Resort
- Mid-Range Accommodation near the Beaches – Grand Tourane Hotel
- Budget-Friendly Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Queens Finger
- Backpacker Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Rom Casa Hostel
- Hidden Gem Accommodation Near Da Nang City – Da Nang Capsule Hotel
- Hidden’s Thoughts
Da Nang Neighbourhoods
Da Nang is comprised of six districts. You are, however, best served in the Hai Chau district on that western bank of the Han River which in this article is ‘the city’. Or the Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son districts which encompass My Khe and My An Beaches, ‘the beach’. Both areas have plenty to see and do. They are easy to navigate on foot or by vehicle and have accommodation options aplenty. Really, there is no wrong decision as to where to stay since getting from one to the other takes less than ten minutes by car, even with traffic.
With so many places to put your head down for the night, is the best bed for you in the city or at the beach?
Da Nang City Accommodation
Most of the convenient Da Nang accommodation choices in the city are alongside the Han River. Generally around Cau Rong, better known as the Dragon Bridge. The river has a wide, lengthy promenade ideal for a stroll while avoiding the city’s cluttered sidewalks. Veer into the backstreets and walking becomes an adventure. It is on the backstreets, however, where you encounter a thriving coffee, restaurant, and street food culture. Given the city’s mix of locals and expats, there is no shortage of domestic and international cuisine. Plus tons of bars and hopping nightspots.
Being in the city provides easy access to shopping, local produce and craft markets, temples, and museums. Along with convenient transport in and out of town with Da Nang International Airport and the main bus terminal close by.
Hidden Hint: On Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m., be sure to watch the Dragon Bridge as it breathes fire and then water!.
The downside of a city sleepover is the usual array of urban annoyances: traffic, noise, and crowds. Given Da Nang’s relatively small (by international city standards) population, however, and the fact it isn’t concentrated in any one area, they aren’t overwhelming. The one exception is for pedestrians who’ll soon discover foot traffic has no priority. In other words, don’t expect the litany of horn-honking motorbikes, cars and buses to stop for you.
Luxury Accommodation in Da Nang City – Grand Mercure
Towering over the river on the far southern end of the city’s Hai Chau district, the twenty-one storey Grand Mercure is ideal if you want to feel out of the city but still be in it. On a small island facing the Tran Thi Ly Bridge – the next bridge south of the Dragon Bridge. This hotel has 272 rooms (nine-room configurations and one suite) and three restaurants, a fitness centre, two tennis courts, bike rental, and more. There’s also a ground-level outdoor pool facing the bridge that’s wisely situated where guests won’t be bothered by any pool noise.
The hotel, with its comfortable modern lobby, is at least a half kilometre from any notable shopping. So either sweat on foot or rely on a vehicle to get there. However, this does add to its appeal as there’s an almost suburban feel to the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the riverfront provides a calming ambience with reeds, mangroves, and other plant life. A much more tranquil setting than upriver where most of the activity, hotels, and infrastructure are concentrated.
The Grand Mercure is also well set up for conferences and business gatherings with five meeting rooms and a 433 square-metre, ground-floor ballroom.
Mid-Range Accommodation in the City – Samdi Hotel
The Samdi is a modest 4-star establishment located a block from the water. Though not the Han River but a sizeable and pleasing, greenery surrounded lake in the centre of town. A kilometre and a bit from the river, the hotel loses nothing besides the congestion by being in this surprisingly refreshing spot.
The hotel is centrally located near shopping and entertainment centres while being just a few minutes from the airport. It has 115 rooms available with lake, city, and mountain views. In addition to double, twin and king rooms, there are suites and two-bedroom apartments to choose from. The hotel’s third-floor restaurant serves up Western, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine. The facilities include a rooftop pool and fitness centre, a spa, and meeting rooms for business and social functions. The Samdi also has some terrific room and spa package deals when booked online.
Budget-Friendly Accommodation in the City – Pariat Hotel
Tucked in among the shops and high rises alongside the river, 400 metres north of the Dragon Bridge, the Pariat has sixty double, twin and king rooms with river views and three types of suites. It’s well located, steps from bars, shops, and restaurants. Also nearby are markets, churches, and museums.
With two welcoming marble lion sculptures at street level, the Pariat is a compact twelve floors. It has a rooftop that’s worth spending time on not only for the view but for its pool, patio, bar, and gym. The hotel’s second-floor restaurant does feel a little cramped but with so many dining options nearby, that doesn’t really matter.
While the rooms aren’t huge, they’re well done and practical with wonderful river views. Room rates include breakfast and check the hotel’s website for excellent special offer room rates.
Backpacker Accommodation in Da Nang City – Da Nang Backpackers Hostel
The city’s original backpackers’, the hostel is, like any hostel worth its salt, located close to all the action. There are shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars in just about every direction, while the hostel itself is just three blocks from the river. Not to be outdone by what’s outside, the hostel has plenty to offer inside.
The lobby has a comfortable ‘play room’ feel with scattered musical instruments, pets, books, music, and artwork. There are a host of travel services available and guest activities, including twice-weekly pub crawls, movie nights and karaoke. By all intents a party hostel, staff get you into the swing with a free beer each day. Really.
There’s nothing fancy about the rooms but do they really need to be? In addition to five private rooms which come in two-, three- and four-bed configurations, the hostel has three, ten-bed dorms, and, wait for it, a 36-bedder though you’d be a bit unlucky to be there when every bed is occupied. Still, for the bargain-basement price of a few US dollars a night it’s a deal.
The hostel’s rooftop bar, lounge, and pool table keep guests occupied until late should you need a nightcap after an evening out on the town.
Da Nang Beach Accommodation
If sand and sea are your pleasure, Da Nang’s got them.
The most popular spot is My Khe Beach which conveniently for travellers and locals alike is just a few minutes drive from the city centre. My Khe stretches south into neighbouring My An Beach, is a wide, flat stretch of sand with calm seas ideal for swimmers of all ages and abilities. There are loads of chez lounges for those wanting to soak up the sun or intent on checking their social media buzz. If you’re seeking more adventure, try jet skiing and parasailing, among others.
Another big reason to be at the beach is for its dining. Seafood lovers after a good feed won’t have to look far as the area is jammed with fresh and affordable quality offerings: crab, lobster, squid, clams, prawns, fish and just about anything else you can think of. If dining alongside bubbling crustacean- and fish-filled tanks isn’t your thing, meat and vegetarian options are available too though those will require a little more legwork.
Given the rapidly expanding tourist business, construction at the beach is widespread. Hotels and shops are quickly filling most open spaces but before they’re done, potholed pavements, construction equipment, and work vehicles are an everyday hassle.
The beach can get crowded, particularly in high season, but My Khe and My An are large, and long, enough that it’s not unbearable. Urban planners did have the foresight to include a multilane road (Vo Nguyen Giap) alongside with, in parts, extensive pavements, to facilitate the rush. The area is a kilometre either side of Vo Van Kiet, the road which crosses the Dragon Bridge has the greatest concentration of accommodation, shops, and restaurants. However as the beach is on a narrow peninsula, the positive for travellers is just about any resort, hotel, apartment or hostel is never more than a few blocks from the sand.
Luxury Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Premier Village Da Nang Resort
Tucked away on My An Beach’s northern end and down a long palm-lined driveway with manicured lawns and hedges, the Premier Village is the choice for luxury and privacy. The resort literally fronts the beach with its lawns and palms inviting guests to the sand. While not a private beach per se as the public can easily access it from a driveway on the resort’s southern edge. It certainly feels private being far enough south to avoid most foot and vehicle traffic.
Unlike other Da Nang accommodation at the beach, the Premier Village has an almost village feel. Gone are the high rises, construction, traffic, and noise along the congested stretches of the beaches further north. Replaced by lush gardens, swaying palm trees, and gentle sea breezes with picturesque offshore islands beckoning.
The resort has 111 multi-room pool villas in four styles. Along with immaculate grounds that the grounds staff must put in long hours to maintain. Each villa has either a plunge or private pool plus a fully equipped kitchen. There’s a beachfront infinity pool with a swim-up bar and an on-duty lifeguard, and a fitness centre. The dining options are limited to one restaurant and a meal- and drink-serving beach club.
The Premier Village feels secluded and personal beginning with a small, intimate reception that’s more typical of a bed and breakfast, not an international resort. Walking the property is calming where aside from the occasional child’s squeal in the pool, the only sound you hear are the waves.
Mid-Range Accommodation near the Beaches – Grand Tourane Hotel
During the French colonial rule, Da Nang was known as Tourane. Today, the Grand Tourane while not trying to continue that legacy, does stand alone towering over My Khe Beach. In fact, the drive-in, the fountain-laden entrance could be considered grand, fifty metres from the sand. You enjoy the unobstructed beach and sea views at this Da Nang accommodation. The only property of similar stature is a block inland, or on the city side, of the property.
There are 188 rooms and suites available in the 21-storey hotel, one restaurant, and three bars. There is a spa, fitness centre, tennis court, and pool. Although the pool is at street level next to the road with little privacy and no silence. The hotel is well set up for meetings and special occasions. It has two large ballrooms (the largest 460 square metres), a board room, and two dining rooms.
However, what’s most appealing about the Grand Tourane is its location. The hotel is literally across the street from the beach. There are no other hotels, buildings, or construction to impede the view, breeze, or sunrise. Even though its located in one of the busier areas at My Khe Beach, and is close to a major intersection, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
Budget-Friendly Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Queens Finger
Two hundred and fifty metres from the sand, is the low-key, 3-star, Queens’ Finger Hotel. Surrounded by small shops and restaurants in what is quickly becoming a growing tourist hub. In addition to a blossoming international cuisine scene, you are close to the trendy night food market. There are heaps of other drawcards all accessible on foot. While the increasing activity in the area does bring with it more traffic. The backstreet noise at this Da Nang accommodation vanishes once inside.
The unpretentious but functional lobby gives way to 54 warm, well-appointed rooms plus a three-room sea view apartment in the 12-storey property. There is also an on-site gym.
The hotel’s most noteworthy feature is its rooftop deck, bar, and pool around the perimeter of the deck. Swim, laugh and take selfies while enjoying stunning, unobstructed city and mountain views. There are also partial looks at the beach.
Backpacker Accommodation Near Da Nang Beaches – Rom Casa Hostel
A hostel with character. The straw house, as translated from Vietnamese and Spanish, is unique in several aspects. Firstly, it has accommodation in buildings on opposite sides of the street. Secondly, it uses recycled shipping containers painted in eye-catching bold colours as rooms.
There are seventy-seven beds split between two-, three-, and six-bed dorms plus six private rooms in those two buildings. On one side, is a small, split-level pool with a welcoming lounge and a covered, top floor relaxing area with hammocks. On the other, a bar serving up light meals and snacks and every Friday or Saturday night, live music.
The Rom Casa boasts a pleasant ambiance. Located in a fast-growing tourist neighbourhood full of activity just steps from cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. The rooms are small but sufficient for a good night’s sleep. All just a short stroll, say two hundred metres, from My An Beach. There are also board games, a pool table, and foosball to entertain guests.
While the shipping containers do draw much attention. This Da Nang accommodation maintains a Vietnamese influence as well, giving travellers a taste of the local culture. That, while playing a small part in environmental sustainability too.
Hidden Gem Accommodation Near Da Nang City – Da Nang Capsule Hotel
A few blocks removed from the bustle of the beachfront, the Da Nang Capsule Hotel is easy to miss. It’s on a quiet, nondescript backstreet in a somewhat grubby neighbourhood. But don’t be too quick to dismiss it.
The tidy, functional interior includes two dorm rooms, five double rooms, and two apartments. But typical dorm rooms they are not. The beds are not standard bunk beds or even beds with a privacy curtain; they’re not pods either. What they are is capsules which feel like you’re climbing into a spaceship. Each has a dashboard of controls for personalised air conditioning, lighting, and television. The capsule’s’ sliding door locks from the inside. The set up with a comfortable mattress, pillows, and blankets are cosy. At first glance, the capsule seemed small. But the Hidden team’s 6-foot, 3 inches (190 centimetres) guest, fit with room to spare.
All beds include breakfast cooked to order and you also have kitchen privileges. There’s a patio with seating outside the lobby and a walled rooftop balcony with city and mountain views. The only catch is you have to stand to savour those views.
The question remains: the city or the beach? Fortunately, there’s no wrong choice as should you find one, not to your liking, it’s easy enough to travel a few minutes and set up shop in the other.
Hidden, however, says take the beach as it provides a more relaxed holiday atmosphere with room to breathe, and swim. The latter of which just isn’t feasible in town unless it’s in a hotel pool. The Da Nang accommodation options are diverse and plentiful with something for every taste and budget. Hidden recommends the Grand Tourane for its location. While economy travellers can get excellent value and still be in the centre of the action at the Rom Casa Hostel.
Diners won’t take much persuasion to chose the beach either. The abundance of quality seafood restaurants are an excellent reason to venture east. You can feast on scrumptious aquatic delights to your heart’s content. And, wash ‘em down with your favourite beer or cocktail. All while staring at the glittering sea and nearby islands; the city just can’t match that.