Day 2 – Danang Pullman Beach Resort
Though we had a long day the previous day getting all the way from Singapore to Danang transiting in Hanoi, we still managed to wake up early to catch a beautiful sunrise from our room windows. Our room was facing east and when the first sun ray pierced through from the mountain range in the far distance, the city in Danang began another hot summer day where the beach would be a good place to hang out for tourists like us. As the sun emerged from some clouds announcing its glorious entrance, more of Danang City was illuminated.
The dark sky over Danang then displayed a colourful show in a hue of pink and red. The big lotus flower features, the national flower symbol of Vietnam, on the Han River revealed its soft pinkish beauty as the sun rays slowly peeled away the darkness of the night to display its intended purpose and presence on the river. When it became too bright for our naked eyes to look at the sun any longer, we rested for a while more before heading to the restaurant for breakfast.
Soon we left our room and went for breakfast. The restaurant on second floor was quite nicely furnished for a 3 stars hotel which we failed to notice the night before. The buffet spread was good as well. We enjoyed our food and noticed one of the restaurant waiters, named Van who could speak some Cantonese and he mingled very well with some Hong Kong tourists. He put everyone at ease and was a great help to many with helpful information as well as ensuring we enjoyed our meals. Staff like this is really an asset to the hotel.
We also did not forget the kind staff and chef who allowed us to order our dinner the previous night near to 10 pm where they were supposed to stop work. We also met the waitress who served us last night and we thanked her again. After a wonderful breakfast, we returned to our room.
The suite room was very good and a relaxing place for us to start off this first night of accommodation for which we were grateful. We didn’t stay long in the room though. We went down to the lobby to get more information on Danang City and collected a city map. The train station actually wasn’t very far away from the hotel but we were advised against walking there under the punishing summer heat.
So we left the hotel to collect our reserved and prepaid train tickets at the train station and planned to do some shopping before returning to the hotel. We asked for a MaiLinh taxi at the entrance where a MaiLinh attendant was there. Somehow the hotel staff at the entrance got us into a Vinasun taxi and we sensed there was a little unhappiness with the attendant from MaiLinh taxi against the other attendant from Vinasun tax.
Anyway, the Vinasun taxi driver promised he would send us to the train station and then wait for us to collect our train ticket after which he would send us to the Big C Shopping Mall. In about 10 minutes, we arrived at Danang train station. We observed the taxi meter reading at 36,000 VND which the driver promptly stopped the meter. We went into the train station to collect our train tickets which took less than 10 minutes.
By the time we came out, the taxi driver was waiting for us. Once we boarded the taxi, he turned on the meter again. In a few minutes, we arrived at the entrance of Big C Shopping Mall. The meter on the taxi read 51,000 VND. We gave him 60,000 VND instead. He was an honest driver and we were glad we used his service. It was a hot day and we entered the mall without wasting much time loitering outside under the hot sun.
We looked at shops and promotions at booths. We were happy we found a booth selling leather goods and we bought two genuine leather wallets at 500,000 VND for our children. We also went into a Tissot Watch Shop hoping to replace the battery for my Tissot watch bought from Germany in 2009 but they couldn’t help. We continued to explore the mall and made a quick round into the supermarket. We didn’t buy anything else and so we exited from the rear of the mall and entered Parkson Mall.
Parkson Mall sold mainly upmarket products where we were not really interested in buying anything from there. So after a quick round through Parkson, we left as well but we noticed there was another sizeable fashion mall nearby at the main road.
We then went into this big fashion mall selling clothes. The mall was very neat and tidy with plenty of space for walking but almost without shoppers except us and another family. A little boy about six years old was bouncing a ball inside this mall. He lost the ball and it came rolling towards me. I stopped the ball with my right foot and kicked it back to him. He got excited and looked at me with his big happy eyes and started kicking the ball back to me. So I obliged and kicked the ball back to him again and the ball went back and forth between us while my wife was busy looking at clothes. The boy’s parents were also busy shopping so this little boy and I had some little entertainment in the mall. Surprisingly, no one stopped us. Eventually, it was time to go and the little boy seemed sad and continued with his ball bouncing waiting for his parents to complete their shopping.
We left the mall without purchasing anything. After all, this was our first real day of vacation and there would be many shopping opportunities coming our way. So we crossed the road and entered the market nearby. This market was less crowded and quite airy unlike Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Min City and no store holders harassed us. Again, we just walked around and didn’t buy anything.
Some Hong Kong visitors we met during breakfast told us the pho at the market was very tasty. We walked past the food centre but we didn’t feel like eating so soon. So we left the market and took a slow walk back to the Sanouva Danang Hotel.
Along the way, we looked at shops selling clothes and the prices were not satisfactory and moreover, we were still not in the mood for some real shopping yet, so we moved on. Danang City was rather pleasant compared to Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi because it was less crowded where even the taxi driver felt the other two cities too stressful for him. So after passing more shops and buildings, we soon arrived Sanouva Danang Hotel and went straight back to our room.
It was already after 11 am and check out time was the normal 12 noon. We still had a complimentary 30 minutes massage from the hotel which we had not had the chance to use yet. So we called reception to request for a slightly later check out at 1 pm and it was approved. After a quick shower, we visited the Spa in the hotel. The ambience was very welcoming and pleasant and the staff were presentable and very professional. Special drinks and face towels were given before the massage. We were ushered into a couple’s room and the 30 minutes massage was great. It relieved us of aches we suffered the day before and also tiredness from walking under the hot sun back to the hotel in the morning. The hotel staff was right. It was too hot to walk around during the day.
After our massage, we went back to our room again to wash up and freshen up and get ready to leave this beautiful suite room with great views of Danang City. Checking out was a breeze. We were glad to have booked and stayed at Sanouva Danang Hotel. The price, the staff and its location were simply perfect, not to mention the friendly and helpful restaurant staff and the complimentary 30 minutes massage, this hotel was really value for money. On the way out, we told concierge we needed a taxi to send us to Grand Mercure Hotel. So a MaiLinh taxi was ordered for us and we hopped on and left this wonderful first night accommodation at Sanouva Danang Hotel.
Grand Mercure Hotel was just along the way to Pullman Danang Breach Resort. Our purpose of going to Grand Mercure Hotel was to have a nice lunch and to enjoy dining discount being Accor Plus Members. In under 15 minutes, we arrived Grand Mercure Hotel and the taxi fare we paid was 40,000 VND. This hotel was really grand with a spacious lobby in a quiet location along the bridge.
We went to the Chinese Restaurant on the second floor for lunch. The restaurant was having a dim sum buffet promotion for 300,000 VND per person. Unfortunately we were not very hungry and we were also excited about checking into Pullman Danang Beach Resort as soon as possible, so we just ordered two common Chinese dishes for lunch. We had bean curd and pork ribs and they were very good. The fruit juice and fresh coconut were great as well.
The restaurant was also very quiet and we were the only diners initially and by the time we were about to finish lunch, a small group came in for the dim sum buffet lunch. It was a good meal and we were very pleased. The cost for our lunch was just 270,000 VND after 50% Accor Plus Member’s discount. It was a great meal and dining in a great restaurant under the comfort of good air-conditioning on a hot summer day in Danang and we will be back the next time.
We left the restaurant and did a quick check on Grand Mercure Hotel and took some pictures. The location of this hotel is just off the bridge heading to the beach. It is rather quiet and guests no doubt would sure to have a quiet night sleep. The hotel does provide shuttle service to a few places. In any case, the hotel can get a taxi for guests very easily. After a while, we decided to leave and proceed to Pullman Danang Beach Resort. The hotel concierge helped us call a MaiLinh taxi and in 5 minutes we were on our way to Pullman Danang Beach Resort.
Along the way, we requested the driver to stop us at a provision shop to buy some bottle waters before arriving Pullman Danang Beach Resort and he obliged. After purchasing two big bottles of water, we went on and in another 10 minutes, we arrived Pullman Danang Beach Resort. We paid the driver 70,000 VND though the meter showed a lower amount. The hotel staff came to get our bags and so we went up the steps to the resort. It was an amazing sight when we reached the lobby and wow, it was such a great place to be. The lobby was huge and airy and looking out of the lobby was the swimming pool and further ahead was the sandy beach separating the blue waters from the swimming pool and the wavy blue South China Sea.
We were warmly welcomed with sincere smiles from front desk staff who took our papers and passports while we waited at the lobby. We were also served welcome drinks and given cold towels. While we were admiring the views and taking pictures, front desk staff Doan came looking for us with a big smile on her face. She brought us good news that we had been upgraded to a junior suite. That was a great piece of news indeed.
She then walked us to our suite and the moment we entered the room, it was really a great gift from the hotel management. The junior suite was just splendid. Our first sight was the living room with a sofa set and a wall mounted TV. Behind the sofa set a was a huge writing desk and a comfy office chair. A mini pantry with an espresso coffee maker and a well stocked mini bar was at one corner.
Outside the living room was a big balcony with an outdoor seats and table set. The balcony could be accessed from the bedroom as well. Entering the bed room, we saw a big Jacuzzi in a very huge bathroom with separate shower stall and toilet. A full range of toiletries was provided. The hotel provided so many bottles of mineral water and including our two large bottles would see us through to Hue the next day and still had some to spare.
The bedroom was huge and the king bed was so clean and comfortable. Another sofa seat, coffee table and another huge writing desk with another wall mounted TV furnished the room to maximum comfort and luxury for the guests. Everything we ever needed was provided for in this suite room.
The suite room was in tip-top condition. This suite was beyond our wildest imagination. So much luxury and space in this suite room which greatly disincentivized us from spending time outdoor. There was no point going anywhere and instead enjoy the luxury of this suite room. There were many channels on TV and wifi worked perfectly.
So we thank Doan for showing us here and soon the bell boy brought our bags over. We explored the suite and read all the information provided about the resort. We turned on both TVs and watched different programs for a while. The air-condition worked very well and was great on such a hot summer day. It was so much fun just to laze around in the suite room but still, the beautiful Danang beach was beckoning us to have some fun out there. So we left our nice suite room in exchange for some beach and pool activities for the afternoon.
Once we entered the swimming pool area, the main lobby building was standing so magnificently in the clear blue sky. The swimming pool and hotel ground were very well maintained and walking further down, we reached the beach with many beach chairs laid out nicely. This was a private beach, and as such, there were only a few of us at the beach. The public beach at a distance away was very crowded with many beach goers having fun. So we were rather happy with the state of our private beach at Pullman Danang Beach Resort.
We spent some happy time on the beach taking pictures and shadow playing as well as wading into the the sea which was surprisingly cold under the hot summer sun. Lying on the beach chairs to enjoy the sea breeze and just doing nothing was a great enjoyment. We just while away the time and observed some beach goers having fun in the sea.
As there were only few people on the beach, we noticed a young boy kicking a soccer ball on the beach and looked rather lonely. My dear wife suggested that I should join him for some fun. So we approached him and he was glad to have someone to play soccer with him on the beach. So we took turns to be goalkeeper and had a few rounds to see who could kick in more goals. The end result was the boy beat me by an only goal when I did not want to use my body to catch the ball which was wet and full of sand because I did not wish to dirty my t-shirt. After that, I congratulated the kid and went to the swimming pool for a swim. So this was my second occasion playing soccer with two different boys, one at the shopping mall and the other right here on the beach. The last time I kicked a ball with a perfect stranger was more than a decade ago in South New Zealand near Mount Cook where a teen was kicking a ball all by himself.
Having cleaned up sufficiently, we took our plunge into the enticing pool which was heated up to a good temperature for swimming. It was so relaxing spending time in the pool. The temperature was in the high thirties so there was no better place than to immerse ourselves in this nice pool by the beach.
Tired from the swim, we went back to our suite room and enjoyed our Jacuzzi for another dip. It did take some time to fill up the Jacuzzi but adjusting the hot and cold water was very easy to manage. One thing to note though when filling up the Jacuzzi. Don’t use too much liquid bath otherwise when the Jacuzzi operates, excessive bubbles might be produced which could be a little suffocating.
We could also watch TV while enjoying our dip in the Jacuzzi. So transferring from the swimming pool to this Jacuzzi pool in our suite room was more fun. What a way to enjoy our time in Danang with such a great room given to us when we least expected. By the time we had shower, it was about time for sunset and we started thinking about dinner and were wondering where we should go for dinner.
There were two restaurants in the resort but we were not sure which would give us a better dinning experience. So we checked with reception and were told a barbecue seafood buffet dinner was served that evening by the beach. Hence, we went to the restaurant by the beach for a look.
After a quick round of inspection, and being not a fan for seafood, we left and walked towards the main restaurant near hotel lobby. The main hotel building looked grand under the warm lighting and the restaurant building next door was equally imposing as well. We entered the restaurant and found we were the only diners there.The restaurant was beautifully furnished and we took our seat near a window.
Having looked through the a la carte menu as well as the set menu, we decided to order a set dinner that came with appetizer, soup, noodle, main course, a dessert and a hydrogen cocktail drink. We also ordered a Wagyu beef burger from the a la carte menu. Bread and butter as well as dipping sauce arrived first. The rest of the dishes followed not long after. Our table was eventually full of food.
The food was delicious and we were so full and could not eat the desserts any more so we requested to pack the desserts and we took it away with us. It was really a wonderful dinner in a posh restaurant with so few diners in the restaurant so we were very well taken care of. Our dinner came up to be under 450,000 VND after 50% discount for Accor Plus Members.
After this, we went to the lobby lounge to have our Accor Plus welcome drinks for members. We could choose from a wide range of choices from a menu. This menu had the most drinks options we had come across staying at Accor group hotels so far. We ordered two non-alcoholic drinks recommended by the waitress and relaxed at a table near a solo guitarist playing some nice tunes from some oldies.
There was an ice-cream making demonstration next to our table so we observed the process. It was the hotel’s famous nitrogen ice-cream. We were too full to order one that night but we made a mental note to order one such ice-cream when we returned for our last night stay in a few days’ time.
Our welcome drinks arrived and it looked refreshing. The mixture of fruits and soft drinks and vanilla had a very special and soothing taste but a little sweet though. So we sipped our drinks slowly and enjoyed the guitar performance while looking out at the hotel ground towards the beach.
A gentle breeze was blowing our way and it was such a great evening at the lobby lounge. When the guitarist packed up and left and with our drinks consumed, we also made our move looking forward to had a great time in our junior suite room.
Before going back to our suite room, we explored the hotel and looked around at night. This property was indeed luxurious and definitely 5 stars in standard. The night view of the hotel was certainly very grand under the warm white lights. It was windy at the lobby and the whole place was very comfortable and appealing. After taking a look outside the hotel from the main entrance, we made our way back to our suite.
Back to our suite, we took pictures at different places to remember this wonderful room given to us which was a home away from home. At the same time, we kept our children back home updated and got to know how they had spent their day. This ensured there were no worries for all of us. Since we had two TVs, we watched different programs separately for a while. When weariness was about to set in, we slipped onto our clean and comfortable king bed. With so much space to stretch out to unwind and spending a little more time watching TV were the last enjoyable activities for this day in Danang. Soon after, we went off into our sweet sleep expecting more great things to come our way the following day.
Continue to Day 3 …