I set up my 'Eddie Harrop' travel bag brand whilst living out in Saigon inspired by the diverse tropical prints I saw in daily life out there. They are all hand luggage size which makes it easy to jet set around places and are now stocked by the likes of Net-a-Porter.
Vietnam is a country that offers views to tick all boxes, from the long wind swept beaches of Con Dao Island to the cascading green terraces in the highlands of Sapa or the floating market life along the Mekong Delta. So if it's a wide spectrum of views you are after, welcome to my guide of 'Top 5 Rooms with a View' from this beautiful, amazing, sometimes crazy country...
Six Senses - Nim Vanh Bay
When I first arrived in Saigon I was lucky enough to be whisked off here and I have never forgotten it. Set on a paradise island and a 20-minute boat ride off the coast of Nha Trang, central Vietnam, it provides the ultimate seclusion from the hustle and bustle. Six Senses know how to do things right... choose between a rock villa set right on the seafront and a hillside villa where you'll feel like you're up in the canopies of the trees. The villas all have their own private plunge pools that look effortlessly at ease with the landscape. You're seriously close to nature here, but with your own private smiling butler it means you are never too far from anything you may possibly need.... oh to be taken back there!
The Aqua Mekong is a recently-launched restored riverboat that allows you to float up the Mekong River in pure luxury. It has opened up the very popular route from sunny Saigon to Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples. So if you're a culture vulture wanting to explore local life on the river, this one's for you. There are 20 stylish suites on board and a gorgeous bliss out spa - not that you need any more excuses to relax! The infamous David Thompson conjured up the food menu and they've had some fancy Singapore Mixologist design the cocktail menu, so you're in good hands.
The Aqua Mekong has made my top 5 because you'll wake up to such a unique view whilst gently floating down the river (often described as the lifeline of South East Asia) looking out to flocking birds & pure tranquillity... time to turn another page of my book!
The Nam Hai - Hoi An
One of my favourite places for inspiration is Hoi An. It's an old Chinese trading town which has kept its original features and now has dinky boutiques and delicious little restaurants. Less than 10 minutes down the road you will find Vietnam's answer to the pinnacle of Asian chic with the Nam Hai Hotel. It's the super luxe go-to, and its clean linear design against the long coastline makes for the perfect romantic backdrop. The rooms are incredible with deep sunken baths in the bedrooms and one of the best views has to be looking out onto the lovely dark infinity pool at a cocktail waiting for me on the beach!
Six Senses - Con Dao
You won't believe me when I say that Con Dao used to be a prison island, I mean if I had to be shut up in prison I'd like to head there! Now pretty much deserted, the majority of the island is a national park with specialist sea turtle protection zones. But Six Senses Con Dao has built the ultimate in sustainable bare foot luxury. Known for its empty, wind-swept rugged beaches you feel like you want to do a big sun salutation from your room and breathe it all in - it's seriously stunning. A perfect honeymoon spot on an Asian adventure, all the villas have their own private pools (yes, they've nailed it again!) and only a 40-minute flight away from the craziness of Saigon, it's the perfect place to escape.
Wild Card - The Deck Restaurant Saigon
It may not be a hotel room with a view but this most certainly is a view not to miss on your travels to Vietnam! It is, without doubt, the best restaurant in Saigon and is my wild card for my top 5. Nestled away in Tao Dien, 5 minutes out of town and set on the edge of the Saigon River, it's the most wonderful setting to watch the water hyacinth float by and tuck into the seriously tasty Asian fusion menu they offer - try the locally sourced Phu Quoc chilli squid and you'll get my vibe! Wine snobs too are going to be seriously satisfied with the extensive wine list, and if a cocktail is more your thing then the lemongrass martini is a great shout...#time to hashtag that view!
The perfect bag to accompany you on your travels to Vietnam...
Eddie Harrop's signature 'Voyager' weekend bag is particularly great for any holiday to Vietnam, as it has been actually handcrafted in Vietnam, by local artisans.