I'm sitting in the lobby bar of the Hoi An Pacific right now writing this on one of the 4 laptops with internet connectivity provided by the hotel, more than 2 hours after we had been scheduled to leave Da Nang for Hanoi. A strong breeze just started blowing through the lobby, bringing a welcome feeling of coolness though the skies have darkened considerably and it looks like we'll soon be in for a tropical rain storm.
Apparently sometime right around exactly 12 hours ago my cousin, who I'm traveling with through Vietnam, and another tourist who we made friends with here in Hoi An, started getting git with the symptons of food poisoning. I'm knocking on every piece of wood within arm's length, but so far I've avoided the worst of it. Both my cousin and our new friend suffered not just severe diarrhea but the most painful stomach cramps either has ever suffered. I was fortunate to sleep through part of the night until my cousin woke me up at 5:30 to ask if I had any immodium. When I realized both of the others were in the same shape and we had all eaten the same things, I faced the distinctly discouraging and depressing prospect that it would only be a matter of time until it would hit me.
The staff here at the Hoi An Pacific had already exceeded expectations with their friendliness and willingness to help us in any conditions of need even before this morning. From helping translate and arbitrate a dispute with our taxi driver from DAD to helping make our experiences at either Cua Dai beach, Hoi An's historic town center or at any of the hotel's common areas of the pool, lobby bar or rooftop restaurant, their service and attitude was top notch. But this morning's experience really put it over the top.
Resigned to help my companions with what I could before I joined them in agonizing and paralyzing suffering, and remembering seeing a sign for a pharmacy earlier in our stay while walking to town, I headed downstairs and out in search of medicine a few minutes before 6am. The staff was already here and seemed to instantly realize something was amiss, and asked how everything was. Upon hearing the story, they directed me to the nearby pharmacy and to much needed meds. (Thank goodness medicine and drug names like "Immodium" are the same in every language!) Returning with meds and water for us all, I left the others curled up in fetal positions when not in the bathroom while I went up to the breakfast buffet to bring down some bread and rice congee, and wait for the inevitable symptons to find their next target. During this time, I witnessed the staff of the hotel diligently going through the daily routines and all the little things to make the stays of their guests more enjoyable; little things like trimming and clipping leaves on the trees and plants, cleaning the pool, washing and preparing towels for the pool, spa and dusting and cleaning the rec room with the workout equipment and pool table.
Knock on wood, I've avoided any stomach cramps or pain. We missed our morning flight, but eventually the others have managed to get to 75% and to a state where they can walk around. Through the entire morning, the staff, especially Kathy and Kendy at the reception desk, were amazingly helpful in addressing any of our needs, whether it was providing more plastic bags (the bacteria in the stomach can exit the body in multiple directions after all), towels, or simply understanding as I brought back bits of bread and rice porridge and bananas to the really sick ones. Afterwards, they made sure I was comfortable and accommodated me as I dozed on the lobby couch or pool chairs trying to get some rest.
Kathy, who acted as our personal translator and ombudsman for all 3 days, was truly exceptional. In addition to English, she also speaks Chinese (both my cousin and I are Chinese American), so between either English or Chinese we were able to get any ideas through and understood. From the initial dispute with the cab driver, to helping facilitate the return of my credit card from HCMC hotel, where I had inadvertently left it, all the way through helping us rebook and change our flight without any new fees or charges later this morning, we've been really taken care of in extraordinary fashion, as if we were family.
I would have no reservations at all about staying here again, and would do so even if next time there wasn't a discount rate available from a discount travel aggregator such as Expedia.
From a logistics standpoint, this hotel is midway between Hoi An's town center and the beach, and there are free shuttles running to and from both. The beach is slightly further and during the daytime heat, I would recommend using the shuttle or riding the provided free bicycles to the beach as it's probably 2km there. The town center is closer, maybe just over 1km, and in the evening or late at night, it's a wonderfully pleasant walk back in the comfortable night air along the river and through quiet streets watching a dragon shaped cloud lit up by a full moon.
Hmm, perhaps it's time I hit the restroom now ...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.