Friday evening was a special occasion for the Almanity Hoi An Spa Resort where we’re staying. It was the resort’s 8th birthday. 8 is the luckiest number in Vietnamese culture, as it represents good fortune and wealth. The resort staff invited us to book a table at the birthday buffet dinner celebrations, so we did.
Quite a few locals, including VIPs and government officials turned up, as did the Hoi An media team. Floral bouquets welcomed invited guests to the resort and the dining hall was decorated with balloons and food displays for the occasion. The dignitaries gathered for speeches before the dinner. At the completion of the speeches a band began playing. Most of the musicians appeared to be barely out of their teens, but they worked hard and sounded pretty good.
The music, unfortunately, was just too loud for the venue and the occasion, and some of the resort guests requested that either the volume was turned down or that they be given another table as far away from the sound system as possible.
But the food was great – especially the barbecued seafood – and the happy hour ran from 6pm to 10pm.
We stayed and had a good time, although Casey had to take Layla to bed early. The music was way too loud for her. Surprisingly, most of the invited locals, who were well dressed for a big night out, disappeared by about 8pm. This left the dining hall looking almost empty except for a few tables of resort guests who had much better staying power than the VIPs. It was no wonder the hotel management came to our table to thank us personally for coming to help them celebrate the occasion.
Nevertheless, we’re hoping for much quieter, more intimate dinner settings for the rest of our time in Hoi An.