Viet Nam News
After graduating from college and working at a bar in Hội An, Phan Mai Thiện Tâm decided to start out on her own.
Tâm, 24, got the idea to start a homestay service after going on trans-Việt Nam and trans-ASEAN bike trips.
With her own money, she rented a full house in an alley on Hoàng Diệu Street in Đà Nẵng.
Tâm and her friends decorated the house in a freestyle manner and called it "An Nhiên House".
The two-storeyed building, which is isolated from most of the noise in city’s downtown area, offers three rooms for short vacationers in Đà Nẵng.
“We intentionally set up a self-service at An Nhiên-Homestay so that guests can feel like they are at home. Visitors can share kitchen, washing machine, bathroom and dining room with the hosts at their price,” Tâm said, adding guests could put whatever they want for using these services.
“I don’t care how much they pay for what they use during their stay here, I just offer them a homely space when visiting Đà Nẵng, a free and relaxing time.”
Tâm, known as Hạ Di on her Facebook, said she started the business to do something that made her feel free and helped others feel the same.
The three-storeyed building, which was rented from a family living far away from Đà Nẵng, has seven rooms, including double-rooms for couples and family rooms for four people with prices of between VNĐ300,000 and 400,000 each day.
“I founded the service as my favourite start-up businesses, allowing tourists to explore real life in Đà Nẵng. Visitors can design a vacation that helps them immerse with locals and enjoy local cuisine. They can also cook their meals with fresh fish and farm produce from a market near An Nhiên Homestay,” Tâm said, adding that the home has two rooms where four-member families or a group of six could stay.
She said guests themselves clean the rooms, wash their clothes and cook their food.
“It’s like their home. They come and go as they like. Security in the living quarter is quite good, and the home is a registered business,” she added
Tâm said the An Nhiên Homestay can host 20 visitors at a time in its seven rooms.
She said she does not spend much time at the house, because guests do everything themselves.
The Đà Nẵng native also employs students to take care of the house, offering them free accommodation.
“I’ve studied in college and understand the difficulties of students living away home. I employ them to work at the house as a chance for them to practise a vocation and pick up some life skills before graduating from college,” she said.
“Students also get a little money from my home service’s profit every month, and that should help them with small expenditures, since accommodation at the house is free,” Tâm said.
Hip: Interior decoration in the An Nhiên-Hippy home. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Tâm has opened a new homestay service on Mai Xuân Thưởng Street in Thanh Khê District near the city’s bus station and airport, offering six rooms that can accommodate 30 travellers.
Từ Thanh Bình, 22, a student of the Duy Tân College in Đà Nẵng, said he was employed as a manager in the new-opened An Nhiên-Hippy home.
“We are a group of five students including three managers and two staffs. We assign each other work and studying schedules. When I was away in college, other managers will take care,” Bình said.
Bình a native of Bình Định Province, said employees at the An Nhiên-Hippy enjoy group work and free accommodation, and get a little money from the home service.
“The temporary job helps us grain real life skills and practice. It also saves money for us with free accommodation and shared cooking. All of us clean the house, decorate it and host BBQ and music parties on the weekend for tourists,” Bình said.
“The new home offers more choice for tourists as it is located in a residential area with many restaurants, markets and shopping centres. We have bikes for rent and links with travel agencies, booking centres and eateries,” he said.
The student manager said the home is just 500m away from the coast, so guests can enjoy the sea and its breeze after a short walk.
“It’s cheerful home for young hippy types in Đà Nẵng at reasonable cost.”
He said the Hippy house has a room for couples with VNĐ350,000 (US$15.5), while a room for four costs VNĐ400,000 ($17.7).
Laurent, a tourist, said about her time at the An Nhiên Homestay: “If you are looking for a great and relaxing spot in the middle of Đà Nẵng, this is the place to go. Just a few steps from the busy city you will find this beautiful house with the great hosts – they will immediately make you feel at home and will help you with any questions you may have during your stay. I strongly recommend you to stay here if you’re in Đà Nẵng.”
Another visitor, Till, said: “What a nice house in the heart of Đà Nẵng. I could not imagine a better homestay. It’s quiet and has a wonderful terrace where you can enjoy eating outdoors or just have a cup of coffee.”
Homestay service is the latest hospitality sector entrant in the coastal city, following investors pouring funds into international standard hotels and resorts.
“I plan to open more such places in quiet streets near the beaches of Đà Nẵng and the tourism hubs of Huế and Nha Trang,” said Tâm.
“I just want to create an easy choice for tourists when they come to Đà Nẵng, as I have experienced in my own bike trips in ASEAN and Việt Nam. The opportunity to stay in a safe and peaceful house in Đà Nẵng would lure more tourists to the city.” — VNS