Tourists on Hang Be, one of the oldest streets in Hanoi
Backpackers, nature lovers, history buffs and luxury travelers will all find themselves at home in Hanoi.
Hanoi Hostel is a brand new, pristine little youth hostel. The receptionists are young and helpful, always ready to help with a smile and a complimentary bottle of water or cup of coffee. Choose between a private room with two beds, or a dorm bed for US$5 per night. Whatever you choose, your room will be clean, well furnished, decorated, and equipped with an air-conditioner.
You will enjoy a welcoming dining room where you can bring your own dinner or lunch, and sip on a free flow of tea or coffee all day long. A good breakfast is also included in the price of your room, and free beer from 6 to 7 p.m.
The hostel boasts free access to computers with Internet, and an English-speaking staff who can arrange tours, bicycle rental, or laundry, and give you any advice and information you need.
This is the best value for money in the capital and the friendliest place we visited in Hanoi.
For history buffs:
The Queen Hotel is a charming old Hoi An-style house, complete with beautiful red Chinese lanterns. The hall is full of imaginative unusual decorations, like a collection of original old French motorbikes, stone paintings, a stone bridge that crosses a real stream, a piano... You go from surprise to surprise.
This hotel has been designed by its owner, Dang Duc Thuc, a local architect. It is a family run hotel, with six people on staff.
The bedrooms are large and comfortable, with waxed wooden floors, typical Vietnamese decorations and beautiful furniture inspired by traditional woodworking from the Vietnamese countryside. This hotel has 10 bedrooms on seven floors (with an elevator), and is often full during high season, so book in advance. The 8th floor boasts a lovely garden.
For $55 you get all this, plus a good breakfast and an English-speaking staff.
For nature lovers:
If you are tired of the noise, the traffic and the crowds, if you want to take a rest away from the city, then go 40 km west of Hanoi, to "La Ferme du Colvert," a nature resort nestled among rice paddies and tea plantations in a small village.
This is a unique place with different looking houses, all around a lake and a swimming-pool. You can choose the style of your room based on how many people you need to accommodate (from two to 10 per room) and what kind of decoration and furniture you like. Wherever you stay, it will be quiet, comfortable and well furnished.
For leisure, you can go for a walk around the farm and discover the landscape and people, visit the surrounding area by bike with resort staff members, go to the swimming pool, boat on the lake, or request special excursions like the Muong market, a visit to a spa, cyclo riding, children's activities and bread baking. Enjoy your meals around the swimming pool in the summer or next to the fireplace in the winter.
For luxury lovers
The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel is a dream right in Hanoi's old quarter, a short walking distance from historical sites and from Hoan Kiem Lake. The old wing is inspirited by classical French architecture, and the Opera wing is more contemporary. It has a long tradition as a luxury venue for prestigious events, and it has hosted many famous people.
Would you enjoy staying in one of the legendary suites named after famous former residents like Graham Green or Charlie Chaplin? Besides a beautiful luxury bedroom with colonial style furniture, enjoy the swimming-pool, the spa, and different restaurants. Le Beaulieu serves classical French food thanks to the talented chef de cuisine Denis Groison. Great Vietnamese food can be found at Spices Garden, while creative and colorful Italian cooking is served at Angelina with live music every evening.
After dinner, go to the lounge to enjoy a jazz performance, or relax by the pool at the Bamboo bar and have a snack at La Terrasse. The next morning, creative juices and smoothies are the signatures of the breakfast menu.