This 38-room hotel on a bustling Old Quarter street has restaurants and travel agencies as neighbors. Out front, painted iron tables and chairs enable guests to soak in the street life, watch as roadside food hawkers sell their wares, and see locals and visitors chow down at small sidewalk tables. The jazzy lobby has a parquet ceiling that resembles a giant chessboard, an eclectic mix of furniture, and a front desk with an intricately carved wooden backdrop. Rooms decorated mostly in white shy away from ornamentation, with wood floors, feather mattresses, and glass-covered dressing tables. Some accommodations are a little tight, the beds a touch too near to a window or wall.
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The hotel sits in a busy area, with barbecue and steamboat (hot pot) stalls and restaurants in the immediate vicinity and pubs within walking distance. Hair of the Dog, a popular Old Quarter bar for young Vietnamese and tourists, is across the road. Continuing in the same vein, one of the city’s busiest boozing spots, commonly known as Bia Hoi Corner (at the junction of Luong Ngoc Quyen and Ta Hien streets), see scores of young Vietnamese and tourists seated on plastic stools drinking bia hoi, freshly brewed local beer served from barrels. A big glass costs only about 25 cents. A little northwest of the hotel, Quan Chuong Gate is the only remaining gate of the city ramparts that once surrounded the Old Quarter, and a little beyond is Dong Xuan Market, the city’s largest covered market, where stalls peddle everything from wide-brimmed sunhats to dried seafood.
Need to Know
Rooms: 30 rooms, 8 suites. From $50. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: CoYen is located just off the lobby, and its bright lighting and multiple mirrors can be a little jarring first thing in the morning. The stylish black-velvet chairs with white piping recall Chanel clutch bags. The menu promises Western dishes and such Vietnamese fare as grilled chicken with salt and chili, and northern-style sour clam soup. Tipplers can also order cocktails, single malts, cognac, and champagne at the bar. Spa and gym details: None here.
Who's it for: Couples and single travelers who like to stay up late, and adventurous families who like to be in the thick of the action. Our favorite rooms: The Junior Suite has a cute little balcony that is a great spot for watching the lights, motorbikes, and crowds along Ma May Street below. Getting around: The hotel’s bicycles—the bright-orange two-wheelers outside—are available to rent for about $5 per day.