There are Hanoi hotels of all standards available in the capital and second largest city in Vietnam, and you will find Hanoi lodging to suit any budget and any personal taste. Only Ho Chi Minh City in the south can boast more.
Hilton Opera Hotel
There are several world class hotels in Hanoi that are part of well-known and respected international chains, including Sofitel and Sheraton. There is even a Hilton (pictured), which took pains to name itself the Hilton Opera Hotel (because it is near the Opera House) to avoid any confusion with the notorious Hanoi Hilton POW camp where prisoners including Senator John McCain were held during the war with the United States.
Many of the finest luxury hotels are located near one of the city's famous urban lakes (lake Thu Le) and most of the foreign embassies. Accommodation in Hanoi in one of these hotels is not as convenient to the attractions around the Old Quarter of Hanoi, so are good for most tourists only if they have the budget both for the upscale property itself as well as transportation to the main tourist sites. In this district, the prestigious Daewoo is probably the most elegant and luxurious.
However, you will find all kinds of Hanoi hotels located in and around the Old Quarter. Several of these are lovely and intimate boutique hotels that are part of the city's rich history, as they are housed in old French colonial buildings. There is also larger, more modern Hanoi lodging on the borders of the Old Quarter, and are within walking distance of its many attractions. These are the hotels in Hanoi that are used for most vacation packages that include many features.
For the best boutique hotels in Hanoi you should look within the boundaries of the Old Quarter, which are the Red River, Hoan Keim Lake with its graceful pagodas, and the Citadel. You might try the Hanoi Orchid, located between the river and the lake in a colonial townhouse that provides balconies for each room. The rooms are a bit small, as is true in most boutique hotels in the historic district of cities, but they are beautifully furnished, and the Orchid has a bar/lounge, restaurant, and excellent services.
The Orchid is within walking distance of the famous Dong Xuan Market and some of the best shopping in the country. This hotel, as do others in the Old Quarter, can arrange for a cyclo (trishaw) to collect you at the hotel for tours through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys. There is a cluster of similar Hanoi hotels in the same area, offering the same sort of ambience and service and providing good three-star accommodation.
For Hanoi lodging on a slightly grander scale there is the Sofitel Metropole, located right on the boundary of the Old Quarter and within walking distance of the best museums in the city. This property has all the facilities and services you'd expect of a fine international hotel, including a full service spa, three fine dining spots, three bars and a lounge providing some low key nightlife, and a full service spa. Just next to it, and in the same class, is the Hilton Opera Hotel.
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