Saturday, January 20, 2018

TRAVEL | La Beaute de Hanoi Hotel: Great value for money

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La Beaute de Hanoi's deluxe room.

So we're already halfway through the first month of the new year. Got any travel plans yet? While I'm already looking forward to summer, wouldn't it be nice to go someplace while the weather's cold?

In that regard, Hanoi in Vietnam would be great since they have winter there--sans all the discomfort that snow brings. Despite all the perceived chaos brought by swarms of motorbikes, Hanoi is a nice city, especially its Old Quarter area.

When we were there last year we stayed at this lovely and inexpensive little hotel called La Beaute de Hanoi. Here's a rundown of our experience.

Booking and check-in
We booked our stay and airport transfers via Agoda. The hotel, though, has its own online booking facility. No problems whatsoever and checking in was a breeze.

Location
La Beaute de Hanoi Hotel sits somewhere in the middle of Hanoi's Old Quarter. It's a few steps from the main street, accessible through a narrow alley lined up by shops and other hotels. It sure is no glam location but a prime one in my opinion because of its proximity to shops, restaurants, and other places of interest.

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The hotel facade.

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The hotel is accessed through a narrow alley a few steps from the main street.

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Local commerce is very much alive here. This was right next to the hotel.

Design and ambiance
The hotel borrows from the charm of the city's Old Quarter, with its narrow vertical structure and French-inspired architecture. It may be a small hotel but it does stand proud with its design.

The building is stacked up to about five or six storeys high, with a small balcony fronting each floor. The lobby is understandably small. But with its wallpaper-covered interiors, white wooden molds, wall-mounted lamps, chandelier, singular couch and coffee table, there's a homey feel to it and if I may, a touch of Parisian chic.

The hallways are narrow, the staircases are narrow, and the lift is tiny. But it ends there because the rooms are by no means cramped.

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The hotel lobby.

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Same lobby but from another angle.

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Colorful lamps add some flair to the narrow stairwell.

Our room
We got a junior suite with balcony, a spacious and well-lit room with walls painted cream and fitted with white wooden molds, and adorned by framed black and white photos of Vietnam. On the other hand, doors, windows, cabinets, and furniture come in gorgeous dark wood.

Flanked by two bedside tables and a bedroom bench at its foot, the queen-size bed sits against a red accent wall covered in decorative wooden grilles. The room also comes with an electronic safe, a flatscreen TV, a small fridge, a coffee/tea-making set, hair dryer, and if I'm not mistaken, an iron.

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Touches of red provide for a nice contrast to the cream and white walls.

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The hotel doesn't want its walls plain and boring; hence, the picture frames, plants, and figurines.

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Handsome dark wood.

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And for that Vietnamese touch, some detailing on the door.

The balcony isn't much. It doesn't help that there really isn't much of a view outside either. But it doesn't take away the fact at all that it's still a nice room.

The bathroom is boarded by gray tiles and is fitted with a full-size bathtub along a narrow section. It has no separate shower room but there are handheld and rain shower head options. The sink, however, I find a bit cramped. It betrays the room's otherwise generous space. 

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The bedroom as viewed from the bathroom door.

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The balcony. Too bad you only get to see neighboring buildings.

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The bathroom, with the bathtub shown from the mirror's reflection.

When we returned from our Ha Long Bay cruise, we booked a quick stay at the same hotel and got to try their deluxe room this time. It shares the same familiar design and trappings of the junior suite but this one has no balcony. In its stead are windows with views of, well, neighboring buildings. The deluxe room, however, is far more spacious and with a bit more cabinet space.

As for the bathroom, it's a straightforward rectangular space with the same cramped sink but with a jacuzzi rather than a full-size bathtub.

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The deluxe room.

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More space here.

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Same dark wood cabinet, doors, and furniture.

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Dragonflies! Gotta love the details on this lamp. I mean, look at the shade.

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The bathroom. No bathtub but there's a jacuzzi.

Dining
I haven't tried eating at their restaurant outside that one time we had breakfast here, so I really can't comment on either food and service. There's a breakfast menu you can choose from, complemented by a small buffet of bread, fruit, some greens, cereal, cold cuts, some warm stuff, and your usual selection of coffee, tea, and juices.

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The dining area.

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The supplemental buffet spread.

Service
La Beaute de Hanoi's staff are some of the most courteous and most helpful I have encountered. Special mention to the front desk staff who were always ready to whip out a map every time we asked for recommendations.

Checkout
In both instances, checking out was just as pleasant and efficient as checking in.

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How cute are they?

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In hindsight
It may not be the most spectacular hotel in the city but La Beaute de Hanoi affords you bang for your buck. The location is pretty much a strategic one, considering its proximity to shops, restaurants, and attractions. The rooms (at least the two that we've tried) are nice, clean, and spacious. And best of all, the staff--who are some of the politest and most helpful out there.

For more info:
http://www.la-beautehanoihotel.com/home.htm

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