The cool, white, gleaming foyer comes as a surprise in the middle of a typically hectic, ramshackle Hanoi street in the old quarter. After a lengthy flight and longish drive by taxi (that the hotel had arranged for us) it was a superb welcome. It's easy to understand why the Oriental Central is numero uno on trip advisor.The staff are exceptionally friendly (special shout out to Lana) and the rooms are immaculate and very comfortable. You are greeted with petals strewn on the bed, a complimentary welcome basket of fresh Vietnamese fruit and a little pack of oreo's. It was certainly more than what we were expecting for the price we were paying. The hotel helped us arrange day trips, aided us with communicating with the transfer service for the Ha Long Bay tour we were doing, and let us leave luggage free of charge at the hotel while we were away for a few nights before returning to the hotel.
The location is terrific, right in the heart of the old quarter and mere meters away from the night markets, the old beer streets, and all the chaos, colour and life of the Hanoi streets. The rooms are smallish, but so have all of our rooms in Vietnam been, and the styling is sharp, tight and calming. My travelling companion and I shared a twin room and were more then comfortable. Not all rooms have access to street views, and most of the central rooms look onto a central stairwell, but the clever and romantic design still allows a certain French inspired charm. Bathrooms are large, clean and modern.
An added bonus is the included breakfast; eggs cooked to order, pancakes, fresh seasonal fruits, yogurts, breads and a few pastries. It's not an extravagant offering but spending time in the city you wouldn't want or need it to be. A good deal of Vietnamese life seems to revolve around eating and too large a breakfast wouldn't leave enough room for sampling everything the streets offer up to you. Saying that their is no limit to how much of the breakfast offerings you can enjoy so gluttons and those on a super tight budget looking to skip out on lunch should be satisfied.
An added tip? Arrange a walking food tour of the old quarter. I cannot recommend this enough. The hotel can help you out, or you can arrange one yourself, but what ever you do, just do it. It's authentic, informative and great value for money.
Hanoi is wonderful. Once you've figured out how to cross the narrow streets streaming with motorcycles and bikes the city is your for the taking. Enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oriental Central Hotel is luxury boutique hotels in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter. Emphasizing refined glamour, timeless elegance and luxurious comfort, each hotel with her perfect, unique, French architecture, red and white colors decoration and a dedicated, professional, friendly team will ensure to bring you the most unforgettable and memorable stay in Hanoi and Vietnam. ... more less
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