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Hanoi Hotels, Tour Agencies, and Restaurants

Updated February 2006

Favorite Hotels

Hanoi has excellent clean hotels in all price ranges - the least expensive rooms are not air conditioned, and a little further from the city center, but clean while luxury hotels have all the amenities and wonderful service.

Hong Ngoc Hotel
34 Pho Hang Manh, Hanoi Vietnam, 828 5053
A welcoming modern guesthouse in the old quarter on the toy street.  All rooms have air conditioning, but there is no elevator.  As with other guesthouses in Hanoi, you might be woken up by roosters even though you are in the middle of the city!  Rooms are spacious clean & (other than roosters) quiet.  Laundry service is inexpensive and reliable.  Staff is very friendly & was willing to store luggage while we went further afield.  This family run chain has several locations & if one is full, will usually be able to accommodate you nearby.

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
Modern rooms are clean, nicely appointed and, well, modern.  We preferred rooms in the old wing which had the charm of old French colonial style, wood floors and more.  The hotel has a nice pool that offers a respite during the heat of the day and fitness center.   Cooking classes are sometimes offered - talk to the front desk.

Hilton Hanoi Opera
Great location next to the Hanoi Opera house.  The grand entrance leads to rooms that are exactly what you'd expect from Hilton, but aren't as pleasant as rooms in the Sofitel.

Favorite Tour Agency

Handspan Travel
36 Pho Nguyen Huu Huan
Handspan offers reliable, reasonably priced tours with English speaking guides of both the major sights and off the beaten track destinations.  Accomodations are budget, but clean and reliable.

Favorite Restaurants

Seasons of Hanoi
Our favorite restaurant in Hanoi. Seasons serves high end Vietnamese cuisine (but don't worry, while prices are extravagant for Vietnam, they hardly compare to what we'd spend at a simple cafe at home). French villa, tastefully decorated, excellent service, duck in orange sauce was among the best we've ever had. A fantastic Vietnamese twist on the French classic.

Club Opera
Across from the Sofitel Metropole also serves upscale Vietnamese food. The appetizers are particularly wonderful.

Soup shop next to Hong Ngoc Hotel
The dress shop next to the Hong Ngoc hotel turns into a soup shop at night, dishing up some of the yummiest Pho we've eaten. Point to what you want, find a table, pull up one of the child size plastic chair, and pour on the hot sauce!

Kem Trang Tien, 54 Pho Trang Tien
There's always a crowd outside this ice cream shop and on festival days you'll have to fight your way to the front.  Kem Trang Tien serves ice cream on to go sticks - young rice flavor was our particular favorite, but all were excellent.

Wild Rice (La Lua), 6 Ngo Thi Nham Street
Typical of the new trend towards modern, upscale Vietnamese food, this restaurant in a renovated French style villa is expensive by Vietnamese standards, but the food will not disappoint.

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