Where to stay in Hanoi is easy – you want to be on, near or overlooking one of Hanoi’s atmospheric lakes. And as luxury and boutique hotels come at such an affordable price in Vietnam, why not stay by the water in style? These are our picks for lakeside luxury and hotels with lake views.
You don’t have to wander far in Hanoi and you’re by the water. Located on the banks of the Red River, Vietnam’s capital is home to some twenty lakes and a hotel on, near or overlooking a lake is where to stay in Hanoi. No question.
Where to Stay in Hanoi for Lakeside Luxury and Hotels with Lake Views
Surrounded by narrow parklands with manicured lawns, shady trees, and picturesque walkways, Hanoi’s lakes are loved by locals and tourists alike. Tranquil early in the morning and late in the evening, by day these lively ponds are attractions in themselves for local-loving travellers.
Every day, Hanoi’s residents can be found jogging, exercising, and walking their dogs around the lakes. Groups of mature-aged women in colourful pyjamas exercise together and when they’re done, line up to pound massage each other’s necks and shoulders. Grey-haired gents in suit jackets with elbow patches play board games and gossip.
Young couples canoodle on park benches and pose for wedding photographers. Eager young university students stop foreigners for a chat to practice their English. And tourists in Birkenstocks capture it all on their cameras and smart phones.
Hanoi Hotels On Hoan Kiem Lake
In the heart of Hanoi and at the edge of the historic Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake or Hồ Hoàn Kiếm – the ‘lake of the returned sword’ – is the most enchanting and best known of Hanoi’s lakes. Cross the red-lacquered Huc Bridge (Morning Sunlight Bridge), above, to reach the 18th-century Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain). The pretty Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa) on a tiny island at its centre is photogenic.
The Apricot Hotel is our top recommendation when it comes to where to stay in Hanoi for its fantastic location right opposite Ho Hoan Kiem and its rooftop swimming pools with lake vistas. There’s a small infinity pool that offers unobstructed views of the lake and a larger pool that’s perfect for laps and leisurely dips, with plenty of sun-beds surrounding it offering panoramic views of Hanoi and Hoan Kiem below. The Apricot is in an unbeatable location if, like us, you love to get an insight into local life on early morning walks or late afternoon strolls around the lake. It’s decorated in a classically elegant style with 123 plush and spacious rooms offering both lake views and city views, so make sure to book a lake view room. Paintings and sculptures pepper the property, but we’re too distracted by those views.
136 Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Book Apricot Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Silk Path Boutique Hotel
This sumptuous boutique hotel right across the road from Hoan Kiem Lake is our next pick when it comes to where to stay in Hanoi for a brilliant lakeside location. It’s one of Hanoi’s most elegant hotels for its size with marble floors, grandfather clocks, lacquer paintings on its walls, and fresh flowers on antique sideboards. Situated on leafy Hang Khay street, the petite property has one of the prettiest parts of the lake on its doorstep with park benches shaded by big beautiful trees right across the road offering the perfect vantage points for taking in the local action. If you’re staying on a weekend when the streets around the lake are closed to traffic from 6pm on Fridays to midnight on Sundays, you’ll get to absorb the activity from your own balcony if you book the Grand Executive room. A spacious, 35-squared metre room with parquet floors, marble bathrooms, plush furniture, and a writing desk, the room has its own lovely private “dinner balcony” with lake vistas through the trees. Make sure you order room service breakfast and have the hotel set an elegant table for you for dinner one night. While you’re waiting you can sip a cocktail at the rooftop bar.
21 Hang Khay, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Book Silk Path Boutique Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel
Not far from the Silk Path, the Zephyr may not boast a lobby as opulent as its neighbour’s and its comfortable carpeted rooms may have more of a business hotel feel, however, the Zephyr Suites Balcony rooms are even more generously sized at 45 metres squared. Big windows ensure the rooms are light-filled – important in a city where so many rooms are window-less – and the private balconies, which boast Hoan Kiem Lake vistas, have an outdoor table and chairs. You can expect more marble bathrooms here, but the conservative beige and cream furnishings are rather boring. If it wasn’t for the lakeside location and wonderful lake views, the Zephyr wouldn’t be here, but it’s an excellent back up if you can’t get into Silk Path.
4-6 Ba Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Book Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Hanoi Hotels Near Hoan Kiem Lake
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
If money is no object and you’re don’t mind being a block from Hoan Kiem Lake, the luxurious Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in the elegant French Quarter is our next pick when it comes to where to stay in Hanoi near Hoan Kiem lake. This colonial-era grande dame, which dates to 1901, oozes history in spite of its modern remodelling. Guests have included literary greats such as Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene and silent movie legend Charlie Chaplin, which is reason enough to check in, in my opinion. The hotel is a little larger than we usually like with 364 rooms and suites, but we’ll forgive it because of the location, heritage, and sense of intimacy. We recommend the rooms steeped in history in the Metropole Wing with their polished floorboards and Oriental carpets and antiques, specifically the suites that Maugham, Greene and Chaplin checked into. While we rarely eat in when we’re in Vietnam, the Metropole boasts a few special spots, including the beautiful pool, the poolside Bamboo Bar, and the Parisian-style La Terrasse, which is fantastic for peoplewatching.
15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Book the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi M Gallery
Once again there are no lake views here but the lavish 5-star Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi, a member of the Sofitel brand’s M Gallery Collection, is just a block and half’s stroll from the lake and a few minutes walk to other French Quarter attractions, such as the majestic Hanoi Opera House. The theatrical hotel design apparently takes inspiration from 19th century France – and it’s a rather whimsical and fanciful 19th century France with its crimson velvet studded sofas, gilt-edged mirrors, and back-stage, dressing room light bulbs in the bathrooms of the generously sized rooms. There are a couple of well-regarded restaurants here, with Café Lautrec offering ‘international’ food, while Satine serves Vietnamese cuisine, so no need to feel guilty if you feel like staying in, however, it’s the indoor swimming pool, which can be opened to the elements during fine weather, and the outdoor sun terrace and spa that guests really love.
29 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Book Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi M Gallery online with our booking partner Booking.com.
What’s your pick of hotels when it comes to where to stay in Hanoi by the lake? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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