Where to stay in Hanoi is easy – you want to be on, near or overlooking one of Hanoi’s atmospheric lakes. And as Hanoi’s luxury hotels and boutique hotels in Hanoi come at such an affordable price in Vietnam, compared to other Southeast Asian capitals, why not stay by the water in style? These are our picks for lakeside luxury and Hanoi 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 Hanoi is home to some twenty lakes and a hotel on, near or overlooking a lake is where to stay in Hanoi. There’s no question.
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, while others 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.
Time at least part of your stay in Hanoi for a weekend when the lakeside road that encircles Hoan Kiem Lake is closed to traffic from 6pm on Fridays to midnight on Sundays. Local families take advantage of the serenity to stroll, slurp ice-creams, cycle, and skateboard around the lake. It’s not to be missed!
Where to Stay in Hanoi for Lakeside Luxury and Hotels with Lake Views
These are our picks of where to stay in Hanoi for a lakeside location, lake views and easy access to the lake. The lodgings below include brilliant-value 3-star, 4-star and 5-star hotels and include everything from affordable mid-range boutique hotels to more sumptuous grand hotels with swimming pools. All hotel rooms have a mini bar, satellite TV, safe, electric kettle, tea and coffee, etc.
While Hanoi’s 5-star hotels are obviously expensive, they’re more affordable compared to similar properties in other Southeast Asian cities, such as Singapore and Bangkok. Hanoi’s 3-star and 4-star hotels offer a range of rooms at various price points. While the low end of the scale offers fantastic value, you may not get a window let alone a room with a view.
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 a rooftop swimming pool and bar with breathtaking lake vistas. You want to sip sundowners here at least once during your stay.
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, or on the weekend when the lake side road is closed to traffic for much of the day.
There’s a decent-sized rooftop pool, a breezy terrace, and a bar that offers unobstructed views of the lake. The pool is 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 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 with our booking partners.
Silk Path Boutique Hotel
This sumptuous little 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 and a charming old-fashioned ambiance.
It’s one of Hanoi’s most elegant hotels for its size with marble and polished parquet floors, plush sofas, grandfather clocks, lacquer paintings on its white wood panelled 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 Friday evening to Sunday night, 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 with our booking partners.
Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel
Not far from the Silk Path, Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel 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, along with beige and cream furnishings, which while a tad boring are perfectly comfortable, but who cares about the carpet when you have such a convenient lakeside location and wonderful lake views (front rooms only).
The outstanding Vietnamese Women’s Museum is just two blocks away. It has an excellent collection of costumes, artefacts, art, and archival images illustrating the role of women in the history of Vietnam. There’s also a good bookstore and gift shop on the ground floor.
Location and outlook aside, Zephyr Suites has some of Hanoi’s best hotel staff. They’re warm, caring and efficient, and nothing is too much trouble. They’ll go out of their way to hail you a taxi, extend your check-out time if possible, make restaurant bookings, and wave goodbye when you leave. 4-6 Ba Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam Book Zephyr Suites Boutique Hotel with our booking partners.
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 people-watching. 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam Book the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel with our booking partners
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 with our booking partners.
Eliana Signature Hanoi Hotel
Following a stunning renovation, the Eliana Signature Hanoi Hotel is not only in a great Old Town location, two blocks from the lake and Thang Long Puppet Theatre, but it’s now home to one of the most gorgeous hotel lobbies in Hanoi, dazzling rooms decorated in dramatic colours, and affordable rooms that you’d expect to be more expensive.
With its dark wood panelling and shelves holding blue patterned ceramics, the atmospheric reception area is vaguely reminiscent of an old-fashioned shop. Fringed golden silk lanterns drip from above and a glorious floor-to-ceiling peacock watches over the waiting area with its tiled floor and red-cushioned sofas.
The bird theme and bold design is carried through all the spacious rooms, which boast more vibrant-painted walls, enormous murals and paintings featuring storks, chickens and cherry blossoms, colourful cushions and plush sofas, and writing desks with pretty ceramic lampshades. Hanoi hotel bathrooms are typically very boring, but here the sizeable baths and big showers boast pretty scallop-patterned tiles, ceramic bowl sinks, and potted plants.
The best rooms are the Suite with City View, which has enormous floor-to-ceiling windows with lovely leafy street views, and the Suite with Balcony, which has a tiled covered terrace with a bright mural, black cane furniture, hanging lanterns, and more brilliant Old Town vistas. It’s a perfect spot for post-sightseeing pre-dinner drinks.
The breakfast room is decorated with pretty floor tiles, hanging lanterns and colourful paintings and photographs. While breakfast is very good for a mid-range hotel, where the buffets are often lacklustre, with so much great street food in the neighbourhood I’d recommend limiting yourself to a pastry and coffee. 38 Pho Lo Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Book Eliana Signature Hanoi Hotel with our booking partners.
Hanoi Pearl Hotel
Only a couple of minutes walk to the lake, Hanoi Pearl Hotel is the pick of bunch of dozen or so small budget and mid-range hotels that dot the narrow, leafy, dog-legged street that is Bao Khanh Lane.
Bao Khanh is home to two Hanoi eating and sipping spots that we frequent whenever we’re in town: my favourite branch of Vietnam’s Japanese-owned Pizza 4Ps, and a dimly-lit cocktail bar called Polite & Co, which we’ve been known to spend at least one evening on a trip whiling away a few hours in over the years.
Right across the road is the Hanoi Pearl Hotel, which has a rather unexciting lobby that hasn’t yet been injected with the bold splashes of colour that has enlivened other Hanoi hotels, despite a minor revamp that’s made the casual restaurant and rooftop bar more appealing.
The alfresco section of the rooftop bar has sweeping views of the lake and leafy streets of this part of town, and you’ll definitely want to perch yourself on a stool here for sunset at least once during your stay.
Rooms are rather handsome in an old-fashioned way with heavy drapes and filmy curtains, polished wooden floorboards, plush sofas, shaded lamps, and framed black and white pictures of Old Hanoi.
While the Deluxe Room with Inner Courtyard View is the best value, it can feel claustrophobic. This won’t bother you if you’re going to be out the entire time, but if you’re settling in for more than a few days, choose one of the City View rooms or the enormous Terrace Suite, with the pretty long terrace with wrought iron chairs and tables. Bao Khanh lane, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Book Hanoi Pearl Hotel with our booking partners.
Hanoi Amorita Boutique Hotel
The 3-star Hanoi Amorita Boutique Hotel won’t win any design awards, with its lobby that looks like a travel agent’s office and plain functional rooms, but the hotel is great value for such a brilliant location, with the lake a minute’s walk away.
Opposite the hotel is a lively little garden, shaded by a huge banyan tree, that’s home to delightful Den Ba Kieu. Also called Thien Tien or the Heavenly Fairy pavilion, the centuries old temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess Lieu Hanh and her two princess maidens.
You’ll often see a dozen or so rickshaw drivers picturesquely parked at the front of the petite temple, waiting for their booked tour groups to cycle them through the Old Town. The Thang Long Puppet Theatre is also nearby.
Cross the road and there’s Hanoi’s famous red lacquered bridge that leads to serene Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem’s main attraction, and plenty of park benches to plonk yourself on to take in the lakeside action.
Paintings of flowers, dusky-blue bed-heads and throws, and yellow-gold cushions enliven what are otherwise plainly decorated but functional rooms. 7 Hang Dau Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Book Hanoi Amorita Boutique Hotel with our booking partners.
Minasi HanoiOi Hotel
The Minasi HanoiOi Hotel is an elegant little mid-range hotel with another striking lobby a block from Zephyr Suites, so only two blocks to the lake, and just around the corner from the superb Vietnamese Women’s Museum.
Many of Hanoi’s smaller, narrow hotels can feel uncomfortably claustrophobic with their skinny corridors and windowless rooms. Not the Minasi HanoiOi, thanks to a clever use of white – white panelling, white shutter-like features and white cut-out screens, which create a light, airy feel – and splashes of colour that enliven the spaces.
The blue-green colour scheme – turquoise, cobalt blue, jade, emerald green, and aquamarine – begins in the dramatic lobby and continues throughout the rooms. The jade-coloured tiled reception desk has ceramic turquoise lamps that match the turquoise satin ao dai, traditional Vietnamese dress, worn the gorgeous staff that welcome you.
While the compact entry-level rooms can be booked for around US$40 in low season, the pick of the bunch is the 50 square-metre Suite with Terrace. It has a sitting area beyond a white screen, overlooking a marble-floored terrace with potted palms, a cute bamboo table and seats, and city vistas.
If you’re not planning on spending much time in your room, then the 30 square-metre Studio is very similar. While it lacks the sitting area and terrace, it has floor to ceiling windows with views, and is about half the price. 30 Ba Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Book Minasi HanoiOi Hotel with our booking partners.
Note: This hotel guide contains affiliate links. If you book with our affiliate partner, you won’t pay any more than if you’d booked directly, however, we earn a small commission which supports our work on this site.
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.