Imposing but well done
If you are one of those travellers with a tendency to lose your bearings, the towering Thanh Van 2 with its illuminated rooftop sign screams “I’m here!”, making it an easy hotel to find your way back to. But even if you’ve got an inbuilt compass, Thanh Van 2 packs a punch with its huge rooms at flashpacker prices.
Set a good 10-minute walk from the old town or a two-minute ride on the free hotel-provided pushbikes, it’s not exactly central, but if you are looking for some real authentic Vietnamese dining options it’s surrounded by some of the very best in town.
For instance, a fabulous street barbecue grill just across the road fires up its coals from early afternoon and the local’s favourite banh xeo restaurant, Hai Dao, is just around the corner at 160 Ly Thai To. If you miss the included hotel breakfast (although it’s very good), take a wander down the lane opposite (off Hai Ba Trung) and you will find the most incredible ancient house cafe run by a lovely Vietnamese couple who charge local prices and grind and brew their own coffee on site.
But back to the hotel. Thanh Van 2 is a giant among Hoi An’s hotels, with beautiful gardens, pool, spa and its own tailor on site (who is actually very good). In their sprawling space they could quite easily have doubled the number of rooms, but instead have 37 massive air-con, clean and beautifully furnished rooms with bathrooms bigger than a regular standard twin room.
WiFi is good throughout the hotel and they have free computers down in the lobby should you need them. They also offer an hourly transfer to their sister hotel — the (surprisingly named) Thanh Van 1 — right on the edge of town. They will arrange tours, onward travel and motorbike hire.
Of the three room types the best value are the superior rooms, priced at US$27 at the back of the hotel with big balconies. The $20 standard rooms are huge but be warned that the ones in the basement don’t have windows — on the plus side, if you are booked into one of these rooms and there is space they quite often upgrade – so take advantage of the Agoda rates and book in advance. Deluxe rooms ($35) are like having your own apartment; if you are travelling with small children the space these offer will be a life saver; extra beds are $8 each.
It’s certainly worth the extra distance into town when compared to the similarly priced Hoa My hotel on Tran Cao Van Street or the An Phu on Nguyen Duy Hieu.
Thanh Van 2 attracts a mixed flashpacker and backpacker crowd, while being very family friendly. It’s very popular with returning guests and is the chosen abode by expats looking to put up visiting friends and family; the hotel is packed when the town floods during the wet season, as its positioning just back from the main road into town means that while it can be noisy it tends not to flood.
For those who don’t mind venturing out of town to find good value accommodation and are looking for somewhere nearer the fabulous An Bang Beach, the Thanh Van 2 is well worth its rates.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.