95 Nguyen Truong To, Hoi An T: (0510) 391 5995
B’Lan House is a quirky relatively new budget build with bags of old character set in a big garden, a slow 10-minute stroll from the lantern-strewn alleyways of old town Hoi An and two minutes from one of the best local markets in town.
Formerly a homestay, B’Lan dropped this word from its title and they’ve spent a year now jazzing things up and getting the right balance of friendly service and tasteful finishing touches to move itself to a fresh level. In estate agent spiel, the house is bijou, with just four beautifully appointed bedrooms overlooking the gardens, plus a small reception with tour desk and WiFi throughout. Rooms have either wood or terracotta tiled floors, old town-style shutters, and brushed slate tiled bathrooms with new fittings, including a bath tub and shower.
Styling is minimalist Japanese all the way through. Upstairs rooms come with lightly furnished balconies and once the shutters are opened a good breeze flows through, a good thing since the rooms are huge and the small air-con units are not quite up to their role during the height of the summer months from May to August. These months you’re better off booking into ground floor room four, a shadier deluxe complete with air-con, fan and a porch.
For ‘zen’ minded (and able bodied) guests, the Japanese rooms with floor level futon beds are charming; the rest of us less nimble folk should stick with the cheaper deluxe where the super firm mattresses are enthroned on a much more traditional level frame.
Prices vary between $15 and $23, not including breakfast; staff helpfully pointed out that for the best discounts you should look to Agoda unless you are staying longer than the average two nights, as they are unable to offer short-stay discounts at the desk. We managed to knock them down to $12 for a deluxe in high season – incredible value for such surroundings.
Despite B’lan’s tiny price tag, great location and old town styling, the guesthouse is still recovering from a stream of less than impressive reviews during its foot finding first year. It’s more than likely you will be the only guest staying here, which is perfect – a tranquil spot in a lively local neighbourhood, with charming staff; you might just learn a little about life outside the tourist spotlight of the old town.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.