An excellent, quiet, under-$20 place to stay
45 Le Quy Don St (corner Tran Hung Dao), Hoi An T: (0510) 916 579
Peeking out from behind a courtyard decorated with colourful French cafe-style tables and chairs, bright red umbrellas and a frangipani tree, Hoi An’s Hoang Trinh Hotel is an excellent, quiet, under-$20 place to stay surrounded by some of the town’s most beautiful architecture.
Front-facing rooms and the second-floor breakfast balcony look straight over the magnificent Confucius temple on busy Tran Hung Dao Road — but the hotel is 30 metres back from the main road on the quiet Le Quy Don lane, so it’s away from the bustle. Although it feels like it’s a long walk from town, once you get your bearings you’ll find you’re midway between the old town and An Hoi. Slip down a little alley opposite and you’ll come out the quiet side of the Japanese Bridge on the bohemian, artsy Nguyen Thi Minh Street, which is a far better introduction to the city than busy Le Loi.
As for facilities, the hotel classes itself as a B&B, with a dusty courtyard, a reception packed with everything you could wish for on a rainy day, including two computers, shelves of books, a guitar, cuddly toy and a helpful receptionist. The best bit though is the breakfast balcony on the second floor and its great views.
For a Hoi An budget hotel, rooms are awe-inspiringly good. They’re beautifully presented, with both air-con and a ceiling fan, spacious, and havea fridge, dressing table and flatscreen TV. Ensuite bathrooms are a little old-fashioned, with showers over the bath, but are squeaky clean and well maintained with good pressure hot water.
The best rooms are the front facing first and second floor balcony rooms, which monopolise the best views. Rear facing rooms overlook a pre-school, which can be noisy, with the ground floor rooms coming in last as they only have windows facing out onto adjacent walls – in the rainy season months of October and November, if the town floods, these do to. WiFi is free and the coverage is excellent but does tend to drop out a bit on the second floor.
As for value for money, we struggle to think of anything else at a similar price that the Hoang Trinh wouldn’t knock the socks off. The best we could come up with was Minh Quang Hotel on Hai Ba Trung, which has a couple of rooms on the third and fourth floors that we’d happily settle with if the Hoang Trinh was full.
But for rooms, service and atmosphere this little 20-room hotel competes with the far more expensive three-star hotels in Hoi An. The refreshing price ladder means solo travelers pay $12 instead of the normal $15 room charge; balcony rooms come in at between $17 and $20 and breakfast is charged only if you indulge — it’s $2 a head.
The hotel attracts a mixed and slightly older crowd. If you are looking for more of a party hotel then you need to head for Ba Trieu Street which has a glut of overpriced, windowless hotels and cheap bars. The atmosphere at Hoang Trinh is far more family orientated, with staff throwing weekly complimentary dinners for guests. It’s more green tea than rice wine, a one-star operation with four-star staff happy to go the extra mile.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 18th June, 2014.