Great bargain pick
What we say:
Phu Hoa “Tourist Guest House” is one of our top budget picks for Hanoi, offering 10 decently sized rooms with windows for just $10 for singles and $12 for couples — it’s one of the cheapest places to stay in a private room in the city.
While Phu Hoa upgraded their street signage recently to a dazzling yellow and red number, the interior remains the same. The reception can be off-putting, as it’s cluttered, grey and gloomy but the proprietor, Mr Thang, brightens it up with his smile and helpfulness – and if you like babies or children you’re likely to find at least one hanging around. This area also houses a couple of computer stations.
- Read more about our favourite Hanoi budget hotels.
It’s often the case with family-run hotels in Vietnam that the reception doubles as the family living room and at Phu Hoa it really does feel like you are walking through someone’s house — or even through the homes of several families. As we walked up the stairs to the rooms we passed kitchens and caught glimpses of various living quarters. Without wishing to sound voyeuristic, it makes it an interesting place to stay.
It seems impossible that Phu Hoa houses 10 rooms, but it’s in a rambling, tall and thin house, as many are in Hanoi, and guest rooms are stacked at the back of the building. But that doesn’t mean the rooms are small — quite the opposite, they are a very generous size, particularly given the price.
What you get for your $10 or $12 are two beds, a fridge, air-con and fan — useful for Hanoi’s autumn through early spring when air-con’s not really necessary — an old TV and a basic wetroom. Beds have soft, cheap mattresses and tiny pillows but we’d expect nothing else for the price. And the rooms have windows — more than one in some cases.
Despite the general clutter and grime that’s visible outside the rooms — we were loathe to touch the handrails — rooms are clean, with not even a whiff of damp, which is more unusual than it may sound for Hanoi hotels in wet weather.
The price doesn’t include breakfast, but the guesthouse is located on Luong Van Can — also known as toy street — very close to the top of Hoan Kiem Lake, so numerous eating options are available nearby. Right outside Phu Hoa you’ll find stalls selling ban bao (savoury-filled buns) and you’re within a five-minute walk of other street food stalls as well as tourist orientated restaurants.
In terms of price and quality, Phu Hoa is matched only by Thuy Nga Hotel on Ta Hien, but Phu Hoa has the edge with room size and general appeal — even over some more expensive Hanoi hotels. If you can see past the reception area and somewhat suspect stairwell, it’s really worth checking out.
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Contact details:16 Luong Van Can, Hoan Kiem District. T: (04) 3828 5173, (0986) 491 664
Email them at: Phuhoa_hotel@yahoo.com.vn
What we were quoted
|Type of room||Low season||High season||Notes|
|Sgl air-con private b'room||10 USD||10 USD|
|Dbl air-con private b'room||12 USD||12 USD|
Added to Travelfish on: 11th February, 2008
Last visited or updated on: 26th December, 2013
Read Phu Hoa reviews
Rated 4.5 out of 5
Based on 2 ratings and 2 reviews
Friendly and Homey
My review is a little belated - I stayed here about a year and a half ago, and was reminded of it when a friend who is about to go to Vietnam asked me for recommendations. I don't remember exactly what we paid. The owner was really kind and friendly. He didn't speak a whole lot of English, but we were able to communicate about the important stuff and he taught me a bit of Vietnamese (and was quite amused by my attempts to use it). It is nothing particularly fancy, but of all the places that I stayed on my trip, Phu Hoa was probably my favorite because of him. Also, they have a computer with internet, but it isn't included. I forget what it cost - I think it was slightly higher than what we found in an internet cafe, but not much higher, and certainly more convenient and kinder service. Also, if I only used it for a short period (like 15 min), he only charged for the time I actually spent using it.
Phu Hoa reviewed by eb (Total reviews: 5) on
After checking out several other guesthouses in the Old Quarter, we found the value we wanted at Phu Hoa. We kept coming back in between side trips to Sapa and Ha Long Bay so we stayed in 3 different rooms, all of them were spacious and clean. We paid U$10/night for the fan rooms. They featured plenty of windows, extra fans, cable TV, VERY hot showers, etc. Also enjoyed the maze-like spiral staircases leading to the rooms, with balcony-esque landings outside (one room actually had 2 entrances). The old man who owns it is very sweet and sincere and since it's only a guesthouse, there's no pressure for booking tours and such. Location is great too, just across from Minh's Jazz Club. Only negative feedback: pillows are a little small/hard, and blankets a wee bit scratchy. Overall though, will be my home in Hanoi any time I'm there.
Phu Hoa reviewed by DLuek (Total reviews: 11) on
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Phu Hoa map
16 Luong Van Can, Hoan Kiem District.
T: (04) 3828 5173, (0986) 491 664
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