May 05 2011
The Sapa Rooms Hotel in central Sapa is run with a socially responsible philosophy: it is committed to working with, and supporting, local communities. It also recruits staff trained by KOTO, the training and employment centre for street and disadvantaged youth. But its social responsibility is matched by a high quality hotel and restaurant that makes it worth a visit even for an afternoon cup of tea and cake. It’s one of my favourite places in Sapa — though my budget hasn’t stretched to a room there yet — and so when I heard that the owners were opening a hotel in Hanoi I was keen to check it out.
6 on Sixteen is located on Bao Khanh Street – near the northwest edge of Hoan Kiem Lake and next to the ‘Real’ Kangaroo Cafe. Attention to design detail is as evident here as at Sapa Rooms, with all the furnishings designed by co-owner Dinh Khac Tiep.
Depending upon your priorities, rooms might not the best value in town — if you compare size and facilities — but what you get for your $65+ is a simply and uniquely decorated room with quality bedding and a bathrobe, a modern, slate-tiled bathroom and a balcony. Breakfast for two is also included. And it’s more about the environment here — the hotel has a unique atmosphere from the moment you walk in the front door and will certainly appeal to the more artistically inclined.
The hotel also houses a restaurant which, as well as an appetising a la carte menu of Western and Vietnamese dishes, runs a nightly “Supper at Seven” event: for a fixed price guests join a communal table and are served with six dishes and a glass of wine, along with commentary regarding the source and preparation of the dish.
I haven’t made it along for this event yet but did pop in for dinner last week: I enjoyed the coq au vin – although it could have done with more sauce — and my friend liked the flavours of her fish dish, though a bit more fish wouldn’t have gone amiss. Drinks-wise they serve the usual beer and wine and have a reasonable cocktail list.
It’s not a restaurant for those liking their privacy as the tables are all long and communal, but there’s enough room to sit a bit apart from the other diners if you prefer and what it lacks in privacy it makes up for in style and friendliness. I’ll certainly be back.
Update 3rd February 2014: 6 on Sixteen no longer serves meals but has recently opened The Tea House, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.
6 on Sixteen
16 Bao Khanh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.