Aug 11 2012
May de Ville Backpackers Hostel opened about a year ago and wasn’t shy about it: it’s 10 storeys tall and has a large lit sign on the roof, visible from afar. The name is somewhat deceptive as although it has some features of a backpacker hostel, such as dorm rooms and lounge area, the reception has more of a hotel feel to it and there are plenty of quality private rooms on offer too.
Centrally located in Old Quarter, its entrance is tucked away down an alley off Ta Hien – look out for a bright sign next to Boo Skateshop — it’s a five-minute walk, traffic permitting, to Hoan Kiem Lake, and near to numerous bars, restaurants, street food and shops.
Dorm rooms each contain six beds and a small bathroom and are clean, bright and air-con. Each bed has a large locker. The seven dorm rooms fill-up quickly, so do book in advance.
If you’re looking for a private room there are three types: twin, double and family (with a single and double bed). All are well-equipped with a desk, large flat screen TV, DVD player and laptop, and have windows and air-con. Bathrooms are quite small, but adequate, with the shower partly-screened from the rest of the room, possibly avoiding too much of a wet floor issue, although we didn’t try it out. Decor is uninspiring — although the frosted walls on the bathroom lend it a modern and unusual edge — but bedding looks fresh and beds are comfortable enough. Go for a room on a higher floor if you can as the views are great.
As well as laptops in private rooms and free WiFi throughout the hotel, internet stations are provided in reception. Tours can also be booked here and a noticeboard advertises train and bus times as well as motorbikes for rent and sale and other travel and backpacker-related notices — on our last visit the hotel was looking for English teachers for the staff in return for food vouchers. The hotel will also book a taxi pick-up from the airport for US$18 — look out for promotions on free airport pick-up if you’re booking a private room.
A lounge area on the second floor has a pool table in one room and a huge TV in the other. It’s a bit tatty but there are plenty of sofas so it’s a good place to hang out and a well-considered addition.
Dorm bed prices are on a par with others in Hanoi at US$6 (they’re US$8 on the website, so be sure to call or email if you’re booking in advance) and private rooms are reasonable value at US$30 for a double or twin and US$39 for a triple. Prices include a buffet breakfast, taken in the restaurant on the 10th floor. While breakfast is a standard offer in most Hanoi hostels and hotels, a buffet breakfast really makes the price of a dorm bed good value.
Overall, May de Ville is a great option for a dorm bed if Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel is full or you prefer somewhere a bit quieter. And the privates certainly hold their own against other similarly priced options nearby such as Cozy Hotel 2 and Lucky Star.
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.