Dien Bien Phu sees a steady flow of tourists and travellers passing through and there's an adequate selection of places to choose from. Be aware that many places are not licensed to take foreigners. If someone starts shaking their head and waving you away as you approach, try another place. All the places we list do take foreigners.
Cong Duan is a large hotel on the main road near the roundabout. The huge dining area downstairs suggests they cater for group events, which is a bit off-putting, and the hallways are shabby and tired. However, the bedrooms we saw were decent — spacious and clean with good furnishings and plenty of light — and come with bathtubs or balconies. Rates displayed at reception range from 180,000 to... Read our full review of Cong Duan Hotel.
A relatively fancy option for Dien Bien Phu, although the grey concrete building is particularly uninspiring. Reception has a professional feel to it and rooms are well decorated with light wood furniture (shame about the lime green curtains) and equipped with minibar, TV, air-con and shower bathrooms. They were busy on our last visit so we were only able to view a ground floor room, which lacked... Read our full review of Dien Bien Phu Hanoi Hotel.
This place is across from the bus station, closer to the Thanh Binh bridge. The rooms we saw were light and airy, if a bit musty, but an improvement over the nearby Hai Yen on that score. They are a bit cramped but some come with a balcony and you won't pay more for it. Otherwise, bland but decent furnishing, mossy nets and broadcast TVs, although the bathrooms are a bit grimy and bedding's well... Read our full review of Viet Hoang Guest House.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.