Saved by the staff
From humble beginnings has risen an empire of Old Quarter hotels: Rising Dragon now has seven hotels in Hoan Kiem District, from cheaper Rising Dragon Hotel in Hang Be Street through to the creme de la creme of the dragons, Rising Dragon Palace. Most recently, we checked out midrange Rising Dragon Grand on Hang Ga.
Rising Dragon Grand has 40 rooms spread over nine floors and yes, there is a lift — look out for the ornate horoscope flooring there… oh wait, you can’t miss it! Rooms are well appointed, though a little tatty around the edges and somewhat lacking character. But perhaps we’re being fussy, as overall they’re of a good standard. Still, if you like fancy wallpaper and quirky detail, look elsewhere: this is a comfortable, yet unexciting, hotel.
The cheapest superior rooms — US$25 — are very small and have no windows, but they’ll do the job for a couple of nights. Rooms at the back on lower floors have windows overlooking an inner air vent — for want of a better description for a hole in the middle of the hotel — but the higher rooms have views, for an extra US$10 dollars. “Deluxe city” front rooms are the prize, with shady balconies and double-glazed doors which really do keep out the noise. The balconies may not be furnished but you can drag a chair out from the bedroom to enjoy the view with a beer from the minibar. Walk-in rate at time of writing was US$45. Connecting rooms, triples and a suite are also available.
All rooms have desks with PCs and even come with irons and ironing boards – that’s something we don’t see very often. Minibars and safety deposit boxes are also standard, beds are well-dressed and comfy looking and all in all the rooms are of the quality we’d expect for a midrange hotel.
Buffet and a la carte breakfast is included in the room rate and served in the smart dining room behind reception. Lunch and dinner can also be ordered here, if you’re not in the mood to venture out, but it’s a bit soulless.
Staff at decent hotels in Hanoi tend to be friendly, but Trang, who showed us around was especially chatty and engaging and deserves a special mention for really doing the hotel credit.
Walk-in rates (quoted here) for Rising Dragon Grand Hotel make it a reasonable option for the quality — online rack rates are too high, compared to equivalent standard hotels such as Art Hotel down the road, and Classic Street (Pho Co) Hotel on Hang Be.
Hang Ga — which translates as chicken street — is in the northwest of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, running north from Hang Dieu. It’s outside of the main tourist area yet still an easy walk to most of the Old Quarter attractions. Note that although this is the Rising Dragon Grand Hotel, the word ‘Grand’ is missing from its signage.
By Sarah Turner
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.