A touch of chic
Maison d’Orient combines a peaceful and convenient location with charming, spotless rooms and professional staff, all at a reasonable price.
Despite the fancy name, Maison d’Orient lacks pretension. Reception is a low-key affair, lined with black and white mosaic tiles and furnished with some low solid wooden chairs and a small outside terrace, handy for waiting for your GrabBike. Staff are polite and helpful; when we asked for a tip on a good bun cha joint, they immediately directed us to 1 Hang Manh, a good streetside pick.
Rooms are understated, with the decor successfully combining propaganda posters, bright cushions and local art with painted metal, bamboo matting on cupboards and light laminate furnishings. Spread over three floors—accessible only by stairs, though they have a lift "for luggage, not humans!"—each has been given the name of a spice as well as a number: Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Star Anise, Ginger and Pepper. The array is such that nearly all rooms are quite different, but consistent between them all is the style (it reminded us of a lot of the more stylish hotels you'll find in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap), attention to detail and cleanliness.
We stayed in a Cinnamon Grand room, which was spacious and comfortable. The room naming and numbering is so confusing that we aren't sure whether we actually paid a higher price by booking through an OTA; we suggest at least checking their own website to see if it is indeed lower. We paid US$48 per night, but Cinnamon rooms on their site are just US$30.
Ginger rooms are more spacious again, and come with a small kitchenette area equipped with a fridge, halogen stove, microwave, cooker and sink, plus big wooden doors leading out onto a balcony. The smaller Lemongrass rooms are similarly decorated but don't have a kitchenette nor balcony. Pepper rooms are the largest and suitable for families; Star Anise are somewhere in the middle.
All rooms come equipped with quality bedding, flatscreen TVs and minibar, and bathrooms have either a shower over bath or a shower cubicle. A cooked breakfast augmented by a selection of fruits, toast, jams and juice is served in a light and airy room where you'll even find a small library.
The address of Maison d’Orient is Ngo Huyen, a particularly touristy street, so before our visit we found it hard to believe that its location would be peaceful. But it’s tucked away at the end of an alley that runs off Ngo Huyen, so while it might not exactly be cabin-in-the-woods type of peaceful, it doesn’t get the same through traffic as Ngo Huyen proper.
If Maison d'Orient fits within your budget and you value character and style, it's a recommended pick. The location close to St Joseph's is superb and there's plenty of good shopping and eats within walking distance.
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 14th March, 2017.
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