16 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi T: (04) 3938 2188
While Sans Souci IV may stretch its claims somewhat on its website — “unbeatable service combined with unparalleled accommodations” and “our rooms are the best-looking and best-equipped in the Old Quarter” made us smile — this is a solid Hanoi hotel choice in its price range, with smart, well-equipped rooms, good staff and a lively and convenient location.
Sans Souci IV stands out on Ngo Quyen, with its shiny black and white exterior leaping out from the clutter and primary colours of the souvenir shops, travel agents and tourist bars along the alley. This is backpacker central: likely driven by the Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel a few doors down and the other hostel-style accommodation that’s sprung up alongside. So for that reason it’s a good option for those wanting to be close to the action but who have a bit more money to spend on lodgings.
Reception is cool and light, with neutrally upholstered armchairs — trust me, that’s not common — and an elevator awaits to whisk you to your room. Each floor has two rooms: one at the front and one at the back. Rooms at the front are US$35 for a double compared to $30 at the back due to the balcony, other than that they’re very similar in size and facilities are identical. At the back, the cathedral view rooms are $25 for a single and $45 for a family. Note though that although rooms at the back are cheaper they’re also a bit quieter, so unless you’re particularly keen on a balcony or street view, opt for a back room. Rates include breakfast — the usual choice of noodles and eggs — served in the restaurant at the back.
Also, if you’re not intimate with your travelling partner you’ll need a back room as those at the front only come with a double bed. At the back you’ll find a double and single bed, making it perfect for couples, friends or a family. On the subject of beds, they are on the firm side — despite assurances that they were “very comfortable” they might not suit those who like a bit of squidginess. They’re well dressed beds, although light on the pillows. Rooms come with working desks, minibars and safety deposit boxes.
Bathrooms have shower cubicles with wooden and stone floors and are clean and well-lit, although show a little bit of wear and tear — that’s us being picky.
It all sounds great, and the rooms really are good quality, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how narrow they are: if you sleep on the window side of the bed you’ll have quite a squeeze past the flat screen, wall-mounted TV. Or you could climb over your companion, which might be more fun.
On a very positive note, the staff we encountered were helpful and friendly — with not a hint of being disgruntled with us for disturbing their lunch break. Staff really can make a difference to your stay so it’s worth considering.
By Sarah Turner
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.