Comfy and well located
Essence Palace is a rather sumptuous, well-located option for those looking to be right in the middle of the action in the Old Quarter.
This 2014-opened hotel is one of the more affordable of the Essence collection of hotels, but still offers impeccable service and top-notch rooms. Rooms are decorated with thoughtful touches such as moveable reading lamps as well as drop-lanterns to create a lovely ambience, embroidered runners and pillows, cushioned bedheads and tasteful art.
Rooms come with full amenities, including safety deposit box, laundry service (pricey -- always go to a place charging by the kilo instead), room service, a desk with laptop (which we didn't use and seemed a bit archaic) and lamp, toiletries, hair dryer, minibar and snacks, fridge, flatscreen TV, hot drink-making facilities and phone. WiFi worked well. We liked the generous fruit basket left in the room for our arrival.
We stayed in a standard room, which meant no windows. As usual, this isn't necessarily a bad thing in Hanoi's Old Quarter as it means you're guaranteed a quiet night's sleep—plus we were on the fourth floor, which is their quiet zone. A window with a wooden blind over the bed head looked into a small atrium, which meant the room wasn't too claustrophobic thanks to the lack of outdor-facing windows. The room itself however was a little on the small size, particularly for two people—with one it was quite manageable.
Prices rise as you add space, windows and bath tubs. An elevator services the 29 rooms spread across eight floors. Common areas are carpeted, adding to the fancy and quite hushed feel of the place.
Breakfast served in their attached restaurant, Gia Ngu, is included if you book with the hotel directly, but not always if you book with an online travel agent. We didn't have breakfast here, but there are plenty of restaurants and street food in the area offering pho, bun rieu and Western breakfasts. You can order room service from Gia Ngu, and if you need some pampering there's an attached spa.
We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, and as a bonus, they didn't push any tour services on us. The location is right in the heart of the Old Quarter, meaning you can walk to plenty of sights, including Hoan Kiem Lake, which is just a few minutes' walk away.
While the trimmings at Essence Palace cannot be faulted, prices are just a touch above what you will pay elsewhere for a similar quality. But if this place is within your budget, we'd go for it—it's got style, warm staff and all you need for a good night's stay.
Address: 27-29 Gia Ngu St, Old Quarter, Hanoi
T: (024) 3926 2135; F: (024) 3926 2136
Coordinates (for GPS): 105º51'9.57" E, 21º1'58.82" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$20 to 50
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard single room|
|Standard double room|
|Superior double room|
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