CHECK IT OUT HANOI LA SIESTA CENTRAL HOTEL & SPA
A boutique hotel with just 27 guestrooms across five floors has opened on Cau Go Street in the heart of the Vietnamese capital’s historic Old Quarter. The dress-circle locale means guests of Hanoi La Siesta Central Hotel & Spa have views over the rooftops of the heritage town on one side of the building and across Hoan Kiem Lake on the other.
The property is owned and operated by Vietnamese company Elegance Hospitality Group and chairman and founder Do Van Dan has taken a special interest in the conversion of this historic home into a very smart, well-priced hotel. Inside he’s gone for a classic and understated elegance, with dark wood panelling, black and white tiles and cream upholstery. Nineteen of the guestrooms come with lake views; the Junior Suite Lake View and Premium La Siesta Suite Balcony claim the best outlooks. All feature king-size beds, large flat-screen TVs and super-smart bathrooms with rain showers.
The mezzanine-level day spa is the headline act and follows the classic black and white theme across seven treatment rooms; the menu is inspired by traditional Vietnamese healing practices.
EHG has emerged as one of Vietnam’s leading boutique chains. Do Van Dan learned the ropes working as a hotel receptionist before opening a 10-room property with just four staff in 2006. The Central is the group’s sixth hotel in Hanoi.
DON’T MISS: The hotel offers a range of options from a Hanoi street-food tour to day trips to destinations including the Bat Trang Ceramic Village or Tay Phuong Pagado and Van Phuc silk village.
DINING IN: There are great lake views from the rooftop Red Bean restaurant and Twilight Sky Bar (try the extra spicy Welcome to the Sky tipple with vodka, fresh mandarin juice and homemade hot spice puree). In the restaurant, executive chef Dinh Van Manh oversees a great Vietnamese menu along with regional and Western dishes such as Thang Long grilled fish or crabmeat and green asparagus soup, Asian-style, alongside grilled Australian striploin.
DINING OUT: Try Banh Mi 25 for Vietnamese-style baguettes or nab a table on the pavement at the Parisian-style La Terrasse at the historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Take a stroll to Giang Cafe, which specialises in ca phe trung, or egg coffee, a Hanoi specialty in which a creamy soft, meringuelike egg-white foam is perched atop dense Vietnamese coffee.
CHECKING IN: From $US85 ($107); premium suite from $US169. More: hanoilasiestacentralhotel.com.
ALSO TRY: La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa, Vietnam; Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel; Seven Terraces, George Town, Penang.