Joseph’s Hang Da is a no-frills hotel but has all the right ingredients to make it an excellent Hanoi flashpacker to midrange choice: convenient location, professional staff, comfortable rooms and a tasty breakfast, all at a reasonable price. Less than a year old, the bright and cheerful hotel is on un-touristy Duong Thanh Street, and is a lower priced, yet still quality, alternative to its midrange sister hotel, Joseph’s.
You may be put off looking at this place by the canteen-style breakfast room at the front of the hotel, which you have to walk through to get to reception. While the room is extremely neat and clean, it’s an unusual set-up; it does, however, makes perfect sense as usually breakfast rooms are tucked away at the back of buildings, meaning they get very little light and can be uninviting spaces.
At Joseph’s Hang Da it’s a welcoming space, and this follows through into the rest of the hotel. Opened in February 2012, after complete renovation, the decor is still fresh, with lots of white and pale yellow contributing to a sense of airiness and cleanliness, while the staff are chatty and welcoming.
Rooms are three to a floor, accessible by a staircase — no lift, but there are only four floors so it’s not too far to walk. The deluxe room at the front is the prize, with lots of space, a desk, a sofa and a small balcony, usefully kitted out with stools and a high table from which you can just about view the street below. It’s the sort of room you could set up camp in for a while if you wanted to — and lots do, so book early.
The room at the back is also a deluxe although slightly smaller and lacking the balcony and sofa — though an armchair is provided and the window’s big enough to let in light and provide a view of the attractive Align Cafe behind.
Middle-rooms (superiors) are practically windowless and small but a good value flashpacker option, being comparable with the price at Cozy Hotel 2 on Hang Be. All rooms come with large flatscreen TVs, and fridges and bathrooms are compact but well equipped with modern fittings.
The superiors go for $25/$30 (single/double) and the deluxes $35/$40 — it’s worth paying the extra.
Back to breakfast, when the food on offer extends beyond the usual egg and bread to include goodies like Western-style breakfast cereal — all packed in airtight boxes for freshness — eggs, bacon, sausages, French toast, pancakes and fresh fruit, taken in the aforementioned bright and cheerful breakfast room.
Duong Thanh runs from Hang Bong to join Phung Hung near the railway tracks and market. Joseph’s Hang Da is at the northern end, near the junction of Bat Dan and within a few minutes’ walk of a couple of bia hoi joints as well as some of the best pho in Hanoi. For coffee, check out the Align Cafe, down the alley next door — it’s not cheap but the decor’s worth a look.