Famous as one of the best seaside town in Vietnam, visitors tour Halong bay to enjoy the spectacular of Halong bay with limestone rock formations, mountain tunnels and hidden lagoons. Western tourists to Halong bay usually spend the night on board the cruiser however Asian visitors especially domestic Vietnamese prefer to stay at hotels. There are hundreds of hotels and guesthouses in Halong city and most of them are crowded at weekends or holidays such as Labour day May 1st or National day 2nd September. Within the frame of this article I would like to recommend 5 best choices of hotels in Halong bay within your budget and preferences.
1 – Top luxury choice: Novotel Halong hotel
Novotel Ha Long is one of the best hotels in Halong under both equipment and services, Novotel Ha Long is luxurious, modern mixed with traditional oriental features. The hotel has 214 spacious guest rooms, most with balconies facing the sea, where guests can indulge views over the sea at sunrise or sunset. This hotel organize BBQ party every Saturday dinners and buffet on weekdays, dinner at the hotel is pretty expensive about 20 usd/person. There is a beach near Novotel hotel in the Royal Amusement park, however you don’t need to go out for swimming as Novotel has a big pool facing the sea, very clean. As for me you should use the hotel pool in stead of going to beach as it is very relaxing at the pool, just take a leisure walk along the beach in the evening.
2 – Best choice for family with kids: Halong Dream Hotel
One of the first high end hotel in Halong city, the 4 star Halong Dream hotel is ranked among the best hotels for family going on holidays with children. Halong Dream hotel has a total of 184 rooms fully equipped with the finest amenities in accordance with international standards. The hotel is located in the heart of Halong city with beautiful views of Halong Bay with its unique architecture, consisting of 15 floors designed in ancient French architecture, all the furniture are made of wood creating a warm and cozy atmostphere for to the hotel. The room we stayed was large with plenty of floor space for our kids to play and she got a real good wooden baby cot for herself. The spacious restaurant with ample space and tasteful decor can cater for hundreds guests with Vietnamese, Asian and European dishes. Trang An bar & cafe opens from 10am to 12pm with plenty of wine and drinks, the bar can accommodate 120 people at the same time.
3 – Best choice for mid range travelers: Cong Doan halong hotel
A state run hotel located on top of a hill in the city centre. Cong Doan (or Trade Union) Halong is slightly outdated hotel a bit hidden from the tourist beach area. Perhaps Cong Doan is one of the few state hotels that satisfy foreign tourists with it’s professional service. Although the Cong Doan hotel was built a long time ago the quality of facilities are still very good, rooms are large and well equiped, very clean and the cleaners did a good job by changing the towels 2 times a day. Staff at the hotel are very friendly and helpful although not all of them can speak English. Despite the fact that I did not like this hotel location that much, I would still recommend it if you don’t have a big budget. Everything is good for the value of money.
4 – Best budget hotel for backpackers: Entity hotel
Entity is a 2 star hotel located in the busy area of Halong city with many budget hotels and restaurants. What I like about this hotel is that it has almost everything nearby, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, massage places, clubs…Food and drinks are very cheap. Entity hotel has 20 rooms fully equiped with rates from only about 25 usd with buffet breakfast. As the hotel is right in front of the main road leading to the beach where you can stroll around and experience the local nightlife. The bed is big and comfortable though the morning breakfast was a bit disappointed with a few choices. Entity hotel is often full at weekends with domestic tourists from Hanoi go to Halong bay and Chinese visitors coming from across the border.
5 – Best guest house: Phuong Nam hotel
If you are traveling on tight budget and want to keep your expense as cheap as possible this is definitely your choice. Phuong Nam is a basic family hotel built on Hau Can road of Bai Chai area. Phuong Nam hotel has 7 storeys with about 30 rooms, rates start from 10 usd including breakfast. The hotel is located in a very quiet area and if you choose a room on high floor you can have a spectacular view of Halong bay through the window, especially the sunset in the morning. The rooms are basic but clean with hot water and air conditioner. Breakfast is served with mostly instant noodle with beef and bread with eggs, the hotel don’t serve lunch or dinner unless you order in advance however you can find some local restaurants just a walk away. There are only a few staff at the hotel and they are very helpful though their English is hard to understand.