by Santorini Dave • Updated: October 16, 2018
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Hue Hotels – Tips and Advice
- Hue’s main attractions are the Perfume River, along which the city sits, and the ancient Imperial City and Citadel, north of the river. There is no accommodation in or around the Citadel; almost every hotel is located in the city center, but still within walking distance of the Citadel. Anywhere away from the city center may be too isolated, with scarce facilities of interest to tourists nearby.
- The riverfront is a lovely three-kilometer stretch of parks and cafés. Few hotels in the city center actually have direct river frontage, regardless of what they may claim.
- The best areas for tourists is a cluster of lanes in the north-east end of the city center, around the Moonlight and Midtown hotels. Numerous cafés and bars cater for westerners here, and there are several convenient offices where private buses and minibuses drop off and pick up passengers to/from Danang, Hoi An and beyond.
- Phu Bai Airport (HUI) is about 15 kilometers from Hue’s city center. From the airport, shared minibuses and taxis take passengers to their hotels; to the airport, book a minibus through your hotel or a travel agent in the cluster of lanes mentioned above. Otherwise, take a taxi.
- The train station is conveniently located in the western edge of the city center and is almost walkable from some hotels. Public bus stations are further out (Phia Nam to the south and Phia Bac to the north) and have services all over the country.
- Walking around Hue city center is easy and pleasant. Booking transport to/from the Citadel may be worthwhile because it’s so vast and finding the entrance/exit is not always easy. Options for local transport are: xe om motorbike taxi (with a passenger on the back); cyclo bicycle rickshaw; and taxis, which are plentiful and cheap.
- Taxi drivers and locals selling boat tours and trips by cyclo can be annoying.
The 7 Best Hotels in Hue, Vietnam
Superior location, outdated style. This monolithic whitewashed hotel is spread across vast grounds at the confluence of two rivers, and is one of only a couple with genuine river frontage. The Viet-style decor is flamboyant, bordering on kitsch – almost everything in every room is made from polished bamboo. Deluxe River View Rooms are a bit undersized and the bathroom is overdue for renovation, but it’s all about the sweeping panoramas from the balcony. The pool is sunny, and the café is worth visiting just for the riverside setting. Huong Giang sits opposite a burgeoning backpackers’ scene of cafés, bars and bus company offices.
Hotel phone: +84 234 38 22 122
Notes on Huong Giang Hotel
- Viet-style block built in the 1960s, 3 wings all alongside the river, prime position at confluence of two rivers, in 4 or 6-floor blocks.
- Established for Viet-tourism, Westerners may find the decor in the lobby – and especially the rooms – ostentatious, bordering on garish (polished bamboo chairs and plastic flowers).
- One of only two hotel (the other is La Residence) that has no road between rooms and river; with only ponds and courtyard cafe blocking access.
- Very handy to a cluster of lanes with Western bars, cafes, and bus company offices.
- Riverside cafe has wonderful views, some of the very best in town.
- Pool is sunny, perhaps crowded if the hotel is busy; flanked by ornamental garden.
- All rooms have balconies, and an in all rooms everything that could be made out of polished bamboo is (hat stand, mirror frames, desk, chairs, bed frame, you name it).
- Deluxe River View Rooms – Fairly small; highly polished floorboards; outdated bathroom – modern tourists probably expect something smarter; TV and desk along combined table space. River views are phenomenal, some of the best in town; almost perfect, you feel like you’re right on top of the river.
- Junior Deluxe Suite – Again, a ridiculous amount of polished bamboo, including partition between lounge/TV/desk area; 2 toilets (not polished bamboo).
- A decent family option, due to good location, connecting doors, and nice swimming pool; but decor may be too Viet-style modern Western families.
- Bottom Line: Viet-style luxury; perhaps not suited to Western tastes; prime position alongside river, and very convenient to bars/cafes/bus company offices; quiet.
Classy, contemporary high rise. Hue’s first 5-star hotel soars over 20 floors, and with no other high-rises nearby, city and river views are uninterrupted. Standard Deluxe Rooms feature tasteful decor, with an old-fashioned headboard, Oriental-style carved doors, and an immoveable screen between bedroom and bathroom. Corner-set rooms offer double the views, but none of the rooms have a balcony. With modern facilities, but designed with Hue’s ancient citadel in mind, the elegant lobby features dragon-carved columns and lotus-shaped chandeliers. Theres also a casino, a 16th-floor restaurant/lounge with some of the best views in Hue, and a substantial pool.
Hotel phone: +84 234 38 82 222
Notes on Imperial Hotel
- Designed with the Old City citadel in mind – the entrance is a smaller version of the old city gateway.
- Lobby features elegant dragon-carved columns, lotus-shaped chandeliers, marble floors, and ancient-style staff uniforms.
- First 5-star hotel in Hue; lofty 22 floors.
- Located a short stroll (about 200m) from the river, near riverside cafes and old city.
- No other high rises anywhere close, so panoramic city and river views from each window.
- The restaurant/lounge on 16th floor has possibly the best views in the city.
- In-house casino.
- 3rd floor pool is a decent size, with street (not river) views, courtyard cafe, and plenty of potted bonsai.
- Very modest gym adjacent to the pool.
- Deluxe Rooms – Stylish; matching linen and Oriental-style lampshades, polished floorboards, old-fashioned headboards, black wooden desk and TV cabinet, Oriental carved cupboard doors and immoveable screen between bedroom and bathroom; no balcony. Corner rooms offer two views – city and river.
- Families will appreciate the good location; close to the river, riverside parks, and the old city, but there are no family-specific amenities.
- Bottom Line: Modern high rise hotel that blends contemporary facilities with Old City ambience; good location – easy stroll to river, parks, and Old City.
Superior high-rise with inferior location. Easily the tallest building within eyesight, it’s city views are uninterrupted, and most rooms provide a balcony from which to enjoy them. Guest rooms are elegant and uniquely-designed, with entrances leading directly through an open-plan bathroom to the bedroom area. Indochine Palace features a lovely French-style brasserie, spa, billiard club, and sparkling palm-lined swimming pool set in a sun-filled courtyard. With ornamental gardens attached and a Buddhist temple alongside, Indochine Palace is located in the busy financial district over one kilometer from the river, but only a 3-minute taxi ride from the Old City.
Hotel phone: +84 234 39 36 666
Notes on Indochine Palace
- Located in the busy government/business district, next to a Buddhist temple and modest lake/garden.
- Over 1km from the river, even further from the old city, too far too walk. There are no western-style cafes and shops nearby, but it’s only 3 minutes by taxi to Old City.
- Pool is particularly sparkling and large; surrounded by towering palms; billiard club and cafe alongside but undercover; somewhat ostentatious Roman-style columns.
- Entrance to all rooms leads straight through an open-plan bathroom with a sink/vanity (but separate toilet and shower cubicles).
- Deluxe Rooms – Open-plan bathroom; bedroom with surprisingly high beds; dominant pale yellow decor, with matching linen, prints etc; overhead fan; separate desk; marble-style TV table; floral sofa and chair with stool; balcony overlooks ornamental garden; sound-proof windows buffer traffic noise.
- Palace Studio – Much larger, with chaise sofa positioned at end of the bed; glass table; 2-posted bed; Oriental-style lampshade; genuine writers desk; views of pool and lake/gardens.
- Palace Suite – Almost too large; separate area with TV, lounge and desk; cooking facilities provided if requested; same pale yellow matching linen, carpets, sofa etc; tiny tub in open-plan bathroom.
- Families will appreciate the good pool, and there are some rooms with connecting doors, but kids may not do well in such a posh setting, and want to be located closer to the action.
- Bottom Line: Elegant and comfortable, with good city views and a great pool; for those who don’t mind taking taxis.
Historic, graceful, and luxurious; with genuine river frontage. This splendid hotel gloriously maintains its French Art-Deco heritage as a former governor’s home. From the lobby-side piano lounge, corridors (with French signs only) lead to the Superior River View Rooms. These are pleasingly old-fashioned, with lovely balconies providing divine river views. Within the original residence, suites are individually-named, and all have a four-poster bed and old-world charm. Absolutely worth a splurge, the Suite du Resident occupies the mansion’s entire top floor. The resort-style saltwater pool sits riverside, alongside lush lawns and a tennis court. Located on a tree-lined street at the edge of the city center, handy for riverside saunters and the train station.
Hotel phone: +84 234 38 37 475
Notes on La Residence
- Elegant lobby leads to lovely piano bar/lounge, straight out of W Somerset Maugham novel.
- Distance from city center allows plenty of space for gardens, lush lawns and even a tennis court
- Wonderfully maintains its French-colonial past; the main, older part was former French Governor’s home (hence the name); two new wings have been built on since. Signs along corridors are in French.
- Directly fronts the river, perhaps 50m from the edge with dredging in between and a new theatre being built next door.
- Located in the far south-western edge of the city center, with very few cafes and shops –
aside from a few Viet-style riverside cafes – within walking distance, in an elegant tree-lined area with parks and schools.
- A lovely 15 minute stroll along a riverside park to the Old City, and very handy to the train station.
- Long L-shaped saltwater pool, with ample umbrellas and attached bar; feels quiet and resort-like, set about 50m back from the river with views.
- 3 room types: Superior, Deluxe and Suite – sorted according to city or river views.
- Superior River View – Tastefully decorates, with an old-fashioned (bordering on outdated) bathroom; colorful tiles in bedroom; dark wooden desk; private veranda/balcony with lovely wooden lounge chairs leads to massive communal terrace with river views and palms.
- Colonial Junior Suite – Only 10 of these, all different, and all in the original building with individual names, some curved, only one with balcony; with 4 poster bed; separate desk alcove leads to a bright tiled bathroom with wide windows; elegant extras, like old-fashioned tea-pot.
- Suite du Resident – Top mansion room; only one; tasteful crimson and pale yellow; so big it is the width of the block, so have city views to the front and river views to the back; separate lounge/TV/desk area; with two separate alcoves for another desk and storage/cupboard; 4-poster bed.
- No specific family amenities, but plenty of space, gardens, and a good pool with kids splash area.
- Bottom Line: Pure historical elegance; a bit remote, but riverside and quiet. Suites are worth a splurge.
Affordable, convenient, and unpretentious. More agreeable than the charmless exterior would suggest, this 12-level hotel is high enough to offer interesting views of the city, river, and distant hills – but “river view” rooms are not worth paying extra for. Generally, rooms are very basic in furnishing and decor, and balconies are standing-room only. In contrast, VIP Suites are massive, and even with a Venus di Milo statue and substantial corner sofa, they still have space to fill. The pool is undercover and fairly small, but the Midtown’s primary draw is its location: among a labyrinth of lanes with bistros, bars, and bus company offices, barely 200 meters from the riverside parks and cafés.
Hotel phone: +84 234 62 60 888
Notes on Midtown Hotel
- Square, 12-story, fairly charmless from the outside – but more pleasant inside.
- High enough in an area of low-level cafes and bars to have views all round, including of distant hills and the river about 200m away.
- Well-named, as it’s an easy stroll to the riverside parks and the cluster of lanes with bars, bus companies, and affordable Western-catering cafés; about 200m from the river.
- Undercover (and undersized) pool, would feel crowded if more than 8 people; with best river views in the building. Gym and cafe alongside, sharing the views.
- Rooms are either River View (distant, and somewhat obstructed by another hotel) or City View (street views are quite interesting).
- Rooms have tiny balconies, even those with river views are standing room only; rooms are a bit barren, need some color; Vietnamese prints; functional bathroom with tub.
- VIP Suite – Massive, with huge lounge/TV area; could use more/bigger furniture to fill it up, even with the Venus di Milo statue and large corner sofa it still feels Spartan; corner-facing with 2 sides of windows, so some city and river views; massage shower.
- No special amenities for families, though suites are large enough for an extra bed.
- Bottom Line: Advantage is affordability and convenience; honest mid-rate option in prime downtown location.
Convenient, inexpensive, and practical, but with a regal feel. Although unexciting from the outside, the lobby is pleasantly furnished, creating a slight old-world ambience. Standard rooms are compact, with an inviting bathtub and small balcony. The King Suite must be seen to be believed and, with silver fireplaces and a lush private outdoor garden the size of a normal bedroom, is worth considering for a splash of Vietnamese-style stateliness. The fifth-floor pool is mostly undercover but decent enough, with breezes and city views from three sides. Promised river views from any rooms are distant and often blocked by neighboring high-rises. The overwhelming advantage here is the location: set among a tangle of lanes bursting with western-style bars and cafés, about 200 meters from the river.
Hotel phone: +84 234 39 79 797
Notes on Moonlight Hotel
- Unexciting exterior, but pleasant enough inside with giant carvings and old-fashioned ambience.
- Great location, in downtown area with affordable Western-style cafes, bars, and bus company offices.
- Rooftop bar.
- 5th floor pool is small but functional, with breezes and views to three sides of the city and river (blocked mostly by another hotel).
- King Suite – Has to be seen to be believed; worthwhile splurge for a regal feel. Viet-style; grey/silver fireplaces and benches, with floral-patterned couch and chairs in lounge area, and lush, breezy private garden the size of a normal bedroom. Standing-room only balcony with decent river views from 200m away; street views also decent enough; separate desk area; shower room and spa bathroom with 2 windows (and curtains) facing the bedroom.
- Deluxe River View – More sensible in design and decor; cushioned headboard, table and chairs, juliet balcony with glimpses of the river behind another hotel; surprisingly comfortable-looking bathtub; plenty of cupboard space; separate desk.
- Fine for families; standard room has no space for an extra bed, but one could easily fit in a suite (though these are rather bizarrely-furnished and not that family-friendly).
- Bottom Line: Decent enough, good location, suite worth getting for Viet-style stateliness; other rooms are compact and functional; affordable.
Central, with fading but likable colonial charm. Part of a countrywide chain, this boasts one of the very best locations in Hue. Opposite a bridge across the Perfume River to the ancient Citadel, it is set on a very busy corner, but all windows are double-glazed and most face the delightful internal courtyard of ponds and tree-studded gardens. Built in 1901, and used as a university and backpacker hostel, it’s been transformed into a plush hotel, with whitewashed exteriors, carpeted corridors, and a lobby piano lounge.The huge Premium City Deluxe Rooms wonderfully combine old-world charm with modern-day facilities, though some furnishings could stand updating. Suites contain lovely touches, such as a working gramophone player, handlebar telephone, and gold-plated taps. The kidney-shaped pool is small, but guests can also enjoy the attached billiard-room bar, sauna, and jacuzzi. It’s in a superb area for parkland cafés and riverside strolls.
Hotel phone: +84 234 38 23 526
Notes on Saigon Morin
- Part of a Viet-wide chain of government-run hotels, under Saigon Tourist brand.
- Rectangular in design, so many rooms also face the courtyard gardens and pool, away from the noisy traffic.
- First built in 1901 by French businessmen, and for several decades housed a university and backpacker hostel – converted to a plush hotel in 1997; carpeted corridors with dark wooden doors, bonsai plants, old photos, elegant colonial-style exterior with white washed walls, four levels only.
- Set on a very busy corner, but rooms are soundproofed very well with double-glazed windows.
- Faces the road and a lovely riverside park, stroll over the bridge to the Old City; with no upmarket hotels in the Old City this is the best possible location.
- Sizeable and adorable courtyard for breakfast and other meals, with ponds, fountains, wrought iron chairs, and many trees.
- Somewhat undersized kidney-shaped pool, with billiard room/bar attached; sauna and jacuzzi;
- Premium City Deluxe Rooms – Huge, blending old and new (like old-fashioned hat stand but ultra-modern mini-bar); some furnishings seem to need updating, especially the bathroom; highly-polished floors; Oriental vases and other artwork; tiny balcony faces main road, but very effectively sound-proofed.
- Executive Suite – Even bigger; floral sofa; old-world accessories like working wind-up gramophone and handlebar telephone; two TVs; bar; very polished floorboards; dining table with a two-seater chair plus two singles; glass cabinet of vases and teapots; huge bedroom with curtains behind bed; long desk; marble bathroom with spa and gold-plated taps; loaded bookshelf.
- Families will appreciate that many rooms, even massive suites, have connecting doors; also the prime location, with parks opposite and walkable to the Old City.
- Bottom Line: Elegant and convenient, retaining an appealing colonial charm, although furnishings in rooms appear a little outdated; best location, stroll to Old City; busy corner but quiet rooms.
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