“A calm, polished and hospitable hotel with a restaurant and spa, set in Hanoi’s charmingly chaotic Old Quarter”
Rooms are pleasantly furnished in creams and beiges, with polished dark-wood floors, dark repro furniture, high padded headboards and perhaps an armchair or two. There are touches of Asia in the light fittings and fabrics.
Most are standard doubles or twins, and there are also a few triples. The suites are larger and feel pretty luxurious; those on the top floor get the best views. They range from Junior Suites and split-level Duplex Suites (with a steepish spiral stair linking the lounge and bedroom) to the La Siesta Suite, which has a wraparound terrace overlooking the rooftops. At the top of the tree is the Club Duplex Premier Suite, with a kitchenette and dining table. Families will appreciate the 2-bedroom Family and Club Duplex Suites, and the connecting rooms.
Black-out drapes and excellent mattresses ensure a great night’s sleep. The ensuites (most with walk-in showers; some with tubs) are spotless, and staff provide a turn-down service. Splash out on a suite for free laundry and a complimentary minibar, plus chocolates and snacks.
The Red Bean Restaurant, all dark wood furniture, shining bar and decorative tiled floor, buzzes with diners most lunchtimes and evenings; don’t miss Happy Hour, when cocktails are half price (they do good margaritas). Here, too, the buffet breakfast is laid out - an impressive array of European and Vietnamese staples that’s all included in the rates. Imagine pancakes, cheeses, cold cuts, salads, croissants, spring rolls, sushi, eggs every way, and numerous fresh sliced fruits.
At dinner the kitchen serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine. On the menu you may find Pho, Bun bo Nam Bo (noodles with shredded beef, crushed peanuts, shallots and Vietnamese basil), Gioi thieu salmon, and spring rolls with a basket of fresh herbs. There are western dishes, too: stuffed chicken legs, hamburgers, smoked salmon with dill, and a delectable passion-fruit cake with ice cream.
Hanoi is fast becoming Vietnam’s gastronomic centre, and in the Old Quarter you’ll find hundreds of restaurants and street stalls. Within walking distance, in the arty Hai Ba Trung area, is the family-run Chim Sao, popular with those in the know. For a modern, sophisticated take on Vietnamese cuisine you can’t do better than HOME, a vintage-chic restaurant in a 1930s French villa, a brisk walk (or short taxi ride) north of La Siesta.
La Siesta is a family-friendly hotel and accepts children of all ages. Babysitters are bookable, the staff are extremely helpful, and the cinema room with its 300-strong library of films is a great way to entertain kids on rainy days.
The Family Suites, Club Duplex Suites and Club Duplex Premier Suite all have 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin, or 2 doubles), though it’s worth noting that the duplexes have steepish spiral staircases that aren’t ideal for little ones. There are also some triple rooms and some interconnecting doubles and twins, and most rooms can accommodate a baby cot.
Babysitting can be arranged on request.
The restaurant has a range of western dishes, including spaghetti Bolognese, hamburgers and ice cream. The buffet breakfast is vast and contains something for even the fussiest of eaters.