Over the course of three weeks backpacking through Vietnam, we have stayed in many hostels and hotels, one more comfortable than the other. But when it comes to price-quality, there is one that’s head and shoulders above all the rest; Hoa Bien Hotel in Ninh Binh.
This hotel offered everything I’m always looking for in a good hotel, so if there is one place in Vietnam I’d no doubt go back, I would definitely be this one.
Okay, I admit it. The picture above doesn’t look very promising. But looks aren’t everything. This hotel really is the place to be in Ninh Binh.
We had the habit of booking all our hostels/hotels the day before we would be arriving on the following destination. This gave us some time to look up certains things online and read some reviews before confirming.
When we stumbled across Hoa Bien Hotel, we didn’t hesitate. There were many objective factors that made this an easy decision, but afterwards we were only more convinced that this was the best choice we had made all our trip.
1. Incredibly low price for a private room
While the idea was to mostly stay in hostels, we just couldn’t ignore the amazing price for this triple room in this hotel (which was actually more like a hostel than a hotel). For only 11 dollars the three of us got our own spacious room with two double beds and an own bathroom.
Of course, the room was a bit run down, but everything was clean and all we needed was provided. Big thumbs up on that part.
2. The most friendly, helpful owners
Upon arrival we were immediately greeted at the door by the two brothers who own this hotel. They helped us with our luggage and even though we had arrived well before our check-in time, they already had our room ready and allowed us to take a shower to wash of the night train smell. Hallellujah!
When we came back down all refreshed and ready to explore Ninh Binh, they once again jumped at the opportunity to help us. They told us in detail about all the sights within the area and how to best plan our short time in Ninh Binh. Their English wasn’t always at its best, but they did whatever they could to make sure we understood. Such lovely people, seriously!
3. Free use of the bikes
And this reason is one of the reasons why I adore this hotel the most. They allow free use of their bikes to explore the area. Usually Ninh Binh is explored by motorbike, but since my friend wasn’t comfortable with the idea, the bikes were the perfect alternative.
Not only were we allowed to use the bikes, they were also all checked before we left. They made sure there were no flat tires and the breaks were working well. And that was a first. Usually when you get a free bike, it’s far away from being in perfect condition but these sure were.
And to top this all off, they wouldn’t even let us leave without proper protection against the sun. We were all offered a beautiful typical connical hat to protect our white skin from the sun. Could they be any nicer?
4. Own restaurant with big portions for little money
Not only is Hoa Bien a hotel, it’s also a restaurant. And what’s easier than having food right below from where you’re sleeping when the actual center of town is a few kilometers away?
Moreover their food was actually really delicious and they gave us more food than we could possibly eat. We even got some tomato soup as a side for free!
If by now you can’t see why I love this hotel, then I’m sure I won’t be able to convince you otherwise. I really wish we could have stayed longer, both to explore more of the area – which I’m telling you about next – and because of the great value for money we got in this hotel. Don’t hestitate; Hoa Bien Hotel is thé place to stay in Ninh Binh!