Elegant Suites Westlake, Hanoi

First published August 2018 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

INTRODUCTION | REVIEW | MAP | RELATED POSTS

Hanoi’s West Lake District (Tây Hồ in Vietnamese) is the up-and-coming, fancy inner-suburb of Vietnam’s capital city. When I visit Hanoi, I usually stay in the small, shady, back-streets around St Joseph’s Church. But, on a recent trip, I chose to stay in Tây Hồ instead, at the Elegant Suites Westlake. I stayed on two separate occasions, both after long roads trips, when I felt like pampering myself after weeks in the saddle. I really enjoyed the change of location and the chance to see a different, albeit more affluent, side of Hanoi. This was also a much quieter, more serene and peaceful experience of Vietnam’s capital city: a welcome relief in a city that’s characterized by tight, busy streets and terrible air quality. The facilities at Elegant Suites Westlake are excellent, including a large swimming pool, gardens, kids playground, gym, sauna and steam bath. The rooms are enormous, modern and well-equipped, with balconies overlooking the lake and city skyline. Considering the level of accommodation, prices are pretty reasonable, especially if sharing with a friend, partner, or family. [Average rates are $80-$110. To check availability & make a reservation for Elegant Suites Westlake please BOOK HERE]

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: I never write a review for money: all my content is free & my reviews are independent. You can support the work I do by booking your hotels via the Agoda links & search boxes on my site, like the ones on this page. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Any money I make goes straight back into this site. Thank you.

Elegant Suites Westlake, hotel & serviced apartments, HanoiGreat value for couples, families or friends sharing, Elegant Suites has excellent facilities

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REVIEW: ELEGANT SUITES WESTLAKE


Address: 10b Dang Thai Mai Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam [MAP]

Average Price: $80-$110 | Website: www.elegantsuites.com


MAP:

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As the name suggests, West Lake District is the area spreading around the large lake known as Hồ Tây (West Lake), just north of central Hanoi. Many of the traditional tourist attractions, such as the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, are just a 10-minute taxi ride from West Lake, and it can be nice to base yourself in the quieter, more comfortable surrounds of West Lake, and then ‘commute’ to the central areas during the day. Indeed, this is the main reason why West Lake has become so popular with expatriates and wealthy Vietnamese: they can live by the placid waters (and ever so slightly better air) of West Lake, while going to work in downtown Hanoi. This particularly appealed to me, because I’ve visited Hanoi dozens of times in the past and stayed in the busier central districts, so this time I wanted to try something different. I would imagine this might also appeal to first-time visitors who want to ease themselves into the intoxicating chaos of urban Vietnamese life, rather than jump straight in. And also to people travelling as a family, especially with young children.

Exterior, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiLocated in the affluent district of West Lake, Elegant Suites is a good alternative to staying downtown

I have a tendency to live in old, characterful houses – both in Vietnam and in the U.K, where I’m from. What struck me about Elegant Suites (which is a serviced apartment complex rather than a hotel) was how new and shiny everything is. Furniture, floors, bathrooms, beds all appeared to be modern and of good quality. Likewise, fixtures, fittings, and appliances seemed in perfect working order and felt like they’d continue to work for some time to come. This is not always the case with high-end accommodations in Vietnam, which, although brand new, feel as though they are built to last six months: the emphasis being on the appearance of quality. The staff at Elegant Suites also stood out compared to similarly priced accommodations: they were highly trained, helpful, attentive and had excellent English. They made service personal by remembering the names of guests and residents.

Guest room, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiFurniture & fixtures are new, modern & good quality, unlike some high-end accommodations in Vietnam

Elegant Suites is a large, twenty-something storey structure which looms over West Lake. There are other big serviced apartments and high-end hotels around the lake, but Elegant Suites is better value, in my opinion. Almost all of the apartments have balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, which you can leave open during the evenings, because they have sliding ‘bug screens’ so the mosquitoes can’t get inside. The building isn’t particularly attractive, but neither is it an eyesore, and it functions well. The porte-cochère is grand and bland and so is the lobby and reception. It’s all a bit clinical and business-like. But who cares, because you’re not going to spend much time in the lobby. The other side of the building (the lake side) is where most of the facilities are located. The pool is marvellous: a good length and depth, very clean, with a shallow end for children. The showers and gym are well-equipped, and the steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi are attractive enough to resemble a gentlemen’s club bathhouse.

Swimming pool, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiThe swimming pool at Elegant Suites is fantastic & so too is the gym, sauna & spa

There are a few room types to choose from. The cheapest is a Studio Room, but the bigger One-Bedroom Apartment is only a few dollars more and you get a lot more space and a better view, so it’s well worth the extra. The other options are Two- or Three-Bedroom Apartments which are excellent value for a family or a few friends sharing (room sizes range from 50-100m²). In your apartment you get, well, everything: two bathrooms with shower and bathtub, fully equipped open-plan kitchen (including laundry and dish washing machines) leading onto a wide, bright living room with comfy sofas and armchairs, a dining room table, large soft beds, loads of windows and a big balcony with views over the city, or the lake, or the Red River. There’s even a coffee machine with daily supplies of espresso tablets, including de-cafe. Because Elegant Suites is a serviced apartment, it feels much more like staying in a home rather than a hotel, but with all the conveniences of the latter. Comfy, smart and luxurious but unpretentious, it really is a great space to have at your disposal while staying in Hanoi.

Guest room, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiGuest rooms are fully equipped apartments, very comfortable with lots of space & balconies

The Camellia Restaurant, on the ground floor to the side of the lobby isn’t great. The variety of Western and Asian dishes is O.K but the quality is below average. If you do eat here, go for one of the Asian dishes as these are a lot better than the Western ones. However, the restaurant redeems itself when it comes to the buffet breakfast, which is included in the room price. A medium-sized spread, the quality is very good, especially the coffee. Even high-end hotels in Vietnam tend to let themselves down when it comes to the coffee at the buffet breakfast, often resorting to weak filter or even instant coffee. But the coffee at Elegant Suites is strong, flavourful and good. There’s a wide range of eggs ordered off a menu and the crispy bacon is excellent. And, get this, the fruit juices aren’t sugary cordial but actually come from real life fruit. All in all, it’s a good way to start the day.

Breakfast, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiAlthough the restaurant isn’t great, the buffet breakfast (included in the room price) is very good

A daily shuttle bus from Elegant Suites takes you into town and back, or you can get a taxi. Either way, it’s a short hop of about 10 minutes, depending on traffic. However, there’s plenty to do, see and eat within walking distance of Elegant Suites: take a stroll along the lakeside road, stop for a coffee at a lakeside cafe, and get some food at one of the lakeside restaurants. West Lake is more of an expat enclave/well-to-do Vietnamese neighbourhood than the local streets you find in the city proper. But it’s still pleasant and rewarding to explore.

View from Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiElegant Suites is a 10-minute free shuttle bus ride from Hanoi’s main sights & attractions

In general, the guests at Elegant Suites are Northeast Asian families living in the apartments or Asian business people. There’s also a handful of Western business travellers and expats. You won’t find many holidaymakers staying here, even though it’s perfectly suitable for families or couples. I stayed here with a good friend from the U.K on one occasion, and with my parents on another. It worked out really well both times. The location and accommodation gave us the time, space, leisure and facilities to unwind and enjoy each others’ company, while dipping into the chaotic charms of central Hanoi during the day. At Elegant Suites you get a lot more for your money than you would at similarly prices accommodations located in the city centre, around Hoan Kiem Lake, for example. [Average rates are $80-$110. To check availability & make a reservation for Elegant Suites Westlake please BOOK HERE].

*Please support Vietnam Coracle: I never write a review for money: all my content is free & my reviews are independent. You can support the work I do by booking your hotels via the Agoda links & search boxes on my site, like the ones on this page. If you make a booking, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Any money I make goes straight back into this site. Thank you.

Guest room, Elegant Suites Westlake, HanoiI stayed at Elegant Suites twice (with my friends & family) & both times were very relaxing & comfortable

Disclosure: I never receive payment for anything I write: my content is always free and independent. I’ve written this review because I want to: I like this hotel and I want my readers to know about it. For more details, see my Disclosure & Disclaimer statements here

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2 Responses to Elegant Suites Westlake, Hanoi

  1. Tuan Anh says:

    I totally agree with your review. This is my hideaway place to escape in free time. This property offer fantastic value for room rate you pay for. The 1 bed room suite is fantastic, much better than some suite in branded hotel in Hanoi with very attractive price. It’s so true that the Camelia restaurant should be better, but who is going to have main meal except the breakfast within this restaurant anyway, so it not a big deal. I can recommend another property in the same area which also standout: The Hanoi Club hotel even more hidden with seem very average lobby, smaller room but you will very modern amenities, same size but busier swimming pool and a top notch view of the West Lake, 8 out of 10 with what you get from Pavilion Suite in the 3 times higher room price Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake. I prefer this type of property much better than many noisy hotels nearby

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