luxe - Maison D'Hanoi Hanova Hotel
Written by Gemma Price
Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and a stone’s throw from the mystical waters of Hoan Kiem Lake, newly built Maison D’Hanoi Hanova Hotel is the perfect base for exploring the quaint cafés, boutiques, and sights of Hanoi’s historic city centre.
Any local will tell you that the best way to experience the true spirit of Hanoi is to get lost in the Old Quarter’s labyrinthine 36 streets, but at the Maison D’Hanoi Hanova boutique hotel your insight into this charming city’s 1,000-year history begins at check-in.
Narrow yet deep, the hotel is built in the ‘tube house’ style characteristic of Old Quarter, but with the addition of three skylights and strategically placed mirrors and windows to allow fresh air and natural light to permeate every floor. Designers have unified the best of traditional and contemporary Vietnamese decor, incorporating materials from specialist artisan villages which have practised their trades from beyond Hanoi’s city limits for centuries, into modern finishes.
Richly-coloured bed covers, lamps, and square-panel headboards are crafted from silks from Van Phuc, and frames showcasing Bat Trang pottery adorn the walls in each of the hotel’s 55 rooms.
Black-and-white photographs depicting French colonial scenes, coupled with dark wooden furniture set against silver-white walls, evoke the nostalgia of a bygone era, while playful splashes of citrus lime and mandarin red – a colour which also signifies luck and prosperity – ensure the hotel retains its distinctly contemporary edge.
Shop owners in Hanoi were originally taxed according to the width of their street-front façades, the logic being that the wider the space, the more business it would attract. This resulted in ‘tube houses’: buildings that were extremely narrow, typically three to five metres in width and 60m deep, with limited access to natural light.
Old Quarter streets were named for 36 trades practised in the city 600 years ago. Look up at the signs to learn what was traditionally sold along its length: ‘Bat Dan’ means ‘wooden bowls’, and ‘Gia Ngu’ street was occupied by fishermen. ‘Hang Trong’, or ‘Drum Street’, is now home to Maison D’Hanoi Hanova.
Handicraft villages, each of which specialises in a single trade, from carpentry and bronze casting to ceramics and weaving, can still be found around Hanoi and northern Vietnam.
The hotel’s Minh Hai Lobby Gallery showcases paintings by contemporary and traditional Hanoian artists like Dinh Quan, Pham Luan, and Thiet Cuong.
The red sign framed by the hotel’s white Art Deco-style façade is reminiscent of those that grace the city’s numerous ancient Buddhist pagodas.
Maison d’Hanoi Hanova Hotel