The Long Life Hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam is also known as the Thanh Xuan Hotel ("thanh xuan" means "long life" in Vietnamese). Whatever name you choose to use, you'll discover a lot to like about this Hoi An hotel: its convenient location in Hoi An's hotel and restaurant row, its 20 tastefully-decorated and spacious suites, its sunny swimming pool (weather permitting), and its very agreeable price.
Location of Long Life Hotel
Long Life Hotel is located on Ba Trieu Street, a narrow lane next to Hai Ba Trung, both about a ten minute walk from Hoi An's Old Town, and both comprising Hoi An's backpacker district.
Ba Trieu Street offers a nice mix of tailor shops, restaurants, luggage stores, massage parlors, and (of course) hotels. The street feels rather sleepy and underpopulated in the daytime, but perks up in the evenings when the restaurants do brisk business with the tourist crowd.
Ba Trieu is a common stop for the open tour buses that ply the Hue-Hoi An route; just before you disembark, someone will make a pitch for one hotel or another, as there are many, many hotels to choose from in this part of town.
On the far end of Ba Trieu, about five minutes' walk from the corner of Ba Trieu and Hai Ba Trung, you'll find the Long Life Hotel waiting for you. I almost missed it when I passed by - the wood lacquer signboard is not very readable when you pass it in a hurry.
Long Life Hotel's Rooms
I booked a Standard Room on the second floor, for $28 a night. The Standard Rooms have no window access to either the front (the "city" view) or the rear (the "garden" view); instead the windows open to the hallway, which can be quite embarrassing if you've just gotten out of the shower and have forgotten to draw the curtains.
Deluxe Rooms are furnished with a view to either Ba Trieu Street, or to the garden at the rear, which covers the back path leading to the swimming pool, a river, and rice fields beyond.
The Standard Room I booked was 300 square feet in size, a twin bed setup with mosquito nets coiled up above the beds, and a bathroom en suite with window access to the bedroom (!) and a lounge/Jacuzzi tub.
The décor, in line with the historical bent of Hoi An, attempted to evoke Vietnam's bygone imperial era - plenty of lacquered wood, white surfaces, and polished stone or marble. Surprisingly, the room didn't feel oppressively historical; the interior designer had a light touch, attempting to harness as much natural light and ventilation as possible.
The window access between the bedroom and bathroom, though, felt a bit strange. Anybody doing their business in the bathroom would be in full view of their companion in the bedroom - that might work for, say, a husband and wife, but not so much if you're traveling with a parent.
The beds in the room were firm, with enough give for a comfortable night's rest. Power outlets were provided for both beds, in case you wanted to use your laptop there.
The orchid on the newly-made beds every afternoon was a nice touch.
Long Life Hotel's Facilities and Services
Long Life Hotel's strong but intermittent Wi-Fi signal was quick when the signal could be found in the room, which for me was about 70% of the time. Wi-Fi use is free if you have a laptop; otherwise, you can use one of the four computers in the lobby, free for guests, but high-risk for viruses and other cyber-bugs.
Exit the building at the rear, and you'll cross a bamboo bridge to the Long Life Hotel's swimming pool and verandah. When the weather is sunny, the swimming pool area is a really nice place to unwind; the pool itself isn't that big, but you'll love the magical effect of the sun streaming through the branches of the shading trees. Downside: the presence of mosquitoes, due to the nearby rice fields.
The pavilion next to the swimming pool serves breakfasts in the morning, but don't expect a big spread. Long Life Hotel has a unique form-based system - guests are allowed to select a few dishes from a form, check their selections and sign the form off. The price of the total number of dishes ordered should not exceed VND45,000 else you pay for the excess.
The breakfast selection could have been better; you can choose from the usual Vietnamese drip coffee, juices, sandwiches, pancakes, omelets, and a few select rice or noodle dishes. The dishes were filling, but nothing to email home about.
Access to Hoi an Old Town and Other Attractions
The Long Life Hotel's friendly staff provides a number of services to facilitate your access to the Old Town and other nearby points of interest. Bicycles for rent ($1 a day) give guests a lot more mileage to explore the Old Town's streets and quays.
Motorbikes can be rented for about $5 a day.
The hotel can also facilitate tours to nearby My Son Holy Land ($8 for a purely bus-based trip, $16 if you prefer to take the boat coming back), entrance tickets, cooking classes ($28), and walking tours in the Old Town, and day trips to the Thanh Nam Fishing Village or to the beaches near Da Nang.
For $12, the hotel can provide comfortable transportation to Da Nang Airport in a late-model Chinese-made sedan.