Ninh Binh is not lacking when it comes to accommodation. There are plenty of homestays, backpacker hostels, boutique hotels and resorts scattered around the city and its outskirts, such as in Tam Coc and Van Long. Here are our top choices for budget, mid-range and upscale travelers.
Go NinhBinh Hostel
On the cheaper end of things is Go NinhBinh Hostel, developed from an old train station. Located in the heart of the city, this is the perfect place for backpackers to spend a night or two, to meet other backpackers on the same path and join them on their journey or have them join yours. With such a central location, you have easy access to restaurants, convenience stores and attractions of the city. There are both dorm beds and single rooms available, and the dorm rooms are mixed with shared bathrooms. The four private rooms have their own en suite bathroom and can be had for as little as $16 a night. Public facilities include common rooms with pool tables, dart board games, computers to use, a kitchen and veranda where you can enjoy your food and perhaps even see a train pass by at arm’s reach. The extremely friendly reception is open 24 hours, and one of the guys is great at chess and will give you a run for your money if you play.
Tam Coc West Lake Homestay
This homestay is a little way away from the main Ninh Binh town, but that’s what makes it special. Set in Tam Coc, the houses are new and built around a central courtyard by a lake. The rooms are not fancy or elegantly designed but have everything you need – comfortable beds, extra duvets for colder nights, towels and toiletries. There is a bar/restaurant on the premises with a menu that serves a diverse range of dishes from Western options to more local/regional ones. The service is extra special. Ms. Phuong and her family are lovely and only want you to have the best time. Not only will they take good care of you and go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible, but they will also personally come and pick you up and drop you off at the bus station if needed.
TamCoc Bungalow is one of the more conveniently located accommodations in the Tam Coc area. The bungalows overlook the Tam Coc river, as does the restaurant on premises. As you relax or dine, your backdrop will be that of beautiful green and gray karst peaks and peaceful fisherman rowing about on the river below. The best part is that there are dorm beds and private bungalows, which makes this place good for either backpackers or those who have a higher travel budget. It’s certainly not a fancy resort however; the bungalows are simple, with creaky wooden floors and clunky doors. It’s still extremely serene, and you will fall asleep to the sound of soft chirping and the soft rustle of the plants against the wind.
Tam Coc Garden
Tam Coc Garden opened in 2013 and has been a popular choice among tourists since inception. Catering a little more toward upscale travelers, this hotel offers a stylish boutique alternative to the luxurious Emeralda Resort. Tam Coc Garden is located amidst the paddy fields of Tam Coc, a few miles away from the unique Bich Dong Pagoda, built into a cave. There are three types of bungalows set around a central garden, and each bungalow comes with a terrace facing the countryside and is beautifully decorated, making the most of natural materials to create stylish yet simple interiors. When you’re tired of exploring, there’s a pool you can lounge by with a cocktail in hand ordered from the bar. The Lemongrass Restaurant has a fantastic menu for dining, so you don’t have to worry about heading into to town to get some grub.
Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort & Spa
This is the luxurious sister of Tam Coc Garden boutique hotel. Emeralda Resort is located a little far away — sitting on the edge of Van Long Nature reserve, a primeval tropical forest. The resort has a total of 172 rooms, two pools, a wine bar, a pool bar, a luxury spa, fitness center, three meeting rooms, a kids club, a Vietnamese market and, just when you think it can’t get any better, there is a mini golf course. The resort prioritizes being eco-friendly, and you will be surrounded by so much green, made even more magical at night when the paths around the resort get lit up by traditional lanterns. If you don’t feel like dining within the premises, there are a few local restaurants immediately outside, and the goat hot pot served is divine.
This is one of the more fancy hotels in Ninh Binh, combined with premium service promising you an unrivaled experience in the region. Opened in December 2015, the nine-story Hidden Charm Resort is set within the golden rice fields of Tam Coc at the foot of mountain ranges. If the panoramic views within the rooms aren’t enough, everyone also has access to the pool, sauna, jacuzzi, spa, restaurant, bar, and gym. With everything built into the premises, you could spend days here, getting lost in nature yet feeling at home. Hidden Charm provides a welcome escape and, despite being a bit more upscale, is totally worth the money.