Have just spent 4 weeks in Vietnam and stayed at the Golden Lotus for 7 nights in between side trips to Sapa and Hoi An. This is a confortable hotel, with a lift, on a very good street in the old quarter. Can recommend the front rooms at US$50, rather than the back rooms which are cheaper at US$40 but with small frosted windows, so no view. Also suggest you book rooms on 2nd-5th floors. The lift goes to the 6th floor but there's a very noisy washing machine on the top floor (7th) that starts about 6am and the internal stairs are next to the back rooms and you can hear the breakfast tables (ground floor) being set at 6am! Breakfast is disappointing - suggest you eat at Cafe Moca, or another of the nearby cafes.
If you are organising a taxi from the hotel to the airport be warned that mine arrived very late on two occasions and I had to flag another one down one morning when the booked one didn't arrive. Suggest you ask the staff to order one for you about 30 mins before you need it. They won't phone one for you until you front up to the desk, ready to leave. The trip to the airport takes much longer on Sat and Sun when it seems like everyone with a motorbike and car is on the roads! It usually takes 45 min, longer at weekends.
I'm happy to answer questions about Hanoi, Sapa and Hoi An if you'd like to email me direct. This was my second trip to Vietnam and it's changing very fast.....
Tamara (59 years young)