When traveling to Hanoi, most tourists prefer to stay in the old quarter as that is where most of the tourist attractions are and it is close to the night markets and the tourist infrastructure, like booking agencies, bus and train stations. I too followed the same trail and ended up at the old quarter where I stayed at a place called the Hanoi city Hostel that is located right in the middle of the hustling and bustling old quarter. Below review is based on my recent experience of staying with them.
1) The best attribute about this hostel is its helpful reception. They are very welcoming, speak good English and ensure they can help you wherever possible.
2) The place is not expensive, nor is it cheap. It is mid range when compared to the other hotels around. For USD 16, they include breakfast (simple baguette and eggs with coffee/tea) and offer you an air-conditioned room with twin beds, hot shower and attached bathroom.
3) The other good attribute about this hotel is its location. It is close to the night markets, the tourist attractions, the good restaurants, the banks, the tourist agencies and the shopping district. All of them are a short walk away. If you want to take some rest, you can hire a cyclo.
4) The place has high speed wi-fi that is free and has a router for each floor. They have desktops and a printer to help you with your browsing and printing needs.
5) The rooms are fairly large with good air circulation, but their bathrooms can be bigger. It can be cramped for tall people, but thankfully, the rooms are spacious.
6) If you stay on the lower floors, you are bound to hear traffic noise in your room. If this affects you, take the rooms in the higher floors.
7) If you stay on the higher floors, you will get some good city views, apart from getting good breeze.
Personally, I liked this place for their customer service. I am going to stay with them when I return to Hanoi shortly. It is good for a budget traveler with basic, but important needs.