Modern apartments are available in the center of Hanoi as well as in suburban areas such as West Lake and Ciputra. They generally require little maintenance and are usually close to basic shopping and services. Many modern apartments are designed for expat residence, with western design and lighting, and with amenities such as microwaves, TVs, ovens, and sit-down tables and chairs included. Serviced buildings often include gyms and even small pools, and nearby shops often stock western goods. As Hanoi continues to develop and be influenced by foreign investment, nearly any level of comfort and convenience is available, depending on your budget.
European-style villas are the legacy of Vietnam’s colonial period. Some buildings from the early 20th century remain, but for rental purposes the majority of available houses are modern replicas of French villas. These comfortable homes are mostly available on the outlying areas of Hanoi, and have the advantage of having walled courtyards or gardens, providing a greater sense of space than a high-rise apartment. A villa may require more maintenance and repairs than a modern apartment, so make sure you have a good relationship with your landlord. A stingy or intractable landlord can sour even the loveliest property!