Essence is the newest boutique hotel to be opened by the successful Hanoi Elegance group, who have several other properties in the city. Opened in 2011, it stands out from the clutch of other boutique hotels that have opened recently for several reasons. The Old Quarter location is just a few steps from several hot night spots, the rooms are smartly furnished with wood floors, padded headboards, computers, and work desks. Staff are extremely helpful, and the ground floor restaurant serves up delicious gourmet food.