Thailand is a great place for traveling but so are Laos or Vietnam. Gooooood morning Vietnam! So you are traveling to Hanoi, the former capital city of North Vietnam. I have been there a few times and I love the small streets, colonial style buildings and the lakes in Hanoi. I actually always stay in what is called the Old Quarter and then nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. I really love that area!
How to choose your hotel? Well there are hotels in all categories from cheap Hostels & Guesthouses and middle class HomeStay's & Hotel to luxury Boutique Hotels & Resorts. Two things are important for me, price and location. And I prefer to stay in newer hotels as here in Asia hotels tend to go down the drain when getting older. Most times I start with having a look at Agoda and Booking. That is easy as both have a map that show all hotels, so easy to look where the hotels are. As of course not all hotels are mentioned by Agoda of Booking I also have a look at Google Maps and search for hotels. And before really making a booking via Agoda or Booking I check for reviews at example Agoda, Booking or TripAdvisor (but be careful there are a lot of fake reviews). And I check the hotel website, sometimes they offer better prices.