How many times have you arrived at a hotel and realised it is nothing like what the advertisements say? To help you avoid that sticky situation, here are my honest opinion and independent reviews.
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Reviews of Hanoi Hotels
I stayed in 2 hotels in Hanoi in October 2014, both booked through Booking.com. I experienced a world of difference in the level of customer service between just them 2. Here are my reviews.
Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse 2 – Terrible service
I arrived in Hanoi at 11:00am in the morning and planned to take the night train out to Sapa on the same night. Basically I just needed a place to leave my luggage, rest and take a shower before getting on the overnight train at 9pm.
I booked a bed in the 4-bed dormitory in Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse 2 for US$6/night. They provided a locker for each bed and there’s a shared bathroom downstairs. I thought it was a perfect arrangement although there were some negative reviews on the Tripadvisor.
The hotel arranged the airport pick-up for US$18 and I arrived at the hotel without any problems. Upon arrival, the staff were really friendly and even helped to bring my luggage up to the room. It was a small room with 2 double-decker beds plus one foldable bed squeezed just right behind the door. This is where all the niceties end.
The locker in the room couldn’t close properly and there was no lock for them. The worse thing was the door to my 4-bed dormitory had no lock either and I didn’t receive any key the whole time I was there. Even though I had the whole room to myself (no one else booked the dorm), I didn’t feel safe and had to bring my valuables with me.
There was air-conditioning in the room but it wasn’t cool. It just provided some air circulation in the otherwise stuffy room. But for US$6/night, I shouldn’t be asking for too much right? Wrong!
After the manager (I think) realised that I had already made my tour and train bookings myself, her attitude changed instantaneously. From being super friendly to ignoring me and not addressing my simple request (see below). The stark contrast in attitude could be seen when she was explaining very patiently some tour routes to a couple at the reception area whom I presume, booked a tour from them. How materialistic!
After roaming around Hanoi in the afternoon, I just wanted to take a nice shower before boarding the train. Unfortunately there was a power outage along the street where the hotel was located. Not their fault, I understand. However, when I asked for a candle so that I can pack, the manager very rudely told me that they have run out of candles and told me to “use your mobile phone”! This was just seconds after a boy came around and took a candle out of the drawer full of candles behind the reception. I didn’t want to waste my time arguing with her so I left the reception.
All I can say is AVOID this hotel unless you are willing to be ripped-off by booking tours with them.
Hanoi City Hostel – Yes I will come back
On the flip side of my terrible experience with Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse 2, Hanoi City Hostel reinstated my faith in the service level of the city. A month before I left for the trip I emailed them requesting for a late check-out. They responded that it depended on the availability, which was fair.
My train from Sapa arrived around 6:00am in the morning. When I reached the Hostel, I had to knock and wake one of the staff sleeping in the reception area to let me in. After giving me the room key and telling me where the room was, he went back to bed, without any unhappiness at all 🙂
The room was big with 1 double bed and a single bed. The bathroom was relatively big. Although the room looked a bit dated, it was clean and comfortable. There was even a safe! The water pressure was great and the hot water was reliable.
After getting some rest, I decided to check out at 11:00am to grab some food and explore the city some more. At the reception, the soft-spoken owner (I think) remembered that I asked for late check-out (!) and told me that the room was available. Even though I didn’t need it anymore, I was really impressed. The place where they kept luggages for guests was inside the reception area, behind a set of wooden doors. That I would say, is a place I would feel safe to keep my belongings unlike Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse 2 that leave their guests’ luggages on the 2nd floor in the open! Finally the Hostel arranged a taxi to the airport for me at US$15.
For US$16/night, this will definitely be one of my choices if I ever return to Hanoi, just remind me to get a room not facing the street!
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