Dates of Stay: 05-08 March 2011 & 10-11 March 2011
After what seemed like an endless flight and a depressing overly bureaucratic experience at Hanoi airport, my friend and I made it through the small crowded winding smog-laden streets of Hanoi, due to there being an accident on the express way our guide made an alternative journey to our hotel from the airport. This took about 90 minutes.
Our hotel, La Dolce Vita (strange hotel name for a former French colony) is located on Hang Bo, which apparently translates to Peach Street.
La Dolce Vita hotel is not particularly resplendent from the outside nor the main lobby to be honest. Blink and you’d miss is – luckily our guide knew where it was! The hotel doesn’t stick out from the other premises on the street e.g. chemists, tailors shops.
Upon arrival we were greeted out front by the porter who took our luggage and transported it up the slightly steep steps that adorn the front of the hotel. Check-in was swift and unproblematic – our passports were taken and retained by the check-in desk (as is customary with hotels throughout the world these days) until check-out. Even though we arrived at the hotel early 12:00pm local time, they were prompt and efficient in finding us a room which was a God-send given we had been travelling for approximately 15-hours and through several time zones.
The hotel’s ground floor is particularly small and narrow – check-in at the front, seated area (where smoking is allowed) in the middle which leads to a small but well-stocked bar and beyond the bar is the lift (one small lift which serves the whole hotel!!) and then at the very rear is a small inoffensive restaurant.
The hotel on the subsequent floors opens up and is quite wide and airy although it is a little dark.
We stayed here twice as our stay in Hanoi was truncated by a cruise in Halong Bay.
Both rooms were very clean and adequately equipped although a little on the dark side as they had no windows out onto the road rather the windows faced inwards into an area within the hotel making the rooms deathly quiet which is good! The beds were comfortable and provided me with very good sleep each of the nights I stayed. It’s worth noting that upon arrival we were kindly presented with a courtesy bowl of fruit.
The TV was a 36-inch Samsung Flat screen which provided me with 56 channels for me viewing pleasure (although walking the streets of Hanoi is much more exciting).
The mini-bar consisted of: 1 beer, 2 bottles of water, 2 cans of cola and some savoury snack thing – so not great but passable.
The bathrooms were clean and well stocked with such things as soap, razor, toothpaste, toothbrush. The only annoyance with the bathroom was the hot water seemingly running out all too quickly so it was nigh on impossible to put the shower on, leave it to run for a bit and then have a hot shower. So cold showers, especially at night were the order of the day. This proved somewhat annoying as the only thing one wants to do after walking the streets of Hanoi is to have a good old shower before going to bed.
BAR & RESTAURANT
The bar was well stocked and as with the check-in staff had an excellent grasp of English (as well as other languages). The service was excellent.
The restaurant was small and quaint. This is where breakfast took place. Breakfast consisted of a buffet selection of:
-pastries – which were of a very poor standard,
-pho (a national soup/broth delicacy)
-fried rice (which was cold), noodles
-juices (which were always running out)
Tea and coffee were served by the waiting staff. I had coffee that tasted like a mix of hot chocolate and coffee … disgusting. So breakfast wasn’t a highly anticipated affair.
The dinner menu at the restaurant didn’t change. It was a simple menu with a mixture of western and Vietnamese food; cooked well and very tasty – which was in stark contrast to breakfast. My friend and I ate there several times such was our like of the restaurant and the need to get away from the hustle and bustle out on the streets. The waiting staff were very good and extremely polite and in the few instances whereby English was limited we managed to communicate well.
At our final departure the hotel provided us with a packed breakfast of sandwiches and refreshment due to us leaving too early for breakfast which I thought was an excellent touch.
On the whole a good hotel, with EXCELLENT well trained staff and one I’d definitely go back even though the breakfast leaves lots to be desired!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.