We had actually booked Lotus Hotel online, but somehow when the electronic reply was sent to us, it reflected the hotel as the Hanoi Spirit House. That started our nightmare with the staff of this hotel.
Prior to arrival, we corresponded with the staff through email, checking on train tix to Sapa and so on. In one of their emails, they mentioned about free transport from hanoi airport to their hotel. However, at end of their email, they included the statement about USD12/- for transportation. We wanted to make sure we understood the hotel correctly, so we specifically asked if it was free of charge for the hotel transfer. The staff replied and confirmed that it was free of charge.
When we arrived at the airport, we were picked up by the driver and was driven to the hotel. All was well until one of the staff asked us to pay USD12/- for the transportation. We showed them the documentation of our email correspondence with the hotel staff, by the name of David Toan. One of the staff, who claimed to be David Toan, then came up to us and showed his documentation of our email correspondence. However, his printout was truncated, thereby not reflecting any word on 'free of charge'. Despite trying to talk things out with them, they remained insistent. As we had paid for the room, we did not want to waste any more money looking for another one, and therefore paid the USD12/- for the transportation.
The second encounter with them was the train tickets to Lao Cai (Sapa). When we arrived, we checked again on the train tickets, which they had agreed to purchase for us. The staff told us to come back the next day at 6pm to pay and pick up the tickets. Unfortunately, when we arrived there at the stated time the next day, we got the feeling that they did not have the tickets for us. They looked around and started to make phone calls. They made us wait for almost an hour and still there was no tickets. And yet, they tried to avoid the whole situation by talking among themselves and making calls. Worse still, they wanted us to keep to the side so that they could attend to other customers. We were furious and demanded an explanation why we had to wait so long for the train tickets. The staff then got pissed off with us and blatantly told us there was no tickets for us.
Remember, if you want to start off with a good impression of Vietnam, do not ever come in contact with this hotel, or its staff. They do not honour their words, and frankly, the hotel is really nothing like what is described by the hotel booking website. Don't just take my words for it, there are already other reviewers who share the same views as me.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.