My girlfriend and I spent 3 nights at the Hai Au Hotel in mid-April 2013.
I'm really surprised at its lofty position on Tripadvisor as I have to say for us, the hotel had good points but also many bad points. We booked into a Superior Double room and were originally given the family room on the top floor. The room was enormous with a huge double bed (2 twins pushed together) and a separate single bed. The room was very well presented with petals on the bed covers and towels moulded into swans-a nice touch. They also gave out complimentary water each day and a plate of fresh fruit in the fridge on arrival.
The family room had a small balcony, wardrobe with safe, a tv with DVD player, aircon, a minibar, a computer, a separate free standing table and 2 chairs and tea/ coffee making facilities. The bathroom was dated with a bath/ shower and some quite old fixtures and fittings. From an initial viewpoint though, the room was decent. It was only when you looked closer that you realise how dated it is. The wallpaper in some areas (mainly around the aircon unit) was a bit ragged and falling off the wall and the plug points behind the beds must have been there for decades. They were just a mass of wires. One of the plugs didn't work at all and both of the lamp bulbs had blown within 5 minutes.
That night when we returned from dinner, we were treated to the delightful sounds of the hotel water tank motor kicking in every 30 seconds for varying lengths of time on the roof right above our bedroom. To say it was irritating was an understatement! To the staff's credit they moved us immediately to a standard double for the night which was fine (still dated but more than comfortable) and then into a different Superior Double room the next day. This room was dated like the first one and had the same issues with wallpaper peeling off the wall around the aircon unit and very old and dodgy looking electrics. It also had a bath/ shower that leaked water all over the floor every time you used it. So, all in all, the 3 rooms we stayed in were large and relatively comfortable, but very dated and in desperate need of some renovation.
The breakfast buffet was a bit laughable to be honest and I'm amazed it has received some credit on Tripadvisor. It consisted of a small buffet of mostly uncovered western and Asian food including fruit, tea/ coffee and juice. Why these hotels don't cover all their buffet food up is totally beyond me! The "eggs" cooked any style consisted of 1 egg cooked any style which is unbelievably stingy!!
The hotel is not in the best location. It's a good 20 minute walk to the old town although the hotel does hire out bikes for a dollar a day and they're in fairly good shape. You have to hire these though (or a motorbike) as the walk is too far in my opinion. There are many other hotels in much better locations in my opinion.
There is no lift so be prepared for a hike if you are roomed on the higher floors.
What saved this hotel from a complete capitulation were the services of the staff. They were all very sweet and spoke excellent English. They were helpful with maps, very professional in moving us from our room and apologetic too. They arranged onward train tickets for us to Nha Trang (but watch out for the commission!), turned some laundry around for us really quickly, and were always smiling, greeting us by first names whenever we arrived or left the hotel.
I just feel slightly sympathetic for them as their services are not matched by those of the hotel which as I've said already is in serious need of renovation. For the price and given that we'd just spent a few nights down the road at the much better and same priced Vinh Hung 3 Hotel, I expected a lot more. I would not stay again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.