As previous reviewers have noted, this hotel is in a splendid location right next to the seafood night market. It also has its own small beach and lovely swimming pool. It is a fifteen minute stroll along the road to the "Long Beach" strip which has a plethora of restaurants, bars, laundries, mini-marts and travel agents.
Our ridiculously huge room had a balcony with a picture postcard view of the ocean. It was clean and everything worked fine except for a small water leak that seemed to come from the room next door into our bathroom. We simply requested extra bathmats and that seemed to keep the problem at bay. Obviously, some basic maintenance could have easily fixed the problem but this is Asia where nothing gets repaired until a water main bursts.
I really must reiterate that our room was massive. Despite this, the furnishings were quite spartan. We could have ballroom danced if we were so inclined. In fact, I think we could have held a small ballroom dancing competition in there. The bathroom was also large enough to do your best John Travolta/Olivia Newton John impersonation. The shower cubicle however was tiny. Maybe a trainee architect designed the hotel.
I think the main criticisms in previous reviews stem from the fact that people expect this to be a resort and it is not. There are plenty of loungers but no extra towels are supplied on the beach or at the pool. You have to use your bathroom towels and later ask the cheerful, hard-working, obliging housemaids for a swap. The remnants of a poolside bar remain but it seems to have been quite some time since drinks have been served as a matter of course at the pool or the beach.
The main clientele seem to be Asian tour groups who come with their own guide, hence the staff do not really have systems to deal with independent travellers. Upon check-in we were not given a map, told about the travel agent at the entrance to the hotel or offered any further advice. English is limited across the island but it is particularly limited at this hotel. This can become quite comical. One morning a man rang our doorbell then barged in with a ladder to fix our air-conditioner which wasn't broken. He clearly had the wrong room but no amount of gesticulation and use of bilingual phone dictionary could communicate the problem to the receptionist.
Breakfast is definitely Asian fare but excellent Vietnamese omelets are on offer. We ate breakfast both early and late and there seemed to be plenty available on both occasions.
None of these minor inconveniences mattered. We swam in the sea, lazed by the pool, went on boat trips, explored the island, ate at Long Beach restaurants and slept well in our perfectly comfortable bed at night.
The one truly unforgivable infraction was the day that they held a wedding on the beachfront without warning their guests. The ear-splitting V-pop started blasting at 3 o'clock in the afternoon while I was lounging on my balcony. It didn't cease till after 10 o'clock. Surely, it would have been courteous to tell guests that this would be happening so they could make other arrangements. Many of the resorts allow you to use their pool for free if you buy drinks. I would definitely have changed my plans and spent my afternoon/evening elsewhere. (My partner had booked to go squid fishing - don't do it. No squid to be caught and strange seafood gruel for dinner). As it turned out, I was eventually forced to flee to a restaurant at Long Beach in order to avoid the increasingly awful karaoke renditions of increasingly awful songs.
If you accept this establishment for what it is - a hotel with minimal service, you will enjoy your stay. Just don't expect the bells and whistles of a fully-fledged resort.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda so you can book your Huong Bien Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.