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“Nice place - but DO NOT trust the hotel website's photos”

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Hanoi Charming Hotel
Ranked #111 of 586 Hotels in Hanoi
London
1 review
“Nice place - but DO NOT trust the hotel website's photos”
Reviewed January 5, 2010

I have just got back from staying at the Charming Hotel. While, the staff are lovely and are very keen to help, I just want to fore warn anyone of the following who are thinking of staying here.

During our recent stay here, we pre-paid a ‘suite’ room prior to arriving, which was based on the photos showed on a reputable travel website ($32 USD a night). Upon checking in, we were given one of the hotels smallest rooms which unfortunately would have been equivalent to their cheapest room (standard at $22 USD) which had a window looking directly onto a wall. Of course we weren’t happy after they showed us to our room seeing that we paid for their best and biggest room, the ‘suite’. It was frustrating when the hotel staff was trying to ensure us that this was their suite room, but we knew this not the case, and suspected they were being untruthful.

After they showed us a second room, which was also suppose to be the suite, we knew there was something fishy going on. The hotel then told us that there were already some people in the true suite room, but are still in there for an extra night due to their flight being delayed. We said fine, can you kindly put them in a cheaper room, to give us the room that we actually booked. After a bit more dialog, the hotel changed its story to say that other travellers are still in the same ‘suite’ room which they rightfully booked, and they were meant to be in that room until they left the night after which is when their flight was leaving. They said the hotel staff made a mistake, and that they accidentally double-booked this room. At this point, we were tired of playing these games and listening to their ‘stories’ which were constantly changing and making no logical sense. We asked them to organise the room we have booked or we want a full refund and will leave. They promptly promised to get the room ready. So after an hour, we went back to the hotel where the room was ready for us to view. However, this room was still not a suite… but a slightly bigger room with a real window. This we learnt was the best room in the hotel but was no way a ‘suite’ room. In fact, all the rooms in this hotel were nothing like the pictures as displayed on their website (and other websites for that matter). We did find that the user photos from Tripadvisor are accurate, so please use these as a guide!

The rooms in this hotel are actually good value for this price range, so I still recommend to stay there. They are clean, and have had recent (fairly recent) renovations to them. They have LCD tv's, and the bathrooms are good (nice big rain showers), though the water pressure could have been a little stronger. The shower in the bathroom doesn't have a cubicle, so the bathroom floor get's pretty wet, but this is the same as most hotels in this area and price range.

Speaking of price range, from what I saw, they had 3 different room types, regardless of what websites you’ve seen:
1. Cheapest, smallest rooms they have a window that looks directly onto a wall, so not really a window at all - I guess these are the $22 USD ones.
2. Bigger room, but no windows - I guess these could be the $25 USD ones.
3. Medium size room, has a window that looks straight across the alley onto the building's opposite, or out over the roof-tops – this was the room we stayed in, and we ended up paying $25 USD a night for it.

The hotel website shows 4 different room types, though I don't know what the other one could be. I recommend not paying anymore then $25 for a room.

Like I said, the rooms are great value, and the staff are keen to help (albeit like to tell stories). I would still recommend this hotel to people looking to spend around this price.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonHays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore
Level Contributor
50 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2010

Stayed here for 3 nights over the New Year. Booked through email and asked specifically for an Executive Suite with windows (25USD/nite including breakfast). Just personally prefer a room with windows. Mr. Duc was prompt in reply and asked for my flight details for airport transfer provided free as part of hotel promotion that time.

Check in: At the hotel, I was given Rm 104 on ground floor at the back of the hotel. Upon knowing that there were no windows, I showed them my email correspondence and they immediately changed my room to 201, just 1 floor above with windows overlooking the walkway. Probably some miscommuncation between the hotel staff but nevertheless was happy with the service recovery by the staff on the spot.

Room: Room and toilet were small but basic amenities were there. More importantly, bedsheet, pillow and toilet looked clean as the hotel is pretty new. The reason why some reviews mentioned that there was no hot water was probably because the water heater could not heat the water fast enough. It poses no problem at all for a 10 to 15 minute shower though. Room was already cleaned everyday when I returned to the hotel. Overall, the room was comfortable for the price I paid. My suggestions for improvement would be to carry out regular checks on the amenities for wear and tear, as some of the bathroom fittings are loose like tap as well as toilet seat. Also, would recommend that the towels be soaked in hot water when washing as they are not really “white” anymore.

Breakfast: 3 choices of breakfast were provided: Continental (toast and jam/butter), American (bacon and egg) and Vietnamese (rice noodles). Overall, food was adequate with good presentation. I do find the fried egg a little oily though.

Hotel staff: Mr Duc and his team are truly service-oriented, making sure that all guests enjoy their stay at the hotel. Guests were always met with smiles on their faces. Mr Duc himself helped me booked a taxi and even accompanied me to the main street to make sure I get into the waiting taxi. The lady at the reception desk at night was friendly and recommended some dining options and their locations.

Hotel Location: The hotel is located in the Old Quarter, a unique area where one can see a fusion of tourist activities (hotels, travel agencies, cafes) as well as the local activities (shops, hawker stalls on the sidewalks, temples). More specifically, the hotel is in an alley in which only motorbikes are passable. Be careful when stepping out of the hotel as motorbikes could be zipping through. It is a wet market in the morning where one can see fruits, meat being sold and hawkers selling their food to the locals there. An interesting sight indeed!

Places of attraction nearby: Walking around the Old Quarter is itself a unique experience as each street sells a different category of stuff like hardware, paintings, silk. Hoan Kiem Lake, St Joseph’s Cathedral, weekend night market and water puppet show theater are all within walking distance.

Dining options: There are a few restaurants near the hotel selling local Vietnamese food like Kim Dac (1 Hang Manh) selling bun cha or grilled pork and Cha Ca (31 Duong Thanh) selling braised fish. There are also Western restaurants and cafes in the area near the lake like Papa Joe’s Café, Gloria Jeans Coffee, KFC and Segafredo . I personally like the pumpkin soup at Puku Café (60 Hang Trong) which was truly satisfying in the cool weather, especially after a day trip to cold and windy Halong Bay.

Nightlife: I like the live band playing at the Minh's Jazz Club (31 Luong Van Can) nearby. Had an enjoyable evening listening to live jazz music over beer.

Day Trip: Did a day trip to Halong Bay (20USD) through a travel agency along the main street. Did not check with hotel regarding their rate although I think it should be similar. A must-go for the scenic view!

Check out: When checking out, I told Mr Duc that a small bottle of water was missing in the minibar on the second day when I returned to the room. He gladly waived the charge without further questions asked. Truly professional I would say. I booked the transport back to the airport through the hotel at 15USD. The staff accompanied me to the taxi at the main street and assured me everything has been paid to the driver and not to pay extra if asked.

Overall an enjoyable experience with the hotel. I would say it is value for money for the price I paid, especially if one is looking for a safe, clean and comfortable place to stay in. This clearly explains why the hotel is ranked so high on Tripadvisor. To the staff at the hotel, keep up the good work! The challenge would be to maintain such level of service and enthusiasm over time.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eatshopeatshop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

I was immediately made feel welcome and comfortable in the Charming Hotel by young Miss Loan and Mr Giang and soon found the other staff to be as friendly and helpful. The rooms are on the smaller side but everthing is clean and well maintained, there is good air-conditioning and hot water, multi-language TV. The front rooms with a window overlooking the narrow Yen Trai street are $30 with other rooms at $22-27. The breakfast is very good for city hotels in this price range and available until 10.30am. I stayed 6 nights and would have happily stayed longer.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rayza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spain and Italy
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2010

The staff and accomodations in this hotel are first-rate, and the price is very good. Great breakfast too, and the most helpful and 'charming' people. After leaving Hanoi I stayed in 5 other hotels, for the most part acceptable, but no where near as good as the Hanoi Charming Hotel.

The area where the hotel is located is not the most elegant, but no problem getting there whatsoever. Very central and picturesque.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MusicalPassages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore/Malaysia
1 review
Reviewed January 1, 2010

The hotel is one of the best I've stayed in Vietnam. They had a promotion where if you stayed 3 nights or more, the pick up from the airport's provided for free. Our airport transfer didn't show up, but the hotel honored their promotion by refunding our airport cab fare in full with minimal fuss! Breakfast was simple but nice - there was even a choice of continental, american and local pho. Room was well lit, decorated in contemporary style, had a nice comfy bed, good pillows, and most importantly was clean. Cupboard space for hanging clothes was limited, but we basically lived out of our travel bags anyway. Toilet was spacious and, again, clean! A nice touch for me was, the rooms, (or at least my room) was equipped with a flat screen LCD tv. Good for just idling the late nights when most shops outside are closed. The location of the hotel is excellent. Its very close to the Hoan Kiem Lake, about 5-10minutes walk if you head in the right direction and its right in the middle of the Old Quarters. We were there over the Xmas period and the hotel staffs were so nice to host a small party with food and wine thrown in for all the guests. It was very very nice of them! We checked out after a couple of days to make our way to Halong bay. After Halong bay, we had to be dropped off back to Charming Hotel. And the staff was gracious to help arrange for a cab back to the airport, even though we were no longer their guests....!

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zipzoink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2009

Right from the minute i stepped into the hotel till i checked out the staffs at charming hotel made me feel at home. I stayed for 2 nights before heading off to lao cai, sapa. And for the 4 nights while i was staying in sapa, i kinda missed the warmth from the crew at charming which i didn't get or feel from the staff at the hotel i was staying at in sapa. Needless to say when i got back from sapa i stayed at charming again for my last night in hanoi. Great location, great staff and even better value... what more do i have to say.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank keredchua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hulst
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 27, 2009

We stayed 4 nights at this small hotel in a relatively quiet street in the heart of Hanoi. First three nights and after a Halong Bay tour another night.

The hotel is in a small street where cars can't come, which makes it more quiet than the surrounding streets.

The service at the hotel is excellent. The girls at the desk were very friendly and speak more than average english which makes communication a lot easier. They will try to help you with whatever question you have.
The pictures on their website are accurate. All the things you might want are there: good bed with warm covers, good bathroom, TV with CCN-channel, Lan-cable in the room or use of Wifi-point for your internet-access. Breakfast and the use of internet / wifi is included in the room rate.
Because the rooms are at the back of the building, they are very quiet, which is a relieve after a day full of streetnoise. Except for the groundfloor, where you might have some noise from the lobby and guests coming in and out. The only small minor thing is that the room are quite small, but to be honest I have not seen other hotels in Hanoi and all buildings here seem to be narrow and small.
The hotel arranges pickups from the airport if you stay a minimum of three nights, very convenient if you arrive late in the evening.
We paid US$ 22 per night, which we found very reasonable for all the service offered.
We booked a Halong Bay tour through the hotel and were not disappointed, but also not very enthusiastic about it. It was a very standard tour with everything in it, but nothing special.

All in all the hotel is a solid choice for everyone who seeks a quiet and reliable hotel in Hanoi. Advance booking through email is advised as the hotel fills up quickly. The owner (Mr. Duc) responds quickly to all requests.

Paul de Schepper

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PaulenJose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hanoi Charming Hotel

Property: Hanoi Charming Hotel
Address: 15 Yen Thai St. | Hoan Kiem, Hanoi ++84, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #111 of 586 Hotels in Hanoi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hanoi Charming Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the centre of Hanoi old city, Hanoi Charming Hotel offers beautiful and spacious rooms with nice view of Hanoi old street. Hanoi Charming Hotel is equipped with all amenities that you expect such as air-conditioning, international standard elevator, Internet ADSL, cable television, mini bar and more. ... more   less 
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