Originally slated to be in Vietnam a week, I so enjoyed my stay at the Paramount Hotel that I extended my stay. It is conveniently located in the Old Quarter just steps from St. Joseph's Cathedral & a short walk to famed Hoh Kie Lake. Situated down a quiet alley past a number of travel agencies makes it a solid launching point for other parts of the country. There are dozens of Vietnamese and European-style cafes just outside the door, so you won't go hungry for food or people-watching. I gained at least 4 kilos in my two weeks there. ! (Bahn My, cheese, pastries, oh my!)
Indeed - and as the hotel moniker suggests - I was "Completely Satisfied."
The staff are exemplary - responding to guest questions, needs and concerns immediately. In fact, they had scheduled an airport pickup for my arrival. Once outside the airport, however, there were two people holding up hand-written signs with my name; neither had hotel identification so I elected not to get in either of their cars. Instead, I called a taxi curbside. The Paramount management was very accommodating and didn't request to be paid for the taxi originally sent.
Other issues were handled promptly and courteously, like: an inoperable telephone; CFL light bulb replacement; electrical outages and bad circuitry; a loose shower head. Wifi wasn't fixed as quickly, requiring more professional services. Do be aware wifi can have some stability issues - at the hotel and in Hanoi in general. Because the power does go out from time to time, if you're not eager to walk up flights of stairs, you may wish to stay on a lower floor. Myself, I enjoyed the hikeup the 8 flights to work-off those beautiful baguettes and pastries. Overall, any problem or need you may have the staff will graciously assist you in handling.
As for decor, the hotel seems minimalist throughout. The reception area is simple, with photos on the walls of famous Vietnamese travel destinations. There is a comfortable sitting area, replete with coffee table, scattered travel books and lending library. Computers and printer are onsite across from reception. Breakfast area has about 5 tables for sitting and eating, with lovely layout in the morning. Silver steaming trays boast Vietnamese and Western options, including homemade rice-paper wrapped spring rolls and vermicelli noodles wrapped in bacon. Got a flash cooking lesson from one of the chefs - so much fun! Fresh fruits like pineapple, papaya and dragon fruit adorn the breakfast nook each morning, next to the coffee and tea service alongside fresh watermelon juice.
The bedroom was spacious. Just as sizable as the sizable discount from booking.com (yay!). The walls boasted beautiful black and white photos of hill tribe peoples and the mountainous North. Flat screen TV thoughtfully provided, though for this news junkie, most news stations were limited to languages I don't speak. Wardrobe and seating area with great view of the city lent a homey feel. Snack tray and fridge stocked with water, pop and beer if you like. And in Vietnam, beer is cheaper than water so if you drink it & you're on a budget, you're in luck!
It got rather cold during my stay, and I needed a blanket. As it didn't have a duvet cover and was rather scratchy, I found a cover for myself, but am sure if you ask staff they'll gladly accommodate the request. The bathroom was a bit dim, and they could probably clean a bit more thoroughly. The water pressure was great for being 8 floors up, and the temperature was great, too (with the exception of power-outages). The hotel used energy efficient lightbulbs throughout, though they don't employ any specific energy or water conservation measures. Unless you count the power outages.
Staff created a lobby area with holiday cheer, including an illuminated Christmas tree. The favorite part of my stay at Paramount was helping staff decorate, placing a "dove of peace" atop the tree. And in this season of peace, it seemed the perfect experience of cultural exchange and holiday spirit.
Yes. Completely Satisfied.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Paramount Hotel, 28 Ngo Huyen Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, is located near Hoan Kiem Lake, the heart of Hanoi, one street from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in an area offering a wide choice of excellent Western style and Vietnamese restaurants. On the edge of Hanoi’s Old Town of Thirty-Six Streets, the hotel is surrounded by colourful shops selling silk, lacquer, wood and stone sculpture, one block from Hanoi’s Silk Street, Hang Gai. ... more less
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