Our family flew in from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi. In KL, we stayed at the Pan Pacific KLIA. Let me tell you that the service of the 5 star PanPac absolutely cannot measure up to the service at Hotel Charming 2 in Hanoi. Both services were efficient.
In PanPac, it was cool, detached and aloof. In Charming 2, it was warm, happy, enthusiastic and sincere. Mary, Sophie, Linda, David, Vi, Johnny and company - when you ask them for anything, you just feel that they are not only happy to oblige, they give you the sense that nothing is too much to ask for.
Our trip was pretty much last minute bookings. When I contacted IndoChina Junk to book a 2 night cruise for the period from 14 to 19 December [I told them any 2 nights would do], I was informed by email that all their junks were fully booked and they could only offer 1 night.
I then contacted Charming 2's manager, Johnny, and within 12 hours, he was able to reply with a booking for 2 nights on Dragon's Pearl 1 with IndoChina! Now, how good is that!
Charming 2 provided us with free airport pick up in an airconditioned 7 seater van as we are staying for more than 3 nights. Getting the airport pick up is a good idea after reading all those stories of high pressure from cabbies at the airport, this being our first trip to Hanoi.
The hotel is centrally located in the Old Quarters. We took a family room on the 3rd floor. The room is spacious. There is a bit of road traffic noise in the morning but that is very much a part of Hanoi and you get used to it after a while. The room has a balcony which overlooks the street which is nice. The aircon is cool and the shower is hot and strong.
The room even has its own in-room personal computer for you to surf the net. Now, how good is that. Even the 5 star hotels in KL do not have that.
The room fridge is stocked with a plentiful supply of bottled water, big and small, as well as beer and sodas. Here's the best part - the prices of the drinks in the room's bar fridge is cheaper than the prices in the coffee shops in town, unlike hotels all over the world where the room drinks are usually twice or 3 times outside prices. So, don't bother going out to buy water from nearby mini markets.
Here's something else different from most hotels' buffet breakfast. We have had breakfast here 3 mornings and the dishes offered have changed each morning. They also offer hot pho, the famous Hanoi rice noodle soup.
When we went off for 2 nights to Halong Bay, we borrowed a pair of slippers and a bottle opener from the room and forgot to tell them. They never even mentioned it when we checked back in on our return from Halong Bay. Contrast this with PanPac KLIA where I called room service to borrow a bottle opener. The guy who delivered it refused to leave it with me [no doubt afraid that I'd nick off with the $1 opener, even though I was staying in the suite there], and he stood there and made me open all 3 bottles of beer at one go. I will have something to say about this when I review the PanPac.
The Charming 2 is not a 5 star big hotel. It is a boutique hotel. It is small, warm, friendly and if you are in a strange city and you want to feel really at home with people who would do their darnest to accommodate your every wishes, Charming 2 is the one for you. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! If I return to Hanoi, would I stay here again? Absolutely!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A brand new hotel that features luxurious rooms and suites, We offer convenience to our guests by providing modern elevators, restaurants, and other great amenities you can expect from a modern hotel. Offering fantastic value of money, it is located right in Hanoi Old Quarter, approximately about 5 minutes' walk from Hoan Kiem Lake and the popular Thang Long Water Puppet Show. Indeed, in close proximity to the excellent attractions, We also offer air conditioned rooms, inside room computer and internet, desk, minibar and a balcony in certain rooms. A convenient place of stay, it is a good choice. The Charming 2 Hotel (Add: 31 Hang Ga, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi ) - located in the center of Hanoi Old Quarter, just 5 minute walk to Hoan Kiem Lake. ... more less
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