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“Quiet Hotel near the Temple of Literature”
Review of Sao Mai Hotel

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Sao Mai Hotel
Ranked #427 of 600 Hotels in Hanoi
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Frankly this was not my hotel of choice. I bought a Groupon deal for its sister hotel, Hanoi Triumphal Hotel which is located near the Old Quarters where all the activities and happenings are but was informed a few days before my arrival that Hanoi Triumphal Hotel was closed for renovation and Hanoi Windy Hotel was offered to me as an alternative without any additional charges. It was too late for me to do anthing but to agree to the arrangement.

As part of the deal, the hotel has also arranged for a pick-up from the airport and to our disappointment, we could not find the driver when we came out of the arrival hall, though a couple of phone calls to the hotel after waiting for 20mins solved the problem (though we were really anxious at that point in time as it is the first time in Vietnam for our party of 3 girls). Unfortunately, the driver could not speak English so I was not sure what went wrong but I believe that the driver was waiting at the lobby B of the airport when we are at lobby A. The car we went into did not seem to belong to the hotel nor a taxi company which raised my eye-brow a little.

Nonetheless, we reached the hotel safely and were warmly greeted by Ms Thao Nguyen who apologised for the incident at the airport. She and the other hotel staff spoke good English and was able to take care of our needs, including booking a 2D1N trip to Halong Bay. Though Ms Thao did try to recommend to us their other travel packages for our remaining days in Vietnam, she was not pushy and was in fact very responsive over emails. Only thing was that they are not very flexible in aranging for the Halong trip. We were to stay in the hotel for 2 nights and our trip was arranged to be in between the 2 nights, ie, we had to check out of our room after our first night to go for the 2D1N Halong Bay trip before checking back into the hotel for another night. We tried to ask for our hotel stay to be 2 nights consecutively before going over to Halong Bay to avoid the hassle of checking in and out of the hotel room but was told that it is not possible unless we pay for another night at the Hotel (even though we will not be in Halong Bay).

Room was spacious, clean and comfortable even with 3 of us in the room. Usual amentities expected of a hotel room are provided. However, not sure whether this is a common problem in Vietnam but water pressure and temperature of the shower tends to fluctuate as you use though it was not really very disruptive.

Location-wise:
PROS - It is tucked in a small lane off the main roads and hence away from the noise of the traffic which helped ensure a good nights' sleep. There are a couple of local provisional stores down the lane which was helpful. It is also perfect for those who intend to visit the temple of literature, as it is just a 5 mins walk away. There is also a nice pho shop about a 2 mins walk from the hotel (walk toward the main road then turn right; would recommend the fried beef pho). KFC and Pizza Hut is also available at about 5 mins walk away from the hotel (walk towards the main road, turn left and cross the main road).
CONS - It is far from the Old Quarters where all the happenings and "touristy" places are. A good 20-30 mins walk under the hot sun is no joke, although taking a taxi would easily solve the problem. It cost about VND60k to get to the Old Quarters from the hotel, which is inexpensive. The issue is not knowing whether the taxi you are getting on is regulated as I understand that there is alot of private taxi companies in Vietnam but oh well, guess this got to be trial and error and is part of the joy of travelling.

Breakfast provided by the hotel is sufficient though not impressive. Staff are generally helpful and eager to make conversation. WIFI in our room at level 3 is almost non-existant.

All-in-all, this is a ok hotel to stay in for the good night's sleep, especially if you are on a business trip rather than leisure. Central location to the railway station and selected places of interest. For me, I would prefer to stay closer to the Old Quarters where there are also no lack of hotels at good price.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank CausalTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 15 of 18 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

Good location for the temple of literature, nice big clean room, friendly and helpful staff. However don't be fooled by the spa and sauna as it is a separate business next door to the hotel in a back alley. And the fitness centre advertised on agoda does not exist.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Packhorses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Nice hotel with good facilities and very well located. Breakfast is rich and substantial and all the staff is willing to help you and make your stay really comfortable. Really pays the price of the rooms, which is acceptable. Have to highlight the main receptionist as she was so helpful with us, booked a nice boat for Halong bay, took care of train tickets to Sapa but mainly she was all the time extremely nice and careful with us. Thank you Miss Thao. Very friendly environment in the hotel, so friendly that we took a bottle of Port Wine to make a toast with Miss Thao and the manger Mr. Bin, also very nice person.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Andrei S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Rooms were terrific, beds very comfortable, very clean and stylish. The breakfasts were very nice - good choice and plenty. Location was brilliant - rigth in the centre of Hanoi, near by Temple of Literature and Museum of Art. The staff were extremely friendly, helpful, caring and welcoming. They helped us to arrange a numbers of trip and all were successful and enjoyed.
Excellent value for money!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Fong Lim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

The hotel was perfectly situated and i had a great suprise that the rooms we well appointed and evrything perfectly clean...
The Staff were so friendly in everything they did and only to willing to help with all our questions.
At the end the price was amazing difficult to see how they maintain the quality and service but they did...
will definatly be going back in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank stevegolf63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

I really love this hotel because the overall of the room and bathroom is very clean. everything is pretty new. Nice and soft bed~ able to get a good night sleep after a long walk.
the staff is very friendly too, though I had a hard time telling the staff I want Vietnamese coffee.
The location is good too, just few walks away you can get pho beef and chicken, also shop for shopping. In the morning, you will get stalls around the hotel. very interesting.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank dkeru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014
Google Translation

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank kta2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sao Mai Hotel

Address: 23 Thong Phong | Ton Duc Thang Str, Dong Da dist, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam (Formerly Hanoi Windy Hotel)
Location: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #427 of 600 Hotels in Hanoi
Price Range: $37 - $44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sao Mai Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
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