I recently stayed here for 3 nights on a business trip to Hanoi. I was travelling with a work colleague - a male, while I am a female.
Upon check in, the receptionist's automatic assumption was that we were sharing a room. We corrected her and stated that I would be checking in separately. She dealt with my colleague first, and upon checking his details, noted that due to his loyalty program status, he'd been given a free upgrade to the Executive floor. The staff member then said that part of this service was private check in on the Executive floor, and proceeded to collect an armload of papers, and walk away from the desk. I stayed put. When she asked why I wasn't coming too, I pointed out that I was checking in to my own room. This seemed to fluster her a little and she handed over my colleagues paperwork to her manager and stayed to check me in. This process involved telling me I was in a standard room and hence all the services I did NOT receive. When I was told there was no free wireless service in the standard rooms, I asked how much it was to enable this, as I needed to access my work emails - she said the standard rooms just did not have wifi - but there was an internet cable for connection at an extra charge. I pointed out that my wireless device couldn't plug into a cable, and once again asked if there was any way to connect (my previous hotel in HCM city had free wifi in public areas). She said the only way was to upgrade to an Executive room.
By the time the process had been completed, I got to my room to find the baggage porter waiting with my suitcase, and my colleague calling my room, to ask me to join him for a drink in the Executive lounge, as he could invite a guest. I joined him there, and when being served a glass of wine, and being asked my room number, I was sternly told that I "have no benefits on this floor" - my colleague was happy for my drink to be charged to his room (his was complimentary), but I felt the tone and manner in which I was treated was uncalled for, particularly if guests are permitted to invite others to join them.
At breakfast the next morning, I discovered that there is indeed free wireless access in the public areas - and this became quite apparent by the number of people on iPads and smartphones skyping and surfing the internet in the large foyer area. This again I found frustrating as I felt the receptionist could so easily have told me this the night before, but was intent in upselling the executive room upgrade.
Other than this, the hotel is quite good. The location is next to the Opera house as the name would suggest, a short walk from the lake in central old Hanoi. The rooms are spacious (but quite sparsely furnished I felt), but with tiny windows. The bathroom has a bath and separate shower. The rooms are frequently serviced and all used toiletries, bottled water, towels and coffee/teas replenished. There are lots of TV stations on the wall mounted flat screen TV.
The bed is really comfortable and the room appeared to be sound proof as not a sound disturbed me during the night.
I used the fitness club on a couple of occasions. There's one room with some free weights, one with a multigym machine, and a larger room with several treadmills, bikes and steppers,and two large TVs. There's also a spa pool, and access to the outdoor swimming pool - which looked quite small for the size of the hotel, and I only ever saw one person use! Free towels are handed to you as you enter.
The breakfast service is provided in a very green restaurant area (as in colour), and includes a spread to satisfy most people - fruit, yoghurt, cereals, juices, hot Asian, sushi, hot Western, cold cuts, cheeses, a selection of breads and pastries to rival any bakery (and the croissants were very good), eggs cooked on demand, and also a cook to order Asian chef. However, the staff service was interesting - one waiter wanted to take my plate the moment I lifted a piece of toast from it to take a bite, and at other times it was impossible to get anyone's attention for more coffee, or to try and get replacement cutlery as the ones initially provided had been cleared away. We didn't have any other meals in the hotel, as the choice close by is extensive.
It's a shame that my stay here started off as it did. Certainly the location, service and facilities would please most business and leisure travellers, but I can't quite forget that whole check in experience. I wish I could give a rating of "good", as the Hilton is definitely better than average, but I've opted for "very good" - with obvious reservations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located in Hanoi's elegant French Quarter, the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel is a short walk from the famous Old Quarter and the city's bustling business district. Recently awarded 'Best Business Hotel in Hanoi 2010' and voted 'Vietnam's Leading Hotel for five consecutive years at the prestigious World Travel Awards, the Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel is a landmark in the city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel Hanoi
- Hanoi Hilton