I had a fantastic stay recently at this property in late Nov into early Dec. A last-minute getaway, I heard about the soft opening of this property and had to check it out! I’ve stayed at JW (and other Marriott brand) properties all over the globe and this is definitely one that impressed me quite a bit.
The architecture, room layouts, amenities, service, executive lounge: all were stunning. I love the little extra touches, like the closet opening up to provide access both in the hallway and directly from the bathroom, the premium teas instead of just lipton or bigelow, open floor plans on the huge rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows with electric blinds, local fruits in the room, etc. The staff goes out of their way to assist in everything, and were even calling me by name on the second day.
There are a few minor things to keep in mind, since this is a new property and hasn’t celebrated its grand opening yet. The Chinese restaurant isn’t open yet, the Executive lounge snacks are primarily made-to-order off a menu (still all complimentary and I actually prefer the fresh made-to-order snacks, but some folks like to casually relax & self-serve), but since it’s not terribly busy yet the staff to guest ratio is ridiculously high and your drink or coffee never even gets close to empty before someone stops by and asks if you’d like a refill. The lobby bar staff is also awesome and are a lot of fun to talk to after a day of tours – they also make great recommendations for local gastronomic adventures in the city or nearby provinces.
As a Platinum member I was upgraded to an Executive floor room with the Lake view; given the hotel being nearly empty, I was actually hoping for an upgrade to one of the suites, but I did book this at a cutthroat pre-pay rate about a week before arriving, so I can understand. Also, being very nitpicky here, but there will be a few minor kinks I’m sure the hotel will iron out over time… for example, the soap dishes in the bathroom are very stylish (a blue resin with mother-of-pearl inlay) but once the square soap is wet and you put it in the square hole on the dish, you almost need a butter knife to pry it out. Housekeeping seems to have caught onto this and would dry the soap & dish off during room servicing and evening turndown though. Also the ATM near the business center was spitting out only 100,000 dong notes, so when I had to take out 8 million dong to pay for 3 days of tours, it was a wad of notes over an inch thick. Makes you feel rich, and I realize this isn’t within direct control of the hotel, but maybe they should speak to the ATM provider and have them load some larger denominations ;-)
Also one last tip: being a fairly new property, be sure to print out a small map of the hotel location prior to arrival or grab one of the business cards once there to show taxi drivers. Not all of them know where this place is at yet, and it’s helpful to have the card/map. You can also tell drivers it’s next to the Convention Center. If you have any doubts, book the limo service to pick you up at the airport. It will cost you USD$65 instead of the USD$15-20 for a cab, but it’s a very comfortable ride and even has free wifi & and iPads to use for the time spent navigating through notorious Hanoi traffic.
Finally, yes this hotel is in the newer financial district and a decent 20-minute ride into/out of the Old Quarter, but taxis are instantly available and the rides are only about 150,000 dong (USD$8) each way, and you get to see more of non-tourist Hanoi with some interesting places to stop if you like. It would take me 30-40 minutes to get from the JW in Seoul to the tourist areas via Metro anyway, so I actually enjoyed it.
In summation, a beautiful property. Staff bends over backwards to help, even more than JWs you’d find in other Asian locales. Rooms are very spacious, elegant, and functional. Food & executive lounge are top notch, can’t wait to come back to try the Jade Palace restaurant when it opens and to see the Exec lounge in full swing. Pool has magnificent panoramic views (270-degree). Certainly a wonderful place to stay to explore Northern Vietnam, and is on my top 10 of all Marriott properties worldwide, including Ritz Carlton’s & Autograph. My advice: check it out now while you can, because the soft-opening rates probably won’t last for long.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Iconic Luxury in full bloom. From the expressive architecture outside to the authentic signature JW Marriott services inside, we welcome you to experience the new definition of contemporary luxury, located in the new central business district, adjacent to the National Convention Center of West Hanoi. The perfect place for regional and global meetings, incentives and any type of gathering, the hotel offers one of the largest and most innovative meeting venues in the region including 2 ballrooms and extensive foyer areas, covering 5,000sqm. ... more less
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