We booked for four nights in a beach villa in January. Passed through Hue between Saigon (Park Hyatt) and the Hanoi (Metropole).
First the good. The beach villa we stayed in was spectacular. Great bathroom and big open space. Had the weather been better we would have been better able to avail ourselves of the outside areas. Still, great views of the beach and the waves crashing.
Now the not so good. Only at the very end did we see anyone who worked there who looked to have much authority. The English spoken by the staff was not up to par, so it was difficult to get them to understand many things. Well meaning, yes, but not up to concierge standard (don't you need that for a 5* hotel?).
Furthermore, there is little attention to detail. The DVD players are old and Region encoded so you can't bring your own. There were two lights which had burned out. The couches had spills on them. The towels had holes in them. The walls had holes in them (note to management: behind the left bedside lamp in room 141). None of this is 5 star standard.
The food is poor. At dinner the only night we ate there we ordered three courses and all of them were flawed: morning glory tasteless in a puddle of oil, pancakes where the chef "forgot" the filling, and four prawns in a cereal bowl with a few half cooked onions (for Dong 360,000!). Breakfast was similarly poor. Soggy breads and cold coffee from a thermos. Again, when was the last time you went for cold coffee in a 5* hotel. Twice in succession I asked for an espresso, which I was told I would have to pay for, and twice it was reversed by (invisible) management.
After two nights we had enough. We decided to book a suite for the final two nights at La Residence (I'll post a review of that soon) and eat the costs of the beach villa if necessary. Before leaving the Ana Mandara, I asked to speak to management so I could explain why we were leaving. We were directed to the front office manager, who was a lovely woman who understood the issues we raised. But she was unable to process a refund for the unused two nights and I asked to speak to the General Manager (AussieTony on Tripadvisor).
I was willing to give this review three stars until my meeting with the general manager. He was unwilling to meet me in our villa - we wanted to show him the holes in the towels and the wall - but he said he wanted to be on "neutral ground". A stunning comment coming from a hotel manager. (We thought we were guests in a property managed by him.) Apparently he was there when we had the espresso charge reversed but failed to introduce himself. (Why wouldn't a GM introduce him to a guest?) I pointed out the reasons why I felt that the property wasn't 5 stars but insisted it was and he asked me if I knew where he stayed when he was traveling. Then, he said that we stressed out a staff member because she was three months pregnant. (I was equally shocked that he would betray private information about staff.) Finally, he agreed to process the refund as long as I would end the discussion. Later, I did try to shake his hand and thank him upon check out but he turned his back on my wife and me. We did receive a refund for all four nights, which he promised, I hadn't expected or asked for.
The point of this is that this is not a bad property which proper management or attention to detail couldn't fix. But until it is fixed, we recommend that you avoid.
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- Also Known As:
- Ana Mandara Hue Hotel Hue