We flew to Hue having spent a few nights in Hanoi and Halong Bay. Our flight (approx one hour) was with Vietnam Airways, and we couldn't fault it. The airport at Hue is very small, with just one baggage carousel, so it was a very simple arrival.
We were met by the hotel driver, in a Mercedes (very nice!). It's about a half-hour ride into Hue itself. The Huong Giang is very well located, right on the Perfume River, within easy walking distance of everything we needed. We had paid a little bit extra for a room with river view; having spent a few nights in a boutique, Old Quarter hotel in Hanoi and a couple of nights in Halong, we wanted somewhere that had a bar to relax in overlooking the river, and the Huong Giang does exactly that. The bar is small,but there are plenty of seats outside overlooking the river, and, as the weather was considerably warmer than it had been in Hanoi, we enjoyed thawing out! This outside area has great potential, but was a bit tired; absolutely fine for our needs, but not as pretty as it could be.
It was dark when we arrived, and we were shown to room 214. When we opened the curtains, we could not see the River. It's entirely possible that one can see it, in daylight, as it rounds a bend in the distance, but it really wasn't what we'd been hoping for. We went straight to reception and gently aired our disappointment. Within a few minutes (and a Festival beer watching the river), we were re-allocated to room 205. This turned out to be a suite, bang-smack on the river! The hotel is of medium size and clearly caters to vast numbers of short-stay visitors from all over the world, so we were probably just fortunate. However, the change was accomplished quickly and courteously, and the chap who moved our cases had even picked up my reading-glasses which had been left in the original room, for which I was very grateful.
Our room was very clean, comfy bed, perfectly nice. There were one or two small things: the robes could do with being replaced, and I had to ring down for the hairdryer, but these are tiny, minor things. Generally, the hotel has used a bamboo/wicker decorating style which is very attractive, and some of the swork is stuningly intricate. Most unusual.
Breakfast is served in a large, riverside restaurant and offers plenty of choice at various stations. The hotel was hosting a weeding on our second day so breakfast was served at an upstairs restaurant whch was really very nice. As stated in a previous post, the coffee was not to our taste (but frankly we didn't get on with Vietnamese coffee generally, so it was a great joy when we got to Saigon and found Western coffee shops. Sad, I know, but there we are!).
We are pavement-pounders rather than tour-takers, and found masses to occupy our two days. In the immediate vicinity of the hotel are loads of and very varied restaurants (we ate at Citronella on the first night, which was lovely, and the Italian restaurant on the second, which was perfectly acceptable)., and lots of touristy shops (which was interesting, as there very few in Hanoi). And the weather was lovely - esp after the cold further North!
The Citadel is interesting in many ways; clearly it was an extraordinary place originally, although much of the original has gone, and it is now the site of a massive and apparently very smpathetic resotoration project. The Royal Theater is finished and if that is the standard to which they are woking, then the job is being very well done indeed. The grounds are well maintained, there are clean toilets, a little cafe etc. I was not keen on the tethered elephants and ponies, but that's just not my cup of tea and the kids clearly enjoyed their rides. We enjoyed strolling around the Citadel, in the 'normal' town rather than the heavily touristy area. It seems an open, pleasant town, quiet and clearly relying heavily on visitors.
The walk along the river is nice, through parks, over bridges, all quite pretty to do. We took a Dragon Boat to One Pillar Pagoda, directly rather than through the hotel (expect to have souvenirs for purchase presented to you at the end of the trip!) and were really glad we'd done so. We just talked to one of the ladies on the riverside, who took us to her family's boat. Hubby 'drove' and son was playing on deck. Seems that it is their home as well as their business. We paid $10, the hotel wa going to charge $25. We tipped, of course.
Hue's an 'easy' destination, and the Huong Giang is an easy place to see it from. We didn't use or look at the spa, nor did we use the pool, so can't comment on them. We needed to arrange a car transfer to Hoi An, and again this was accomplished very easily and to our specification rather than than to a hotel timetable (at a cost of $75). Overall, we were very happy with our choice of hotel, particularly given the upgrade.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa The Huong Giang Hotel Resort & Spa is strategically located in the city centre of Hue, rightly on the poetic banks of the Perfume River. The Hotel is a superb place for tourists to contemplate the panorama of the beautiful city of Hue and visit the historical monuments, places of tourist interest, and famous landscapes of the Charming Hue Ancient Capital. The Huong G ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Huong Giang Hotel Hue
- Huong Giang Hotel Resort And Spa
- Huong Giang Hue
- Hotel Huong Giang