We arrived by taxi from Da Nang airport, and half of our party had booked a room at a hotel further down Ba Trieu, leaving the three of us with no reservations.This turned out to be a great decision, as we asked to be deposited outside the Thien Nga Hotel, as one of us had stayed there a couple of years ago. We were greeted at reception by one of several friendly staff members, and in excellent English we discussed the availability of rooms. At $25 for a double we popped up the spiral staircase to inspect the rooms and found them close to spotless, although with a little evidence of recent renovations. The mattresses were a comfortable foam, the LCD televisions and split airconditioners were new Toshibas, and the wildly gyrating fan on the roof was a welcome surprise for the member of our group who always sleeps with a ceiling fan when at home.
Upon brief inspection we immediately booked all three adjacent rooms on the second floor for six nights.
On the second floor there's no discernable noise from the street, at least in the rooms facing away from the street, and the view from the windows and out on the balcony was wonderful, with crop fields and banana trees, and aside from a tennis club well into the distance and the occasional building poking through the trees you could almost kid yourself into believeing you were staying in Hoi An a hundred years ago. Watching the ducks messing about in the waterway that runs behind the hotel became a part of the morning ritual, and their waggling tails and playful ducky antics always brought a smile to my face
The airconditioning delivered what it promised, and fended of the heat of Hoi An's sun so effectively I woke up one night to turn it down.
There was no audible street noise in the back rooms, and only the slightest hint of sound from my sometimes noisy travel partners in the adjacent rooms. The rooms were made up nicely and professionally each day, with the cleaning staff very sympathetic to our various awakening times, and always shared a smile with us when we came or went, and we felt none of the pressure to vacate our rooms at what some people might call a reasonable hour that sometimes arises in hotels.
The rooms have a notice on the door to tell guests of the safe deposit boxes available at reception, and we felt safe leaving our passports and money belts there when we wanted to travel unencumbered. My partner, who was staying with the other half of our group down the road at a more expensive, lesser hotel came to visit me on our second night, and was so delighted with the peace and quiet and the comparative comfort of the bed that she moved in with me for the rest of our stay in Hoi An.
On the first morning I popped down for breakfast and asked for a menu to be smilingly told by one of the staff that he was the menu, and every morning I had the fried eggs (delicious duck eggs from the ducks out the back) with banh mi, a fruit salad which was consistently fresh, excellent, and fairly large, and a ca phe sua da, delivered in the proper Vietnamese style with the stainless steel filter and separate glass of ice. As my partner was technically not a guest at the hotel I was told that I'd have to pay for her breakfast if she ate there, and for the princely sum of 40,000 VND that's what we did.
All the staff are friendly, and are the same people who ran the hotel a couple of years ago when we were first there, and they all speak English to a vary degree ranging from excellent to fair, and were keen to help me with my pronunciation of the smattering of Vietnamese I've picked up over the years. They made a couple of recommendations of places to eat, as is typically done in Vietnam, but they were not insistent or pushy, and didn't mind when we came back not having taken their advice on the first couple of days. When we finally ate where they suggested we discovered they were only recommending the place because it was excellent and served traditional Hoi An dishes, faithfully executed.
We might have been able to hire bikes slightly more cheaply elsewhere, but for 20,000 VND and the convenience of riding out from our hotel in the mornings it really wasn't worth the bother. Over breakfasty one morning we discussed the availability of various dishes and meats and were informed that we were one month late for the perfect time to eat duck. Nevertheless we were given some good recommendations on where to find it, and to inspect the price and clarify today's price whenever the menu showed a price range for a dish, which came in handy a couple of times.
The boys in my group stayed out quite late a coupe of nights, and on one night after a Bia Hoi, Cao Lau, and Full Moon Festival-fuelled night of excitment and cycling to lesser known parts we returned to the hotel to find it shut for the night. Not to fear though, as they'd left the barridcade open enough to allow our bikes back in, and a gentle tap on the window of the front door had the staff member sleeping in the foyer quickly wake up and let us in with a sleepy but understanding smile.
The outdoor breakfast area at the front of the hotel was a nice place to reacquaint ourselves with the heat of the day after a nice, cool sleep, and a pleasant place to take in the gentle morning bustle of Ba Trieu, and some of the overflow traffic from Hai Ba Trung.
My partner who'd started in a hotel down the street said Thien Nga was much quieter, in better condition, and the bed more comfortable than where she stayed on her first night in Hoi An, and we agreed that we'd definitely stay there again. Thien Nga was less expensive, too, which only sweetened the deal.
I didn't mind, but some people might be affronted by the lack of shower curtain in the bathroom, but I easily managed to wash my quite long hair without getting shampoo froth all over the place. If I had to find fault at all it would be that the towels are a bit small for my ample frame, but that was sorted out by simply requesting more of them, as one is wont to do in hotels.
When we first arrived there was a WiFi signal but no internet access, but a quick reboot of the DSL router by one of the group sorted it out. Three tech-heavy users in adjacent rooms on the third floor all hitting the WiFi simultaneously still provided reasonable access speeds, and the WiFi was reliable for netbooks, good for a Huawei Ideos and an older LG Android phone, and tolerable most of the time witha HTC Desire. Net access in the breakfast area was fine on all devices, making it a breeze to plan the days activities. Uploading 5 megapixel photos was done at acceptable speed.
The Thien Nga remains an affordable, quiet, and clean hotel within walking distance of the Ancient City and riverside dining establishments, and the staff are helpful and friendly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thien Nga Hotel, located in Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An, is a popular choice for travelers. The city center is merely 0.5 Km away and the airport can be reached within 45 minutes. No less exceptional is the hotel's easy access to the city's myriad attractions and landmarks, such as Cao Dai Pagoda, Phac Hat Pagoda, Cam Pho Temple. The facilities and services provided by Thien Nga Hotel ensure a pleasant stay for guests. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi in all rooms, Wi-Fi in public areas, airport transfer, car park, bicycle rental to ensure our guests the greatest comfort. Experience high quality room facilities during your stay here. Some rooms include internet access - wireless (complimentary), refrigerator, desk, television, air conditioning, provided to help guests recharge after a long day. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities such as garden to make your stay truly unforgettable. Thien Nga Hotel is a smart choice for travelers to Hoi An, offering a relaxed and hassle-free stay every time. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Thien Nga Hoi An