We chose the Cat Ba Dream Hotel after looking at two similarly-priced hotels, including Vien Dong Hotel across the street. This was by far the cheeriest and cleanest (although, on closer inspection, some of the bedding was stained and mildewed). Overall, great value for the money. We had two rooms facing the bay, very hot showers, great wifi, and decent cable channels. The staff was responsive, if not overly friendly. When we asked, we were brought thermoses of hot water or tea service to our room, a nice perk.
We also booked a 2 day/1 night cruise in Ha Lang, Han La and Ba Tu Long Bays on a private junk with Mr. Luong at the hotel. It was a beautiful cruise and the price was much better than what we were quoted online for larger operators from Halong City or Hai Phong (also less expensive than other companies on Cat Ba). While our boat was pretty basic -- several berths and a bathroom downstairs (no soap or towel), rather uncomfortable benches and tables upstairs, no awning -- we sailed in tandem wth a couple other boats from the same company that looked more deluxe. Food was surprisingly good -- best tofu in tomato sauce we've had in Viet Nam -- and the pilot took us away from the crowds. However, neither the cook nor driver spoke English, which made things somewhat difficult. Like the hotel, the cruise provided good value for the money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cat Ba Dream Hotel offers a number of tours for you to choose from: one day; two days, one night; or three days, two nights. You can go caving, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and daytime and nighttime fishing, and then relax on empty beaches. Choose to stay overnight on a floating hotel or on the boat. Every tour includes food, water and an english spreaking local guide. ... more less
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