“ Address: 44 Hang Bun Str / Ba Dinh / Ha Noi / Vietnam / Tel: (84-4) 85852619 „
During last year's holiay to Vietnam, we travelled about a bit, and stayed in some lovely 2-3 star hotels. Our last hotel in Hanoi was the two star Nhat Tien Hotel at 44 Hang Bun in Central Hanoi. It was included in our tour price, and I have to say we were disappointed as it was not as good at the other hotels we stayed in during our trip. First impressions were adequate - the hotel reception area looked clean, and I always found the reception staff to be helpful. I was also pleased with our room when we first arrived - it was large, with a good air conditioner, a double and single bed, adequate space and furnishings. It was also decorated tastefully and recently so I was initially very pleased with it. The bathroom however was more disappointing and it was a shame after the effort that had been made in the room. Although it was clean, it had clearly seen better days. The bath with overhead shower, sink and toilet were in a yellowy avocado shade which was most unappealing, the tiles needed re-grouting and there were chips in the tub where the shower head had probably dropped onto it. We subsequently discovered that our fridge didn't work properly. All hotel fridges in Vietnam are set high (practically room temperature) and we always turned ours down when we put our water in it, but with this one it made no difference, and we concluded that it didn't work at all. Also, on the last day we managed to block the toilet. As we were leaving that morning I didn't call anyone to attend to it, so I don't know how promptly they would have taken care of it. Our room was quiet and near the back so we were not disturbed by outside noise or guests using the lift late at night.
Whilst the reception staff seemed friendly, we found the restaurant staff to be quite lazy. The breakfast buffet was considerably smaller than any other we had experienced in Vietnam, even though the hotel was of a similar size. The selection was poor and there were less hot options, and generally it didn't look as appetising or as fresh as we had been fortunate enough to have at other hotels - the Vietnamese always seem to pride themselves on the presentation of their food, but this hotel let the side down somewhat. Often we found things had run out, whilst I accept that this may happen, the staff were less than prompt in replenishing the glasses/cutlery/bread/juice etc. In fact the staff were often absent and had to be searched for out the back. In a country that prides itself in its friendliness and hospitality this is a shame. I assume the breakfast room is also the restaurant, but we did not eat at the hotel whilst we were there and did not see anyone else doing so.
Facilities wise the hotel is limited - there were two free internet terminals in the receptions area which worked well, when they were available. There was a small gift selection for purchase, but nothing you couldn't have found elsewhere. The hotel claims to have wi-fi but I had no cause to use it and am unsure as to costs. The also offer a laundry service, safety deposit box (in reception - I think it is just the hotel safe) and will exchange money at a competitive rate. This is the same as most hotels I experienced in Vietnam, so is how it should be. The hotel was in a good location with a lot of other hotels of a similar class nearby. It is close to the Old Quarter but a lot of the attractions are spread about the city. Hanoi is quite a sprawling city and we found it easier (especially with the humidity) to get taxis to the places we wanted to see. Rack rates for the rooms are between US$35-40, and I imagine this is negotiable at certain times. However I also imagine that this price could be beaten at another hotel that offered better breakfast and service, not to mention had nicer bathrooms. Whilst there are indeed positives about the hotel, I feel that there are just too many negatives for me to comfortably recommend it. Perhaps if it had been my first experience of Vietnam, I may not have minded so much, but after seeing how well other (and often smaller) hotels manage, I was disappointed.