“ Address: 33 Hai Ba Trung Street / Hue City / Vietnam / Tel: +84(054) 382 5973 /5974 „
Our first impressions of this hotel in Hue, a former capital of Vietnam, were good and fortunately remained so. The glass fronted reception was entered after walking up a few steps. The desk was over at the right and the staff were generally helpful, giving directions and arranging taxis. To the left of the reception area was comfy seating. There were two internet terminals to the right of the desk, but neither were working when we tried to use them. You can leave valuables behind the desk at the hotel in their safe, and they will change money here. When we arrived we were greeted with a cool drink and refreshing towelette.
The rooms are towards the back of the hotel to the left of the desk. At the time we were staying the lift was out of order and porters helped everyone carry their bags to their room. We were on the first floor, by the stairs, so it was not a problem for us. We didn't here any noise from the corridor and our room looked over the side of the hotel onto a low roof. View aside; this was definitely one of the nicer rooms we stayed in whilst in Vietnam. As we walked in there was a large lacquer coffee table and four chairs to the left with a tea set (no tea, coffee or kettle was provided however), with an overhead light. We had a single and double bed in the room, the bed was large and comfortable, and presented nicely with cushions and runners. There was also a wardrobe and drawer unit and central controls for the TV and lights by the bed. The controls didn't seem to match their description, but we managed to work them out. The room also had an air conditioner which was operated by a remote control and was effective. There was also a fridge with mini-bar. The bathroom had a shower over the bath, large sink with vanity area and lavatory. The lighting was a bit erratic in the bathroom with one light flickering or sometimes not coming on. As we were only there one night this wasn't a huge problem. The bedside lights were quite low in the main room (I have noticed this quite a bit in Vietnam) so not easy to read, you need the main light on. The light over the lacquered chairs and table was much better for reading but you needed a cushion or pillow as they were quite hard.
The restaurant was on the fifth floor, so we had quite a walk up the stairs in the morning with the lift being out. The restaurant area had windows down each side giving lovely views over the city. There was also a rooftop patio area to one side. Breakfast was of a very similar standard to all others we have had in Vietnam with a mixture of hot and cold dishes. Most hot dishes were Vietnamese, plus they did some chips but didn't keep them in the hot serving dishes, but left them out on plates. They did also offer an egg/omelette bar as well as a number of cold dishes such as cold meats, cheeses as well as breads, cereals and fruit. The selection was quite extensive for a hotel of this size (approx 32 rooms). The décor of the restaurant area was very attractive with all the chairs covered in fabric with ties around the back like you see at wedding receptions. I believe the restaurant is also open in the evening but we had no call to use it. There is also a small kidney shaped pool just beyond the restaurant area. I saw no other leisure facilities. They offered a laundry service but I did not need to use this.
The hotel in located quite centrally to most attractions in the city. The main one would be the ancient Imperial City across the river. This is walkable but we used a taxi which was quite cheap and returned by cyclo (rickshaw - hire them for an hour for VND100,000 per person (US$5 or £3.30)). We also got taxis to a restaurant as nothing seemed to be as close as it looked on the map - most taxi fairs will be around US$1 in the city centre.
The hotel was selected by our tour operator and we were pleased with the choice. Although not every one got such a large room as us, I think other members in our party liked the hotel also. There were a few niggles that needed ironing out however, such as the unworking lift, internet and flickering lights. However it the hotel was well maintained as far as decoration was concerned, clean and provided a very good breakfast. The price was included in our package but I believe the rack rate was US$30 for our room in this three star hotel. Should I return to Hue, I would certainly consider this again if I was on the same budget.
Next door is a small local café offering quick, cheap meals, cycle hire and tours. We found them helpful and friendly and enjoyed the tour we took with them to the local countryside. They will also organise a packed lunch for you should you require anything like that to take on any tours or onward journeys. We were leaving by train at 2pm so utilised this for our journey - roll, drink, banana and hard boiled egg. All ingredients were wrapped individually so if you didn't like something you could leave it out, they even included salt and pepper. You could also get Pringles or crisps there and it was all very reasonable.
Overall, this is a very good three star hotel, that just needed a little more attaention to detail.