For the second half of our Vietnam trip we were in Hanoi twice, first for a single night, then for two nights. We carefully chose places based on quietness and breakfast options; unfortunately for us, we didn’t get to stay at either of our bookings.
For our single night we wanted to try the Art Trendy Hotel. Given our late evening arrival and the taxi scams that run in Hanoi we arranged for the hotel to pick us up. We knew something was strange when there were two drivers holding a printed sign with Leandra’s name… then the guy holding the Art Trendy sign with the matching code directed us to leave with the driver holding the other (fake?) hotel sign! Without much more explanation we drove off and arrived at the Art Trendy ~30 minutes later. We were warmly welcomed with a fancy banana drink and fruit.
After a few minutes we were told that due to a recent extermination treatment our room had a strong chemical smell, and we were offered a room at their sister property, the Hanoi Marvellous Hotel (also the name of the hotel on the second sign at the airport). The doorman called us a taxi and escorted us down the street where the night staff at Marvellous were waiting for us.
Our room was certainly a bit more luxurious and trendy than the one in Hue, with a small bench seat, robes in the closet, and a fairly comfortable bed. The room had multiple outlets available for charging, and was fairly quiet as it was an interior room.
In the morning we noticed a small window in the corner that had an unremarkable interior wall view. The bathroom was nice with a rain shower head and a window that looked out at plants in an internal air shaft. Toiletries were probably the best of the trip, with a nice lemony scent.
Breakfast was served on their bright and cheery top floor. A rather small buffet was available, as well as items off a menu. It was totally fine though not as memorable as Hoi An or the Vedana Resort. As we sat down the staff asked and remembered our names which was a nice touch. After a quick breakfast we checked out and began our four-hour trip to Halong Bay, so we didn’t get a chance to see much of the hotel or surroundings in daylight. Overall, our few hours there were quite nice.
As we were returning from Halong Bay, Leandra’s phone re-connected to the cell network and she received a series of messages concerning our next hotel, Hanoi Charm Hotel. Essentially, our guaranteed room had been cancelled, and Booking.com was trying to work with the hotel to find us a new place to stay for the next two days. We emailed back asking for details and options, but response time was slow, and we eventually decided that we should just show up at the original hotel and figure it out from there.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Charm, we received the customary juice and fruit. The manager then came by to explain that they had recently been notified by the local authorities that their several year old building was too tall, and that they were in the process of removing their top floor! So, for the second time in Hanoi, we were escorted to another hotel, this time literally walked, as the Silk Queen was just around the corner.
The Silk Queen’s location along a main road was less desirable as it lead to more noise and exhaust. Our 6th floor Queen Suite had a terrace, which was nice in theory, but outside was noisy and the ground was covered in a layer of soot for our three day stay. The windows were also on the thin side, so we each slept with earplugs to drown out the road noise from below.
The room was fairly spacious, with a decent sized wardrobe, desk, and a reasonably comfortable bed. As we were unpacking we noticed that the bathroom door wouldn’t latch shut, so on our way out we asked the front desk to have it fixed and when we returned later that night it was working again.
Breakfast was lackluster at best. Served in a dimly-lit space on the ground floor, you needed to provide a signed ticket with your room number, and we had to get new tickets from the front desk for each day. The food quality was OK but there were few options. The customary omelets were fine, and at least there was fresh passion fruit on the first morning. Unlike every other hotel in Vietnam, the staff here didn’t seem to do much besides take your ticket and occasionally deliver an omelet. Even the coffee was self serve; Leandra watched two bored employees stand around and chat while she helped herself. Overall our stay was fine, but we wouldn’t have chosen the Silk Queen, and I don’t see us returning.
On the upside, to help compensate us for our hotel issue, the Hanoi Charm Hotel provided a complimentary car for our trip to the airport. Just as we were buckling in, the manager hustled up and thanked us again for our understanding, giving us a small gift bag with Vietnamese coffee and coffee maker. Given their level of attention I would definitely try to stay at their (shortened) hotel in the future!