Situated on the western edge of HaLong Bay City, this four star hotel is a comfortable place to stay full of the usual amenities but, staffing aside, far removed from any authentic Vietnamese experience. The south facing rooms offer a respctable view of the HaLong Bay but the views will quickly disappear as more hotels are built nearer to the water's edge. If you are seeking a four star western business hotel this is a good place to be. The large rooms (as with the hotel) are new, feature king sized beds, writing desk, 2 lounge chairs and table, end tables with bedside lamps, modern TV with remote, in-room safe, mini-fridge stocked with beer, soft drinks, hard liquors and snacks, surprisingly little closet and shelving space, assorted light fixtures, room key (not electronic swipe key) for door entry, security chain, peephole, phones both bedside and bathroom, bedside clock with electriconic calendar and alarm, interior access door giving the option of linking adjoining rooms, and a nicely finished bathroom. The bathroom features a modern toilet, full sized tub and shower unit, and sink in granite-like counter top above which is placed a wall to wall mirror. The high wall mounted shower head is of the handheld hose with spray variety, with plastic shower curtain. Also provided are the usual complimentary soap, shampoo, bath gell, comb, 2 toothbrush, 2 safety razor, 2 shower cap, cotton swabs, hand held hair dryer, 2 glasses, and white terrycloth towel set consisting of 2 washcloths, 2 handtowels and 2 bathtowels with floormat.
Rooms boast a 9 foot ceiling height, full width windows, sheers, opaque curtain, tastefully papered walls, fully tiled bathroom to the 8 foot level, and carpeted main room. Though my carpet was new and somewhat "clean", it appeared soiled and in need of a good steam cleaning. Room amenities included tissues, sewing kit, 2 pair slippers, 2 white terry cloth robes, 4 wooden hangars (about all the clothing you could hang in the woefully inadequate closet space), 2 bottles of complimentary water (tap water is posted unsafe to drink), and complimentary coffee and tea with kettle and 2 sets of cups and saucers.
Notable negatives include a location 5 km removed from the tourism boat tour docks, and a location which promises to provide plenty of construction activity in the coming year as the site is part of a massive well planned modern development aiming to create a very upscale neighbourhood of shops, hotels, and private vacation residences with wide boulevards and tasteful landscaping. The pile drivers were at work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during my stay and while the sound did not bother me (the rooms being well sound insulated), the pounding was nonetheless audible and might bother some. Similarly, my bedside clock sounded the alarm at 6:00 a.m. though I had not set it. Thoughts that it was my foolishness for not checking it before retiring were interrupted at 6:30 a.m by the wake up call from the front desk notwithstanding I had not asked for one. Also while I like a firm mattress, the hotel certainly provides the firmest I can recall, too firm for some, I suspect though not uncomfortable for me. The pillows provided were of the thinner Vietnamese variety but soft as was the padded headboard. Rooms are equipped with three mirrors, in bath, over desk and full length dressing mirror.
The hotel has an outdoor pool (unheated and unsupervised - open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.), complimentary weight and exercise room, hair salon, massage, jacuzi, sauna, gift shop, large lobby, and serves breakfast lunch and dinner. Baby cots are free, as is car parking, extra beds cost US$15. Also available are internet in the lobby (though only one of two terminals were working), a small gift shop, mail service, available non-smoking rooms, and an in room directory of extensive services.
TV channels were BBC (newsworld), TV5 (Monde - french), CCTV4 (chinese), HBO, MTV, DW (deutsche welle - german), Star Sports, VCTV1 (Viet), Cartoon Channel, VTV1 (Viet), VTV2 (Viet), Discovery, NHK (newslink Hong Kong), and Arirang. Television reception and picture quality was excellent.
The breakfast buffet features, orange juice, milk, mineral water, guava juice, iced tea, coffee, choice of fruit (banana, pineapple, watermelon, melon, papaya), packaged american style yogurt in the little plastic tubs with foil top, choice of cereals (corn flakes, granola, bran buds), american style strip bacon, boiled potatoes, fried hash brown potato cakes, rice porridge, pork sausage, pancakes, assorted salads and greens, 8 varieties of bread, eggs prepared in front of you any style with assorted incredients, and pho. Breakfast is served from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on the second floor mezzanine overlooking the lobby.
For the price (US$85. sea view, US$80 mountain view), you get a good business class hotel in what promises to be a developing upmarket resort style location, but without any charm. Deluxe Rooms go for $10. above the above rates and a Suite will set you back $160. This is a business hotel which is good at its business but do not expect to gain any insights into the local culture here. Views of the bay aside, lack of cultural clues means this hotel could be located anywhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC