We insisted on booking Empress Dalat because of the excellent reviews
we read in several reputable travel guides and websites even though
our wonderful Vietnamese travel agent tried to encourage us to book
elsewhere. The young manager of the Empress who arranged our
transport from Saigon and met us on arrival was helpful and kind, as
was the capable and very safe driver who drove the seven hour trip
from Saigon. It was a shame that the good news stopped there. We
checked out after 24 hours, forfeiting a further nights accommodation
in three rooms rather than suffering the misery of this place any
longer. The Dalat Empress is tired, smelly, broken and unwelcoming.
We tried in vain to discover the hotel we'd read about but it simply
doesn't exist. The rooms are run down, with a hideous smell of mould
and mildew and complete lack of air. Many fittings were broken (we
couldn't shut the wardrobe door so had to put up with an automatic
flourescent light in our face all night), the blankets were old and
grubby and when we turned down the sheets we discovered our bed was
home to several dead bugs, the bed bases were worn and tatty and the
traffic noise through the night felt like we were sleeping on the
road. We might have been able to laugh through three nights of
"Fawlty Towers" style accommodation if it wasn't for the five
miserable and unhelpful staff who all leered at us through breakfast.
We decided if they were that unhappy working there then nothing was
going to make this bearable.
The highlight of our stay in Dalat was a full day tour with the Dalat
Easy Riders. The kids (and the grown ups) still smile at the thought
of the fun we shared with these larrikins. We learnt all about local
farming, flower farms, coffee plantations, rice wine, the history of
Vietnam, silk worms and weaving, Buddhism and of course motorbikes
thanks to Jeans and his excellent riders. We never expected such an
educational day could be so much fun! We felt really safe on the
bikes and were delighted by the beautiful countryside just outside
We'd confidently recommend Dalat Easy Riders to anyone and everyone
who is planning a trip to Vietnam and we all hope to come back one
day and have a much longer adventure with these guys exploring more
of Vietnam. There seem to be some other companies passing themselves off as the original easy riders so be sure to find the guys with Dalat Easy Riders on their jackets to travel with the original guys.
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- Also Known As:
- Empress Hotel Dalat