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“Avoid this scammers paradise!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Van Nam Hostel

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Van Nam Hostel
Ranked #28 of 69 Halong Bay B&B and Inns
Hillerod, Denmark
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Avoid this scammers paradise!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2014

When we arrived at this hotel, we were positively surprised by the spacious room we were shown, and unfortunately we did not check the room thoroughly. The towels were dirty, damp and small, for some reason there was always someone screaming and yelling in the hallway and the TV didn’t work properly.
But the worst part of our stay in this hotel was the fact, that we booked our boat trip in Halong Bay through the hotels so called “booking manager”. The woman at the reception, whose English definitely could be better, told us that we should book our trip with him. He showed us pictures of boats and told us about three different types of tours, each with its own price – standard, superior and luxury. We chose to do something nice for ourselves, having lived quite cheap the past few months, and booked the superior tour for 110 US$ each. We knew this was pricey, but the pictures of the boat, food and the description of the tour sounded like it was worth the money. He told us we would go with a boat from “Dunong Sails”, a company we had checked and thought sounded good.
The next day, when we boarded the boat, we immediately knew that we had been scammed. The food was awful, and there was not enough food for everyone on the boat. The staff was unfriendly and sometimes obnoxious (one example is that they turned their fans towards themselves so they could cool off while watching they incredibly loud TV shows. We were promised to visit the “surprising cave” and instead visited the “amazing cave” which was very touristic. We arrived at a fishing village, where we were told we would kayak, after we had checked into our rooms on the boat. The room we got was horrible and not at all the rooms he showed us. They were small, had horrible and dirty bathrooms with bad water pressure and a toilet that sometimes wouldn’t flush, the room had twin beds instead of the double bed we were promised and the booking manager had neglected to tell us, that the aircon wouldn’t be turned on until 8 pm, and that it would be turned off again around 6 am. In the room was a picture of the actual boat company this boat was a part of. It was not “Dunongs Sails”, but “Dragon Pearl Sails” (avoid this company, as it seems only three people out of 15 on the boat actually got what they paid for).
We had payed 110 US$ for 2 days 1 night. Most people on the boat had paid around 80 US$ for 3 days 2 nights, including a visit to Cat Ba Island. The ones who hadn’t booked 3 days 2 nights, but 1 night like us, only payed 45 US$ pr. Person.
All in all it was a horrible experience, and when we went back to the hotel to complain, the woman in the reception, the same one who had adviced us to book through this booking manager, now told us he didn’t work for the hotel, but was a freelance booking manager (which was definitely not the impression she had given us when we wanted to book the tour). She refused to refund our money, and suddenly couldn’t understand any English.
Our advice is to avoid this hotel, and if you decide to book through any other hotel, make sure you actually see the boat you book, before paying.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hano S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    1.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    1.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    1 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    1 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2013 via mobile

My wife and I stayed here to see Halong Bay. On first impressions the room was clean and seemed ok. But the towels were actually the size of hand towels. They were dirty and smelt everyday and on one day the cleaner hung them back after being on the floor. We stayed three nights as they asked for payment up front and wouldn't refund us. They only made up the room once. The reception staff were rude and uninviting; they would look at us knowing we were there and would talk amongst themselves so we had to interrupted them for something. The beds were rock hard, they gave us blankets instead of proper sheets and duvets which would be ok but they smelt of smoke, the floors were dirty, the shower was cold with no hot water, we had to send our laundry back twice then gave up as it was still either damp or still smelt! We now have to wash it all again despite paying at least twice as much as usual as it all smells terrible! We got woken up every morning by locals just shouting in the stairwell for the sake of shouting! They tried to sell us a tour for $35 then dropped it to $15 so they were just trying to rip us off. Then laughed in our faces when we used Vietnamese phrases. Constant knocking on the door for a maintenance man who didn't speak any English to fix our cupboard. He just kept coming in and talking and pointing each time we had to go down to reception to get him out! They kept turning off the a.c! So we had to walk down all the flight of steps to reception to ask then to put it back on! The fridge didn't work. All in all a constant absolute nightmare! We're leaving Vietnam now and never coming back!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ruthandhammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Van Nam Hostel

Property: Van Nam Hostel
Address: 31 Vuon Dao, Halong Bay, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Quang Ninh Province > Halong Bay
Amenities:
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 69 B&Bs / Inns in Halong Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Reservation Options:
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