We originally booked at the Spendid Star Suite Hotel for one night only, as we were off to Halong Bay the next morning. We based our booking on Tripadvisor reviews, and decided to try what you get for such a low price and so many positive reviews.
We arrived late at our hotel for a short night. Initially we were a little concerned by the location in a narrow alley, but as it turned out, we had nothing to fear. Two friendly reception assistants with limited English knowledge, manned the desk. There was a few phone calls and running back and forth for a few minutes. But then Mr. Martin showed up with a BIG smile and a great attitude! Turns out they operate hotels in four separate buildings, each a different hotel name, but apparently the same owner (at least that was my understanding). Thus we were escorted trough the first hotel onto the street behing and into the Spledid Star Grand Hotel. While Mr. Martin took our information, out bags were carried to our room.
As a family with two children, we got a family room with two large double beds. Everything was exactly as described on Tripadvisor. The A/C slightly "worn", a loose door knob etc. All minor stuff. The room was clean and adequate. The bathroom also clean with all the necessary amenities. Our room was on the 5th floor, but there is an elevator. Obviously this is more of a budget hotel, and the standard is lower than major chain hotels. Still you get it all at a great low price in different surroundings; free internet, breakfast etc. In the morning, the back alley, in which the hotel is situated, was transformed to a busy fish market. That's authentic old quarter for you! The only minor drawback is that a taxi cannot access the street during normal business hours, but I am sure the staff would help get you and your luggage to the nearby main street.
The staff is nice and very helpful. They offered to keep excess luggage at the hotel while we went on a Halong cruise - even if were not staying with them upon our return to Hanoi! My wife has gluten allergy, and they went out of their way to accomodate her. Also important is the fact that my family felt safe and cared for at the hotel.
We did not stay at Splendid Star Grand Hotel upon our return to Hanoi, but on our last day we discovered that we had left an item at the our room there. We called over, and they confirmed they had found it. When we got there to pick it up on the way to the airport, it turned out the housekeeper had it, and she was not there. We had to rush off to the airport. Half way there the cab drivers phone rang (don't ask me how they found our cab.....), and we were told they had sent someone after us to the airport with the item. In the end we did not get the item, but my point is that there seems to be no limit to their aim to please (I wouldn't be surprised if the item turns up in the mail one day)!
Thanks Mr. Martin, you are a find, and there should be more of your kind at many hotels. Your multitasking talent, made sure many people felt like the only, and most valued guest, at the same time! We have stayed at a fair amount of upscale hotels and resorts over the years. While they may have a bunch of stars, many of them lack the personal touch that makes tou feel at home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Splendid Star Grand Hotel is a new extension of the local family-owned Splendid Star group. It is located near the center of the Old Quarter, with only a 5 minute walk to Hoan Kiem Lake. We are located on a small street next to St. Joseph's Cathedral, away from the busy traffic of Hanoi. There are numerous restaurants and cafes within the hotel's neighborhood to suit any taste. The atmosphere is comfortable, relaxing, and inviting to all travelers whether you are coming to Vietnam for business, leisure, or holiday. The knowledgeable and accommodating hotel staff is available 24 hours a day and it prepared to help you with any request that you may have. We offer both Western and Vietnamese breakfasts every day in our dining room. We also offer convenient laundry service, tour booking, international visa application, and car service.Each room is equipped with a mini refrigerator, complimentary toiletries, cable television on a LCD screen, a private computer, WiFi connection, air conditioning, and noise canceling glass windows. ... more less
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