I would likely agree wwith most everything positive said about this hotel in other reviews: spacious, clean rooms with all the amenities. Unfortunately, a disconcerting event upon my checking out put a damper on my memories of my stay here.
I reserved a room at the Thaison II for 6 nights at $38/night through an international booking service and pre-paid $240 via bank transfer, of which they had netted $233 after fees. Upon my arrival, the staff greeted me warmly, although their purpose was a bit transparent; when they realized that I was unlikely to purchase any of the tours they were touting (especially overnight tours without checking out of the hotel for the nights away), they adopted a bit more impersonal attitude. This, however, wasn't the problem.
When it came time to check out early on my last day, they first billed me for $40/night. No matter, I had the documentation that showed the above-mentioned $38 (I naively assumed that they didn't have such records). When I told them that I had already paid $233, the rather senior staffer, without checking, claimed that they had not received any money from me and told me that I had to provide documentation of this claim. Only when I did, did he discuss the matter with a colleague who was familiar with my account. It was ultimately agreed that I owed $17, largely a result of a (reasonable) $20 charge for the taxi whose driver was standing in the lobby waiting to take me to the airport.
When I said that I wanted to pay the $17 in Vietnamese dong, this $17 was converted to 365,500 dong, a rate of 21,500 to the US dollar. Throughout my 17-day stay in Vietnam, no peddler, hotel, restaurant or tradesman offered a rate other than 20,000. Nor was the 21,500 rate posted anywhere in the hotel or in its written material. When I commented on this, the response was sinply "that's the rate." So I handed over 400,000 dong, only to be told that there was no change available (the person with the keys to the cash drawers had yet to arrive). This would have left me with no bill(s) with which to tip the cab driver, but I was assured that the cab driver would receive the difference. So I asked that the driver be paid in my presence, at which point the driver was handed 150,000 dong from a roll of bills that the staffer took from his pocket. HE HAD THE CHANGE FOR MY PAYMENT IN HIS POCKET!!! (and the cab driver was receiving less thatn 40 percent of what was charged me; I ended up giving him a 50,000 dong tip at the airport).
Sorry, you'll probably be happy with your stay here, but I can't recommend this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opera Hotel Hanoi is a brand-new 3 star hotel with 48 spacious deluxe rooms spread over 9 floors in the central heart of Hanoi's ancient streets, vibrant business, shopping and tourist center. It is located within 2 minutes walking distance to the famous Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Restored), Water Puppet theatre, night market and famous 'Hang Ngang - Hang Dao' streets. ... more less