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“Decent hotel, good location” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Box Hotel

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Box Hotel
Ranked #160 of 577 Hotels in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Decent hotel, good location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2012 via mobile

We stayed in Hanoi for three nights. We booked a car from the airport for $20US, and the driver who picked us up in his minivan had also arranged to pick up a family of four. Luckily, we only had small luggage, as we had to really squeeze into the car. We also had to wait while the family was dropped off at a different hotel. Not a huge deal, but this was disappointing, as we were paying more than the cost of a taxi. Be aware that there is a tour office in front, which you must walk through to reach the hotel reception, so the hotel itself is a bit hard to spot if you don't know what to look for.

The pros:
We had a triple room for $20/night, and were satisfied with it overall. The room was huge, reasonably clean, and it was nice to have a mini fridge. (I prefer this to a stocked minibar, as I can fill it with whatever I like, and not at inflated prices.)

The night receptionist is helpful and pleasant. When we requested fruit for breakfast, he ran out and got us some mangos and pineapple right away. He also helped arrange train tickets (yes, there was a fee, but it was worth it to us to avoid the hassle of getting them elsewhere).

Location is good - lots of shops and restaurants in easy walking distance, but the rooms aren't right on the main street, so it was very quiet at night. Just a couple blocks from the night market. Basic amenities like soap, towels (albeit somewhat shabby), shampoo, and even toothbrushes provided. A/C in our room worked well.

The cons:
We were on the third floor, and the stairs up were dark and stuffy. The Internet on our floor never worked. We tried resetting the router to no avail, and the hotel didn't seem very proactive about fixing it. Wifi worked in the lobby, but it wasn't air conditioned, was often smoky, and it was a pain to walk down and back up three flights of stairs every time we wanted to check something online.

The water stopped working altogether for several hours one day. To be fair, we were told that it was out on the whole block.

The bathroom didn't smell great. Pillows weren't very clean. Mattress wasn't very good. Our room didn't really have a window, just a balconette with solid wood doors that looked directly out onto walls and windows.

The guy working at the front desk most of the time smokes in the lobby and is much less proactive/friendly than the guy who was working the night and morning of our arrival.

Not a particularly nice common area, no ambience, but a decent/basic place to stay. I'm glad we stayed there instead of the nearby backpacker hostel, which seemed to be a nonstop party, and not really our scene.

Note: the booklet in the room indicates that laundry service is charged by piece, but it is in fact charged by weight (35k per kilo). Many nearby places do it for 20k/kilo.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Procrastinasian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hanoiemperorhotel, Manager at Box Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2012
Dear Sir/madam

Thank you for your time to post your review. This will help us with our services in future.

Our normal pick up rate is $ 15 usd, since you arrived at 1.00 am in the moring we did ask for the extra $ 5 usd for our driver for staying late at night waiting for you. You were kind to aggree this.

We checked with the driver who picked you up that night, He admited that what you said was true. He did put more guests to earn some extra money himself. This is really not right for you since you booked a private taxi.

We wish you had told us during your 3 nights of stay here. In fact, we dont know this happened until today. We are so sorry for you inconvience.

If we can ever welcome you again we will offer the airport pick up for Free of charge in return.

We wish you a good life!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Ansan, South Korea
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2012

We booked a double room for $18 a night. The actual hotel looks very different from the website.

There is a tour office in front of the hotel, which was confusing for us at first. When we walked in we got a friendly welcome from the man at reception. He brought us to a double room on the third floor. The bedsheets were very dirty, so we asked for a change. When we returned later that night they hadn't changed it, so I went downstairs and got another sheet. But they said this was because we had the only key to the room. Unfortunately, the bed cover was also stained. We ended up sleeping in our travel sleeping bags, as we didn't feel comfortable sleeping on the sheets.

The walls of the room were dirty, but the atmosphere of the room was okay. The room had air-conditioning, although it was fairly weak. The fridge and TV were nice. The bathroom was decent-sized, but the bathtub was not safe. It wasn't built-in to the bathroom and kept moving when we were showering. The shower pressure was very weak, so it took much longer than usual to feel clean. They provided us with bathroom amenities, which was nice.

There was a router near the room, but it never worked. We told reception several times and they promised to check on it but they didn't. I ended up resetting the router myself, but it still didn't work. The WIFI in the lobby worked great however. There were two computers in the lobby as well, but only one worked. I ended up using the manager's computer one time, but I couldn't handle the smoke smell- the ashtray was right next to the computer.

Breakfast was not included in our room, but when we inquired about it the manager said it is bad and go somewhere else.

To put the review in perspective (as it may seem too negative). This was our first hotel in Vietnam, after traveling in the Philippines, Thailand, and Laos. $18 was the most money we had paid for a hotel night in six weeks, so we were expecting a lot. The $12 guesthouses we stayed in in Thailand and Laos were significantly better than this one however. Perhaps the value for money is simply better in those countries.

Ultimately, this is NOT a bad hotel at all. Yes it's a bit dirty but it's a decent place to stay.

So,

PROS: Good location in Old Quarter, they provide amenities, TV, air-con
CONS: WIFI not working, not good breakfast, not clean, not good value for money (in our opinion).

We were possibly a bit too critical because our expectations were so high, since it was more expensive than we usually pay. But Vietnam is a different country than Thailand and Laos, so please take the review with a grain of salt.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jveritas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

My boyfriend and I booked a room in this hotel for $18 a night for a superior room.
The room/bathroom- We got a room on one of the top floors and there is no elevator, but we didn't mind walking up the stairs. When we arrived in the room we were so shocked at how different it all actually looks from the website. (The entry door does not look like the picture either so we were confused when we arrived). The walls and stairs had some strange odors and in the room, he wall was gray after once being white. The sheet had not been changed for a week because it had accumulated dust on the surface. Even so, the room had a fridge(NO MINIBAR!!), dresser, tv, night stand and a mini-table. The room also had an en-suite bathroom with a bath tub that was just carried and placed into the bathroom. The water pressure in the bathroom was very poor and we did not feel clean even after two showers. The bath tub also slides a lot when you shower so be careful not to slip!

The amenities- There seems to be a misunderstanding about the amenities when it comes to this hotel. WHAT THEY DO OFFER IS: Breakfast (which the receptionist himself said was not good at all), welcome fruit (two bananas that are about to go bad), shampoo, soap, towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, bath tub, shower (with poor pressure), water heater, window, air con, cable tv, phone, wooden floor, working desk (the table where your tv is), hair dryer (maybe? although we never saw it), wi-fi (that doesn't work past the lobby), internet access (via one computer in their tour office). Everything else is speculation and might not even exist! WHAT THEY DON'T OFFER IS: shower cream, shower cap, bathrobe, slippers, razor, sanitary bag, private safety box (although there is one drawer in the lobby where they can safe keep your stuff), and most importantly a MINIBAR. The evening receptionist argued with us about how a mini-refrigerator is considered a "minibar." He doesn't speak much English so be prepared for sign language.

The location- The old quarter! If you're into risking your life every time you set foot out of the hotel then go for it! Motorcycles, cars, bicycles fighting for a one lane street and honking at even pedestrians to get the right of way. There are restaurants, bars, tour offices (EVERYWHERE!), hotels, guesthouses, etc you name it! The hotel is right in the heart of the old quarter with all its action packed busy streets.

The hotel staff- The day time receptionist smokes like a chimney inside all the time. The evening receptionist is not very friendly but maybe it's because he has some trouble with English. There is an old man who hangs around the area, he is very friendly and always greets you when you walk by.

All in all, you can find the same type of rooms or even better for $12/night in the same area for a shared room.

Room Tip: Ask to see the room before you pay!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Isab1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

I stayed one night here and it was quite good for the low price I paid. The location is great, right in the heart of the old city, a short walk away from the lake and markets.
The staff there are very friendly. I had to mail some packages before I left Vietnam but couldn't do it myself because it was the weekend. I left money for the staff to do it for me, and my trust in them paid off, as they do indeed care for their customers. They also offer the service to drive you/pick you up from the airport at a very low cost.
The rooms were basic, but clean with working A/C, TV and showers.
I recommend staying here if you are on a budget and just looking for a place to sleep as it is ideal.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Travel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Casselberry, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

If you looking for the best price for the most comfortable room and great service. This it it. I recently stayed in Hanoi for a month. I started out at the hostel near by. I call it the party zone. It was fine until I needed to sleep. Well that never happened. I was out having a bit to eat when I met Hoang the manager of the Hanoi Emperor Hotel. He showed me a room and that was it. He not only rescued me from the party zone but took me in and showed me the ins and outs of surrviving Vietnam. I had visa issues and he took me to the American Embassy several times until it was taken care of. Not to mention he fed me dinner at the hotel. I am planning my trip back and will definatley land there. He saved me a lot of time and money. 5-star service

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank markwermuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2011

While we were initially pleased with the Hanoi Emperor, after a poor breakfast and aggressive customer service when leaving, we will not be returning. 

We called ahead to make a reservation and booked a standard twin room at $18 including breakfast. Upon arriving we were shown to a double room and told that there were no twins available. We were then shown a triple but informed that it would cost $20. After standing our ground, explaining that we had booked a room with two beds for $18 the manager kindly agreed to let us have the triple at the discounted rate, settled with smiles and handshakes all round.

The room was quite nice, large with AC and TV and the bathroom was nice and clean if a bit smelly (I know this is common in South East Asia but this is the smelliest we've come across in 3 months of travelling).

The breakfast was a big disappointment, just a bread roll with butter and a tiny bit of jam plus tea or coffee. We'd have been happy with this at a hostel but were expecting more from such a well rated hotel.

The big problem came with our laundry. When we collected our clothes we discovered that whilst they smelt clean (or at least floral) they looked just as grubby, if not worse, than when we sent them in. We complained at reception and said we wouldn't pay, to which the staff gruffly agreed, although without an apology. The next morning when we went to check out the guy on reception tried to charge us for the laundry, we refused at which point he completely lost his temper and swore at us as we left. Needless to stay we won't be visiting the Hanoi Emperor again!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hippy_flower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hanoiemperorhotel, Guest Relations Manager at Box Hotel, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Dear Our value guests.

We thank you for staying with us and to help us to know what to improve. About the laundry, we think we would have to make it clear. We feel like you were trying to make a reason not to pay your laundry bill. Yes, 1 set of your clothes were not very clean, yes, 1 set of clothes. We told you please give us 2 hours we would re-wash and dry it. We know you have 2 hours!

We feel its unfair you dont want to pay for 15 kilos of laundry just because 1 set of clothe is not clean.
In the end you did not pay any

Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2011

Just finished a 2 night stay, location is great, right in the bustling old quarter. Staff are helpful and friendly enough but are pushy when it comes to selling their tours and extras. Layout of the hotel means you have to walk through the office of their backpacker tour business to get to your room. We managed to sidestep the salesmanship most times, but we did ebentually buy train tickets to Ninh Binh through them. $10 cheap cheap we were told. (Naively) we bought them. (Should have done some research into prices in heinsight)

They wouldnt give them to us until we were getting in the cab to the station the next day, a cleverly stapled note was covering the price...35,000Dng (= just over £1)

Slightly soured the stay!

Personally i wouldnt stay there again, but if you can ride the pestering and keep vigilant to being ripped off on the extras then its good value.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shubun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Box Hotel

Property: Box Hotel
Address: 16 Hang Buom Street | Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 8443, Vietnam (Formerly Hanoi Emperor Hotel)
Region: Vietnam > Hanoi
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #160 of 577 Hotels in Hanoi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Box Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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