I have written a novel because if you're going 5 star, the devil is in the detail.
I had been travelling S/E Asia for 3 months and my mother decided to come over to Hanoi for a while before we both returned home. She booked 3 nights at Sofitel Plaza for the both of us. Because we were to meet at the hotel I checked in seperately and felt a little uncomfortable initially due to the staff. Now I was well groomed and dressed in lovely tailored clothes I picked up in Hoi An but did have a backpack (I mean it's S/E Asia, how else would you travel) and as I got out of the taxi staff seemed puzzled as to what I was doing there. Upon check in I informed reception that I was a guest listed under my mothers booking, showed them my passport and they seemed to confirm despite looking confused. However they then went on to question why we don't have the same last name and I found this a little invasive, especially from a 5 star property.
When I entered the room I wasn't overly impressed because it was quite small and after 3 months I'd learnt alot about the value of a dollar in vietnam, it was impecabley clean though and had all the trimmings you'd expect of a Sofitel such as designer toiletries, crisp soft bedding etc. The view wasn't great from the room but was enjoyable from the rooftop bar and suprisingly, the elevators. We ate at the restaurant once which was mediocre to be honest, for the prices you pay I expected alot more particularly from the Pho', you could find the same if not better for a fraction of the price on any street corner. The buffet breakfast was good and reflected the hotel in a far better light.
Now there were a few minor things I'd figure I would mention since it appears managment do read these reviews and take them into account. I was in room 731 and twice the power short circuited, possibly due to maitence going on which was quite irritating. The hair dryer we were given didn't function properly and when we asked the concierge to get us a taxi to St Josephs Cathedral the driver (who spoke no english) appeared to get the wrong directions since he took us elsewhere. The staff were friendly but we did find they would often just take a guess at what we were asking rather than reaffirming to avoid seeming incompetent, we completely understood but often their guesses were wrong which just confused things more than they should've. Also the 'twin bed' arrangement meant that my mother and I may as well of shared a bed since the two singles were touching and there was not enough room for proper seperation. Did think the goodnight chocolates were a nice touch and the coffee lounge in the lobby had lovely staff.
Overall a good experience at the Sofitel Plaza however 5 star should mean a flawless experince from start to finish, so as stated above room for improvement. Also I think there's a bit of a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the pricing of food etc in the hotel, yes we are willing to pay higher for good accomodation but we aren't fools... we know a simple beverage shouldn't cost $5 in Vietnam, or anywhere in fact. I think the excessive prices left me with that all too familiar, 'rip off the ignorant westerner, they don't know left from right' feeling. Also the taxis that run from the hotel often take the oportunity to go 'the long way' and short change you but that isn't controlled by Sofitel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pan Pacific Hanoi offers 273 elegantly furnished rooms and suites, which boast breathtaking views of West Lake, Truc Bach Lake and the Red River. The hotel also has an impressive collection of 56 fully equipped serviced suites catering to the needs of extended-stay travellers. Savour a diverse range of international dishes from the all-day-dining restaurant or indulge in exquisite cuisine at our Chinese restaurant. Our lobby bar provides a relaxing ambience for guests to unwind after a long day. With 12 versatile meeting spaces, including a pillarless ballroom that can host up to 450 guests, the hotel provides the ideal venue for corporate meetings and grand banquets. Complete with an indoor pool with natural skylight, well-equipped fitness centre and rejuvenating spa, Pan Pacific Hanoi offers a refreshing new experience in the capital of Vietnam. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Plaza Hanoi Hotel Hanoi
- Accor Plaza Hanoi
- Sofitel Hanoi
- Hanoi Sofitel