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“Clean and good value for money, but let down by kids left in charge”

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Ocean Stars 2 Hotel
Ranked #344 of 600 Hotels in Hanoi
Reviewed 11 September 2008

We booked this hotel through bookings.com and was impressed to have an email through almost immediately from the owner, Jimmy, offering to collect us from the airport. We arrived on a late flight and didn't arrive in central Hanoi until about midnight; when we got to the hotel we had to practically break in, as the owner had left his sons, or other young kids, manning reception. They had fallen asleep and when they woke up, they didn't seem too impressed and were hostile and threatening - not a great first impression. Once we settled into our room though, which was clean and comfortable, things were fine. The hotel was central (although most in the old town are) and good value for money, although we stayed in better ones during our time in Vietnam.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank catherine_simpson10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 11 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2008

Booked into this hotel for 5 nights, so they picked the 3 of us up for free from the airport.
First impression wasn't too good for it is located in a small lane within a small side street. Once we were shown to our room, we were pleasantly surprised for both our rooms were roomy and clean.
Even when Jimmy was not there, we have no problem communicating with the staff although their English were limited.
Conveniently located within the Old Quarter, with easy reach to most attractions. The famous restaurants "Little Hanoi" and "Ladybird" are just around the corner.

Lee
Australia

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank diskali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2008

We had a happy stay at The Ocean Stars II. Great staff , clean room and good location. The manger and the staff can answer all our queries with good details.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank iugo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2008

I don't know about other rooms, but we stayed three nights in this small hotel in room 302 with a fridge and own computer with internet. It is small, but clean. Location, service and manager are great! There is a pick up service from the airport and the manager arranged tours, traintickets and hotel in our next citystop for us. Definately a recommendation!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2008

I refer you to the recent review by BlueOcean82 (below). Our experience was similar. If the famous Jimmy is around, you're in good hands. If he's not, the young "lobby boys" range from sassy to moderately helpful and speak varying amounts of English.

Be aware that rooms vary greatly. For our first two nights we were in Room 302, which was substandard (besides having been hastily and sloppily cleaned). For our last night, we were in Room 202, which, although laid out just like 302 above it, was a step better (it has its own computer with broadband Internet access) and had been cleaned and prepared much better. In both, the double bed is pushed against the wall on one side in order to fit in the small room, and the toilet is in the shower stall (see photos).

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TotheEndsoftheEarth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2008

I stayed at Ocean Stars 2 in April and was immediately impressed--I should say knocked out--by the level of service this small hotel provides. Manager Jimmy and his staff are hardworking, honest, and always available to answer questions, help with tours, serve you breakfast, call a taxi, and so on. It's a good crew.

I had a unique problem when I arrived in Hanoi, late at night from the airport, in that my taxi driver could not find the hotel. (It's on Dao Duy Tu LANE, which is off the main street!) With the help of a bunch of guys in front of a coffee shop where we'd stopped to ask directions, I decided to stay in another hotel down the street, until I could get it sorted out. I called Ocean Stars that night, once I'd looked up the number on the Internet, and Jimmy arranged to have one of his staff come to my location and get me the next morning--free of charge. We had a good laugh over my inability to find the hotel, and he said he would not charge me any penalty for the missed night that I had booked. Impressive.

Jimmy also booked two day tours for me, and made specific recommendations on where to go (Tam Coc rather than Halong Bay) based on the weather, the amount of time I had, and so on. From 7am till well after midnight, he was always present at the reception area and would even tell people if they were dressed inappropriately for what they were doing that day! (He told a man to put on long pants to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mosaleum one day, and on another advised me to wear a jacket.)

There's a lot to recommend Ocean Stars 2 beyond the great staff. The (included) breakfast is very generous, the hotel is well-located near Hoan Kiem Lake, and the rooms--while simple--are comfortable and clean. I did not notice any bugs, mentioned in another review, of any kind in the hotel. Maybe this was a problem in the past, but I really can't imagine Jimmy would tolerate bugs in his hotel. He seems to take pride in the place, and well he should.

I would definitely come back here in the future. The hotel made my stay in Hanoi that much more enjoyable and gave me a great impression of Hanoians.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled solo
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Thank Majnuni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2008

I stayed here on the tail end of a business trip in order to be close to the city center and explore Hanoi for a few days. Traveling frequently for business and being familiar with the sometimes wide diversity of hotel accommodations abroad, I booked the Ocean Stars II primarily because of the favorable reviews from TripAdvisor members (all of whom must have been woefully young). With Vietnam's chaotic developing economy, hotel standards are often hit-or-miss; even so, I was *severely* disappointed with my experience. Here are a few of the highlights (or lowlights) you may wish to consider before entrusting yourself to the respite of the Ocean Stars:

* The owners are AWOL, instead negligently leaving the management and care of the hotel to their adolescent children and relatives. I arrived to a stiflingly-hot (think unbearable) cramped lobby just in time to witness one of the teens left alone to run the small hotel in the middle of kicking out a Dutch couple, with both his hands raised in threatening fashion and yelling at the top of his voice. Although the youth somewhat apologized for the scene (that he generated), it was an unsettling introduction nonetheless.

* "Jimmy" the manager, formerly raved over in more outdated reviews on this site, was for the most part, absent from the hotel and not nearly as helpful as other reviewers indicated. When he was onsite, he was in a more "dreamy" state (photo below will easily tell the story). Instead, I got an instant hard-sell as to why I should book any tours or trips exclusively through his makeshift 'travel agency." When I booked elsewhere, the level of hospitality quickly shifted to frosty.

* Because of the conditions above, the hotel was in a constant state of disarray, with cleanliness - even by rustic Vietnamese standards - not even being treated as an afterthought (I had to ask for soap, toilet paper, towels, and the removal of the former guest's trash).

* Even such standard matters as prearranging taxi travel for the lengthy ride to Hanoi Airport ended up as yet another deception. Given that graft and corruption is, sadly, embedded in Vietnam's mushrooming economy as everyone rushes to grab their share of incoming wealth, I asked the hotel to provide a known, qualified taxi company for a fixed price ride to the airport at the end of my stay. They assured me that their chosen taxi company was on the up-and-up, as they had signed a 'contract' with the taxi company somehow ensuring that the taxis would never attempt to defraud or otherwise mistreat the hotel's passengers. True to the hotel's sub-par integrity, not only did the taxi driver, in very surly fashion, get combattive with me over the simple request of having the A/C on for the near 1-hour trip, but upon arriving at the airport, the driver tried to claim that the hotel had only partially paid the fare and that I would need to pay him the difference. In a very convincing fashion, I let the taxi driver know how receptive to that notion I was.

* If, after reading (and seeing) this review, you feel up to the backpacker-style adventure this hotel has in store for you, consider that you'll have to schlepp all of your baggage up potentially seven flights of a narrow stairway - all in Hanoi's very palpable heat and humidity.

Bottom line - if you're looking for a more safe, managed, and comfortable experience, *run* - don't walk - from this hotel. There are too many other options - at all price ranges - in town for anyone to have to suffer such a hotel experience.

  • Stayed: March 2008
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2  Thank DeepBlue82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ocean Stars 2 Hotel

Address: No .10 Dao Dao Duy Tu Lane - Hang Buom | Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 844, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Hanoi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #344 of 600 Hotels in Hanoi
Price Range: £11 - £26 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in November 2007, Ocean Stars 2 Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter and surrounded by bustling shopping ancient streets. Ocean Stars 2 is one of the most beautiful and luxurious hotel in the center of Hanoi capital. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ocean Stars 2 Hanoi
Hotel Ocean Stars 2

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