We live nearby and eat at the Intercontinental most weeks. The food is good and the staff are lovely. For this reason we pay for a membership card that gives us a significant discount. As part of that we get one night's free stay.
So with the weather hot we decided to escape to their lovely air con rooms and use their pool and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. On arrival we were told that if we wanted a view we would have to pay an additional fee. When we refused they put us in a room that literally had a view of the roof of another wing.
We asked what time breakfast was and they told us that breakfast was not included - despite this not being made clear beforehand. We would have to pay a sizeable additional amount if we wanted it.
Sure, it was a free night's stay but I saw that as a reward for being such loyal customers. If someone is offering us the choice of a room with a view for an extra fee then that means it is available. If we refuse to pay extra then no one is using it. The hotel is making no more money and they've irritated two regular customers in the mean time. To be hit on for extra money as we check in was as subtle as McDonalds trying to upsell large fries. Not classy.
Elsewhere I was shocked to find that the Intercontinental still charges for wifi. This is Hanoi - a city where tea stalls have free wifi. Why does the most expensive hotel in town insist on making you pay for it? Is there nothing the Intercon won't charge for?
Obviously what I had seen as a little bonus for our loyalty was just a way of getting on site so we could be hit on for more money. In the end, annoyed by our treatment we left the hotel for dinner and bought food and drinks off-site.
We like the Intercon and all it's staff. It felt like a real betrayal to be treated in this way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The new InterContinental Westlake Hanoi overlooks the 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda on Hanoi's largest lake. It is the only hotel in Vietnam to be featured on CondÃ© Nast Traveler s 2008 Hot List, garnering the honour for a sublime waterfront locale. The historic city centre is within a 10-minute ride, as is a wide range of shopping and cultural venues. The hotel is just 40 minutes by taxi from Noi Bai International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel Hanoi