This place was supposed to be the last hotel we stayed at Hanoi and i wanted to end our Vietnam holiday on a good note. I booked it seeing the pictures which looked magical and let me be clear - it is magical. Its fanciful and it's like entering into a weird willi-wonka kinda world. But thats where it all the good bit ends. Once you've absorbed it taken a couple of pictures for that instagram-worthy moment, its all downhill from there.
So where do i begin...let's start with these:
Location - Poor - its a plot with a narrow access road from the main road which is in a residential area. Takes approximately 25-30 mins to get near Hoan Kiem lake by car. We thought, once we were there it made no sense to drag ourselves out towards town and we should enjoy the place. WRONG. What we had in store was mosquitos! Nasty relentless ones. At this point, I know many would say we can't rough it out. So i'll take the time to state, we came from a caving expedition from the heart of Vietnam/Cambodia jungle. We slept in tents and did our business in dark places with buckets. So we can do rough. Mosquitos only are there where there's stale dirty water. And this place have LOTS of it.
STEPS - I don't know what the artist was thinking when we built the steps. I get its rustic but it's not separated properly and at an inclie of 75/60 degrees. Who builds steps like that?? Its articheture 101.. Does he expect his guests to not have bags to carry up. So the solution is? Poor Jenny and her assistant had to drag our bags up and i'm still carrying one suitcase and a rucksack!
ROOM - I get it, the tree grows so the house moves, but what I don't get is the rain seeping through every open crack. Even my DIY project with basic carpentry skills has less holes than the guy who put it together. I like the idea behind it but when you charge upwards of $100 in a city where average night price is $60 you better give something worth that money. The fridge didnt work, there is a used music system and when it rained...gosh, there was water leak everywhere.
TOILET - We stayed with a family in Phong Nha who charged us $20 for a elevated mountain house. They had cleaner and better toliet and shower.
BREAKFAST - It rainsed a lot, so when we went down for breakfast at 8:30 a lady came by at 9 to serve us Pho. It was nice. Probably, the only nicest thing of the stay. Would I give credit to people for making a nice Pho in the land of Pho - NO!! We didn't get served with tea / coffee.
DINNER - There is a kitchen at the back but they order the food in. The guy who was at the desk at night couldn't speak english much so we ordered bbq. The menu doesnt state its korean bbq which they need to get from another restaurant and the hot plates which were given to us to cook our BBQ didnt heat up for 20/25 mins. So it was another round of keeping the mosquitos away.
So again the annoyance is that this place makes you feel you're getting ripped off. Also its pretenious...if you wanna live among nature..do yourself a favour....go to the wilderness. This is a garden - blocked off by construction site, couple of noisy roosters and a barking dog - with pathetic execution of architecture.
To summarize, this place is like living inside a pretencious and expensive modern art / painting - which have few brush strokes and is supposed to communicate an "idea" of fun, whimsical magical place. Its just annoying, fake and a rip off.