17 July 2009

Holiday Hotel, Hue, Vietnam

Hotel
US$20
16°28'13.76"N 107°35'53.49"E
1 Room
Including Breakfast

Jul 2009 approx A$22

Don't usually do reviews until after we've left a place, but it looks as though we're set in for a week or so and I'm on a roll so why not. I can always update it later if anything untoward happens.

The Holiday Hotel isn't an easy place to find - it's down an alleyway too small for cars to get down, which means it's nice and quiet. Peter found it browsing on TripAdvisor and said there were some really good reviews so he checked it out when we arrived here and had fought our way through the scrum of touts. They were booked out for our first 2 nights in Hue, but he reserved a room, later confirming it by phone and they asked where we were staying and if they'd like them to pick us up - we said no - only a 10 minute walk so no bother. Yesterday morning we phoned and asked what time we could check in. They said they'd pick us up at New Time Hotel at 11.15 am - obviously they'd written down the name of the hotel because we didn't have to tell them. When we went down to check out at 11 am the desk clerk was already there. He made a phone call as soon as we appeared and the (free) taxi arrived just as we had finished paying the bill and retrieving our passports.

Pretty good start.From there it only got better.

The room is perhaps a little small for a long stay, but beautifully furnished and decorated - I've put two photo's on which is something I haven't done for a while. The hotel has been recently refurbished and everything is new and shiney, including the in-room computer with cable internet connection, and a huge TV and DVD. There is no ceiling fan, but the air conditioner blows fresh uncooled air should we need it; we also have a corner room with opening windows on both sides which means we're getting a lovely cross breeze going through.

The room itself is spotlessly clean and the bed and pillows both very comfortable. There's enough storage space for anyone staying here for a couple of months (we're told a lot of people do) and a writing desk with slide out keyboard drawer for the computer which isn't appearing in the photo's. That's a real bonus- no more "You've had it for ages" or "I'm sick of the looking at the stupid small screen on the iPhone, it's my turn for the laptop" conversations will be going on for quite a while (only who gets to use the cabled one because it's so much faster than Wi-Fi), and a wall mounted flat screen plasma TV - Samsung too, not the usual cheapies that you get in most places. There's a DVD player and plenty to borrow. 80-odd channels, with about 15 in English, but so far haven't been able to find the Australian Network (bummer, because Outrageous Fortune was on last night) - if there we adverts on as I flicked through channels the ABC logo wouldn't have appeared, so I need to go through them again.

The staff are incredibly courteous and helpful and I'm really looking forward to the next week here, and might even try to convince Peter to do a motorbike tour for a few days so we can stay longer - only problem is he can't ride; you need a Vietnamese licence for anything over either 100cc or 175cc (depends on who you talk to), and you you can't get a licence unless you are officially resident here, and he makes a terrible pillion passenger. Plenty of local mini marts and eating within a minute or two walk, cheap gym's galore (mostly in big hotels) and being a bit out of the tourist trap part of town we've got markets nearby.

Probably a supermarket somewhere, but as in Indonesia they are no cheaper than the mini marts in Vietnam - we only go into them to get an idea of the prices we should be paying as I'd rather give my money to small business than massive corporate entities, providing they don't try to rip us off. Being a bit away from the touristy bit means we won't cop that so much - Peter went out for water and milk and he actually got both cheaper than they were in the Supermarket in Danang - without having to haggle.We've been here long enough to pretty much know the prices of everything we buy now, even fruit on the markets which is one place we never seem to get fleeced whichever country we're in - we don't bother asking the price once we know it, and would just give the "You've got to be joking" look if they tried to charge us too much. I just laugh when a 4,000 dong pack of cigarettes is offered to me at 22,000. No joke - lots of prices in between, but 22,000 is the highest so far. When you think about it, It's insulting that they think we're so stupid.

A 10 minute stroll gets you smack into the heart of everything if you crave western food or bars.

This place comes very highly recommended, and we're DEFINITELY coming back here

Update after we left. We couldn't possibly be any happier than we were with our stay here. The fresh roses in the room were changed every two days when they started to wilt, and the staff got better and better as they got to know us.

Free Wifi, satellite TV, fridge, air conditioning, kettle, coffee maker and cable connected computer in room!

www.hueholidayhotel.com

sales@hueholidayhotel.com

+84 543819844 / +84 543819845