As I said before, when we arrived in Hanoi, off of a lovely Vietnam Airlines flight, we were greeted with much colder weather than we’d anticipated…42 DEGREES!!! Yes it was cold. Our cab driver actually apologized for the cold weather, which was kind of cute.
As I mentioned before, I had 3 IHG free nights that were expiring within two weeks of us taking this trip; this and the two expiring Hilton nights from my Citi Hilton Reserve were partly the stimulus for this trip. I’d used the first IHG night at the Intercontinental Tokyo The Strings, which we weren’t super impressed with. Another hotel I wanted to check out, and which we booked with a free night, was the Intercontinental Hanoi. I’d seen pictures of rooms suspended over Westlake, so was intrigued. Also, it would be a good staging point for our scheduled trip to Halong Bay. Unfortunately, due to poor weather, all Halong Bay cruises were cancelled over the next 3 days…huge disappointment! Luckily, despite the bad weather, this hotel impressed.
The doormen greeted us very warmly and insisted on taking our bags. Here was the lobby:
The friendly lady at the desk thanked me for my Platinum status loyalty, and offered us an upgrade from the included deluxe room to a classic lakeview room. Awesome! They loaded our bags onto a large golf cart and drove us down a long path to the over-the-lake villas.
We were shown to our rooms, and were very pleased with the set up. It was very warm and inviting, if a little smallish.
We requested a rollaway for our son, and they provided it free of charge. The bed was super comfortable, the internet was decent, and the bathroom was very nice, with both a rainfall shower and a deep bath.
Here was our foggy, overcast view over Westlake, Hanoi.
I wish we could’ve experienced this when the weather was more fair. The hotel is within walking distance of two main streets, both lined with great restaurants (although the sidewalk is nonexistent in some places…be careful while walking!) We stopped at a hole-in-the-wall place and got superb pho for less than a dollar per person! We got a cheap, good quality massage, then turned in.
The next day, I used their excellent gym, which is next to the lobby (slapping myself for not taking pictures!) Then we paid for the breakfast buffet, but it was TOTALLY worth it. One of the best breakfast layouts I’ve ever seen! In addition to all normal brunch offerings, they had a pho bar, a juicing bar, and seafood choices. Also, my favorite, strong Vietnamese coffee.
Overall, a really nice stay, and one we wish we could’ve experienced during better weather.
Since our Halong Bay trip got cancelled, I had to modify our trip a little bit and was scrambling that night. Overall, I think I did a good job, which hopefully you’ll agree with in the upcoming posts!