Staying at Hanoi’s Charming 2 Hotel
“So the hotel said they were sending us to their sister hotel… Why?”
“Apparently they are sending us to the Charming 2 Hotel because they lost electricity…”
Charming 2 Hotel tl;dr
- Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
- Free Breakfast
- Free Airport Pickup
- Apparently Has a Sister Hotel
Since we were just going to be in Hanoi for one night after leaving Singapore, we decided to book a hotel that we found online that was highly rated and very affordable. An interesting note on hotels is that in Vietnam, prices vary and you may or may not find the best rate on the hotel website. For example take this particular hotel, Hanoi Charming Hotel goes for $20 USD off their website and on Expedia for the same room and date goes for $24 USD a night.
Since we knew we were coming in fairly late and didn’t want to deal with figuring out the taxi system in a country we haven’t been to, we decided to get a taxi through the hotel which ended up costing more than the room itself ($18 from the airport) but still not too bad.
Taxi Ride or Taken for a Ride?
After making it through the crazy visa on arrival process, we walked outside the terminal and quickly found our guy holding a sign with my name on it. One interesting note is that when I booked the taxi through the hotel, the receptionist specified that I should give the taxi guy a code to ensure we don’t get scammed! However, when I tried to give the guy the code, he didn’t understand what I was saying since he spoke limited English so we decided to just go for it and pray he wasn’t scamming us since he held the sign with my name on it.
In terms of the ride itself, it was approximately 45 minutes or so to the hotel from the airport so get comfortable. Similar to other Southeast Asian cities, the airport is pretty much on the outskirts of town and far from the actual center or in this case, the Old Quarter.
When we arrived near our hotel, another interesting note is that he said “here’s your hotel” pointed to an alley and then all of a sudden 2 guys showed up to help with our luggage. Luckily I read before hand to expect this so I wasn’t completely freaked out that 2 guys that also spoke limited English came and just grabbed our bags and started walking them to the hotel.
Overall, worth it to reserve the ride to the hotel since it made life so much easier.
Hanoi Charming Hotel to Charming 2 Hotel
Cheering Hotel is located inside of a small street and luckily we followed the two guys with our bags or else it would have been hard to identify where exactly to go. Once we arrived we were greeted very warmly buy the receptionist who knew exactly who I was… And then started explaining the situation.
What we came to learn is that the hotel was having some electricity issues so the air conditioning wasn’t working and he politely asked if he could offer us a room in their sister hotel, the Charming 2 Hotel (a mere 5 minutes away) and technically in a higher class instead. Since he also added that there were no additional costs involved for the room (even though this was priced at $50/night even for the lowest type) or the taxi to take us there, we gladly accepted.
From there we were whisked away to the next hotel….
With the help of those same 2 guys helping with our bags….
Down that same small, dodgy looking alleyway toward our drivers…
But this time to 2 motor scooters that would whisk us into the night through congested streets!
What I truly appreciated here especially after a long trip is that they took care of everything so that despite the electricity issue, ensured that we were going to be well taken care of by their sister hotel. They even called ahead to let the other hotel know we were coming so that when we arrived the receptionist at Charming II knew exactly who we were and was ready to get us all setup. So a huge “Thank You” for the fantastic customer service.
Hanoi Charming II
Charming 2 Hotel is where we finally had the pleasure of settling into for our first night in Vietnam. When we walked into the hotel, Danny immediately knew who we were and was so kind and all smiles. We were served a welcome drink and a cold towel for our hands as he took us through the amenities of the hotel. He also provided a map of the area and gave us his top suggestions on what to do, and more importantly, where to eat in the area.
After explaining everything, Danny walked us to our room and let us know that we were upgraded to an executive room; meaning that it had a window (versus not having a window?) and was probably much nicer than their standard superior room. That was so kind of them! The room itself was very well appointed with a firm bed (love the added touch of the word love spelled out using towels), plenty of space and a large bathroom with bath tub complete with amenities.
The next day, breakfast (included in the rate) was served starting at 6:30 AM. While we got there exactly at 6:45 AM, unfortunately it looked like everything was just starting to be placed so we didn’t end up getting our food until about 7:15 AM. This was a bit frustrating as we were being picked up by our Ha Long Bay Cruise shuttle, meaning we had about 10 minutes to actually eat the main course (aka shovel it in).
If I had one criticism for the hotel it would be that the breakfast which was suppose to be ready at 6:30 AM wasn’t actually which threw off our eating. I would have much rather enjoyed the delicious meal at a leisurely pace (hence why we went so early) than have to eat extremely fast, especially since we gave it plenty of time. However, the breakfast options were plentiful:
- different types of breads
- at least 5 different types of juices
- fresh cut fruit
- hot items to choose
- mixed fried rice for him
- vermicelli noodles with pork for me
All in All
All in all a great experience and we can’t complain at that price point. If you’re thinking about staying at Charming 2 and OK with the price point which is very reasonable considering all you’re getting (the actual price not what we got it for), I’d say go for it! The staff and all the amenities that came with it was fantastic. Although we were too exhausted to explore the area around us, it definitely seemed like it was well situated in the Old Quarter and walking distance to a lot of things including a night market (10 minutes walking away).