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Please help me color in hotels for a month-long Vietnam trip!

Please help me color in hotels for a month-long Vietnam trip!

Aug 1st, 2019, 03:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Please help me color in hotels for a month-long Vietnam trip!

Thanks to some great suggestions from Fodors' posters (and others), we have created a "pretty final" itinerary for a month-long trip to Vietnam/Siem Reap in late January/February. We've book flights with points, and now we need to fill in the rest.

The first part of the trip is planned via some travel recover time in HCMC (Park Hyatt) then meeting up with a Uniworld cruise up the Mekong starting in HCMC and ending up in Siem Reap (The Sofitel).

From there, we will go to Hoi An. Would like to stay close to town and am thinking about the Anantara. Any feedback or suggestions?

On to Hue. We are thinking about the Azerai, La Residence (river view) but would love to consider less expensive but nice options, if possible. Thoughts?

From there, we fly to Hanoi. We're considering the new, Delicacy Hotel, L'opera, and the Apricot. Does anyone have experience with these?

Three days/2 nights Ha Long Bay--considering Stellar Cruise, Orchid, Paradise luxury. Would like to venture outside of the busiest areas. Would REALLY love suggestions for this, too.

Finally, we'll be in Ninh Binh at The Emeralda. It seems like that's the best option.

Then back to Hanoi for a night before flying home. It didn't look like there were many good places to stay near the airport so we're thinking of using points for the JW Marriott (I know, it's outside of town but we're just going to eat and sleep, and it would be free) or a return to our original Hanoi hotel.

Please, please help me with any experiences or ideas. We'd thought that we could keep things relatively reasonably priced ($250 - $300/night), but that might be a pipe dream. We are going to be spending most of our time on-the-go so we really need quiet, clean, welcoming lodging in a good location (and breakfast)!

Also, any particular recommendations for local experiences (not in guidebooks) or classes would be most welcomed. Thank you in advance. Couldn't have done this much without you! (Crellston, a special shout-out.) I promise a trip report!!!

adhock is offline  
Aug 1st, 2019, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,984
$250 - $300/night is a fortune in VN. You should easily be able to do that!

My info on hotels is too old to be helpful, so I will le those who have been there more recently make recommendations.

Have a wonderful trip!
Kathie is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2019, 12:29 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,499
You are very welcome adhock. You have the makings of an excellent trip. Not sure whether you saw it or not but I did reply to your questions on your other thread -

The Delicacy looks v nice but is not in a fantastic location. A bit too far from Hoan Kiem. The Apricot is in a perfect location right by the lake but although on first sight it looks a true 5 * on closer inspection it lacks the quality of a true 5* property. I still like L’Opera it is in the French quarter rather than the old quarter but still reasonably convenient and I do like the Accor group.

I don’t know the Emeralda in NB as we just stayed in a concrete block type place for one night. If I had our time again I would probably opt for a homestay type place like Nguyen Shack or similar. Choose your boat tours carefully there teh main landing at Tam Coc is hopelessly overcrowded and busy. A good guide will lead you to a quieter place.

At the Azerai, try to get a room overlooking the river. The Imperial City is now open at night on certain days of the week and would be excellent. Be sure to visit Lac Thien close to the Imperial City for the best Bahn Xeo in Vietnam ( and the coldest beer).

In Hanoi, in addition to all the usual museums that are worth visiting, Military, Women’s, Ethnicity Etc., we popped into the Police Museum just along the road from Hỏa LÚ which was worth an hour if visiting Hỏa LÚ.

If you are happy riding a bike then I would suggest getting out into the countryside in Hoi An to some of the artisan villages. Also, bikes are a good way to get around to the markets and tombs in Hue.

To add to that, in Hoi An, the Ananatara is probably as good as it gets. I haven’t stayed there but know the location which is good and have stayed in numerous Ananatara properties elsewhere and they have always been excellent. Hoi An is chockablock with good mid range hotels in the $50_75 price range that are perfectly adequate but if you want five star, I would stick with what you have chosen.

An unsolicited comment! Whilst the Hyatt Saigon is an excellent hotel, I would prefer something more "historical" like the Majestic, or Rex, which are both very good and half te price.

Re your last night in Hanoi, the Marriott I am sure is very nice ( and free!) but is a bit out of the action. As it isn’t going to take much longer to get to te airport, I would probably opt to stay somewhere near Hoan Kiem/the old quarter if you want to get out and about for your last night. If happy staying in the hotel then I am sure like many five star places in Vietnam it will have an amazing buffet!,
crellston is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 17
I don't see an interest in the Hyatt Saigon ! The best hotel in town is the Majestic and its famous on-the-roof bar

The Anantara Hoi An is perfect, not far from the Historic Center

La Residence in Hue is somptuous ; less expensive is the excellent Saigon-Morin

The Opera Hanoi is a drag of a modern hotel ; the Apricot is much better, the only hotel on Lake Hoan Kiem

Recommended restaurants :
Hoi An : CO Mai of famous Chef Didier Corlou, Dao Tien (large terrace on the River before the Anatara), The Chim Sao Hoi An in Cua Dai
Hue : the Y Tao garden in the Imperial City and the magnificent Ancient Hue in the Kim Long Artocratic District (but ot's 40$ pp, a lot in Vietnam !
Hanoi : La Porte d'Annam of Didier Corlou, his top restaurant La Verticale (advanced reservation a must) the Blue Butterfly and its sister the Orchid, and the Tam Vi in a magnificent old wooden house (dinner only - res indispensable)
Larsay is offline  
Aug 12th, 2019, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 17
I forgot ; certainly not the Emeralda, far from everything in the middle of nowhere except the Van Long Boat Ride. Stay at the Tam Coc Garden
Larsay is offline  
Aug 13th, 2019, 10:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Thank you for the super-useful suggestions. We are doing the Park Hyatt in Saigon because it's free. It is actually a low category (for a Park Hyatt) and we only needed to use minimal points, a free night from the credit card, plus one night gratis because there's a special deal running now. We opted for the Royal Hoi An instead of the Anantara because there was a huge price difference and we aren't going to be in the hotel that much (well, we hope!). In Hanoi, we opted for the new Delicacy Hotel. We were able to get the largest suite with a terrace and it is getting rave reviews. Def going to check into the Tam Coc Garden--it looks lovely. We have been working with a very nice travel agent but she's relying on contacts in Vietnam and they have special deals with certain hotels so I have been a bit skeptical. I think we're going to do Stellar of the Seas for a few days outside of Halong Bay. Can't thank you enough for the restaurant suggestions, too. People have been so generous and we look forward to reciprocating whenever possible!
adhock is offline  
Aug 13th, 2019, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 17
I forgot the restaurants in Saigon ; go to the address 74 Hai Ba Trung Street ; it used to be the French opium factory. In the large courtyard, you have 7 restaurants including the renown Vietnamese Hoa Tuc and the excellent French and Viet The Refinery restaurants

The Tam Coc Garden is very nice; less expensive : take a bungalow in the most famous hotel in Tam Coc, the 3-stars Chez Loan
Larsay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2019, 09:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Hoi An and Ninh Binh options!

Well, our dates and hotel reservations didn't quite cooperate! In Ninh Binh, Tam Coc Garden was booked, so we booked the Aravinda Resort (new, great reviews). Has anyone had experience there?

In Hoi An, we have two options--the Royal Hoi An and Little Riverside (also a bit newer). Any feedback?

You've been so generous with advice. We appreciate it very much.
adhock is offline  
Aug 18th, 2019, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 17
The location of the Aravinda is excellent, very near the Tam Coc Garden. I do not know the two hotels you mention in Hoi An
Larsay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2019, 10:41 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,499
There are several "royal" hotels in Hoi An, but if it is the "Hotel Royal Hoi An - Mc Gallery" then I would have no hesitation in booking that. The Mc Gallery is a brand in the Accor Group. I havenít stayed in that particular property but have stayed in several around the world. Hanoi, Saigon, Bangkok and have always been very pleased. May be worth joining their loyalty club to get the cheapest rates, points etc.

It is in decent location maybe 10 mins walk from the Japanese Bridge.
crellston is offline  
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