As a Danish couple we met in Hoi An told me in regards to this hotel, “Forget about the name-this is the best hotel in Vietnam”.
It’s a true story. Push aside your prejudices on the silly name, and step on in to the friendliest, nicest, most customer service hotel you are guaranteed to find in Vietnam. This hotel was like a whole other experience for us, and we were only there for one night!! Quelle ironie!!
We learned about this hotel from a Danish couple we met on our snorkeling tour in Nha Trang. They were doing a similar route as us, just in the opposite direction -north to south. They had stayed here and had nothing but good things to say about it.
First of all, the reception at the hotel knew who I was as soon as I walked in. It was really nice for us -mainly Eric- to be greeted with “Hi Chelsea!!!” as soon as we walked in. As soon as we straightened out who Chelsea was, we were underway. Because I had emailed them several times about staying there-the first time, on our way into Hanoi, they were sold out-they were anticipating us. Also, they had given away the last room type we had requested (the most basic, obviously). But, because they knew we really wanted to stay there, they upgraded us to larger family suite! Fabulous!
Everything was great, they had wifi, a balcony, laundry service, breakfast included, and they were happy to help with whatever we needed. They even had a PC computer set up in the room for our use. I’ve never seen this before in a hotel and I think it’s a brilliant idea for the modern age. Plenty of people we know were traveling without their computers so this is a perfect spot for them. Internet and computer access is a must for the modern day traveller.
But here’s the kicker. Because they knew we had a very late flight out (11:00pm to be exact), they let us know that they were happy to give us a “refresher room” at the end of the day so we could take a shower before our flight (necessary in this climate). I’ve stayed in 5 star hotels that won’t do this for you for free (usually for about $50, just to use a room to freshen up in for 30 minutes). I was blown away that they would do this at all.
Imagine how flabbergasted I was, when we arrived back at the hotel to find that they were all booked up for the night, and therefore had no rooms available for showers. “No problem!!” they said. They plopped us on 2 motorbikes with the bellboys driving (giant backpacks and all), and scooted us over to their sister hotel (Charming 1??). Again, no problem, all free of charge. After freshening up, we came downstairs where the girl at reception immediately called the bell boys back from the other hotel, and they drove us back to the Charming 2 (our taxi was picking us up there). Unbelievable!
It doesn’t stop there though. Around dinner time, Eric was hungry, so we asked if they could recommend a place to get a quick bite. “Of course!” they said, as they personally escorted Eric over to the restaurant, helped him order, chatted with him while he waited for the to-go order, and trotted him back to our hotel. How nice is that?
They helped us get overnight laundry done (same price), and arranged a very nice taxi for us to the airport (surcharge). I was blown away by this hotels commitment to service, their natural generosity and willingness to help. After traveling for 1 month around Asia, I had become accustomed to everyone in the service industry being completely jaded by their jobs. No smiles, no chats, no nothing. It was a completely different experience at the Charming 2. Every one was kind, courteous and obliging. I even saw people giving the staff hugs before they left the hotel. They are truly nice to everyone they meet! It was the best hotel we stayed at in Vietnam, and I would say it’s obligatory that you stay there if you ever go to Hanoi.
The other nice thing is that it’s part of a chain of a few hotels. I think maybe three-the Charming 1, Charming 2 and Holiday Gold. I believe the Charming 2 is the most expensive (we were unaware that the other 2 existed), so if you want something less expensive, you can pick between the Charming 1 or Holiday Gold.
STAY AT THE CHARMING 2 HOTEL WHEN YOU ARE IN HANOI! SIMPLY THE BEST!
All photos care of the Charming 2 Hotel