Intercontinental Hanoi - Review

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by RestlessLocationSyndrome, May 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Just completed a 4 night stay at the Intercontinental Hanoi taking advantage of the Point Breaks deal. First off, the hotel is located in the West Lake area of Hanoi which is considered a rich area. The hotel is right on the water (literally sitting on concrete columns above the water) and is very scenic. The facilities are very nice and the room has a pretty cool design to it which I would describe as Vietnamese modern. The ceilings in the bedroom were very high and the bathroom was especially nice. The service at the hotel was good as is the case at most IC's except for one incident:

    I wanted to send some postcards and the hotel representative (seemed like a manager) would not accept my 100k VND bill for 30k VND postage. He asked me to provide smaller bills so I dug into my roll of cash to find smaller bills. As I flipped through to find the smaller bills, he physically reached into my roll and pulled out some of my money. ​

    To me, this was extremely low customer service in a) not being able to accept a reasonable note as payment (either due to lack of desire to make change or inability to do so due to lack of change or inability to do math) and b) inappropriate behavior in physically reaching into a customer's wallet and touching their money.​

    I would have complained to hotel management directly about this but it appeared that I was being offended by the front desk manager so I felt that it would just be a further waste of time.​

    As far as location convenience, since most of the tourist attractions and notable restaurants are in the Old Quarter, this wasn't a very convenient location as nothing is walkable. You have to take a taxi everywhere which is cheap but at the same time not convenient because the drivers will not always take the most direct route and in a few cases, will not even drop you off at the right spot. Cases in point:

    1. We asked to be taken from the IC to the Ho Chi Minh Complex. The driver went in a very roundabout manner to go east farther than was necessary just to drive west back to the complex. He proceeded to drop us off on the northeast corner of the complex. As we tried to find the entrance to the complex since it is guarded, we discovered that the main entrance is on the west side of the complex. Thus the driver knew that he was dropping us off not at the entrance (since it is the permanent entrance for visitors) and we had to walk around almost the entire complex to get to the entrance.
    2. We took a taxi to the airport when living Hanoi and we appeared to be going the most direct route to the airport. However, the meter came up almost 100k VND greater than our trip to the hotel from the airport in a taxi. This indicates to me that the meter was probably rigged to read more than what it should. In addition, upon drop off, the driver asked for 70k VND for tolls which our driver from the airport to the hotel did not ask for. Not sure exactly whether or not this is what one should expect but something tells me that I shouldn't experience two totally different things in terms of cost and tolls for the exact same route.
    Clearly these incidents are the fault of the driver for purposely doing what was in his best interests and not of the passengers but I also place blame on the hotel as they contract with one specific cab company to provide services for hotel guests.​

    For 5k pts/nt, I definitely can't complain about the accommodations and generally cannot about the service but I probably would not stay at the IC-Hanoi in the future as a tourist. However, if I were to return on business where I would be provided with a driver so that I did would not have to deal with the shenanigans of taxi drivers, the IC Hanoi would be a pretty good choice.
     
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  2. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Well, there's numerous taxi companies that are known for having fixed meters, or asking for toll money (you should never have to pay it, BTW). You just need to request (or know yourself) which taxi companies to utilize. I stayed at the IC Hanoi back in Feb (also the Crowne Plaza, which is quite a bit out of the way), and also found it to be quite lovely. The only thing I found interesting was the club lounge. Nothing wrong with it, per se, but it looked out towards the front left side of the property, onto a lagoon of sorts, with heaps of trash and locals fishing from the shore. TBH, it did make it a little difficult to relax sipping tea and enjoying nibblies while you were watching them, if only because it seemed that they were sitting there looking at you (though I imagine the windows were tinted or some such). That being said, I certainly enjoyed my stay. I'm actually heading back to Vietnam at the end of the month, but to Ho Chi Minh City this time. 5K points was a great deal for it too.
     
  3. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    I agree that having the knowledge is helpful but given that the IC Hanoi has the same company of taxis sitting in their parking lot waiting for their guests, they are effectively endorsing the use of this company's taxis. I believe that they are also listed on the IC Hanoi's transportation card that they give guests.

    Thanks for sharing that the tolls should never have to be paid and that hopefully other people reading this thread can learn from our experiences.
     
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  4. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    I need to specify that you shouldn't be paying tolls in Hanoi. I've heard (and should be able to see in a month when I head there) that Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) taxis do require you to pay a toll. That's the biggest problem with Vietnam taxi companies; there is literally no overarching control of them, and they pop up and shut down left and right, with some providing good, honest service and others tending towards corruption and scams. Plus, it varies by city. That being said, the taxi's I've been told are the good ones (in Hanoi) are Mai Linh Taxi and Hanoi Taxi, and I've never had problems with those two. Another fun problem is that the bad taxi companies try to closely copy the color scheme of the respectable companies to trick you. Good times, ay.
     
  5. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Very true; IC definitely needs to ensure that the companies are screened and only the respectable ones are available. They should also screen the trans cards for the guest. Might be a good suggestion to make to their team.
     
  6. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Here are some photos of the property and room.



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