Having returned from our trip to Vietnam, I said I would send you an e-mail to let you know how we got on. To be honest it proved to be a holiday of a lifetime and with your help we fully intend to do the same next year, although we would do it in reverse next time I.E. Starting in Ho Chi Minh and finishing in Hanoi and we would stay for longer maybe 5/6 weeks.
The organisation throughout was perfect as all of the pick-ups to and from the airports and the hotels was spot on. Even when our plane was delayed for an hour in Hanoi to Da Nang, they phoned and informed the hotel that they would be an hour later (I appreciated that you done so as well). Every time we arrived at the airports the taxi drivers were prominent and easy to be seen as we came through arrivals. Although we had a responsibility to phone and confirm with the agents 24 hours before, there was never the need as they had already phoned the hotel reception staff who then informed us of the pick-up arrangements. Every taxi was a top of the range model and they were all large and comfortable and the drivers were polite and really helpful every time. We did have to fill in a questionnaire on each occasion but it was essentially a score tick box arrangement.
Halong Bay Trip
The trip to Halong Bay was a wonderful experience and we never met anyone who didn’t feel the same so I would recommend to you that Halong Bay needs to be up there as must whilst in Hanoi. You supplier was also spot on with their transfer arrangements although they did ask us to be ready to leave at 7am as opposed to 8am which for us, was not a problem.
The boat we were on was fantastic in every way, the food was as good as any of the restaurants we ate at, the crew could not do enough for us and our cabin was large, comfortable and with our own balcony. They arranged two sight-seeing trips on smaller boats to the floating villages and the caves in Halong Bay, these trip were amazingly interesting and a truly lifetime experience. We did share the boat with 4 Filipinos, 2 Italian ladies and a Vietnamese couple and this proved to be very funny with lots of good banter.
We were the only couple that travelled with your supplier and whilst we were travelling back to Hanoi their agent phoned to the mini bus agent to ask us how the trip and arrangements were, needless to say we were very positive. Also when we arrived back in the centre of Hanoi they had a taxi waiting to specifically take us to our hotel and an agent who followed us on his bike to ensure we arrived safely at hour hotel. We were so impressed.
The Hanoi Delight
This was a good 30/40 minutes’ walk to the old quarter in Hanoi and we did walk in on a few occasions and then taxi back which cost around 40000Vnd (£1.20) but no matter where you walk it is all really interesting. The hotel is situated near the Ho Chi Minh museum, the War museum and the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and these are all a must in Hanoi. The room we had was on the 9th floor and at the back overlooking a lake, it was very comfortable and quiet because I would imagine that the rooms at the front would be noisy given the traffic outside.
The hotel staff on reception and at breakfast were charmingly polite and helpful but that was the same for all the hotels, I think it is just the way of the Vietnamese they are all so friendly, genuinely pleased and interested to meet foreigners and they don’t meet too many Scots. The breakfast was good, plentiful but less of a variety than the other two hotels.
This hotel is just amazing, from the moment we arrived we knew it would be special and it was. The reception staff (Phi in particular) were so friendly, charming and helpful and the hotel is really impressive as soon as you walk into the enormous foyer and look through to the pool areas. My wife was blown away at this stage.
The room was also amazing it was large with a conservatory that looked out into a garden area which was in full bloom. The room and shower room had everything and much more and the comfort was just a treat at the end of a hard day at the pool, beach or in Hoi An shopping, drinking or eating.
The breakfasts was just incredible, they catered for pretty much most nationalities and it was plentiful, fresh and delicious. Indeed Janice and I had a curry most mornings which we seriously took too and may even continue. The service was also first class.
The pools are enormous well maintained and the surrounding areas and gardens are very tropical and again well maintained. The pool bar and restaurant is very nice with the service once again excellent. The beach front has been destroyed due to a typhoon 2years ago but the hotel has commandeered the beautiful beach adjacent to the hotel and provided beds and staff to take care of those that prefer the beach.
A truly great experience and we were so happy that you found it for us.
The Liberty Central
A very modern hotel in the very centre of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) next to the Ben Thanh Market. Once again we found this hotel to be just to our liking, it had all and more than you would expect from a 4star hotel. Our room was on the 10th floor, was very comfortable again, quiet and overlooked Ben Thanh and the traffic madness that exists in Saigon, it was so interesting to watch as there are no rules that apply whatsoever. Crossing the street is very much a challenge in Saigon.
All of the staff (reception, restaurant and bar) as ever, were once again incredibly helpful and charming. The breakfast was similar to the standard of the Sunrise and was plentiful and fresh so Janice and me were able to continue our Asian cuisine.
The rooftop pool was a real bonus because Saigon is much hotter and more humid than both Hanoi and Hoi An, (to be honest Hanoi was cold by comparison) and a couple hours in the pool was a treat.
Like the sunrise we were very impressed.
I started this review about 4am this morning (could not sleep my clock is not right yet) and Janice thinks I’m writing a novel but I think it important for you to get a feeling of the great time that we had. I will give you a ring to discuss future holidays and we are truly grateful for the manner in which you helped us throughout. You gave us the confidence to go to a Vietnam and experience what is a truly beautiful country with amazingly gentle and charming people.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish but I will call you either today or tomorrow.
Special regards, Joe Christie