Hotel Review: King Hilton Deluxe Room at the Hilton Hanoi Opera
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While spending two weeks in Asia recently, my traveling partner and I hopped around to great hotel properties, including the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View and the Park Hyatt in Siem Reap, ending our trip with a stay at the Hilton Hanoi Opera.
The cost of lodging overall in Hanoi is low by Western standards, but when I looked there were few properties available via points and miles. There was an InterContinental and a few other IHG properties as well as a JW Marriott nearby, but we wanted a more central location so we could be within walking distance of the action.
We saw only two points properties in this area: the Hilton Garden Inn (10,000 points per night) and the Hilton Hanoi Opera (30,000 to 40,000 points per night). We opted for the Hilton Hanoi Opera, wanting a nicer experience. We compared the points to the cash rates available, and given how cheap the property was, we realized it would be cheaper to pay cash.
Our stay was four nights, which gave us the opportunity to use our Citi Prestige card to get the fourth night free. The total cost of our stay was $478.80 (before the fourth-night-free credit), and with the $121.83 credit, it decreased to $356.97 total, or $89 a night. At TPG’s valuation, 40,000 points a night is worth $200, so we paid less than half the points value.
Furthermore, the Citi Prestige concierge booked directly with the property, so our Hilton Gold status would be recognized, assuring us free breakfast during our stay. Our stay wasn’t perfect, but a high-quality hotel at this rate was a steal.
The Hilton Hanoi Opera was ideally located in the French Quarter, about a 45-minute taxi ride from the airport. It was within walking distant of the city’s business district, the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.
The hotel had a grand lobby and made a good first impression.
We arrived after 8:00pm, so we knew there would be a room available for us. Check-in was quick and easy, and we were in our room about 15 minutes after arrival. The staff continued to be helpful and accommodating throughout our stay; in one particularly nice gesture, after we asked about late-night restaurants, the concierge on duty actually walked us to a cute neighborhood.
We had a King Hilton Deluxe Room with a city view. The door opened to a small hallway with a closet on the left and a bathroom on the right. Just beyond that was the main room. On one wall was a bed flanked by two night tables.
On the other was a rather sad-looking TV.
Facing the bed, there was a small seating area that consisted of an old (and stained) armchair and a small table.
We’d noted on our reservation that we were celebrating an anniversary, and the hotel was kind enough to welcome us with a dozen red roses and a heart-shaped chocolate cake.
Next to the TV was a usable work area with enough space for two laptops.
Unfortunately, it was impossible to get any work done. The Wi-Fi was generally too slow to stream, upload or download, and we were hampered by frequent connectivity issues. It was incredibly frustrating, and the connectivity issues weren’t better in the lounge or lobby.
Further hampering work efforts was the total lack of outlets. There were no outlets near the bed and only one available outlet near the desk. (Friendly reminder to always travel with a power brick so you can turn one outlet into multiple useful connections.)
In the closet there was an electric tea kettle, a minibar and instant coffee.
The bathroom was spacious, with a vanity, bathtub and shower.
Though the bathroom was roomy, the shower was tight.
The bathroom was stocked with Peter Thomas Roth amenities, the Hilton standard.
Overall, we found the bedroom to be dark, dated and not relaxing. On top of that, we had a mechanical issue: The door lock would continuously whir and click, as if someone were trying to access the room. When we alerted the front desk, they said that it was the A/C clicking on and off (though we’re certain it was the lock). They did send an engineer promptly at our request, but the issue was never resolved.
As Hilton Gold members, we were entitled to breakfast in the hotel restaurants. The one we chose, Ba Mien, was sunny and spacious, though it definitely felt dated. Members could also have breakfast at Chez Manon, as well, although we found that out only when a staff member directed us there midway through our stay.
For breakfast, there was a selection of meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and juices, baked items, a salad bar, a yogurt and cereal bar, dim sum and a made-to-order pho station. You could also order eggs and a selection of Western items.
The hotel also had a spacious fitness center, accessible through the pool entrance. There was one large room with cardio equipment that faced out toward the pool.
And a small room with weights.
There was also a section of the gym with weight machines.
The property has a full-size pool, which I’m sure would be refreshing in the 100-degree summer season.
And there was a Western-themed sports bar with a pool table, which was mostly empty the nights we looked in.
The business center had Ethernet hookups as well as desktop computers and printers. It was somewhat tired-looking, but the printers were easy to use, which isn’t always the case at hotel business centers.
As Gold members, we also had access to the executive lounge, which hosted afternoon tea and a nightly happy hour.
Beer, wine and spirits were also on offer, as was a hot buffet.
Finally, at entrance level, there was a bakery that sold literally only baked goods (no coffee despite the fact that the website mentioned coffee and tea). One morning, while we were looking for a cup of coffee to go at the bakery, they sent us to the hotel bar, which charged us $5 for a small black coffee. While we certainly expect to pay a premium for coffee served at a hotel, this is pricey even by Western standards and was more expensive than the majority of the full meals we had in Hanoi.
Although this hotel was a great value and centrally located, it was one of our least favorite Hilton-branded properties. The room and bathroom were spacious but old, with visible wear and tear, the work area was uncomfortable and the Wi-Fi almost unusable. However, the room was comfortable enough, and the location meant that we were within walking distance (or a short ride) from everywhere we wanted to go.
Have you ever stayed at the Hilton Hanoi Opera? Tell us about your experience, below.
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