GTHQ Jaunt Journal – Hotel: Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake – Hanoi, Vietnam
Location: 1a Nghi Tam Tay Ho, Hanoi; Old Quarter & Night Market – 5 min taxi
Xin Chao! We made it to Vietnam! We stayed at the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake which is one of IHG’s Category 4 properties. We arrived in Hanoi in the morning from a connection in Bangkok with Thai Airways (review coming). The initial impression of the hotel was good with a great layout and did not disappoint.
We had booked a Classic King Deluxe Room but we received an upgrade to the King Bed Lotus Suite due to my Platinum Ambassador status – although normally there are no upgrades for reward stays. The size of the suite is around 60 square meters (645 sq. ft.) and has a bed area and living room. The room has 2 balconies that have great views of the Hanoi West Lake.
The bathroom was roomy with a bathtub and separate rainfall shower. The toiletries are the normal Intercontinental Agraria brand. Additionally, there are slippers and an umbrella since rain is abundant in Hanoi. We also had a bowl of fruits and a separate platter of macarons and muffins in the room.
There are 3 restaurants that specialize in Italian, French and Vietnamese cuisine. Since we were in Hanoi we took the obvious choice and went with the Saigon restaurant. The pho (pronounced fu as in fun) and salads were fantastic. In fact, throughout the following 2 weeks we only had one other that compared. The restaurant also had a kitchen with a glass front so you can see the chef preparing your dinner.
The spa and fitness facilities are located in their own building which is a short walk from the front desk. The equipment was well maintained and the hotel offers complimentary workout, aerobic, tai chi and taekwondo classes. The outdoor pool was quite small and during our stay we didn’t notice anyone using it. I did use the business center and it contained a few pc’s and a printer.
The property has some rooms on solid ground and many overwater bungalows that are beautifully spread out over the West Lake.
The hotel is located near the city center and is only a short 3-5 minute taxi ride to the Old Quarter and Night Market. Taxis in Vietnam are quite cheap – about 50¢ for flag down and another 50¢ per kilometer. The staff was genuinely pleasant and helpful. I would definitely return to this property.
The Good: Good Location and great staff; Nice views of lake; Normal Nightly Cost: $255 US – Our Cost: $0 US/25,000 IHG points
The Bad: Since the property is surrounded by water, mold is visible throughout the property.
The Ugly: Nothing was exceptionally negative.