We don’t normally recommend hotels because everyone’s expectations of a place and how much they should pay are so different. This time, however, we have to make an exception.
Almost immediately after entering the Hoang Trinh Hotel in Hoi An, we knew this place was different. Exhausted after an 11-hour bus ride from Nha Trang, we basically crawled into the reception area just to find a plate of coconut macaroons and cinnamon tea waiting for us. When a young lady in a traditional Vietnamese dress led us to the room, we couldn’t believe our eyes. There were white swans sitting on the bed. Perfect swans made out of towels, adorned with silk flowers and then arranged to form a heart. We couldn’t help but laugh. Was she showing us the honeymoon suite? As it turned out, this was just their standard procedure for folding towels. Although $18 for the room sounded a little steep at first, the excellent service and the strange, fancy details in the room seemed to justify a slightly higher price.
But only when we learned about the $2 breakfasts, were we completely sold – especially since we could order anything from the breakfast menu and as much as we wanted. On our first morning, we chose quite conservatively, wondering what hidden charges there might be. When there were none, we became a lot more daring ordering more food each day which eventually culminated in a slightly grotesque breakfast feast on our last morning: ham and cheese omelets, banana pancakes, fruit platters, coffee, juice, yogurt and more coffee. It was hilarious to watch other hotel guests having the exact same reaction. Everyone ordered very little the first day but a lot more the following morning.
The night before we left, we each got a Hoi An silk tie as a good-bye present. Wow! It’s amazing what a few more dollars can get you in this country.