The Best Service Ever

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.

8 responses to “The Best Service Ever”

  1. Frank and I are totally laughing at that breakfast. Good on ya, mates!

  2. avatar Tony says:

    And that snapshot was just the beginning 🙂

  3. avatar ChinaMatt says:

    That sounds amazing. Almost funny to think that in some places $18 a night is expensive.

    • avatar Thomas says:

      These places are quickly disappearing, though. I remember 1994 when Tony and I each spent $96 for a whole month in Southern Ethiopia.

  4. avatar Babak says:

    $18? Are u kidding me? I’m in!

    • avatar Tony says:

      Yay, Babak left a comment. For those of you who don’t know him, we go back 30 years – oh my god, did I just say 30 years!?! He knew me when a big trip meant we were going to Fashion Valley on the bus 🙂

  5. avatar Tony says:

    Yep Thomas, those were the good old days when 50 cents bought you a night in a bed-bug infested rat hole which usually doubled as a whore house. In fact, I remember one hotel that cost 70 cents a night, and our friend Cathy slept on our floor rather than shell out an extra 70 cents for her own room. So, we’ve definitely hit the big time now with our $18 room!!!

    Seriously folks, for those of you who aren’t used to budget travel, there are some great bargains out there and this hotel is one of them. Comfy beds, air conditioning, cable television, Wi-Fi, even a bathtub. Incredibly, many of the $300-a-night hotels charge an additional Internet fee which costs more than this hotel 😮

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