This hotel review is for the Hilton Hanoi Opera in Hanoi, Vietnam. It should not be confused with the Hanoi Hilton (Ha Loi Prison), a prison used by the North Vietnamese government to house American POWs such as John McCain and Bud Day during the Vietnam War.
The other reviews in this series include:
- I’m booked on the Vietnam Airlines A350!
- Don’t be like me and screw up an award booking
- Korean Airlines SkyTeam Lounge at LAX
- Korean Airlines A380 business class from Los Angeles to Seoul
- Korean Airlines Prestige (business class) Lounge at Seoul
- KAL Lounge at Seoul Satellite Concourse
- Vietnam Airlines A330 business class Seoul to Hanoi
- Hilton Hanoi Opera
- Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge at Hanoi
- Vietnam Airlines A350 business class Hanoi to Paris
The Hilton Hanoi Opera is located in the French Quarter of central Hanoi. It’s literally right next to the old Opera House in the trendy Hoan Kiem district. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk to the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and the central business district. If you’re looking for a hotel in central Hanoi, you can’t beat the Hilton Hanoi Opera. However, if you’re looking for a more modern and upscale, resort-ish type of Hanoi experience, then you will want to stay near the West Lake (Ho Tay) district. That’s where the fancy Sheraton, Intercontinental and JW Marriotts are.
The staff members here at the Hilton Hanoi Opera are fantastic and will reach out to you prior to your stay. They will offer you services such as tours and pick-up services from Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport. Though very convenient, I don’t recommend any of those services. The Hilton Hanoi Opera is about a 35 minute drive from Noi Bai International Airport with no traffic and the hotel will charge you $70 USD one way for a BMW 5 series transfer. Searching Google, I found a similar private service online (albeit a Toyota SUV) for $35.
As for day tours, there is a travel desk on-site but man, their prices are ridiculous. I recommend doing a simple Google search for day tours from Hanoi instead. For a day trip to Ha Long Bay, the on-site travel desk wanted to charge $150. Online, I found a similar tour with pick-up from my hotel and kayaking for $47.
Upon my arrival to the hotel, I found it to be architecturally beautiful. There’s an old charm to it that matched the Opera House next door.
Check-in was quick and easy and the staff had all my paperwork ready to go. They were friendly and personable and offered to help me with any touristy related questions. They gave me a map of the local area and even helped me map out a “running route” of the surrounding neighborhood. One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to take a run around the area and get lost exploring the local neighborhood. However, in this part of the city, it was so crowded with pedestrians, motorbikes and vehicles everywhere, my running route quickly turned into more of a walking tour.
As I mentioned before, the exterior of the hotel and the lobby were just charming and architecturally beautiful. The room on the other hand, was not as nice as I expected it to be. Here’s the hallway leading to the rooms. Not looking good right?
When I booked this trip, I paid for a King Hilton, Deluxe room. As a Hilton Gold, I was upgraded to a King Hilton Executive room on the 6th floor (room 642). The room was large (387 square feet) and spacious with a king bed and a second twin bed. There’s a working desk and sitting area. The room was simply decorated but appeared very dated and a bit tired. There is one large window with a view of the city but the window does not open and the view was nothing special. Notice the lack of dresser drawer space and the bed was a little lumpy and tired. Okay, I’ll admit it. The room was hideous.
20 minutes after I checked in, the front desk staff called up to my room and asked if everything was acceptable. Five minutes after that, I got a knock on my door. I opened the door and was happy to see that they sent me up a welcome plate of cookies, walnuts and grapes. Nice touch Hilton. Very nice.
Room amenities included a fridge/mini bar, coffee maker, security safe, iPod/MP3 connector and three bottles of water (replenished every day).
One of my biggest pet peeves – there was a lack of electrical outlets throughout the room. I had to unplug a couple of lamps to make room for my devices. You will need an adaptor for your 110V devices but the electrical outlets by the coffee maker and inside the bathroom are universal. WiFi was available throughout the hotel and within the rooms (though a little spotty and slow in the rooms).
The enclosed bathroom was spacious and had a separate walk-in shower and bathtub and Peter Thomas Roth products. One minor complaint regarding the water temperature – I don’t know what causes this but my shower had temperature issues. It would fluctuate from cold to hot every couple of minutes and then return to the temperature I originally set it at. This was quite annoying but did force me to take really quick showers. We are having a draught back in California.
Other hotel amenities include a small gym, rooftop pool and indoor Jacuzzi. The hotel gym was nothing special but had a small bench with dumb bells, a resistance tower machine and a cardio room with ellipticals, treadmills and stationary bikes.
The outdoor pool was actually really nice with covered sitting areas and a poolside restaurant bar.
And there’s also a small business center too if you need to get any work done. The small room on the second level is equipped with PC computers, printer, scanner/copier/fax machine and a paper shredder.
The Executive Lounge is located on the 7th floor and is open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily. It’s a small lounge with views of the French Opera House next door. The lounge is open for a full breakfast buffet with made to order eggs from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM, afternoon tea from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and evening reception from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Hilton Gold and Diamond elites may choose to eat breakfast at the Ba Mien restaurant also if you don’t want to eat in the lounge. I actually recommend the breakfast buffet downstairs over the lounge. There’s a bigger and better selection of both western and Vietnamese dishes including pancakes, French toast and an omelette station and Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls and a Pho station. But then again, you will have to sit with the masses so pick your pleasure.
Overall, the Hilton Hanoi was a nice stay and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s obviously not as nice as the other upscale hotels in the West Lake area but the convenience of the central location can’t be beat. You literally can walk to any of the major attractions in central Hanoi. The hotel is a bit tired and dated but the employees, from the front desk staff to the restaurant and cleaning crew, were extremely friendly and personable and will do anything to make your stay a pleasant one. I can’t say enough about how great they were.