Vietnam Tour and Travel – Finding Your Vietnam Hotel

by Dwight

Vietnam Tour and Travel – Finding Your Vietnam Hotel

Vietnam Hotel Thanh Binh Hoian

Thanh Binh Hotel - Hoian

For some travelers making travel arrangements is an enjoyable undertaking, but it’s important for all travelers to do it correctly.  The internet has made self-guided Vietnam travel a real bargain.  However , the internet as a source of Vietnam travel information is not without it’s pitfalls.

Travel forums are a good place to start your research when planning a trip to Vietnam.  These forums are not without their problems.  There are internet “entrepreneurs” who specialize in writing and posting fake recommendations for hotels and some hotels operators are not hesitant to take them up on their offers.

The best recommendation you can get is a first hand account from a personal acquaintance.  Demand for three star hotels is highest among casual Vietnam travelers, who want make their own accommodations for a night or two in one of Vietnam’s popular destinations.   Knowing that most world travelers will only make one trip in a life time, some Vietnam hotel operators are content with this way of doing business.

Online pricing is always an issue, up-to-date pricing is always a gamble.  Many booking agencies don’t bother to keep prices current.   Hidden charges in addition to room rates have become a problem.  Customarily all charges are included in Vietnam hotel room prices when quoted in person, with online booking this is not necessarily so.

While many Vietnam travelers do not want to deal with the uncertainty of traveling without hotel reservations, I have found the best way to get a good room for a night or two is to find a hotel when you arrive at your destination.  The only exception to this is the first night you arrive in Vietnam.

Most self-guided Vietnam travelers are able to “tough it out” for one night in a questionable hotel for one nite.  If you arrive in country early enough in the day you can invest a bit of time finding an acceptable hotel at a good rate once you get to the area where you’re going to stay.  Most Vietnam travelers, who arrive in Hanoi head for the “Old Quarter” where there is a huge number of family run hotels to chose from.  Vietnam travelers arriving in Saigon usually head for the Pham Ngu Lao area (“Backpacker’s Hangout”) in District 1.

Both of the areas have numerous hotels to choose from.  Most hotels are willing to negotiate the rate when you walk in.  Ask the rate and confirm it includes all charges. DO NOT AGREE TO TAKE THE ROOM!   Ask to take a look at the room.  Be sure everything works – air conditioning, hot water, windows are secure, door locks work, etc.  Then you can negotiate (or haggle) for a better rate.  Your success will depend on your bargaining abilities.

If you’re traveling alone, pick a number – 30% to 50% off  their quote and see what they say, go from there.  If you’re traveling as a couple or small group – you can “good” guy / “bad” guy them.  Have a “private conversation” , then send one of the group to the desk with the “bad news” from the group, “the rate is too high, will you take ????”  Then go from there.  Almost all price in Vietnam are negotiable depending on how “hungry” the seller is, how skilled the buyer is at haggling and the availability of competition.

You can even work this bargaining tactic online while exchanging emails directly with the hotel operator.  Be sure to carry a hard copy of your email with you to Vietnam.

If you want a 4 or 5 star hotel using a booking agency is usually your best alternative.

“Lost Reservations” are common in Vietnam, this is partially do to guests with reservations  not showing up.  The desk staff in the hotel is paid to get people into rooms, and they often follow the old adage: “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.”  Meaning giving a room to someone who is standing in front of them is better than holding it for some who may or may not check in 3 hours later.

You can usually avoid this by reconfirming reservations 12-24 hours in advance.

Vietnam travelers generally find that dealing with hotel operators and staff is a pleasant and reliable experience.  Hotel staff members are combination of concierge and tour agent.  They can arrange local tours, transportation to your next destination or even make a reservation for your next hotel.  They make charge a US dollar or two for services or get a commission, either way you’ll find it worthwhile.

I am hesitant to make recommendations based on my personal experience.  One of my long time favorites has turned into a problem for other travelers. However,  I recently (Nov 2010) stayed at the Thanh Binh 1 Hotel in Hoian.  They were friendly and provided an excellent place to stay for  a few days.   Thanh Binh 1 is at the top of Le Loi Street (Number 1) in the Old Town section of Hoian.  You can walk out the front door and see all the way to the river front down the street.  Very handy to travelers wanting to enjoy the Ancient Town of Hoian.





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Vietnam Hotel Thanh Binh Hoian

Thanh Binh Hotel Hoian

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