I booked the hotel after reading all the good reviews.
But I knew it was a mistake as soon as I arrived at Thanh Ha Lane. The street is a wet market, an extension from Dong Xuan (opens from 5am – 8pm). It is chaotic and smelly.
The hotel is actually Darling Back-packer. Apart from having the name Hello Vietnam on the glass door, everything else such as signboard, name card, key holder, has the name ‘Darling Back-packer’ on it. As some travelers mentioned, Darling Back-packer is just trying to rebrand itself. It even uses its opposite neighbour’s address (28, Thanh Ha Lane) instead of its own 3, Thanh Ha Lane. How smart.
The whole building is old and dirty (do not trust any photos posted by the hostel itself). You can find cockroaches, ants and mosquitoes in the room. Bedsheets and blankets are stained. Bed bugs (my whole body is still itchy!). Windows are covered with stained cloth. The bathroom sink leaks.
The room’s electricity is controlled and the air-conditioner is automatically switched off at 6am. Therefore, the reception area is usually very busy before 7am - everyone would have woken up from the lack of air in the room and the noise outside.
Since the hotel is located in the busy market, cars are not able to enter the street ie you need to walk to the hotel from the main road and go through the chaotic atmosphere day in-day out. And imagine having to drag your suitcase through the wet market. Yucks!
Breakfast = bread and butter + coffee or tea.
The only positive comment I have on this hotel is the manager, Mr Thien, is very helpful and accommodating (well, at least until he finds out that you've booked tours with other agencies). However, this is outweighed by all the negative points listed above. I’m sure you can find plenty of other hotels around Hanoi with friendly staff.
Directions: Old Quarter, near Dong Xuan market
15 Ngo Quyen St, Hanoi
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