We stayed in the Hanoi City Palace hotel . Like most businesses the width of the front was only about 15 feet, and the sign was tangled in power and phone wires. Needless to say, it was easy to miss.
It is a boutique hotel, with only 18 guest rooms. Lots of marble and carved wood – their lobby picture is not an exaggeration. WiFi is available throughout the hotel, including a free laptop to use in our room (I had brought my own, so didn’t check it out).
The arch at the back of the lobby leads to the elevator and grand staircase. Six nights with custom cooked breakfast for two (choice of any or all of the 12 items on the menu) cost US$202.50 for the stay, total charge, not per night. Great find by booking.com
Money: We had been told that lots of things were quoted and paid in US Dollars. Our hotel was charged in dollars, but most of our charges were in Vietnamese Dongs (VND). Since I didn’t know what to expect, I withdrew 1,000,000 VND from the ATM (only two of the bills like this) to get started (but that was only $47.40 and our bank refunded the ATM service fee… $0.02). Things are generally inexpensive like our hotel – our most expensive meal was just under a million (doesn’t that take your breath away?), but actually cost US$37.50 with wine and tip. Sometimes you will see local prices displayed in thousands – 12.5 is 12,500 VND or 62 cents. Credit card acceptance is mixed… most of our restaurants accepted plastic; US Dollars are accepted at many stores in tourist areas. Museums only accepted cash – Dong or Dollars – (of course a 50,000 VND admission fee is only $2.50). Our million VND lasted all week.
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