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Published: November 21st 2007
My Hotel in Hanoi is the Especen Hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. You can find it at 22 Hang Be, just North of Hoan Kiem Lake. You can contact them at 84.4.8249575, or email them at email@example.com. Like a lot of buildings in the Old Quarter it is narrow, long and fairly high. It is only ten feet wide and I don’t know how long but it has four floors. This is a result of a tax practice years ago when you were taxed on how much frontage you had. I live on the third floor with no lift, so I get a lot of exercise just going up and down.
It is a colorful neighborhood with Hang Dau Street to the South with store after store of shoes, then the market which runs west, then north and south for four blocks. North of my hotel is silk and craft shops. Around the corner you can order your tomb stone and watch them make it right on the sidewalk.
The cost of 10.00 dollars a night is higher than my old hotel of two years ago, which was a few doors south and is now closed.
The old hotel was alright but I guess this hotel is four dollars better. It has a good A/C, good hot water, TV, refrigerator and my room is cleaned at least every other day. This is the only way I can stay in Vietnam for any length of time. I can stay in this hotel for sixteen nights compared to one night at the Metropole.
Not only is the room satisfactory but the hotel staff is excellent. They also run a travel agency on the main floor and a very active internet café. I suppose a little more Vietnamese come in to play games than foreigners who come in to send emails. The normal amount of time on the computer to send emails is one to two thousand dong. The hotel manager lets me plug in my laptop for free. I usually go down about five AM to send off my travel bogs because no one is around and they take a long time.
The Hotel staff is very good. Starting with the very friendly Mrs. Phuong, the receptionist who does everything including mending my shirts at no charge. You would never guess she is a 30 year
old, married and has kids because she looks 18. Every spare minute she has she is learning English. She also helps me a lot with my Vietnamese.
Mr. Quang, the manager, that is his nickname is also remarkable. He keeps telling me he will do anything for me and so far he has. When my laptop had a major crash, he had his friend fix it for 10.00 dollars. He speaks good English and is very helpful.
About the only complaint I have is the hotel is locked up at night and you can’t get out early with out waking someone up. They have three barriers in the front, hotel staff sleeping inside the barrier, then motorbikes and then more staff. If anyone steals any thing inside this hotel it will be an inside job.
I have asked the Manager for wireless internet or a plug in my room and he said he would get it done but I am still waiting. I expect it will be done.
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