Hotel Review: Hanoi’s Calypso Suites

Travel Period: 21 Sep – 28 Sep 2014

{PREVIOUS:  Watch a Water Puppet Show in Hanoi  }

As mentioned in my “5 Steps We Take in Choosing Travel Accommodation“, I do heavy reading on the places we are going to stay in while overseas. I do not want to travel for so long and pay so much, just to have a bad stay with bad service, poor infrastructure or unhygienic conditions.

I’m happy to say that most of the accommodations we had chosen to stay in had been satisfying, leaving us to enjoy our travels around the places fully. This time, we had a most wonderful stay in Hanoi which prompted me to do a full post on it.

Calypso Suites Hotel situated in the Old Quarter of Hanoi was chosen because of its close proximity to Hoan Kiem Lake and the fact that it was on a quiet alley, out of the main road. I had read that the main roads would be filled with cars horns early in the morning and people were disturbed out of their sleep.

Surroundings

However, choosing to stay in an alley has its cons too.

One of the staff taking our luggage for us to take our transport to Ha Long City.

On arrival and almost every day, we walked through this long alley between two lines of buildings, to take a taxi called by our hotel staff or walk around the vicinity. We had to walk on foot and cross many streets after coming back from a sight-seeing place, because the taxis were not able to drive into the same road we boarded in the morning (Maybe due to the traffic direction or they just don’t want to). This is slightly dangerous for Dar and Vin had to carry him on hand most of the time.

HanoiDay01_HotelStayTaxi
The taxi on call waiting for us by the road. The hotel staff often guided us to it and clear the traffic zooming past temporarily for us, making sure we are safe.

It was fun though to observe the daily lives of locals while walking between them so we have no complaints. (Read about what we saw in Hanoi’s Old Quarter 36 streets )

In the busy weekday mornings, locals would be ordering a bowl of pho from a stall just in front and vendors would be selling vegetables or stuff. There would be lots of motorbikes parked on the sides of the lane, causing an even narrower path that we had to walk carefully with Dar. Motorbikes still pass through this narrow road and while walking, they would past us in inches or horn at us if we blocked the road.

It was a bit overwhelming on the first day but after a few days, we got used to it and walked without worrying too much. The motorcyclists seemed skilful in manoeuvring and could whisked in and out of narrow places without hitting anything.

Rooms

The rooms were exactly what they shown on their website but it still made our eyes lit up when we entered the room and saw the nice decorations and beds in an European style. The colours of red and white made it somewhat romantic too…except this is a “Family Room”. I love the collection of Hanoi’s vintage photos that they put up on the walls.

Dar loves it and immediately rushed to the single bed to rest on it. The beds were so comfy that we had to force ourselves to get up early in the morning to go sight-seeing. Most of the time, we love to stay in the cool and quiet room as the weather was hot and humid in Hanoi.

The bathrooms were also nice with a bathtub for Dar to play with. Amenities were provided (soap, shampoo, hand-towels, bath-towels, bath-robes, slippers, hair-dryer, make-up mirror, kettle, TV, fridge). It was such a luxurious room for the price we were paying per night ~USD$75/night).

Fruits, packets of tea and coffee and bottled drinking water was given to us complimentary and daily. I enjoyed mangoes, pears, bananas and even longans.

HanoiDay01_HotelStay01

We were located on the 5th floor (highest is 6th floor) and just opposite our rooms, were the rooms of another hotel. We had to close our curtains most of the time and there were no views to speak of, but that is just a small inconvenience. We were mostly out sight-seeing and back in our rooms only on some afternoons or at night anyway.

HanoiDay01_HotelRoomOutside

There was an elevator so it was convenient for us to go up and down. However, on our second day there, the government ordered an electricity cut-off from morning after breakfast to afternoon 4pm, so we had to climb the stairs to go back to our room after breakfast. I realised it was quite exhausting just to climb up to our room. As usual, the only one who enjoys it is Dar.

HanoiDay01_HotelStayStairs

Breakfast

Breakfast was in a nice dining room right beside the elevator. They would place some items in a buffet style but we could also order hot items from a “Breakfast Menu” that they cooked immediately. If we are hungry, we could start with some cheese, hams, fried noodles/rice, spring rolls. I love this idea and we enjoyed the different variety of food so much.

HanoiDay01_CalpysoHotelStayBreakfast

As we stayed there for 5 days & 5 nights, we tried everything on their breakfast menu, switching around every day. The cooking was quite fast so we just had to wait for a while before indulging in our hot piping food.

HanoiDay01_CalpysoHotelStayBreakfastMenu

Our favourites to order, were their local Beef or Chicken Pho (rice noodles) coupled with the spring rolls. We couldn’t get enough of those spring rolls and must eat them daily! On top of that, we would order omelette or scrambled eggs for ourselves and Dar. He also ate plenty of breakfast cereals with milk. Their western meal such as all day breakfast was just alright, not fantastic.

The result is a full breakfast so we could eat lunch much later and enjoy our sight-seeing.

Booking of Tours

Besides hotel stay, we are full of praises for the hotel staff because they were so friendly and helpful to our enquiries! They actually know us by names and we felt as if we were coming to a “home” every night (as opposed to previous big hotels where the front desk staff didn’t even give a nod or acknowledge our presence)

The two hotel managers, Fo and Kevin, gave us plenty of useful information. Manager Fo did an orientation for us the moment we arrived by showing us a map and pointing out the various sight-seeing places. Manager Kevin was the one we liased with, during the booking process. He helped us book our Ha Long Bay tour and purchased the tickets for the Water Puppet Show in Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.

It was cheaper booking through the hotel than directly with the cruise company and we got upgraded to a more luxurious cruise in the end too. We were warmly welcomed to the hotel again after the 3 days 2 night stay at Ha Long Bay . We had brought along a small luggage for the Cruise tour and left our huge luggage safely kept in the hotel.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay so much and Dar actually threw a little tantrum on not wanting to leave. He loves the hotel so. We gave them plenty of tips on our last day for their wonderful service.

More information

Location : Calpyso Suites Hotel
Choice due to: Near Hoan Kiem Lake and in Old Quarter
Costs: Family Room – Double Bed and One Single Bed. USD$75 /night.We stayed for 5 nights as there was an offer – Stay 5 pay 4 nights only.
Total: USD$300 for 5 nights stay.
Airport Transfer: USD$18-19/car/trip for 4 seats car
Deposit for Tour: We paid a deposit USD$208 via electronic transfer for the booking of room and tour.
Website:  http://www.calypsosuiteshotel.com/

*As with all our reviews previously, we did not reveal our status as blog writers to them and thus this review is entirely based on our experiences and observations.

Next: Exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter 36 Streets