Camellia No 3 Hotel: "Be Careful!" Hanoi Hotel Tip by Martialsk
Hanoi Hotels: 377 reviews and 438 photos
We spent one night here before our excursion to Ha Long Bay and booked and paid in full for 4 people through Agoda.com. The reviews seemed to be very good.
The place was very very basic but clean enough. Staff were very slow at reception and although not brimming with friendliness, they weren't quite rude either. It seemed that they were just bored and couldn't really be bothered.
Since 3 of us were leaving early to pick up our transport to Ha Long Bay, we had an early checkout but the fourth person was checking out at midday and we would catch up with her on our return. Therefore, at checkout we ensured that we'd paid for everything we'd used such as the drinks that we had from the rooms (four people, two rooms). We waited for about 10 minutes whilst reception got everything sorted out at snails pace.
'Is that everything' we asked? 'Yes'. 'Thanks - remember our friend is leaving later?'. 'Ok, no problem. Have a great trip'. When our friend checked out, reception suddenly realised that they had not charged us for the taxi from the airport. We had also actually forgotten this in all fairness. If they had just apologised to our friend and asked her to pay the US$15 for the taxi she would have paid. But instead, they created elaborate fib tactics get more money from her, accusing us of not paying the whole bill and that she'd have to settle it for all of us. Our friend knew that the bills were all settled so she argued this but they refused to hand over her passport. However, being a smart girl, she tricked them into handing over the passport before sprinting out of the door with her luggage. They didn't even attempt to go after her.
Unaware of these events, the rest of us thought that after Ha Long we'd just return to this hotel because it was ok in the grand scheme of things and we could survive a few more days there. Saved us having to look for somewhere else and we'd gladly give them more business. So, we went straight back there without meeting with our friend first and hearing her story - only to have reception demand this 'unpaid' bill in excess of US$50 as we walked through the door! Again, had they asked for the US$15 for the taxi nicely and politely, we'd have paid it because it was an honest mistake (and we wanted to stay another 3 days here) but they came at us in an agressive and abusive fashion, so we turned our backs and sauntered off down the street. Needless to say, they didn't come rushing after us nor did they report us to the police. That is because we could easily prove we'd paid the hotel bill. The taxi bill was their problem now - and they had just lost our business.
We were quite stunned by the experience!
All I can say is be very careful and make sure you have documentation to prove payment if you have paid online. Also, don't let them hold your passport hostage and attempt intimidation tactics. They are only after a quick buck.
As a result we had to spend the night in a hovel of a hostel before we found somethng much better than this place.
Unique Qualities: none - unless cheating you out of your hard-earned money counts for anything?
Address: 12C Chan Cam Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hoan Kiem District - Ha Noi Cathedral, Hanoi, Vietnam
Comparison: about average
Directions: Hoan Kiem District - Ha Noi Cathedral
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