Zen is a budget hotel with a number of problems to resolve.
Good: Budget priced, friendly lobby staff (but who don't make up for the problems), rooms relatively stylish & comfy for a budget hotel-- flat-screen TVs, aircon works, electric kettle, small fridge
Bad: "No smoking" rooms are NOT smokefree: mine smelled of cigarettes and had an ashtray. No Smoking means No Smoking! Wifi was not accessible in upper floors. Rooms ending '-01' face noisy Quan Thanh street
Ugly: Arrghh...bait & switch! From the street, the clean trendy lobby is quickly exposed as a facade: boxes stacked in back, the stairwell is crowded with all sorts of crap and the whole place seems in disarray. Hallway carpets are heavily soiled and smell of solvent. Carpets in the room are not properly vacuumed. The 2nd floor breakfast cafe is dirty, the Zen wall print is peeling off the wall, and looks like it's under construction. Not a pleasant place to eat. Breakfast is disappointed and served with apathy. The pho (soup) that they get from the food stall down the street is good and generous, but every morning I had to beg for chilis and lime. Stale wonderbread is served instead of the great crusty airy French loaf that is sold on every corner. Eggs, bacon and toast? Cooked with carelessness on-site. And no bacon ( "not available" Yeah, right. Bacon is available every square block in Hanoi. Could not be bothered I guess.) Bathrooms in the "Deluxe" rooms have stall-less showers, with cheap showerheads that soak everything in the bathroom except you. Final insult: free airport transfers for 5+ day stays advertised on the website turned into 1-way only. My last day there, the website notice had disappeared. Plus instead of providing a private car for the return transfer, as promised, they simply called Noi Bai Taxi, which costs $14/15, and charged me $20 for it. Small amount of money, but not cool and not a good last impression.
Zen could be a very good budget hotel with some clean-up, better management, 1000% improvement in the breakfast, and commitment to truth in advertising. It needs a complete overhaul and a good dose of ethics to be considered a "fine, boutique" hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in centre of the capital, the newly built Zen Hotel is a stylish example of this standard tube style. A modernized classic, the hotel references Art Deco. Inside, the mix of French colonial and Asian accents continues, with colors and decorations evoking Hanoi's long history.Zen Hotel offers tastefully decorated and high standard rooms, tour desk and lounge. All rooms are comfortable and modern equipment plus our well – trained and friendly staff guarantee to bring you an unforgettable stay in our hotel. The days in Vietnam, it'll be an unforgettable moment for you at Zen Hotel. ... more less
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