I played with fire and got burned
The motto of this spontaneous Hanoi trip. That is how this stay and trip came about. A little background story before I go into the review. I make plenty of tentatively hotel bookings whenever I find good rates or promo sales. Either I make it there and score a deal or I cancel it. This is the first time that I got burned as I did not cancel the booking past the deadline as I was down with COVID back in July and forget to do so. The hotel refused to waive the penalty for no show and charged my card on file. After some liaising, they have allowed me to keep the deposit for a future stay. This is how the trip came about. The deal wasn’t as good anymore when I book it for the second time around but it is still better than losing out on everything. When I first booked, the hotel was going for around 110 or 120 USD with a 100 USD F&B dining credit! Which is what lures me into trouble in the first place. The hotel is located in one of the newest buildings in Hanoi but away from the historic quarter. It is located in the Landmark 72 building and takes up levels 62 to 72. This is the highest hotel in Hanoi.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
I book an IHG Luxury and Life rate for this stay. For my stay, the base level standard room cost about 145 USD including taxes per night. By booking a Luxury and Life rate, I will also get to enjoy extra benefits such as a 100 USD credit, breakfast and guaranteed late check-out at 2pm. Sadly, for this property, they offer club access rather than the 100 USD credit. It will be another good opportunity to try out the IHG Platinum status. I was upgraded one level according to the rate to a Club InterContinental room and then further upgraded to a Junior Suite on account of my Platinum status. InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72 features 359 rooms and suites spread across 9 categories.
|Rooms||Club InterContinental Access||Bathtub||Room Size||No.of Rooms|
|Club InterContinental||Yes||Yes||46 Sqm||69|
|Premium Club InterContinental||Yes||Yes||52 Sqm||4|
|Junior Suite||Yes||Yes||92 Sqm||29|
|Ambassador Suite||Yes||Yes||138 Sqm||1|
|Royal Suite||Yes||Yes||148 Sqm||1|
|Presidential Suite||Yes||Yes||348 Sqm||1|
I arrive shortly after 2pm. It took about 30 minutes to get from the airport and it cost me around 300K VND. I wasn’t expecting it to be that expensive in Hanoi. That is about 20 SGD. As the name suggests, the hotel is located in a building with 72 floors. It is a mixed residential and office building with the ground floor being a reception area. the hotel does have its driveway and a bellboy is on hand to usher guests and help with the bags. They do have a waiting area by the ground floor just in case guests would like to have a sit while waiting for their ride or something.
I was ushered to the lobby which is on the 62nd floor and was greeted with a lovely view upon exiting the elevators. I appreciated that the bellboy gave some information about the hotel during the encounter and did not just stand in silence. Something that I would wish more luxury hotels could do. It feels like you are among the clouds given how high up you are. Check-in was prompt and fast. I was warmly welcomed and thank for being a platinum member. They have confirmed that I will be in their Junior Suite and late check-out was automatically extended till 4pm in general for club guests and above here. Another set of elevators brings you from level 62 to the hotel guest rooms. After check-in, the associate very kindly ushered me to my room.
The lobby has tons of other settings and it is extremely spacious and open with high ceilings. This is also one of the best spots for catching the sunset. It is a crowd favourite to come here and have high tea by the lobby during sunset. You have an unblock view given how high up you are. The lobby is very airy with an atrium kind of feel where it is open up from the 62nd floor all the way to the 71st floor.
I was assigned a Junior Suite on the highest floor available on level 70, suite 7015 to be exact. It is located in the corner and quite a walk from the elevator. It is located behind a set of double doors and this is always a good sign. The suite can be connected with another room next to it to convert into a two-bedroom suite for bigger groups.
The suite is super spacious and despite this being the lead in the suite category, the Junior Suite measures an impressive 92 sqm. If this is a Junior Suite it makes me wonder how huge the full suite is. The suite has a little entrance way and then you turn right to enter the main space of the suite. I love the decor and it is one of the more modern designs. This feel like a one-bedroom suite instead. It is so spacious to the point that it felt a little bare and this is immediately apparent at the entrance. A little long rectangular bench would be perfect and useful for wearing your shoes or something too.
The suite comes with a half bath which is located on the left. It always comes in handy especially when you have guests over or in big groups. Furthermore, this is a hotel dedicated to business travellers. It will definitely be practical.
In the corner. you can find a round shape dining table alongside two chairs. Great for dining in or getting takeaway food.
I love the openness of the living room area which is mainly in a squarish configuration and it’s spacious. The view is excellent and expansive. Being so high up you get a lovely unblocked view of Hanoi. This is my favourite part of the room. I do wish that the sheers and blinds are electronically controlled here.
You can find a spacious sofa set that can easily seat 4 to 5 people along the wall. It surrounds a coffee table and left on it is a welcome amenity consisting of a fruit platter as well as a personalised welcome note. A rather weak amenity for a hotel of this calibre and the fact that it is left uncovered got me on my nerves.
Opposite the sofa set, you can find the minibar set up as well as the high-quality large high-definition Samsung Smart TV. no surprise for the brand here. It is of superb quality and comes with a huge number of cable TV channels. One of the best TV I had in a hotel and of a good size for this suite. At the corner, you can find a lily espresso coffee machine with some capsules provided. I really appreciate having an actual coffee machine in the room rather than those instant coffee sachets. In the cabinet below, you can find all sorts of glassware, packaged tea, a kettle and a fully stocked mini fridge.
The living room and the bedroom are separated by an actual door which is always my ideal setup. It meant that I could work or lounge in the living room to avoid disturbing my partner when they are resting. The bedroom is lovely and very cosy. It comes with equally an amazing view of the surrounding area as well. The night view is gorgeous too as the lights come on. I had an amazing rest on the plush king-size bed in the middle which provides great back support and the pillows were plush. I appreciate that they are not mushy and additional ones can be requested from housekeeping to have your pillow fort. The sheets are high quality and smooth.
On both sides of the bed, you can find nightstands where outlets are easily found as well as controls for the lighting. I appreciate that they had some USD outlets installed even on one side of the bed. That is very much appreciated in a hotel of this era.
By the side of the bedroom, you can find armchairs that offer some additional seating in the room.
Alongside the wall, you can find a spacious wardrobe that comes with everything that you might need inside from a safe to bath slippers as well as a built-in luggage storage area. This would be sufficient for any length of stay to another portable rack that you can use for fitting larger suitcases. An ironing kit can be found inside the wardrobe too.
The working desk can be found in the corner of the room and it is a comfortable spot to work from. It came equipped with a proper ergonomics office chair. I love that all sorts of outlets can be found here within reach and they had ports for HDMI and are all nicely designed to allow you to connect your devices without much fuss. Wi-Fi is easy to connect and the speed is very fast.
The main bathroom is very spacious and comes with all sorts of amenities. Everything from mouthwash to a toothbrush is provided. The toilet and shower room are found in separate rooms and the bathroom comes with his and her sinks. There is also a cosmetic mirror installed and a hairdryer to be found below the shelf.
There is both a standing shower and a bathtub. They are located in the same room with a view as well. This configuration is great as you can shift over to the shower from the tub without getting water dripping all over the place. Toiletries provided are from Byredo Bal D’Afrique scent and in large pump bottles. I do prefer the Mojave Ghost scent. Water pressure is excellent although temperature control can be better. The showering room comes with an amazing view of the surrounding area. But I felt that they shouldn’t use frosted glass for the lower part of the bathroom as that blocks out the view when you are soaking in the tub. Turndown service is offered in the evening.
The gym is located just next to the club lounge on the 71st floor. It is on the smaller side but thankfully they still have an exclusive space for hotel guests, unlike the pool which is shared with the building. It does come with an amazing view of the place and plenty of natural light. It does feel comfortable to work out and should fit the needs of business travellers.
You can find pieces of gym equipment from treadmills to bikes. There is even a yoga room. the fitness centre is open 24 hours. Towels and water are provided.
The hotel doesn’t have its own pool but instead, it is shared with the building and part of the landmark 72 development. This is used by the residents here as well. It is not exclusive and you do not have any poolside service or anything. It is like a typical condo pool.
The pool is located on the 7th floor. It is not that easy to find with the lack of signs. I feel that this is one of the cons of the hotel. It is said that hotel guests can also enjoy access to the Fitness Centre, Yoga & Zumba Classes, Table Tennis, Tennis Court, Indoor Mini Golf, Sauna & Hot Tub, all at the Health Club. The pool is open from 6am to 9.30am daily.
The hotel boasts the largest Club InterContinental Lounge in South East Asia and yup, this is the largest club lounge that I have ever been to in my entire life. The lounge is gorgeous and spacious is an understatement here. It boasts floor-to-ceiling glass panels and high ceilings. The view is one of the selling points of this area. I love that they have segregated it out with some panels to make it looks less sparse. I was warmly welcomed in by the staff and had my choice of seating. The lounge was well staffed which at quiet times became rather awkward.
There are also two meeting rooms here for guests’ use.
The view is expansive and they have a good sunset view in the evening. I love coming here at sunset with the open bar.
The lounge has three services a day. The lounge is open from 6am to 10pm. Breakfast is served from 6am to 10.30am, afternoon tea from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and evening cocktails from 6pm to 8pm. I love that you can also invite one additional guest to join you for the presentations. This must be the first time I have seen such a policy. Here are the menu for afternoon tea.
I check out the afternoon tea on my first day here. Besides what is on the menu, you also have some small selections by the buffet like that you can help yourself to. Service is excellent and drinks orders are taken and served by the staff. Most items are brought in a tiered stand and it looks so good. This is as good as a paid afternoon tea you have outside. Everything is tasty and check out the sheer amount of items. Even have one bite each, you will be stuffed. I love the cakes and the Vietnamese local pastry.
The staff are very engaging and good at offering advice. They even recommend and offer to make me one of the Vietnamese coffee to try.
Evening cocktail starts from 6 to 8 pm and undoubtedly, it is materially more busy than afternoon tea. You can see all of the Korean Samsung employees coming for dinner. However, with the sheer space available here. It still never gets uncomfortable. You should not miss it as the lounge boost one of the most memorable sunset views in Hanoi. Come early to get one of the seats by the window for sunset. I’m impressed by the evening cocktails and drinks menu. They have like Macallan on offer. Sadly no champagne in sight.
Food-wise, Besides the à la carte menu you also have a very extensive buffet lineup. You can find some bread, cheese, a salad bar, cold dishes and some sushi. Some of the drinks are also self-service. There are plenty of items on offer. This is a dinner replacement. Check out some of the dishes including a spicy seafood soup and chicken souvlaki. What surprise me if that they have Korean ramen and porridge live station. That got to be a first for me. They do have a lot of Korean guests and as such plenty of items in the hotel are catered for them. Well, Macallan or cocktails with ramen. That’s a good match!
I tried a couple of different drinks throughout my stay including both the local cocktails and the Pinot noir. Everything is excellent. The drinks from the buffet line are different from those on the menu.
The food items from the menu are freshly made and take some time to arrive after ordering.
On my second night, we try the Galbi which was excellent. The meat was fork tender and goes very well with some sparkling wine or ramen. Yes, Korean again.
Breakfast at 3 Spoons Restaurant
Breakfast is served at 3 Spoons Restaurant which is located on the 62nd floor towards the other end of the lobby. Breakfast service is from 6.30am to 10am on weekdays and till 11am on weekends. It was a feast. As a club guest, I can choose to have breakfast both in Club InterContinental or the main restaurant. The main restaurant is the one that you should be going to. I was down for breakfast and it was crowded on a Sunday. I was warmly welcomed and ushered in by the waitress. I love that they gave me a little introduction to the buffet lineup and different areas, seeing that it is my first time here.
They also have a quick-to-go counter in front of the restaurant where you can grab some coffee or tea and pastry if you are in a rush.
Immediately ahead, you have a cold counter where you can find a huge selection of freshly cut fruit, juices, salad and sushi. The fruit and juices selection is downright impressive. This might be even more impressive than the one I had in Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. I love fruits. Holy heck, they even have whole coconuts and sugarcane on offer. I had so many drinks during breakfast. Hot drinks are available and ordered from the staff. They do a mean cup of coffee and you can also take the chance to try out some Vietnamese Coffee.
On Sunday, they also do a mango special where they have fresh mangos and mango juice on offer. They were so sweet and juicy. I would be satisfied with making myself a fruit salad for breakfast. Weirdly, I can’t find any OJ on the counter. Perhaps, they are too mainstream. They are available upon request though.
Here are some pictures of the food. It is a very good selection. Similar to the concept, you have some Korean selections from the og ramen to Korean-style grilled pork and rice.
There is a whole big ham and numerous western dishes as well as the typical breakfast favourites such as hashbrowns, bacon and sausages. I will let the pictures do the rest of the speaking. The selection changes day to day as well. You can also order french toast and waffles, typical stuff.
As in Vietnam, you will more or less find a Pho live station where piping hot bowls of pho are made upon ordering. I love pho and you can do a chicken or beef version. I love that they serve you with all the trimmings as well. Chilli paste and lime on the side as well as dough sticks to soak up the broth.
At the far end of the restaurant, you have the pastry corner which is located in separate rooms. Inside you can find all sorts of bakes, cheese and yoghurt. Everything looks so good and fresh. There is also some continental selection here.
It’s a great breakfast and one of the best that I had. It is worth waking up for and I look forward to eating daily. On weekdays, it is a lot quieter with most of the Samsung employees at work.
An excellent stay of great value. It will be even better if I had managed to stay under the previous rate of 100 USD. This is the better one, out of the two hotels that I stayed in Hanoi. Hanoi has plenty of dated properties and as such, this is a refreshing option for travellers. I will certainly recommend this place if you are ever in this part of the world. It might not be the cheapest but offers great value, especially when booking a luxury adviser rate. It did feel weird somehow as the hotel has a huge contract with Samsung and as such the property felt like a dedicated hotel to Samsung employees. Everything in the hotel is almost tuned towards serving them, from breakfast to club offerings. I somehow feel that the club lounge is almost like private dining facilities for them. Ramen and Soju, unlimited offerings. The location isn’t ideal for the usual tourists since it is rather far out from the historical district but with public transport being easily accessible and not that pricey. That is not a huge concern. I doubt that I will ever be back again since Hanoi is rather boring but I would love to visit Ha Long Bay once in my life and this will be a great place to stay before or after the cruise. It will also depend if I still hold IHG Platinum status then.