Friday, October 31, 2008

Revisiting Hanoi - The Sheraton Hanoi @ Westlake

My family and I were in Hanoi last weekend for our last holiday before I deliver our newest family member. I must say that this is a highly anticipated holiday because I love the hustle and bustle of Hanoi and besides, I’ve long wanted to show my family what surprises Hanoi has to offer.

Our flight arrived at Hanoi at 8:50am, long after the denizens of Hanoi has woken up and had their first bowl of hot steaming pho. After about 40 minutes by car, we arrived at our hotel, the Sheraton Hanoi. Amidst the hustle and bustle and the endless honking of cars, Sheraton Hanoi stood out like a welcomed oasis by the West Lake. Being in this location has its advantages and I think it is a perfect getaway after being in the city with its endless honking.

I had earlier emailed Ms. Kim Lien from Customer Service that my husband and I will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary and had gotten a confirmation right away that they will surprise us. What a surprise it turned out to be! We had a room with a view of the beautiful West Lake and our bed is decorated with rose petals and a lovely cake as well as a congratulatory letter from the hotel. There were candles on the night stand as well as rose petals in the bath. Truly romantic! Like all Starwood properties, The Sheraton has the requisite amenities to keep guests comfortable. It has a very welcoming pool with a pagoda and a very unique dragon shower. Take a little walk to the other side and you’ll be greeted with a moongate and a tranquil courtyard and lush gardens. I would have been perfectly happy here just sipping a cup of strong Vietnamese coffee. There’s also a gym and tennis court in the hotel grounds. What makes the Sheraton Hanoi truly stand out is its staff. They were all genuinely warm and friendly and were more than happy to accommodate us (me especially with my endless enquiries and requests). We’ve stayed at many hotels in many countries and I must say, the staff at Sheraton Hanoi is top-notch. This is exactly what 5-star service should be.

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