Vietnam – Avoid the Golf Hotel

We were generally very happy with all our hotels throughout Cambodia and Vietnam, with one very glaring exception.  This post is really only of interest to anyone considering going to Can Tho, Vietnam, and is a warning to avoid the Golf Hotel.

This is the letter of complaint I sent to our trip organizer.  Warren (the vagabond organizer we mention frequently in the blog of this trip) was very surprised we had this much trouble, and promised to have it translated and forwarded to the Golf Hotel management.

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We have generally been very happy with this tour so far.  The guides have all been excellent, and the accommodations quite nice — with the single exception of the Golf Hotel.  I would never recommend that hotel to any future guest.  I expect that Mai has already told you of our unhappiness with them, but I thought it best to communicate the reasons directly.

We are pretty flexible in our travels, and don’t mind basic and noisy accommodations when that is what is being paid for, as was the case last night with the first homestay.  However, when I am staying in a 4-star hotel, and paying for a 4-star, I do not accept service more appropriate for a 2-star, which is what we got.

On first appearance, the Golf is a fabulous luxury hotel.  The rooms are spacious and look very good.  This is definitely a “beauty is only skin deep” situation though.  I can’t remember the last time we were in a high end hotel and had this many points of contention upon checking out.

1) Noise.  Unbelievable for a hotel of that type.  This disco is cranked up so loud that, even several floors away, it was going thump-thump-thump through the walls and floors.  You could not hear the music, only feel it reverberating.  Until 2AM Sunday night!  Neither of us was able to fall asleep until they finally turned the boombox off at 2AM.  The next day they explained that it was really not their fault and that there were 3 weddings that night, and the weddings were supposed to close at midnight, but kept going, and really this will not happen again, because there is no disco on Monday night.

2) Noise round two.  They lied. There was disco Monday night again.  It was quiet when we left for dinner around 8:30PM.  When we returned at 10PM, the thump-thump-thump was back.  We figured they told us the disco closed at midnight, and I really didn’t want to go to the trouble of changing rooms for 2 hours of noise, so we let it go.  Besides, we walked the halls and found the difference in noise was not that great from one end to the other.  Lie #2 — it did not end at midnight.  It lasted again until almost 1:30, when it was finally turned off.

3) Breakfast.  The poorest breakfast of any hotel we have stayed at yet.  No selection to speak of, and the guy making my omelet walked away to do something else while it was cooking, leaving me with a very dry omelet.  This 4-star had 1/10 the breakfast as the 3-star in Siem Riep or Phnom Phen.

4) Water.  Promised 2 bottles per day, but did not replace them.  We found no bottles Monday, so went into the fridge.  Then they wanted to charge us for the mini-bar water. I told them to stuff it and refused to pay.

5) Shampoo and soap.  Not refreshed.  Because there was about a quarter bottle of each left on Monday morning, they chose not to replace them. That meant that Evelyn barely had enough for her shower, and I had no soap at all.  Was forced to just rub water on my body to get as clean as I could.

6) Toiletries in general.  For supplies that were completely used up, they replaced them.  We had one Q-tip left (out of 4), so that was not refreshed either.  Seemed we needed to hide the remnants of the prior day if we were to get replacements.  I have never had that happen in a 2-star hotel, let alone a 4-star.

7) Massage.  Evelyn had a foot massage Sunday night.  The woman spent the time watching a horror flick on TV, giving Evelyn nothing more than muscle memory response.  The woman paid no attention to Evelyn’s response when something was uncomfortable, or when she wanted more attention somewhere.  The disco was also booming so loud it was definitely NOT a relaxing experience.  Then, when Evelyn gave the woman a $2 tip for a $10 massage, the woman actually asked for more.  Evelyn declined, but frankly I would not have given any tip at all for service like that.  I had planned on going down later for a back massage, but chose not to after hearing her experience.

I was not taking notes as this went on, and there were probably other things that also went bad, but this is what I remember Wednesday morning when writing this.  Again, when I pay for a 4-star hotel, I do not expect these problems.  It is fairly common to have one or even two things that do not go right at a hotel, but this is the first time I have had this many complaints from a single 2-night stay at a 4-star hotel.

I recommend you remove them from your accommodation list.  They simply do not come even close to living up to their 4-star billing. If we send friends to Vietnam for vacation, you can be assured we will tell then to avoid this hotel like a plague.

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