I bet your first thought at the “Hanoi La Vision Hotel poisoned us”, was one of food poisoning, but you’d be wrong! I am talking harmful stuff which could have had a terrible outcome.
Let me start at the beginning. We booked the Hanoi La Vision Hotel because of the brilliant reviews on Booking.com. it was rated ‘superb 9.2’. Things went wrong from the minute we arrived. We arrived late evening (about 11.00pm) after constantly communicating with the hotel by email, as our flight had been delayed. Once arrived, the man at reception asked for our passports and checked us in.
Instead of taking us to our room, he told us that our room’s air-conditioning was broken, so we can’t sleep in it as it is too hot. We will have to go and sleep at their sister hotel around the corner. But he would see to it that we were fetched before 10.00 am for breakfast.
The ‘sister’ hotel receptionist told me that they are all often overbooked, so there is a need to check into other hotels when this happens. Hmmm, so no broken aircon after all.
Next morning, no collection, calls went unanswered, emails unanswered. Eventually I got through to the owner, and she had someone collect us. Our room was small (very clever photography for the advert) and compact. The single beds had to pushed together to make a double. (That’s not really a double, is it?) The extractor fan was held into place with string and the shower was installed in such a way that you’d have to lean against the wall to get wet. I could go on and on. But, life’s too short. It was ok.
On the 4th morning, Tim and I had had breakfast, and went up to the room to sort out our washing which we needed to hand into reception. Once in our room, I started to cough. I thought it was the pollution affecting my allergies again. But the coughing got more and more intense. A few minutes later Tim was coughing too. That was strange. Luckily that did happen, because my response would have been to go and sit or lie down on the bed quietly to calm down the cough – that always helps for me. But it was strange that Tim was coughing as much as I was.
We had planned to go to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum area, away from the polluted old town, so decided to just leave and escape the pollution. As we opened our bedroom door, the fumes really hit us. This was not normal. We still didn’t know what it was, but it did smell like some type of gas or something. We picked up pace to just get down the 3 flights of stairs, and out of there!
When we arrived downstairs, arms still full of laundry, there were no staff in sight. The fumes were horrendous, so we decided to just dump the laundry and get out!
Once on the street, doubled up coughing, eyes streaming, we noticed all the hotel staff across the road at the cafe, complete with surgical face masks. The younger chap walked across and told us in very broken English: “Not go inside, 15 minutes. Dangerous. Spray for mosquitos”.
They were fumigating the building with us in it! No-one checked to see whether any guests were still inside. I was so angry, I wanted to punch him, but of course I didn’t. We just want to get away from there, and fast.
I really struggled to breathe, still coughing, and felt so feint. It felt like someone had switched on a strobe light, and everything was moving in jerky movements. Eventually I had to sit down, and call and Uber.
Long story short, I struggled for at least a day afterwards, but luckily Tim recovered quite quickly. The hotel management did apologise profusely, and although I am pleased they did, I cannot be sure that they wouldn’t do this again. Their attention to detail is just not that good.