If you were only paying for the gym, at 3 million a month (off-peak) the Daewoo Hotel fitness suite would be among the most over-priced in Hanoi. It would deserve a withering review that would damn the management for complacency and lack of investment - by "western standards" the gym, for a five star hotel, is a joke, a laughing stock, full of equipment that should have been replaced in the 1990s. There are the usual treadmills, bikes, and free weights, but there are also two vibrating belt machines that evoke Barbara Windsor's bum, as well as a machine that hangs you upside down by your ankles, which evokes, well, PoW camps. A mirrored yoga room stocked with mats does the job if stretching or bodyweight exercise is your thing, but on the whole the gym is small, poorly-equipped and in sore need of an upgrade, really no better than a basement gym down an alleyway.
Along with the gym pass, though, you get access to the sizeable outdoor swimming pool / suntrap, which isn't suitable for exercise but is perfect for sunbathing or, I guess, splashing around with the kids. Unlike other gyms I've been to in Hanoi, with their cramped changing rooms, the facilities at the Daewoo are spacious and well-kept. Two towels await you in the locker, and the sauna / showers / plunge pools / jacuzzis / steam room / Japanese-style squat and wash are also part of the deal. There is a barber's where you can get a haircut + complimentary foot massage for about 250k. The skills of both masseuse and barber are decent though unexceptional, and the pedicure I tried once was not only inexpert but cut the nails right down to the quick; nevertheless it is possible, just about, to walk out of the Daewoo feeling a bit pampered. And the Lotte tower is right across the road. Or you can walk up the street to the Taste My Bum cafe.
As for the service, well, it suffers from being - how shall I put this? - over-solicitous. It doesn't matter how often you go there, you will still be treated like a newcomer who is encountering such exotic items as keys, or pens, for the very first time in his life. Attendants will hover anxiously while you navigate the sign-in sheet, which requires complex, far-fetched operations like writing your name. They will leap to their feet when you walk past, practically shitting themselves with shock at your presence, as if you might turn out to be the President of Daewoo International Corporation himself in a whitey mask.
All told it's a reasonable package. Only two stars for the gym, maybe even one, but the rest gives it a lift. It wouldn't take much to turn the place into a nice little gym, but sadly the management seem happy enough for it to remain as is.
Best place for waxing in Hanoi! I have been going to Quynh Spa for 18 months for all of my waxing (and manicure/pedicure) needs. The staff there do one of the least painful waxing jobs I have ever had - better than in Australia. Highly recommend. I have also had a facial here which was great too. One star removed because staff always try to sell me extra services that I don't need, even when I have already said no. You just have to be prepared to say no a few times to these offers, but worth it for the generally excellent standard of service.
The place-mat alone is worth the visit. It's designed for people who don't know what the fuck it is they're about to eat, or how it's produced, or what to do when it arrives, a cunning idea that hints at Bornga's target audience - customers in premier shopping malls, likely to be heavily leavened with clueless English-speakers. Bornga specializes in some kind of trademarked Korean wrap, newly invented and heavily marketed, that has sprung from the mind of a Korean chef, and is now taking South East Asia by storm.
This paradigm-breaking foodstuff is thinly sliced meat marinaded in a secret sauce then flash-fried on a tabletop grill. The meat is wrapped up in large leaf salad along with various other vegetables, and dipped in sauce, before being inserted lengthwise into the digestive tract. Definitely food for a group, and you're unlikely to order it if you go alone (as I did).
Apart from this specialty dish, the rest of the menu is a Greatest Hits of Korean cuisine. The bibimbap and kim-chi jigae are both good, though the jigae broth could be meatier, and it's a bit light on the cabbage. What really makes Bornga good value is the Korean tapas. Soon after you sit down six or seven small dishes will be placed in front of you, containing a variety of small starters - pickled vegetables, small pieces of pancake, kim-chi, creamed potato, etc. These are complimentary, and are even replenished once emptied.
They have a small selection of drinks and Saigon Beer. If you're eating alone you can expect to pay about 200-220k, but the tapas makes it quite reasonable for its location. Private rooms are available.
That was then and this is now.
In the last few months the Warehouse has become a fantastic fun shop and hangout.
They have expat and Vietnamese wine advisors on hand. I shop mainly in the Xuan Dieu store, it has a fabulous selection of French, Italian, Australian, Californian, South African etc..... all wines for all occasions. There are french and Italian wine advisors there to help you out with advice.
The best is their regular in-store wine tasting events to introduce you to particular wines, and a great excuse to meet other expat and Vietnamese wine lovers in Hanoi. You can visit their facebook page where they post new weekly wine tastings and special events: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Warehouse-Hanoi/441882709212316
Staff super friendly and great customer care.
I've to leave my review. Maybe my favorite place in Hanoi. I came there randomly one year ago, looking for a bakery, and the products were great.
I came back to try the food... and gosh I feel like in France.
The boss is awesome. Looking like a grumpy french man, but he loves what he does, and he does it very well. He cares about the staff, all the small details they have to do to make the service great.
Service might be the only flaw there, quite slow but nice. But the boss knows how to motivate them.
The food is great, lot of choices, the selection on black board is often interesting.
I also love the Pizzas there, in my opinion, they seem to be less fat than usual. And it's supposed to be fresh product.
It's pricey, but once a time, it's great.
I came once to the restaurant upper, and it's fine too, but maybe TOO classy for me.
Ah, and I had a crazy laugh one time when I was in Café de Paris, and I saw him, the boss, bringing by motorbike a pizza he had to do in his restaurant. He made the delivery himself to this restaurant. A great man, really.
I made one shirt and one pair of pants here, the price is ok. The pants are perfect, it took me only one fit and they are still my favorite.
But I think the measurement for the shirt was wrong because I had to come back for 3 times, and finally it's still so tight that I can't button up without a reversed V shape in the bottom front. I accepted it only because I had no time to visit them again.
Lien has been giving me 1.5 hour basic Vietnamese classes, two times a week for 3-4 months now and I am very happy with the progress I am making.
Lien utilises a variety of face to face and online tools such as memrise, ankidroid and her website with a substantial amount of work having gone into the preparation of these tools so there is no excuse to pick up the ipad or mobile and study wherever you are.
I have been very impressed with the preparation that has gone into each lesson and while she may get a bit angry if you dont do my homework, this has helped motivated me to do the extra work required to learn the language. If you dont do the homework, dont bother doing the class.
Lien is very flexible with her time and has been very understanding with changing class times at short notice when circumstances arise.
I would be very happy to recommend Vietlesson to people wanting to learn beginner Vietnamese.
The VietCom Bank is the best bank you can find in Vietnam.
I am banking with VCB for 7 years and there has never been any issue or problem.
The staff is friendly and helpful however, I must admit, that the language barrier is difficult to digest.
But their services are of the best you will find in Vietnam and even in Europe!
This company is terrible. I have been working for them for four months and not once did they pay my salary on time or in full. I have quit now, but am still waiting for the salary they owe me. Next to that, they are extremely disinterested in teaching and in any problems you might face at schools. They haven't taken one complaint of mine serious about TA's not speaking English. I have been treated very badly here. They have no respect for the people they hire!
I've longed for a place in Hanoi that offers tacos and burritos. I think that this place is good, really good. If you are from North America then think Chipotle rather than traditional Mexican food. The salsas we had were great (pico, corn, verde, rojo). The chips were ok. The burritos were great (chicken and steak).
I can see the point that some of the other reviewers made regarding the burritos being dry. An easy fix to this would be to give a small side of salsa with the burrito (or any dish really, also my reason for 4 stars, if you are stingy with the salsa, then I am stingy with the stars!)
I think the prices are fair. The place looked nice. The staff member that took my order spoke English and was careful with the order. The kitchen is visible and looked clean. The menu offered a lot of choices. The place looked nice.
Without a doubt I will be back to this place, over and over again.
The owners of this store need to decide what purpose the space is for. Is it a cafe, community center, or a book store? Those looking to drink coffee are very crowded by the people climbing over them to reach the book shelves. Likewise, those looking to buy books are not enthusiastic about squeezing past SUV baby strollers, guitar players, plasticine-on-a-stick-figure makers, and restaurant tables.
Just brought a HJ-33 from the 388 Cau Giay store. The helmet is good quality for 500k VND and enough for riding at 20-40 kms. The staff were helpful and patient with my indecision in selecting the right product - 3 stars. Yes they did have limitations, but this is an imported product. They also have XL DOT helmets. One has to remember this is store targeted towards the larger Vietnamese market. 2 less stars because the Korean parent company should get their act together and develop a better marketing strategy other than fashion focused. Cigarette horror stories have cut smoking, why not helmet quality.
If this store is too far out of the way, get a motorbike…
Companies that are providing a better safety product should be supported, even if it saves one person from brain damage. It can happen and does.
Now I just have to lug this thing around.