It is no secret that every travel conquest eggs me on to try on different boutique hotels - quite like food, I get to experience the culture of the country first hand (especially when street food is too daunting to attempt) and in its most authentic form. Charming 2, ranked within the Top 5 of the country became the choice of accomodation because of its location and price. With a complimentary airport transfer thrown in, deal was sealed! Strangely or not, big names like Sofitel and Metropole barely made it to the tops...I reckon, in a developing country like Hanoi, paying big bucks unless it's for business is not that worth the while.
Service is top notch, staff make the attempt to remember every of our names, provided spot on recommendations and we ended up exchanging facebook contacts!
Clean and spacious room with a daily refill of fruits and flowers.
With compliments. Vietnamese Red is quite sharp to taste.
The location of this is prime, located near Dong Xuan Market and in the ladder district - the only way I spotted my hotel from afar is through the ladders stacked against the wall!
Unlike the hotel I stayed in at Ho Chi Minh, their breakfasts are more skewed toward the tastes of foreigners than featuring their local delights. Breakfast is limited in range but filling and hearty.
Salad and carb corner.
Bed of greens and reds.
Only cornflakes and cocoa crips available, these were suffice for those needing a cereal boost.
Their yogurt had a gelatinous texture, like a pudding infact. Vanilla flavoured yum!
There was a simple bread corner complete with a toaster.
None of which really stood out, unfortunately.
Toast, Baguette, Buns
Choice of jam, butter and cowhead cheese cubes to go with them. I usually had them toasted, lather on cheese and top off with either pate or ham for a DIY sandie. As much as Hanoi has French influence, I have long established the fact that their baguettes are nowhere near the French, more similar to our Curry Chicken Bread Bowl texture that we have or kopitiam bread at best, alot looser in bite and texture.
Grilled sausage and cheese toasts
Judge these simpletons not, crazy delicious! The hardened toast gave it a nice crunch.
A tad oily but these tasted way better than their hard toasts. Their sliced bread tends to be hard to chew.
Pancake with honey
Thick mini doughy pancakes which I was not too huge a fan of.
Breaded chicken stuffed with carrot and spring onion
Mayo with this would have passed this off perfectly as a Japanese delight. Not oily at all and delicious, I lost count how many slices I took.
Sausages and bacon
A daily staple, juicy sausage and fat strips of bacon. Their bacon is unlike those we have in Singapore though, could be the cut.
Choice of Egg (Poached, Fried, Sunny Side Up, Boiled)
The girls tried their best to understand our egg-lingo - props on that though not everytime it turned out right. My poached eggs turned out right once out of twice.
Was all of a thick egg lacking in flavour.
Fried Beef Noodles
Delicious one here! Indo mee stir fried with beef and vegetables with a dash of their famous fish sauce.
A pho a day keeps the doctor at bay!
Condiments for anything.
Pho (Beef, Chicken, Tomato Pork)
These were made on demand daily and steaming bowls of this Vietnamese delight made their way to every table. Smooth rice noodles with a hearty broth and generous sprinkling of spring onions and sliced meat made this easy to love.
Tomato Pork Bun (pronounced "boon") was slightly different from the usual pho, like meesua and the broth was heavier on the tomato flavouring than meat.
Garlic Yellow Rice
I spotted these on the street that were usually served with a pinch of garlic flakes, these rice grains were too hard and on the bland side.
Stir fried vegetables with Mushrooms
Very oriental this is, rice to go please?
Fruit selection (Fruit cup, Mango, Watermelon, Apple, Dragonfruit)
I made a beeline for their sliced mangoes every morning. Sweet and ripe!
Juices (Mango, Watermelon, Lemon, Orange)
Freshly squeezed without preservatives, mango juice took me by surprise with the sweet thick consistency.
Fragrant caffeine fix! The vietnamese know how to do it so right.
Butter and Chocolate Cake
So dry and crumbly, I wonder if they made this using semolina flour rather than cake flour.
Too dry and we spotted these at a bakery two lanes away - outsourced I guess!
Their version of donuts dusted with sugar, these were a tad hard.
The main grouse about this hotel is the lack of kitchen facilities at other hours apart from breakfast. A late night supper of Fried Rice with Chicken and Vegetables (VND 75,000). Too mushy and salty, ack!
Charming 2 Hotel