When we design your itinerary, we will select the best hotels in the areas you will be visiting at the level of accommodation that you have selected, and provide you with details. If there is a similar alternative, we'll include that as well. If you want a particular hotel, let us know and we'll include it. Obviously, accommodation at the selected hotels is subject to availability at the time of booking, but as we work with small groups, there's not usually a problem unless the booking is late. However, there are a few places where there is only one hotel at a suitable level of accommodation, and is therefore often fully booked - in such instances, early booking is advisable.
Our hotel classifications
We only suggest hotels that we consider to offer good value for money. We personally inspect and classify hotels and resorts according to the quality of their rooms, service, food, facilities and location and place them into the categories below according to those criteria.
- First Class: the best of Vietnam's five-star hotels with international service and facilities.
- Deluxe: high quality four and five-star hotels close to First Class standard.
- Superior: good three and four-star hotels with a range of facilities and good service.
- Mid-range: reliable hotels offering good service and value for money.
- Local: the best hotel available in more remote areas where accommodation is limited.
We use high quality establishments with international standard facilities in both Deluxe and First Class categories. Our Superior, Mid-range and 'local' hotels are carefully chosen to provide comfortable accommodation with Western-style facilities, well above the standard of 'budget' hotels offered by other operators. Except in remote areas, rooms will be attractive and well equipped, with ensuite bathrooms, IDD telephones and usually satellite television.
We do not offer a 'budget' category unless customers particularly request it, or unless it really is the only acceptable accommodation in the area. In such cases, we would specify appropriate standards of service and facilities to the hotel prior to your arrival.
On some tours and holidays, we offer 'homestays' - accommodation in local people's houses. These are typically traditional wooden dwellings, often located in ethnic villages or areas of natural beauty. They usually lack most of the facilities you would normally expect even in a basic hotel - no shower (or hot water!), sometimes no electricity, and toilets 'au naturelle', for example. Sleeping is normally communal on thin mattresses with small pillows on the floor. However, the warmth of your welcome and the opportunity to get a little closer to the rural culture of Viet Nam are more than adequate compensations for most people.
For those who find the prospect of homestays somewhat daunting, it's usually possible to find adequate alternatives in the area.
Some of the ethnic houses that we use have a long tradition of hospitality and are used to seeing tourists. We also travel further afield to more remote villages where visitors are a rarity. In such cases, we take care to ensure that our presence respects the traditions and beliefs of the people who live there and do our best to contribute positively to the conservation of their culture.
National Parks, etc.
In national parks, accommodation is often limited to official 'guest houses'. Rooms, facilities and eating arrangements are usually very basic, and lack the charm of an ethnic house. However, the location usually compensates.
Camping is possible on a few official sites, but camping 'wild' risks a brush with the police and the unwelcome attention of local people.
'Out of the ordinary' hotels
Some accommodation in Vietnam defies classification. For example, an 'away from it all' resort may be without telephones, television, or even hot water, but cost the same as a four or five star hotel on the basis of complete solitude, a stunning location, excellent service and a high-quality restaurant. For these, we'll tell you what you can expect, and what creature comforts you'll have to do without!
In all itineraries that you receive from us, the level of accommodation will always be clearly identified with a brief note about particular features, if any. More detailed information about specific hotels and their facilities are available on request.