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Room Report: Pullman Hotel Hanoi, Vietnam

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Arrival Experience: Formerly known as the Horizon hotel (as many taxi drivers still refer to it), Accor has finally sunken its teeth into its Pullman brand and designed the interior décor to match its business-friendly atmosphere. Guests enter the two-story lobby to find a welcome that is a guest's point of contact from arrival to departure. They escort you to the reception desk where a chilled towel and fruit drink appear in no time. This first impression is impressive and designed to appeal to the business customer that frequents the Pullman brand. The hotel is a short taxi drive from the colonial quarter and is located closer to the diplomatic and financial section of town.

Dining: La Cheminee, the main buffet restaurant that performs from exhibition kitchens, is named after the chimney stack that still exists in the hotel's parking lot. The space where the hotel is located was once a brick factory, and management decided to leave the relic of its former life in place. Back at La Cheminee, buffet breakfasts start the day with delicious, boiling bowls of Vietnamese pho plus the standard buffet staples of omelets, fresh fruit, and salads. Japanese cuisine also has its place on the buffet. Lunch and dinner are served here and popular with the business crowd that prefers to stay in the area than venture through slow-moving traffic to find another restaurant. The main bar in the lobby also serves light snacks as well as a constant flow of drinks into the wee hours of the morning.

Accommodations: Guest rooms, reached by a trio of glass elevators, are modern and contemporary with fresh appeal. Pillow-topped beds with thick duvets and stacks of pillows face flat-screen cable TVs mounted on the walls. Nearby are spacious work desks that feature complimentary wireless high speed Internet and speaker phones. Views are of the surrounding city and are active at all hours. They can be best enjoyed from the day beds positioned by the windows or with a bottle of complimentary water stocked daily in rooms. Closets are spacious with full-length mirrors, robes, and slippers, and bathrooms are large with bright lighting, glass shower stalls, and vanities stocked with Roger & Gallet Bois d'Orange toiletries that are worth taking home. Executive level rooms on the top floors enjoy extras like free minibars, espresso machines, and access to the club lounge for free continental breakfast and evening cocktails with light snacks.

Conclusion: The outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool overlooks the entrance with resort lounge-style seating. The fitness center features the latest in workout equipment. Meeting space is a hallmark of the hotel and draws corporate crowds of all sizes, and the connectivity center serves as a business center with Internet-equipped computers and printing stations. The staff here aims to please and is proud of the hotel's modern reincarnation under the Pullman brand, which seeks to attract the business traveler and keep them around for leisure activities. This is one of Hanoi's most value-focused properties and attracts a substantial amount of European and North American clientele.

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