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HFP in Vietnam: Review of the Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery Sofitel

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This is our review of the Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery Sofitel.

It is part of our series on Vietnam. You can read more about my trip in Vietnam, including reviews of business class on Vietnam Airlinesa review of premium economy on Vietnam Airlines, the Hilton Hanoi Opera, a Halong Bay cruise and a review of the Sailing Club Resort Mui Ne.

As a reminder, Vietnam Airlines offered me and my plus one complimentary flights (one way Premium Economy, one way Business).  It also used its contacts to arrange complimentary hotels, including the Hotel Royal Hoi An.  HFP paid for all its incidental expenses.

If you are reading this review via email, you should know that there is another Vietnam article on the HFP website today which you have not been sent.  You can read it here.  It covers my stay in a private bungalow at the Sailing Club Mui Ne resort.

About the Hotel Royal Hoi An

The Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery is situated just a block or two from the western edge of Hoi An’s ancient city, and on the Thu Bồn River. It is very conveniently located for walking into the old parts of Hoi An, although it is also pleasantly outside of the main hustle and bustle. Here is the main entrance:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An entrance

… although there is an entrance on the river side, too. The hotel itself is made up of two wings, although I never had a need to visit the other wing with the rooftop pool, bar, breakfast buffet all being within my half of the building.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An

When you enter you are greeted by a lobby area with the check in desks around the corner on the left:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An reception

There was no queue at check in and I was seen immediately. After taking a deposit I was given my key cards and proceeded to the seventh floor, which is the uppermost residential floor before the rooftop bar and pool.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An corridorThe room

I had a Grand Deluxe room:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An room…which featured an open plan arrangement. Whilst the toilet and shower were separate the bathrobe, sinks and bedroom were all next to each other:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An bathroomAlthough there is a thick curtain you can pull to divide the room up:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An bedroom

This does mean that the bathroom is not totally private – you may still get sounds (or scents!) from the bathroom, so if privacy is a key consideration for you another room or hotel might be better. Still, I liked it a lot and it gave the room a very spacious feeling.

You have the usual amenities – a TV, minibar items for purchase, tea/coffee machine and desk. On arrival I was left this spread, although I’m not sure it’s standard:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An welcome amenity

… and each evening, during turn down service, a small treat in a box was left on the bed.

The decor itself strikes a good balance between a modern and more ostentatious/traditional aesthetic. The Hotel Royal Hoi An is inside a (faux?) French colonial building and the interior reflects this. All in all, the room is very impressive.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An desk

Amenities in the bathroom are Seaweed Therapy, and had really nice scents. The bathrobes were also especially fluffy!

There is only one problem with the room: it is poorly insulated against external sound. My room must have been directly beneath the rooftop pool because during the day you could hear the quiet burbling of the pool filters! In the evenings this meant we could also hear some music and conversations. The sound-proofing was so bad that you could listen into conversations people were having in the corridor!

Pools!

The hotel has two pools, one in each wing. One is on the rooftop:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An pool

...and one on the ground floor:

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An pool

I was in the rooftop wing so only used this one. It has an exceptional view and obviously retains the sun longer throughout the day. I suspect the other pool is very quiet, which may suit some. It is generally warm enough in Vietnam that you do not, necessarily, want the sun beating down on you all day anyway!

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An view

The rooftop pool also has a bar (the round roof) which is open until midnight. Because it is next to the pool they only serve drinks in plastic glasses, which somewhat spoils the ambience, although it is understandable why! Drinks are more expensive than locally but cheaper than you would expect at a European hotel.

The hotel also has a gym and spa, although I didn’t use either. From what I have seen online the gym is fairly small and basic.

You will also find an executive lounge for those with Accor Le Club status or who have upgraded to an executive room.

Breakfast

The breakfast buffet is served in the main restaurant downstairs, facing the river. You have a choice of inside or outside seating.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An breakfast buffet

The buffet itself is made up of various stations, including a pho, eggs/omelette, and waffle/pancake.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An buffet

There was the usual choice of cold meats and cheeses, fruit, cereals, salads, hot Asian and western items (including dumplings), pastries, breads etc.

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An buffetand

Sofitel Hotel Royal Hoi An buffet

The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner although it seems a shame to dine in when you have some of the best banh mi restaurants right on your doorstep!

Conclusion

The Hotel Royal Hoi An feels very upscale. When you consider how much a room is – mine was about $100 a night – you are getting very good value for money. It’s definitely a hotel I would stay at again.

The only concern I have is regarding the sound proofing. I’m not sure if all the rooms are as badly sound-proofed – and I assume most rooms won’t hear the gurgling of the pool – but the doors could do with a little extra to stop noisy neighbours from rousing you.

That being said, this I was impressed by this hotel. It has clearly been refurbished in the last few years and it really shows. You can see more about the hotel on the Accor website here.

PS.  From a loyalty perspective, you have two options here.  Take points in Le Club AccorHotels or earn airline miles.  I don’t recommend the former if you are not a regular Accor guest, as the minimum redemption is 2,000 points for a €40 voucher.  (Accor does not offer free nights for set amounts of points – all you can do is redeem for vouchers towards future stays at 2 Eurocents per point.)

For a one-off stay, you are better off selecting to earn airline miles.  Do NOT credit to British Airways Executive Club as the rate is 2 Accor points to 1 Avios.  If you credit to Iberia Plus, you get double!  1 Accor point gets you 1 Avios.  You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move your Avios from Iberia to British Airways.

Our full overview of Le Club AccorHotels is here.

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HFP in Vietnam: Review of the Sailing Club Resort Mui Ne

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Comments

  1. Interesting re: sound proofing. I found this to be an issue everywhere I went in Vietnam in both cheap and upscale hotels/cruises.

  2. Loved this hotel and Hoi-An in general Stayed here when it had not long been opened. I remember sitting at the pool having a beer at happy hour and paying £1.20 for 2 cold beers.

    • Pity Accor don’t just give out status any more as I like their brands but have stopped using the chain since my Platinum card expired.

      • You can get Accor Gold status (which still gives decent benefits especially in Novotel) with the Ibis Business Card. There was an article about it here on HFP. Don’t be put off by it being called Ibis, the status applies throughout Accor!

  3. Stayed here in April. Exactly the same room. I liked this hotel a lot. I agree with pretty much everything Rhys says including the sound proofing issue. We lazed around the main pool mostly. Much nicer than the rooftop pool which is quite small as are most rooftops in my experience. Anyway got a cheap rate via hotels.com. Stayed immediately after the IC Danang and the MGallery stood up against it remarkably well. Also used the spa which I would recommend.

    • That’s an impressive comparison as IC Danang is well regarded, never stayed myself but was in Hoi An this year during a public holiday and loved the place.

      • Lady London says:

        Is Hoi An overtouristed? What would everyone recommend to see/do there?

        • It was very very busy during our stay but this was due to the public holiday weekend and the old town was full of vietnamese locals & tourists in national dress. It had more of a fetsival atmosphere. But to answer specifically, yes it probably is overtouristed. I think the days of finding an undiscovered gem are, if not gone, rather rare.

  4. Shoestring says:

    It’s still possible to turn on auto-convert to move your points from Accor points to Iberia Avios, even in small quantities.

    Sign up to ClubOpinions (on Accor site) and try it for yourself – you get a sign up bonus of 300/ 600 Accor points with your first survey, so even if you never do another survey, you can earn Avios to keep your IB a/c alive
    https://secure.accorhotels.com/gb/leclub/partners/fiche.shtml?name=clubopinions&type=earn

    • Thanks. Have kept a note of this for next time my Iberia points or my OH’s Qantas points get within 3 months of expiring.

  5. This is all making me quite excited about my trip early next year:

    Heathrow – Shanghai, BA F using 241, 1 night Waldorf Astoria using points.
    Shanghai – Hanoi, Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines A350 business.
    Two nights at the Hilton spilt by 2 nights causing Halong Bay, I may have the reassess the hotel here based on yesterdays article.
    Three nights in Hue, one night using a Hotels.com voucher, Indochine Palace if anyone has any experience.
    Five nights at the IC Danang, the last 4 with club access using various free night vouchers, negotiated upgrades and Ambassador weekend certificate for around £200 a night not including the value of the points.
    Then on to Singapore with two nights at the Conrad, both using points with 46000 bought using the lates double points promotion. This was significantly cheaper than the room rate.
    Finally back to Heathrow in J with an alert set for a chance to move to F.

    • Genghis says:

      Busy trip. I rate WA Shanghai as one of the best hotel breakfasts ever. Didn’t like Hue, thought it was a bit of a dump as a city but do try the bun bo hue.

      • Thanks, it’s a base really for doing some sightseeing tours, one of which includes Khe Sanh. Very much looking forward to the WA though.

        • For what it’s worth, Hue was our favourite place in Vietnam! We really enjoyed the relaxed feel, pedestrian central zones, great restaurants. We stayed slightly out of town at a place that had regular free shuttles into town, think it was called Piligrimage Village.

      • Thank you. I remember you giving it rave reviews and it’s still on my to do list when I’m in the area.

    • Sounds like an awesome trip, enjoy. If you’re taking the metro from airport to city, make sure you have cash – ticket machines do not take card payments.

      • (This being in Shanghai)

      • Lady London says:

        I did it without cash but I don’t remember how!

      • OMG – don’t take the metro – get on on the Maglev – a great experience!

        • Genghis says:

          The only time a taxi driver has tried it on with me is from the Maglev station travelling to the Bund. He wanted £46 and wouldn’t pull into the WA. I gave him about £3 (much less than it should have been as I later found out) and he ended up crying and going back to his master.

    • Looks like a nice trip, try fit in a trip to Hoi An. Its not too far from the IC but not as close as some because of the location out on the peninsula. I was toying with this when planning my trip but ended up staying on the main beach.

    • Lewis King says:

      I just left Hanoi, if you know where to look you can get beer on the street for 5000 dong! (roughly 17p!)

    • Maybe late now Craig, did something similar this April. I went from hanoi to hue and took a cab to hoi an, I recommend the Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort, you get a free massage every day!
      Tbh I found hoi an a bit dirty and hue not very impressive.

    • Stayed at the Conrad Singapore in the summer, fantastic hotel and experience, but be wary of the hotel breakfast if you don’t have it included, they’ll tell you that you can go down as late as 10:30am but they clear everything away within 10 mins! If you only have a couple of days I would recommend Gardens by the bay. We were there a week and could’ve easily spent longer. A380 F cabin on the return flight is probably the quietest cabin in the sky, hope you manage to get it. Have a great trip.

  6. We stayed at this hotel earlier this year. Lovely room same as yours. Also great food in the breakfast room. However the roof top pool looks nice but the tiles have come off in the pool, was quite dangerous to walk on and it desperately needed a refurb and maintenance was very poor compared the rest of the hotel.

    • Didn’t notice this, so perhaps it has been fixed?

      • Perhaps the other swimming pool was closed for refurbishment when we stayed so maybe after they swapped them around.

  7. Great review, thanks Rhys. I admit I’m a bit crazy about privacy, but that bathroom is like something out of a nightmare as far as I’m concerned (for a couple).

    I’ve seen the comments from others who got the same layout. Has anyone else who has stayed here had a better, more private bathroom? I honestly wouldn’t even consider staying there otherwise. Ludicrous design in my view. Even worse than the rooms with the large window or transparent wall between the bathroom and bedroom! At least some of those have a shutter or can be opacified.

    • Lady London says:

      +1. I would make not having a room with that layout a condition of my booking. Even if travelling singly.

  8. Quinten says:

    We stayed 3 nights at 5th floor and the sound is really a problem here, as are the missing tiles in the roof top pool (sharp edges). We could hardly sleep because of all noises from elevator/hallway and because of that, we wont stay here again.

  9. I’ve stayed there too in the other wing. The rooms are just an nice. Less of a colonial style and more Asian inspired with proper bathroom walls in case anyone is worried.

    The hotel is gorgeous and excellent value for money. There are some teething problems – when we arrived the executive lounge was in the stages of opening.

    Great location and incredible value for money. I used hotels.com

  10. This hotel got a great review of it’s restaurant here.

    Looks very very impressive….both food and the layout.

    https://hiddenhoian.com/eat/the-wakaku-restaurant-at-the-hotel-royal-hoi-an/

  11. lostantipod says:

    Very reminiscent of my stays in the MGallery hotels in Saigon and Hanoi last year. Great hotels, well appointed, and I felt well looked after in the club louinge. Saigon has a pretty cool rooftop bar frequented by hip young locals (pricey, too). The only soundproofing issue on that trip was the music from an adjacent roof bar in Saigon that went until about 11pm or so. Both hotels had the bathub-curtained concept, and the bed in Saigon was about a foot higher off the ground than usual – quite odd ! The other weird thing was that despite booking on the Accor website, the Saigon hotel emailed me to ask for my credit card details – i was worried this was a scam, and had to check it with the Accor helpdesk. All good in the end.

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