EHG Post recently caught up with Mr Russell Ng, from Singapore, on his 10th visit to Hanoi, which was also his 10th stay with EHG hotels. As one of the group’s long-term loyal guests, Russell Ng shares his memories from when he first discovered EHG and why he keeps coming back.
Which was the first EHG hotel you stayed at and why?
I chose to stay at Hanoi Elegance Ruby on my first visit. I remember at the time seeing it was ranked in the top 3 on TripAdvisor and decided to book it. Although a small property, what impressed me was the staff. Very proactive service, a speedy check-in and warm welcome stood out for me.
You are a regular EHG guest. What encouraged you to return to EHG after your first visit?
First impressions count. I made a great contact in Mr Giang, General Manager of Hanoi Elegance Ruby at the time and I would always contact him on my subsequent returns.
My top three reasons why I returned to Ruby were: (1) its great central Old Quarter location, (2) friendly staff and (3) excellent service.
After 10 years what is it that now impresses you the most?
Many things have changed over the years. Your hotels are bigger, some great improvements have been made and you do many things that other hotels do not or cannot do. I love the variety at breakfast, the attention to detail in all areas – for example the handwritten welcome card on arrival and good brand of in-room laptop. I am very comfortable here and really feel the personal touch of being part of the EHG family. Your hotel service comes from the heart.
Mr. Russell Ng joins the interview
Which is your favorite EHG hotel and why?
I cannot answer this question as each hotel leaves a deep and different impression on me. For example, Hanoi Elegance Ruby was my first love, which is why I returned 4-5 times. After it closed, I was introduced to Hanoi La Siesta Classic. This is very central, classic and luxurious. On one occasion, a group of 14 of us celebrated my sister’s anniversary at Hanoi La Siesta Trendy – definitely a trendy hotel but a little far from the Old Quarter for me. Hanoi La Siesta Central is fabulously luxurious with a very big lobby. Overall, I am amazed at EHG’s expansion.
Have you stayed at other hotels in Hanoi? If so, how do they compare with EHG hotels?
I cannot compare EHG hotels to others in Hanoi as I have only ever stayed at your properties. However, when I compare them to hotels I have stayed at elsewhere your properties are the best by far. It is the little touches – for example, not many hotels have in-room laptops, the orchid flower displayed in guestrooms is a thoughtful touch, staff are always genuinely smiling which makes me happy. It is clear how good your staff training is.
In what ways have the EHG hotels and service changed since you first stayed? What differences do you experience each time you come?
EHG hotels and the service have greatly improved since my first visit. As have the guestroom facilities, restaurants, spa and so on. Staff are of course as friendly and helpful as ever. On my very first visit the airport pick up was with a very small car; however now the car is bigger, with EHG branding and the driver dressed in a uniform. It is a very professional appearance.
What do you think we can do better?
My main thought is to bring in more eco-friendly practices. For example, use recycled bottles for water instead of plastic and guests can refill their water bottles from a water dispenser. I would be the first person to support this campaign.
Over the years, are there particular staff who have really impressed you?
Ms. Sophia who is very chatty and helpful and Ms. Annie who dealt with a taxi fare incident. I checked the cost of a taxi to the West Lake with Reception. They informed me it would be around 80,000 VND but the taxi driver greatly overcharged me asking for 150,000VND. I told Annie and the next day I was amazed when she gave me back 80,000VND. This was something the hotel did not need to do.
What do you think of our EHG/hotel brand?
I love your hotels and the EHG brand, which will definitely grow even bigger with continued hard work.
What do you think is the secret to our success?
Caring about every detail
The personal service
Friendly and helpful staff