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A lot of hotels and resorts in sea cities advertise themselves as five-star hotels to overcharge guests.

“No-star hotels” charge 5-star room rates

Resorts give stars to themselves

At a resort advertised as five-star resort on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in Phan Thiet City, a guest said to a receptionist that he wanted to book 25 rooms at the resort for a group of travelers for three days and two nights.

“Would you like to visit the rooms beforehand? This is a 5-star resort managed by a well-known international group,” the receptionist replied the guest.

Showing the price list, she said: “These are just the quoted hotel room rates. We can offer you a commission of 25-30 percent.”

The quoted room rates may surprise any one, because the lowest rate here was 5-6 million dong a night, while medium class room had the rates of between 9-11 million dong a night. To stay in higher class rooms, guests would have to pay 17-20 million dong a night.

The resort has a big advantage that it is located on a good position with the view to the Ham Tien beach. However, the resort, which has been operational for the last two years, did not do any outstanding things in material facilities in comparison with the other hundreds of resorts in Phan Thiet City.

Hoang Van Toan from the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, affirmed that the resort had not been seen in the list of ranked resorts in Binh Thuan province.

“Therefore, the resort just gives stars to itself, while it is not recognized by competent agencies,” Toan said.

In Binh Thuan province, according to Toan, only Sealinks Hotel has been recognized as five star hotel. “Any others advertised five-star hotels are just self-proclaimed,” Toan said.

According to the Binh Thuan provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, there is one 5-star hotel in the locality, 15 4-star hotels and resorts and 12 3-star resorts as well. However, travel firms have spontaneously “upgraded” all the hotels here into five-star accommodations.

On the website of ChuDu24 travel firm in HCM City, for example, one would see that there are 28 4-star resorts in Mui Ne. Anantara (which was named L’Anmien in Phan Thiet City) and D’Annam resort in Ham Thuan Nam district, were also introduced by the travel firm as five star hotels and compared with very famous hotels like PalmGarden in Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam province.

Who to believe?

Toan said that there are only three 2-star hotels on the southern coastal region and there is no hotel or resort which can meet 3-star standards. However, the travel firms all tell travelers that they would stay in 3-4 star resorts. Especially a resort in Ke Ga has introduced itself as five star resort.

Le Ngoc Huu, a clerk in district 7 in HCM City, who has returned from Mui Ne beach, said he was so disappointed about the trip.

“I booked room online before we flew there. They told me that the rooms meet 4-star standards, 1.6 million dong a night. However, the room disappointed us,” he said.

“Besides the natural beauty, the resort cannot offer you any special thing. The services were mediocre. Though there were few guests, the servicing staff was slow and unfriendly. I would never stay at the resort if I return to Mui Ne,” he said.

According to Tran Van Binh, Deputy Chair of the Binh Thuan Tourist Association, a 3-star resort would charge 2 million dong per day, while it would charge 3 million dong if it introduces itself as four star resort. Meanwhile, self-proclaimed five star resorts charge 7-8 million dong per day.

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