Following the Rough Guide’s recommendation I booked via email two nights in the “New Century Hotel” in Hanoi which is star rated by the guidebook. My boyfriend and I flew to Hanoi from Saigon and arrived at 21hr at the airport in Hanoi where we got picked up by a driver sent from New Century Hotel, Hanoi. The pick up was ok despite being an old car with no aircon and overpriced (15 US Dollar) – this is standard practice in Vietnam if you do not ask for specifics such as model, etc. but clearly not a sign of good service. By the time that we got our luggage back and to the hotel (which is about 45 min drive from the hotel) it was 23hr. The hotel doesn’t have a proper reception but is a travel agency where you can get your keys. We never got offered breakfast and I could not see any facilities for it. They gave us a very basic room on the 4th floor which had dirty sheets and the boiler made continuously squeaking noises. I’m aware that the hotel is not marked as a high standard hotel but I would expect it to be clean and quiet (at least indoors). Because of the late hour of our arrival we did not have a choice to change hotels and had to stay for one night where I did not feel safe. We learnt the next day (when we saw a cleaning lady leaving the door open) that there is a really spacious and modern room with wooden floor on the first floor that gets regular cleaned. It seems that the ‘hotel’ (a big name for a travel agency who rents out a couple of rooms) used our desperation (late arrival, no choice) and gave us their worst room on purpose. I’m very disappointed because the whole point of using a guide book is to rely on its recommendations and the accommodation is very different from what is described in the Guide Book. And not to forget, the star rating seems more than doubtful.