Fourteen hotels meeting international standards, with more than 3,000 rooms, were selected by the Hanoi Department of Tourism to accommodate international delegations, athletes, and reporters.
|The lobby of Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel
After reviewing and selecting high-quality accommodation facilities, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training signed memoranda with the hotels serving the 31st SEA Games, including Melia Hanoi, Hanoi Daewoo, Pan Pacific, Du Parc Hanoi, InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, Hyatt Regency West Hanoi, Lotte Hotel Hanoi, Novotel Hanoi Thai Ha, Novotel Suites Hanoi, InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, Grand Vista Hanoi and Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake. The Hanoi Department of Tourism will periodically inspect and supervise these locations before and during the SEA Games 31.
Ensuring proper standards to serve SEA Games 31
Meliá Hanoi is one of the accommodation facilities selected by the Hanoi Department of Tourism to host foreign taekwondo and wrestling athletes during the 31st SEA Games.
According to Marc Selinger, Hotel Manager of Meliá Hanoi, the hotel has coordinated with relevant authorities to review all service stages and facilities to ensure health, food hygiene, safety, and security for all the hotel’s guests.
“Besides the rooms booked by ordinary clients prior to the event, we reserve the rest of our 306 rooms for SEA Games guests. We will try to accommodate athletes of the same nationality on the same floor or next to each other. Our regular guests will be arranged on a separate floor to ensure privacy and comfort for everyone during this period,” he told The Hanoi Times.
|The reception area of Melia Hanoi Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel
Regarding food, Marc said that there will be a dining room and prayer corner for Muslim athletes and a Halal menu will be offered upon request.
Hanoi Daewoo Hotel hosts athletics and Pencak silat delegations. The hotel’s Executive Assistant Manager Sunny Ghaiee confirmed that all the staff and managers have been fully vaccinated.
Moreover, the hotel has been disinfecting all its premises, so once the athletes arrive, it would be thoroughly sanitized. In fact, understanding the athletes’ demand for privacy and comfort, the hotel sets the accommodation and dining areas for athletes apart from spaces for regular guests.
“We try to keep in touch with all group leaders when they check in to learn about their particular food requirements. I think nutrition plays the most critical part for the athletes to have their game performed at their best during such an important event, so we would like to contribute to their victory by providing them with our excellent dining service,” he said to The Hanoi Times.
Dolce by Windham Hanoi Golden Lake accommodates athletes in weightlifting, wushu, fencing, bodybuilding, and diving. Along with preparing manpower and facilities, the hotel is ordering signposts, as well as prayer places for Islamic guests.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, General Manager of the hotel said that the hotel’s chef carefully prepares nutritious dishes, ensuring food hygiene and safety, and buffets would be served to meet the needs of most coaches, athletes, and delegates. For Muslim guests, the hotel will arrange Halal food stalls and prayer areas.
“During SEA Games 31, the hotel prepares Halal food for athletes and fans from Muslim countries. For example, you can see we are preparing Halal chicken, Halal beef, Halal lamb, and seafood as well. We are cooking chicken curry, which you can find in all Muslim countries. This is a Malaysian dish originating from India, and edible for people from Singapore, Brunei, or Indonesia,” he told The Hanoi Times.
|The praying room for Islamic guests at Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake. Photo courtesy of the hotel
An opportunity to promote tourism
According to Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang, the 31st SEA Games is the biggest sporting event in Southeast Asia. In addition to its political, diplomatic, cultural, sporting, and economic significance, it is a great opportunity to promote the landscapes, people, and tourism of Vietnam in general and of Hanoi in particular to international friends.
This is also an occasion for Hanoi, where the opening and closing ceremonies as well as most competitions take place, to affirm the brand of destination for international and regional events.
“SEA Games 31 is expected to attract nearly 10,000 athletes, coaches, officials from ASEAN countries, and tens of thousands of fans and tourists to Hanoi. That’s why the thorough preparation of accommodation for guests will substantially contribute to a professional and attractive image of Vietnam’s tourism, creating momentum to draw international tourists in the post-pandemic period,” she said.
|Hanoi Daewoo Hotel is ready to welcome SEA Games 31’s athletics and Pencak silat delegations. Photo courtesy of the hotel
“In addition, the department will continuously conduct periodic inspection and supervision of accommodation facilities before and during the sports event,” Giang added.
According to the Hotel Manager of Meliá Hanoi, during the 31st SEA Games, the number of their guests has sharply increased, so the hotel is almost filled to capacity on this occasion. After two years in which the hotel industry was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the whole staff of Melia is looking forward to this event.
“Vietnam has effectively controlled the coronavirus outbreak and step by step removed requirements for the international travelers, I believe if this event is a success, it will accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry, especially the inbound market,” he told The Hanoi Times.
General Manager of Dolce by Windham Hanoi Golden Lake Nguyen Anh Tuan also expected that SEA Games 31 would contribute to reviving the tourism and hotel industries with the influx of athletes and tourists coming to Hanoi.
Tourism authorities are planning to organize tours for sports delegations to visit some tourist sites, so this is also an opportunity for localities to promote their scenic spots.
“The event can mark the strong recovery of Vietnam’s tourism. The ‘smokeless’ industry would return to the level prior to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he told The Hanoi Times.
|Hanoi Daewoo Hotel adorns its entrance to welcome SEA Games 31. Photo courtesy of the hotel
Meanwhile, Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said that this May with the celebration of SEA Games 31 is a very good communication opportunity for Vietnam’s tourism, especially to attract visitors from the Southeast Asian market. Tourists arriving during the event will become “tourism ambassadors”, an effective communication channel if the host country welcomes them well enough.
In addition to arranging a system of high-quality accommodation facilities for international delegations, athletes and reporters, in order to contribute to the overall success of the 31st SEA Games, Giang said her department has actively directed the development of new tourism products, exploiting inner-city cultural tourism and building typical tours to famous scenic spots, in combination with enjoying Hanoi’s unique food.