Want a quick break from reality?
My husband left for a business trip on Saturday. My daughter and I woke in a spacious bed. "It's a beautiful day", she said wistfully." I wish we are at the beach." Looking through the open window I saw clouds as white as snow glide part. It was a perfect summer’s day. Why not? I though. Just three hours later we were in Halong city.
On a whim I checked into the Halong dream, a new hotel located in the center of Halong city, near the water. I love new hotels. As well as being modern and comfortable, a new hotel can make a town I've visited many times seem new.
The staff met us with warm smiles the lobby, decorated in stone, wood and shades of gold, was luxurious." wait until you see the view," said the receptionist. Even though I expected a nice view I was surprised. All of Halong city was framed within my large window. Staring out at the sea dotted with boats flying brown sails daughter said," Oh mom! It’s a dream room!"
Before setting out to explore the bay we had lunch in the hotel's restaurant. It was spacious, with glass walls overlooking the streets and harbor. After ordering we watched people pass by: tourists out sightseeing, porter’s carrying goods to the port, and fishermen guiding their beats to shore. The restaurant's menu offered European and Asian fare with a special focus on northern Vietnamese specialties. I tried some typical Ha Long dishes like sweet and crispy grilled chopped cuttlefish, small crabs and fish. The restaurant offered many kinds of fish I'd never heard of, including cod and rattan fish.
That evening, pleasantly tired from exploring the bay, we went to the hotel's pool. “Look!" squealed my daughter." It's a beautiful bride and groom." Sure enough, a bridal party was posing for photos beside the pool, which, set beside Ha Long Bay, formed a breathtaking backdrop. The setting was extremely romantic. I thought of my younger sister, soon to be married, and imagined her coming here for her honeymoon.
My daughter soon made friends with another little girl, the two of them going off to play in the pool. I took the chance to try out the hotel's Jacuzzi and spa, where I got a relaxing massage.
Weeks later, my daughter is still talking about our last-minute weekend trip to Ha Long city. Even my husband, who's seen the bay many times, is intrigued. I'm already planning our next weekend escape at the Ha Long Dream.