Although the Park Hyatt is more our style, we stayed at the Caravelle because we wanted to experience a piece of history. We spent three nights here in a Signature level room and absolutely loved it. We had a very positive experience and didn't have any of the issues mentioned in the other recent reviews.
COMMON AREAS: The hotel is beautiful and much more modern that I expected. The pool area look kind of small, but still nice. There was a pool bar. Everything was very clean and comfortable. The upper floors were only accessible by key card.
ROOMS: Our room was completely smoke-free (we requested this). Furniture and amenities were relatively modern and nice. Bed was super comfy. (Best sleep I had during our 15 nights in Vietnam.) You could hear a murmur of street noise and car horns from downstairs, but it was not overwhelming enough to wake us up. Free wifi worked well and the best part is that it was free! Like every other of our VN hotels, free bottled water was provided in the rooms.. A plate of fresh, uncut fruit was also delivered daily by housekeeping.
SIGNATURE LOUNGE/BREAKFAST: We had no issues with booking our Signature Level Room (went through a travel agent). We checked in at the desk in the Signature Lounge, so there was no wait. Any subsequent issues were also handled through that desk (i.e., money exchange, check out). Loved the Signature Lounge breakfast each morning. A combo of Western and VN food, but more of the former. The lounge was relatively small and not crowded. There are only about 20 tables in the whole place. (We walked past the main breakfast on the first floor and, while both the buffet and seating area looked much larger, it was packed.) And the best part was that there were never any kids there, so you enjoy a nice quiet breakfast while reading the paper and watching CNN on the lounge's TV. Appeared to be a lot of business travelers there, probably because the Signature Rooms also come with free use of conference rooms and a business center. These rooms start at about $100/night more than the regular rooms. Compared to other hotels in Saigon, the Caravelle is on the more expensive end of the range.
OTHER STUFF: The service at the hotel was stellar. We had opportunity to interact not only with the Signature Lounge staff, but also the front desk, bell staff, and concierge, who were all equally friendly and helpful. For example, I asked the front desk for a map and was offered unsolicited but welcomed safety advice. The rooftop bar is great and a must visit, given its history. The view is good. It was packed with people, many dancing to the live Latin band. Beware that the drinks are pricey, not only for Vietnam but by Western standards. I ordered a Coke that was $5 US. Didn't try the hotel's lobby restaurant or bar, but neither looked that exciting when we walked past them them.
Overall, we loved it. When we return to Saigon, we'll definitely be staying here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Caravelle Saigon is one of Ho Chi Minh City's leading international 5-star hotels - in the centre of the business, shopping and entertainment district, 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The Hotel opened in 1959 with modern design combining French and Vietnamese architecture and to this day the address and service ensures we have kept our iconic landmark status in the Heart of Saigon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Caravelle Ho Chi Minh City
- Caravelle Hotel Saigon