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“Nice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Grand Ho Tram Strip

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The Grand Ho Tram Strip
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Phuoc Thuan, Xuyen Moc | Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Ho Tram, Vietnam (Formerly MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach Resort)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Ho Tram
Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Stayed here a month ago for 1 night only. Had a nice and spacious room with nice sea view. Nice pool area, unfortunately the pool restaurant was not open yet. So the food arrived lukewarm. Taste was good though. Breakfast buffet had lots of choices and if you can grab a corner table it is not as noisy and busy. Restaurants have potential and if the music can be changed (Pitbull in the background music in the French Bistro) the atmosphere will be much better. The food is exceptional already.
Overall it is a neat resort for a short stay also for someone who does not plan a casino visit. Spa is of good quality as well.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, Manager at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear SeenIt2000,
Thank you for your review and recommendation. We will pass your compliment to the F&B team for their motivation and we all are looking forward to welcoming you again soon.
The Grand Ho Tram Strip team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

I had reservation five rooms for my groups. The Grand Ho Tram Strip was amazing. The rooms were spacious and it was lovely having a balcony with golf view or ocean view. Our family enjoyed eating, swimming. There is four pools that we made full use of and the breakfast was the best buffet selection I have ever had. Ginger restaurant is best choose if you want eat sea-foods. The staff were so friendly and full of information and you have your own private beach to enjoy.

Will definitely return in future !

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, Manager at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Tran M, we are delighted to hear you and your family enjoyed your stay with us. We will be sure to pass along your compliments to the hotel team, and very much look forward to welcoming you and your family back soon. All the best!
The Grand Ho Tram Strip team.
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

Had to attend a conference in Ba Ria City recently and decided to stay here and make a weekend of it. Was looking forward to staying at a 5-star beach resort close to HCMC that did not require a flight.

There is definitely potential here, recognizing that only the first phase of the resort is finished. At this time, the resort only partially lives up to its 5-star rating, and does not get full marks for service or for F&B. Note that the resort is already a massive complex which will become even bigger as new phases of the Ho Tram Strip are undertaken.

The hotel is impressive in its design and features. There is truly a Las Vegas feel and grandeure to its design and execution. If you are looking for a personal and intimate experience, this may not be the best choice for you.

The check-in:

When making our reservation, we advised that we would be arriving via the hotel's main entrance. Unfortunately, this message didn't get to the hotel's crew and the VIP reception was expecting us to arrive there (note that the VIP and main receptions are at opposite ends of the hotel, and there is no signag outside near the courtessy shuttle, that indicates the way to the VIP reception.) This all meant that the main reception was not ready for our arrival and there was some confusion by the check-in staff. It was also odd that the front desk insisted on charging my credit card in advance for the cost of the room + anticipated incidentals. Now I know that it is normal for hotels to put a hold against a credit card, but I don't understand their need to actually charge my card at check-in. I have been to other 5-star hotels in Vietnam and have never been asked to pre-pay (this is how they treat a VIP guest? Seems a bit odd.) After receiving our keys, were had to ask directions to the elevators and were given no instructions on breakfast service, which was included in our room price. We had to ask, and its a good thing we did since the elevators to the rooms are not clearly marked and are quite a distance form the front desk. We carried our own bags to our room and were not offered bag service. Check-in experice was 3 star at best.

The room:

Here, the resort gets my highest rating. The rooms are extremely comfortable, well appointed, large and clean. We were offered an upgrade to a suite, which was very much appreciated, but I am certain a regular king-bedded room would have been more than adequate. The suites are more like mini apartments, with a guest bathroom, abundant closet space, a palacial bathroom and beautiful views from floor-to-ceiling windows in the living and bed rooms. The king-size bed is very comfortable with a firm pillow-top mattress, great king-sized pillows and comfortable quality bedding. The bathroom amenities were of high quality, as were the towels, bathrobes, room slippers, pool slippers, and coffee/tea selections. Everything in the room is controled electronically, including the sheer and black-out drapes. The two misses are the aircon controls and lack of hotel info. We tried on multiple occasions to adjust the aircon, only to have it reset to what seems to be a default of 22C, which we find a bit cool. Even when we turned the aricon off for the evening, it automatically restarted in the morning, making for a very cool wake-up. The room also has little to no information on the hotel and its services. One small book on basic hotel services, promotional information on hotel restaurants, and room-service menu was all that was available. No information was available on breakfast service, security, spa services (a spa menu would be nice), etc. The room was also devoid of any reading material (magazines, etc). Housekeeping was excellent and cannot be faulted. Overall, the room is 5 star, even with the small service discrepencies.

The pool and beach:

The pool is massive and beautiful. There are plenty of pool chairs, though one wonders if it will all be large enough once the second hotel tower is built, as the pool chairs are almost all taken even when the first tower is at 60% capacity (which is was during our stay). There is water sports area, but it didn't seem to be manned, and there were no guests using the water sports equipment that were on offer. The beach is beautiful and goes on for kilometeres in both directions. the sand is lovely and the water is clean (some of the cleanest beaches/water I have seen in Vietnam. Here, mother nature gets 5 stars.

The casino:

The entrance to the casino closest to the lobby was closed off and all guests were redirected to the entrance nearer the VIP lounge and guests rooms. Mind you, signage for the casino entrance is all but non-existant if you do not read Chinese characters, as the only sign above the casino extranace was in Chinese script. I guesss this tells a lot about their target clientele. The casino was bright, certainly the brightest I have ever seen, and was half empty. Note that the casino, and particularly the slots, only accepts US$ so if you want to play, you'll have to exchange some local currency for US$ at inflated hotel exchange rates. There was no mention of this in any hotel literature or in the rooms. The casino is large, but not busy. more than half the gaming tables were empty, and a more than a few had dealers with no players. With only a handful of players at the slots, these were a losing proposition. Typical casino. Nothing to write home about. Annoying that local currency was not accepted.

Food and Beverages:

This was probably my biggest dissapointment at the Grand Ho Tram Strip. The hotel's guests are a captive audience so one expects inflated F&B prices; however, one also expects 5 star food and service. We were let down at every meal.

Firstly breakfast: the buffet breakfast, served in the Ginger Restaurant (take note as no one will tell you this when you check in ... we had to ask) was fine, but not up to par with buffets at 5-star hotels in HCMC, or other 5-star beach resorts in Vietnam (Intercontinental and Sheraton in HCMC, Melia in Hanoi, Ana Mandara and Six Senses in Nha Trang all have better buffer breakfast). Some of the warm offerings at breakfast were bland and tasteless. The bacon is of high quality but the sausages are bland and tasteless. The cooks at the egg station were clearly still learning how to prepare eggs/omelettes. The breads were, however, excellent, as was the selection of fruit, sushi and charcutterie. Table service at breakfast was adequate, but we were never asked for a coffee refil. We always had to ask (on our second morning, we were not even asked if we wanted coffee when we first arrived.)

For lunch, we opted for Dunes, the pool-side open-air restaurant. The food was mostly ok, but missed the mark on some dishes. The soft-shell crab was probably the worst I have had at any restaurant. It was bland and tasteless, and so thickly covered with batter that one could baretly taste the crab inside. Garlic fried rice and steamed rice were good. Chicken Pho was ok, but soup had a very meaty flavour, not quite the exotic balance you normally expect from Pho. The young papaya salad were good, as was the gripped young octopus. Portions are small. The highlight was the drinks. The lemongrass soda and the ginger soda were top notch. Kudos to the beverage team. Service was unattentive. Some of the staff were in illfitting uniforms (hostess for example wore an Ao Dai that had oversized pants that dragged on the floor, leaving them uterly filthy. When signing for lunch, we were required to sign two copies of the bill (no other restaurants asked for this and no explanation was given as to why this was required). Luckilly, we were not charged twice.

For dinner, we chose two different options.Our first evening, we opted for JÙ BĂO XUĀN, the cantonese inspired restaurant. We had not made reservations, but Cecelia from the hotel's PR team greated us on arrival at the restaurant and made arrangements for a good window-side table. Many thanks to her for this. The food was good (we opted for a baked sea bass with ginger, garlic fried rice, as well as tofu and mushrooms in oyster sauce. The food was served warm, but not hot, and got cold quite quicly after service. Had the food been placed on warm plates, it may have stayed warm longer. Cold/luke-warm food is not very apetizing. Everything tasted fine, especially the garlic fried rice. The service, however, was lackluster. Throughout the evening, an empty can of beer was on the window sill near our table, and an empty glass was also on the window sill nearby. These were never removed. Also, buring our meal, the staff kept moving chairs away from the windows tables to accomdate a large group inside one of the private glass-enclosed rooms. Having staff remove chairs from adjoining tables, often dragging them along the carpet, was annoying at best. At one point, it felt like we were in the way as they had removed all chairs from either side of our table. Children were also allowed to roam around freely in the restaurant like it was their playroom. All of this was not condusive to a relaxing meal. For our second dinner, we opted for Bistro La Mer. Earlier in the day, we had contacted guest services to make a reservation, as this had been recommended. Guests services took the information and advised that they would contact the restaurant and that the restaurant would contact us to confirm details. This never happened. We nevertheless made our way to the Bistro at the appointed time. It would seem that no reservation was made, but happily the restaurant was so empty, they were able to accommodate us with a nice window-side table. There was certainly an attempt to make the space bistro-like, with typical bistro chairs, but the space is so large, and the tables so far apart, it felt very impersonal and was definitely not an intimate dining experience. We felt like we were on display. We were initially offered a few small "amuse bouches", which were so covered in tomato sauce, we could not tell what we were eating, and could only taste the sauce. We started our meal with the clam and corn soup, which was warm (not hot) but very tasty. As a main course, we had grossly over-priced lobster (almost US$100, over if you add tax and service). the lobster was good, but didn't compare to that served at other 5-star beach restaurants in Vietnam and was far more expensive. Also had the rack of lamb, which was well cooked and tasty, but certainly not the best I've had. Dessert was coffee ice cream and the double vanila brulé. They were fine, but nothing special by any definition. Service staff at the Bistro were aprehensive and often uncertain of what they were doing and on more than one occasions we noticed staff looking to their supervisors to see if they were doing things well. They were obviously still being trained, and we were the lab rats. Once our main course was cleared, we had to ask for dessert menus as no one on the staff took to lead to see if we wanted anything else. A lots of training remains to be done with the staff in this restaurant. They are young and seem to be eager, but they lack the fine training required for what whould be white-glove service.

The check-out:

Unlike the check-in, our check-out was very efficient. A guest services manager get us at the check-out, ensured that everything was ok, and escorted us to the hotel's free shuttle bus back to HCMC. The one annoyance at check-out was linked to our check-in. Because the hotel had already charged my credit card, they had to cancel the original charge and re-charge for the appropriate amount. This was totally unnecessary.

Overall Impression:

Needless to say, I would not return to this hotel unless I knew that the food and service had improved dramatically. When you're away for a relaxing weekend, you look forward to high quality food and service. The resort did not meet our expectations in this regard. The location of the resort is beautiful, but a bit isolated. The courtessy shuttle from HCMC is, however, convenient.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, February 13, 2014
Dear LaneOne,

Our entire operations team cannot thank you enough for the time you have spent on providing us with such detailed and constructive feedback regarding all areas of our resort. Your critique of The Grand has led to immediate steps to correct lapses in our service delivery. You mentioned that your biggest disappointment was Food and Beverage. We have recently on-boarded a Chinese Executive Chef and we are confident that food quality will improve in the short term. Since your comment has been posted, our Director of F&B has begun implementing refresher courses and training programs focused on improving service sequence fine tuning what should have been a 5-star experience.

Again, we are deeply sorry that your stay did not meet your expectations but we are incredibly appreciative of your extensive analysis on where we need to make immediate improvements. If you would be so kind as to provide your contact information via info@thegrandhotramstrip.com, we will reach out to you to discuss further and hopefully allay your concerns.

We will improve over time and I sincerely hope that we have the pleasure to welcome you back to The Grand.

The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

In contrast to the other casinos, It has everything here, nice beach, new and clean room, good food and adequate service. Unfortunaetely,customer service is not great. Staying for a couple of occasions, I do not often see the managemnt here, slow and inaccurate response! However it is still new and I am sure the Vietnamese will learn very fast, no doubt it will be different. We will return

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, February 13, 2014
Dear RichardY,

Thank you for your feedback regarding the need to improve on our customer service. We are currently rolling out internal training programs which will improve the level of service that we strive to offer to valuable guests like yourself. I am happy to hear that you will return for another visit and we hope your next stay will be better than your last.

The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management.
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We recently stayed at The Grand in December and had a great time there, it was definitely more than we expected and there’s something for everyone. Large rooms with great views... the ocean view rooms are worth paying the little bit extra for. Usually we head up to other beach resorts like Mui Ne which is 6 hours by road but takes up half the weekend. Not sure how the new road to Ho Tram that’s been talked about compares? No doubt we’ll try it out sometime soon...

Room Tip: Go for the ocean view rooms, amazing views as you're right on the beach
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, Manager at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Dear Duncan R,

Thank you for your kind words regarding our lovely casino resort. We are all very happy to hear how much you enjoyed your stay with us and your delightful ocean view room. The new expressway has actually cut the travel time by nearly half! Our shuttle buses are able to drive from Ho Chi Minh City to The Grand in less than 2.5 hours. It is absolutely an easier commute than travelling to Mui Ne. We hope you give the expressway a try and visit us again soon.

The Grand Management Team
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

The hotel is well design and definitely the service of the staffs are adequate . I love the swiming pool and the foods is great too.. Obviously the hotel establihed for gambling purposes, therefore the main focus still for those opportunities seeker who seeking for winning monies thru luck. I will definitely return to this hotel again even though is quite a distance from Ho Chi Minh City ( Saigon ). Bravo for those staffs who work there..

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheGrandHoTramStrip, The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Leslie C,
Thank you for your compliments about our hotel’s design, facilities and services. We hope you had a good stay with us and are really looking forward to welcoming you back soon.
The Grand Ho Tram Strip Management.
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

The Grand Hotel very beautiful, but near hotel didn't have any place can go, Hotel staff more than customer but service very poor, staff can't speak well english and have smile, five star hotel didn't have any stamp can sent letter, I will don't come anymore

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grand Ho Tram Strip

Address: Phuoc Thuan, Xuyen Moc | Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Ho Tram, Vietnam (Formerly MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province > Ho Tram
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Ho Tram
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Grand Ho Tram Strip 4.5*
Number of rooms: 541
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ho Tram Strip's first luxury integrated resort is drenched in tropical sunshine and bordered by the untouched beach fringing the East Sea. Combining elegant and gracious service with entertainment that pushes the limits, The Grand Ho Tram Strip is the perfect mix of exciting day life and exhilarating nightlife. ... more   less 
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