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“Excellent,'-) very nice hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh

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Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   136 Bui Thi Xuan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #139 of 371 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
“Excellent,'-) very nice hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

I would like to see thank you very much @ Ruby river hotel,i really appreciate all the staff.i really feel the warm enthusiasm welcome,specially the guy who assist me when i arrived his name is [hung]-he is very polite and helpful..the hotel is pretty nice,clean and has a very Good WIFI connection..WONDERFUL.and its really convenient along the city.and no worries about the taxi is always Available.i consider this experience one of my unforgettable Journey!!! thank you for making me feel @home and safe!,'-)

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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170 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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Laurel, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I made my reservation at this hotel online knowing absolutely nothing about the physical layout of the downtown area. Truth be known Ho Chi Minh City has many "downtown" sections, each with its own particular character catering to a particular type of tourist. The hotel is located adjacent to what seems like one of the busiest intersections in the city. Being located on a side street however shields you from much of the noise from the main street. During the day however be prepared to hear the constant drone of traffic and the omnipresent honking of car and scooter horns. If you've travelled anywhere in Asia you'll know that this aspect of city life is inescapable--so you either deal with it or go home. I happen to love travelling in Asian countries so this doesn't bother me.

The hotel lists itself as 4 star, but in my opinion is not up to that standard. The best thing I an say is that it is affordable. The rooms are small and obviously made to Asian standards of space rather than Western notions of space, and has a flatscreen TV, window air conditioner, small built-in closet, and small bathroom with shower. Wi-Fi internet is complimentary and doesn't appear to be censored to any large degree as one might expect in a communist country. I don't mind roughing it a bit when I travel so the hotel suited my needs but may not be to everyone's tastes. I would not recommend it for those travelling with kids or groups unless you split up into separate rooms.

Hotel staff are extremely helpful and courteous, and there is someone at the front desk 24/7. The concierge will take you on a tour of the city on his motorbike (for free), even though I did offer to buy him lunch. I think it was cheaper than a cab. Let me tell you, the experience of whizzing in and out of traffic on a scooter on the busy streets of downtown was most exhilarating. This is a city where there's actually more cars and scooters on the streets than people. It was absolutely surreal and a bit frightening but in a cool sort of way.

The hotel restaurant is not very good.The menu is extremely limited and the kitchen staff seem more like fast food cooks than true chefs. So if you're expecting fine dining--this ain't it. They don't even offer Pho--the national dish of Vietnam (a hearty broth noodle soup usually beef or chicken). But considering you can go out and eat at any myriad of restaurants and experience real fine Vietnamese dining at very affordable prices, why would you want to eat in the hotel restaurant anyway? If you're a Pho lover (like me), there are hundreds of restaurants serving it and in a multitude of varieties. Check out one called Pho 2000. Yes, it's a bit touristy, but they are fast, the food is great, and it's a good place to meet other tourists. It's also located in the prime shopping area of the city.

All in all I'd rate this hotel 2 stars. It's really for the solo traveller who just needs a small but clean and affordable place to stay during their visit to this amazing city. There are certainly 5 star accommodations to be had. It's all about where your priorities are.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary L, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, May 31, 2013
Dear Mr. Paul P,

I found your comment very informative but there are a couple of points I would like clarify. First of all, we never advertize as being a 4 star hotel. Officially, we are a 2 star hotel and we have a plaque at the main entrance indicating as such.

As explained in my previous replies on Tripadvisors, we used to be a 3 star hotel until the government changed the criteria in 2009 that 3 star hotels must have at least 50 rooms, and we only have 40 rooms. That is the reason we are now under renovation to add more rooms and to give the hotel a new look.

Secondly, I don't want to give the wrong information that the hotel provide free tours on motorbike. We never encourage it as the hotel will be held liable in case of accidents. Maybe there was some communication problem but I can assure that It was purely done on a personal basis between guest and staff.

Yours sincerely,

Cary Leung
General Manager
Empress Hotel HCM
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Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We stayed here for five days. Our room was quite charming (we dig the rustic look!) and it was good value for money. There wasn't a lot of extra space but the bed was huge and we got everything we needed. The staff were also helpful and organized a couple of little day-trips for us and we also did some independent exploring to escape the chaos of the city. The breakfast didn't offer much for vegetarians but the waiters were very accommodating and pretty much brought us everything we asked for. There are a few convenience stores, bakeries, restaurants and bars in the neighborhood and there are always taxis driving by. In theory, it's a walking distance from the reunification palace (etc.) but walking can be a nightmare in HCMC because of the scooters & crazy traffic. They were also renovating the hotel when we were there, which was unfortunate, but not enough to make our stay unpleasant. All in all, it was pretty convenient and comfortable.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cary L, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Konchok,

I'm glad to learn you had a nice stay with us and thank you very much for taking time to post your comment on Tripadvisor. A small hotel like us do not have the mega budget to spend on advertising so comments like these are much appreciated although we welcome constructive criticisms as well so we can make improvements.

I do hope you will visit us again in the near future and if you need any assistance whatsoever, please feel free to contact me direct .

Yours sincerely,

Cary Leung
General Manager
Empress Hotel HCM
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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

I have been staying at this hotel regularly for over 6 years it was always an very good hotel, but sadly that seems to have changed. My usual suite was not available due to renovation so the hotel confirmed a corner suite. I book a suite so I can hold business meetings in the room. However the corner suite turned out to be a room with a third unmade bed, I complained on seeing this and was promised it would be rectified - nothing happened. I complained again the next day and the hotel offered to remove the bed but would not furnish the space so I could sit and have a meeting. The breakfast has changed from what used to be a reasonable buffet to a poor menu selection. In addition smoking is now allowed in the resturant which to me is a big no no. On the Monday morning I was woken at 0700 by music and shouting over a public address system from the school next door. Having not being able to order a breakfast I was happy with and the noise and not having the type of room I booked I decided to check out and move to another hotel. On check out I was charged the full price of a suite despite not having a usable suite. I found this very disdainful and as a result will not stay here again. I did notice that most of the staff had changed so maybe there has been a change of ownership or management. The quality of service has definitely changed I am moving to another hotel which I will post a review on shortly.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Cary L, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am very concerned to learn that nothing went right during your recent stay. Some of the problems would probably could have been avoided if your regular suite was available. Regardless, you should not be accommodated in a room with the extra bed still set in the living room. I sincerely apologize for the lapse of service and I assure you that corrective actions will be taken immediately.

On the first day of your stay, a buffet breakfast was served. On subsequent days, buffet was not served due to lower occupancy and to avoid wastage of food, the a la carte menu was offered to our in-house guests. I believe this is the common practice in most hotels.

On check-out, you mentioned that you were "charged the full price of a suite despite not having a usable suite". I am puzzled by your comment as my investigation revealed that you were in a Junior Suite at our special corporate rate which was confirmed to your good self at point of reservation and this was the rate that was charged on your folio. Maybe you would like to clarify by contacting me direct.

Again, please accept my apology for the lapse in our service and I hope this unpleasant isolated experience will not deter you from using The Empress HCM .

Yours sincerely,

Cary Leung
General Manager
Empress Hotel
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Travelers are raving about these Ho Chi Minh City hotels

Hk
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Their cute notice saying minor renovation work from 9-6 should read
Major renovation work including impact drilling and demolition starts at 8am and goes on incessantly til 8 pm.
Staff were helpful and considerate but even the top manager was powerless to stop them at 8am. Having got back from the clubs at 3am I was not amused. It also meant no sleeping in and no afternoon naps.
This was over 3 days

Otherwise nice hotel tho a bit overpriced. I saw similar hotels at 50% of the rate I was paying.

They should not be taking paying guests while this work is going on. So check.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CaryLeung, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, December 19, 2012
Dear Mr. Ferguson,

I'm terribly sorry for the noise that deprived you of rest and sleep during your recent stay with us and I thank you for understanding the difficulties in controlling the construction crew. I would like to point out though that we did inform all our partners in early September that we were under renovation. We shall follow up with the agent concerned.

If you are planning to visit HCM again in the future (hopefully after our renovation), please feel free to contact me direct so I can take care of all arrangements personally.

Yours sincerely,

Cary Leung
General Manager
Empress Hotel
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Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

I have been travelling south through Vietnam with ho chi Minh being the last stop on our road to Cambodia. This hotel got our hopes up when u get to the reception and see the lovely entrance and reception area as well as all the awards it has received from 2007 to 2009. Obviously that was when the hotel had seen better days. Once we got to our room we found it to be nothing special but that is not saying that they were bad then were simply average compared to what we were expecting. They are building extra rooms and there is a gym available as well. But the staff were brilliant and helped us to work the shower (tricky to do) and also booked us on a bus to Cambodia. I highly recommend booking the tour of the cuchi tunnels through them too or go straight to happy tours, they are cheap pick u up at ur hotel and five u a full tour and of the tunnels as well as explaining the ways of the Vietnamese people. Extremely worth while and "jerry" as he called himself was a spectacular tour guide!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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CaryLeung, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

I'm sorry for the late reply but I was away on hoilday (a deserved one may I add). I hope you had a pleasant with us. However, I am sllghtly suprised to learn that you had difficulties with the shower mixer since this is the first comment I received during my eight months here at The Empress Hotel. So for the benefit of other guests, I would like to clarify that we have two type of mixers in our hotel. You had the round TOTO mixer. To operate, pull the lever up towards yourself to get water, turn right for cold water and turn left for hot water. Viola!!! Sorry there is no function for me to attached some photos.

For your information, some of our newly refurbished rooms will be back in operation later this month with an additional floor coming back before Christmas. I hope you like what you see and I look forward to have the opportunity to welcoming you back to our new facilities at The Empress Hotel HCM.

Yours sincerely,
Cary Leung
General Manager
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

I recently went to HCM city on a solo trip and had a 3 day stay at Empress hotel IMS upon check in it was smooth and i had a small request to the reception desk staff to help me call a friend in HCM and talk to her that i have arrive,they did it with a great smile without hesistation. When i was about to go out on the street to walk around the security named" HERO" was so kind to advise me to take good care of my belonging as there are pickpockets around even when i came back to hotel after my short walk he escorted me to my room that's really a good security this hotel have i must say.As for the room, its not really big as i had superior room only but the view i had is opposite a school and i can see a cathedral so not that bad after all for a price of like $40 sing dollar a night. As for breakfast it was alright i had buffet the first day had some meat noodles quite plain taste to my liking second day had bacon and eggs.I gave the restaurant 2 waiters some tips after my meal they serve me well one of the guy name was "David".Overall it was a great stay at a 2 star hotel we can't expect more but good service.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CaryLeung, General Manager at Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Dear Kelvin,

I'm glad to learn that you had a nice stay at Empress HCM and thank you for taking time to commend Hero and David which will be passed on to them. I'm sure this will encourage them and the rest of the team to continuously strive to serve our guests with a smile.

Yours sincerely,
Cary Leung
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh

Address: 136 Bui Thi Xuan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #139 of 371 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Empress Hotel IMS Ho Chi Minh 2.5*
Number of rooms: 44
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Also Known As:
Empress Hotel Ho Chi Minh City

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