I admin did not want to stay here; I wanted to do the "local" hotel option instead of some generic American prototype hotel. My opinion of the place changed about 30 seconds after arrival: it is fantastic. There is nothing generic about this place.
Our flight in and out of Vietnam was via Saigon, so we planned to arrive here and stay the night here, go elsewhere, then the last two nights relax and chill and wind down the end of our trip here.
Everything about this place exudes elegance.
Our Hyatt Passport status got us an automatic upgrade to the pool-side view, but I think the rooms were probably the same. But the pool view is quite great. The rooms are very well appointed. Large flat panel tv, all the accessories/amenities you could ever need (power converters, anything you'd need in the line of bathroom supplies, robes, slippers, free wifi, complimentary coffee/tea/water/fruit, mini bar, Ipod dock hooked up to the TV, etc), amazing bathrooms. Many subtle details that make a lot of difference in the comfort of the room (reading lights that beam from the ceiling, bathroom doors are pocket doors, etc). The bathroom is coated in marble; the Toto toilet is set away in its own nook with its own pocket door for extra privacy. The bathroom and shower are all behind the same glass, it's kind of interesting. The shower itself includes both a rain shower as well as traditional shower, all usable at once. The bathtub definitely seems sized for a Vietnamese person though. The tea set is adorable, and with that they also had a traditional Vietnamese coffee service. There was a price list of just about everything you could possibly want to take from the hotel room, and much of it was reasonable. Their Vietnamese coffee dripper is made out of ceramic, not stainless steel, so this seemed like a slightly nicer gift. We asked them to deliver two of them to our room and add it to the bill--the cost was only about $3/each. A nice parting gift.
The location is awesome. You're within walking distance to all the greatest shopping you could ever dream of--many small street shops as well as several mall-like buildings of endless shopping. It's directly across from the famous Caravelle (which is famous, but not as nice). The Rex Hotel (again, famous but not as nice, but as of recently boasts a casino) is a two block walk. Many great restaurants. Ben Thanh market is maybe a 15 minute walk. It's in the more upscale area of Saigon. Mai Linh Group and Limo taxis are available on site at all times, they have a dispatch set up in their parking lot. Their meter rates are "normal" (you can go just about anywhere you want in district 1 and the meter rate would be $1-2, even on the limo taxis) and it's one of the most reputable taxi companies in Saigon. The meter rate to the airport was somewhere around $4 USD with no traffic (a few bucks more with traffic).
Without a doubt the best feature for us was their pool. Their pool setting was amazing. There's a giant "boutique" hotel being constructed a block away, and noise coming from there at all hours of the day (including nighttime, when things really get busy after things cool down). But somehow it wasn't noticeable. Oddly, there were never very many people at the pool--2-3 people at most at any one time. The pool itself is not Olympic sized, but you could swim laps in it. There were very attentive, attractive, and friendly pool boys there to get you whatever you needed, including having a full menu of drinks and food items. The drinks and food come at a steep price for VN--roughly the American equivalent price in fact (I think I paid about $8 or $10 for a "Saigon" cocktail, which was freshly squeezed passion fruit juice and vodka--it was good and seemed worth it). You can order tea service, but it's $8 or $9/person (whereas pretty much everywhere else in VN, it's just free).
The hotel has a full service spa, with full service luxury locker room. Guests of the hotel can use the locker room, which has a steam room, whirlpool, showers, etc. This was nice to relax in after the pool. The spa itself looked nice, but spa prices were also American prices and we had massages elsewhere so we skipped.
Our only real "problem" came on the last day of our trip. The day prior, they posted a sign saying the pool would be closed our last day at 4pm for a private function. Apparently someone rented out the entire back plaza, pool included. This was not a happy site, given that we specifically chose our last nights here to relax. We possibly would have stayed elsewhere had they told us this when we were checking in. We literally had to rearrange and take our sites to see in order to accommodate this last minute hotel-induced change. When we showed up our last day at the pool, the staff was inattentive to us but rather was instead occupied replacing all of the umbrellas with shiny new ones (they must think Americans are so crazy...the old ones were perfect already). We called up the desk to see if there were any other options, but there were no other options. It seems that money talks, and even hotel guests aren't important if others are spending more money. The staff could have offered us guest passes to some other nearby pool (these do exist...) or made a deal with another hotel w/ a pool, or appeased us with a spa or dining credit, but instead offered no solution. After we left management e-mailed and apologized. I think we may have a points credit of some sort after.
Also, when we were showering one day we got a call saying the manager and janitor were at our door because the fire alarm sensor was going off for our room. Apparently their steamy shower is enough to set off the nearby fire alarm.
The on site concierge was the second most important amenity. She was great both visits here. She was well prepared to offer ideas that included the standard tourist track as well for the more adventurous. We asked for a non-touristy Pho shop and she recommended where she would go in another district (Pho Hoa). And it was great. She was also a great resource to just go up to and ask "what would you expect to pay for xyz? how much should we pay for a moto to xyz?" On our last night we came back late after realizing the restaurant we planned to go to was no longer at its old location, she quickly came up with a suggestion and made us a reservation at Xu (fantastic super upscale Vietnamese fusion, btw).
We encountered more Americans here than anywhere else on our trip. This wasn't necessarily good or bad, luckily the type that shows up here isn't your of the mill annoying tourist for the most part.
We did not try one of the hotel restaurants, however we did order food from the pool boy while at the pool once. We had a papaya salad w/ dried beef, as well as a variety of spring rolls. We had similar things elsewhere in VN, but this food was top notch prep and tasted great--amazing even. They also do traditional afternoon tea in the lobby.
Outside of our one little flap, the service here is second to none. We were frequently greeted by name by desk staff, doormen were always there, the staff was always busy doing something helpful. I would put it at or above the level of Ritz Carlton, for comparisons sake.
If you're wanting the nicest hotel in Saigon, look no further.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Park Hyatt Saigon occupies a prime location overlooking Opera House and within reach of international airport. 244 French colonial designed rooms and suites provide a cozy residential ambience. Xuan Spa offers seven private rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness studio. Two innovative restaurants: Square One, Vietnamese seafood and Western steak; Opera, all-day Italian dining venue. Ballroom and meeting facilities are elegant in design with capacity of up to 450 persons. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel Ho Chi Minh City
- Hyatt Ho Chi Minh City
- Ho Chi Minh City Hyatt