This heavily decorated faux Louis 16 style hotel is somewhat too busy for my eyes and does not fit with the rest of the Vung Tau area, which is still poor and underdeveloped. This is what I called the bad taste of the nouvelle bourgeoisie post-war.
Nonetheless, this is the third time that I selected this hotel for a family vacation for the following reasons:
- This is the most comfortable hotel in the Back Beach in Vung Tau and I am happy to offer my family a decent place to relax by the sea, at a very close distance from Saigon
- It has huge swimming pools including a very long lap pool. The cleanliness of the pool and quality of the water are excellent
- The beach club is a plus of this hotel, offering comfortable cabanas around the main pool by the beach, and has a beach restaurant and bar
- If you buy the hotel VIP card (which is about 5 million VND – or 250$), you can get a couple of free nights during week days, a couple of free cabanas (which can save you about 70$/day), a discount of 40% on spa treatment. The free dinner for two offered by this card is cheap and nothing to rave about, the cake is good.
- The spa is luxurious and the treatments given are professional, and affordable. Moreover, the spa and treatments are available until 10:00 PM at night, which is great. I uses it both days prior to going to bed
- The Victorian suite, which is offered at a discount price (I believe about 150$/night) is comfortable and clean, with a decent beach view
The following points need improvement:
- Language barrier: the staff speak poorly English. I managed to get by because I do speak Vietnamese
- Inexperience: despite their extreme kindness and willingness to please clients, the staff at this hotel do not know how to please the guests and to offer good customer services. They seem to be very inflexible, probably because4 they are not empowered to make arrangements to please the clients. I include some examples:
o I booked 6 rooms for my large family including my aunt who is a nun from Australia. Since the room booked included 2 breakfasts for 2 people each day, we had 2 extra breakfasts that we did not use as my aunt stayed in that room by herself. The next day 2 other family members came from HCM and had buffet breakfast with us. The hotel wanted to charge me 15$ times 2 for these 2 breakfasts. I kindly requested them to take the unused portion in my aunts’ room, and this proposal was turned down by the reception staff, who knows very well that we are return clients who booked 6 rooms for the third time already. The reception staff told me to talk to the restaurant staff. I talked to the reception lady at the restaurant, who did not want to take any decision and asked me to talk to her manager who stood right beside her. I talked to the manager who did not want to take responsibility and said that he can't decide. I asked him who can decide. He said he will check with front desk. I kindly told him that we did not want any free stuff from the hotel, we just want to properly use our unused portions of the breakfasts. He then went to talk to the front desk, who sent a lady to tell me that they will do it this time but not next time. I told her that I travel quite a bit, and in other hotels oversea, what I will receive as answer in a five star hotel is: “we are happy to accommodate your request, please come again!”. The lady seems to be stunned (and somewhat unhappy), and unconvinced of what I told her
o One of the 6 rooms never received cookies at the turn down service each day. When I reported that at check out, the front desk decided to check with the housekeeping staff instead of apologizing to the client. And they got back to me and said that the housekeeping staff confirmed having delivered the cookies each night. I told her that at oversea hotels, they would apologize and offer the kids a bag of cookies to compensate. She looked at me with that stunned look again and reluctantly sent someone to get a box of cookies for us. (this incident made me think of another incident we had at the JW Marriott in Orlando a couple years ago: a cockroach had managed to go into my daughter’s shoe – she removed her shoes when sitting down to have breakfast with us. My daughter screamed when she realized that. The manager came, apologized profusely and gave us a 30% discount on our breakfast, a huge box of cookies and that night, we had a giant basket of snacks delivered to our room, with a note of excuse from the manager)
o At check out, one of the rooms was charged with a large bottle of water which we never took. Once again, the hotel staff chose to believe the housekeeping staff and not us. We decided not to fight that battle and paid since the bottle only costs 4$ I believed.
- The service at the beach restaurant Hai Vuong is extremely slow and the food is expensive. I took them 1.5 hour at lunch time to deliver 6 chicken wings to my kids by the pool, who gobbled them in 2 minutes out of hunger. It took the kitchen another 45 min to come up with a second serving.
Last but not least, the beach has a lot of jelly fish so be careful especially after the rain. I got stung at about a hundred places all over the body and it was quite itchy for a week.
I would think that a hotel of that caliber should send their staff to other 4, 5 star hotels elsewhere in the world to learn better hotel management and improve their services if they are serious about being considered a “Five-star” hotel.
All in all, I would say it was a good quality-cost stay at 600$/night for 15 people (6 rooms) and I would go back again, however the staff needs to be more professional and open to clients suggestions.
All Victorian rooms have a beach view
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking your time to write a note sharing your experience at The IMPERIAL Hotel during the last visit to Vung Tau. Your comment and feedback at our services and facilities has been investigated and taken necessary actions for immediate improvement especially to the entire management team.
Regarding breakfast service, kindly be reconfirmed that breakfast is complimentary for only registered guests; unregistered guests will be entertained at a minimum charge, which helps to maintain safety and security in the hotel during busy breakfast time at the highest level. At The IMPERIAL Hotel, we do highly recommend our guests to reserve a table in advance if they wish to entertain their visitors for breakfast. However, your situation has been shared to our Food and Beverage team for the possible flexibility in service delivery.
Dear michikoQC, I truly regret that the team did not manage to handle professionally , which made you quite disappointed at our service, which I would like to apologise for. I really hope that we will have another chance to welcome you and your family back to stay with us to experience the better service quality.
I look forward to welcoming you back soon.
With my best regards,
Lan Nguyen (Ms.)
Director of Operations
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.