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“Watch out for smokers ruining the air quality in this hotel”

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Northern Hotel Saigon
Ranked #108 of 461 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The Northern Hotel is lovely - from the street the entrance looks impressive, welcoming and classy, especially as it has a similar looking hotel right next door, both with identical massive potted trees and stairway - with doorman at the ready to open the spotless glass door for arriving visitors. Once inside, the Northern hotel reception area is luxuriously decorated, shiny and pristine. The reception was pleasant and efficient and we were shown to our room promptly. It was a very pleasant corner room, filled with light streaming through corner windows, and although not spacious, it was well furnished and comfortable.
The first warning sign that there was trouble ahead was to find the corridor full of cigarette smoke when we came out of our room on our way out. I saw some business men puffing away whilst sitting in their suite with the door wide open. On our way out I spoke to the receptionist and she assured me that the floor was "non smoking" and they would advise the smoking guests of this fact. When we got back to the hotel later there was no cigarette smell.
But that night at 11:04pm precisely, I was woken from my sleep by a strong pungent odour of cigarette smoke pumping into the room via the air-conditioning vent! I called reception and they sent up a fellow in overalls with a bucket and a can of scented "air freshener"! The lack of English language skills caused confusion and there was nothing to be done except wait for morning...
But there's more! Not only was the room filled with malodorous cigarette smoke, causing my sinuses to swell up, the person upstairs decided to start shifting their furniture about! For hours I heard chairs and whatever being scraped across the wooden floor! Then at 2am I could hear a bath upstairs filling up for a long time. At 3am I could hear splashing in the bath; then I heard it being emptied - and yes, I heard the water gushing down the drain.
But that's not all! I was also being disturbed by noise outside in the street! A person was selling hot buns from a bicycle in the middle of the night, advertising her presence with a very loud, very annoying recorded voice screeching out a jingle very time she rode past. I doubt if she sold anything because she rode past every 8 minutes without stopping; plus there was no one visible in our street. It stopped at around 3am.
Needless to say, with the smoke, the scraping furniture, the bath and the hot bun bicycle I got no sleep that night and I was glad when the sun came up at 6am and I could begin the day by asking the hotel manager to move us to a quieter room on a genuinely non-smoking floor.
He was most concerned for our comfort and promptly organised for us to stay in a suite on a higher floor at the back of the hotel. It was a lovely, much bigger room and quiet to begin with - however, next morning at 6am I was awoken by banging and scraping from the room upstairs - people packing and moving out... and smoke was again coming in through the air conditioning vent! We left Ho Chi Min city that day, so thankfully I did not have to endure another night in that hotel.
It's a shame that the Northern is a lovely hotel but seriously marred by the inconsideration of some guests who will smoke and make a racket just because they are up, with no thought of other guests who may be trying to sleep at night. If the Northern adopted a strict no-smoking policy [because the 'non-smoking' floors idea clearly doesn't work with their poor air-conditioning system] then I would certainly stay there again. However, it's up to them to entice a clientele of guests, not just accommodate noisy, smoking inconsiderate ones.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Lee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2013

Dear Lee S,
Xin chao!

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at the Northern Hotel Saigon. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations but please rest assured that your constructive feedback is very important to us.

Regarding to your comment about the smoke in room, I am so sorry for my staff mistake that gave you the smoking room. Hence, after receiving your feedback, we immediately do action by changing and upgrading you to our VIP room. My valued guest, please sympathize us for some case, even we inform guests upon check in that their room are non smoking, nevertheless, they smoke sometime, surely we make up and treating room very carefully after that, however, a sharp person could find out smoke in the air. This is the reason you still smell the smoke in somewhere else.

Regarding to the leg of chair causes noisy in room, our engineering has fixed by changing new rubber button already, so everything has done Mr. Lee S.
I hope that you will give us another chance next time you are visiting Ho Chi Minh City and please do not hesitate to let me know if I can assist in any way.

Yours sincerely,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 24, 2013

Stayed for a few nights in February. Apparently had issues in our booked room the first night so they had us stay down the street the first night. Airport transfer just sent us straight there. Great hotel. We checked in the next day. Staff very friendly, rooms were great. Handy location in District 1. everything we wanted to see was within walking distance.
Breakfast was fantastic with Asian and Western options.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Garry5988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear Garry5988,

Xin Chao!

Warmest greetings from Northern Hotel Saigon!

Thank you very much for your nice comment about our Hotel, extremely the location, staffs and buffet breakfast. We will definitely forward your great feedback to our staff on the next meeting, and I am sure that this will serve as an encouragement to all of us.

If you have any plan to return to Ho Chi Minh City, please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can assist with.

Yours sincerely,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Northern Hotel for two nights having just flown from the UK. We found the hotel to be just what we were hoping for. We had room 705 which is a Northern Suite which was spacious and clean and we found a complementary couple of bottles of water, some bananas and a bottle of wine on our first night. The hotel being on a sort of side road also meant that we had no traffic noise to contend with at night. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. Breakfast was self service buffet with a very good selection of foods from around the world including local choices. The hotel is just a stones throw from the Caravelle and Sheraton so you really are in the middle of it at the Northern without the huge price tag and without the noise. We really enjoyed it for our city visit.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear Richyplops,

Xin chao!

Good morning from sunny Saigon.

Thank you very much for staying with us and your great review you have given in regards to the Hotel spacious & clean room, nice breakfast and great location. We will definitely forward your great comment to our staff.
I am more than happy if the Northern Hotel has one more chance to host you in the nearest future.
Kindly let me know if I would be of your any further assistance.

Best regards

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Stayed here in March for 5 days as part of a golf package. The hotel is in a great location only blocks from from the center of town. Hotel is loated on a small street so no problem with car and truck noise. A number of very nice small restaurants were within a 10 minute walk. An easy walk to things like the night market. Rooms were clean and staff helpful. Will stay there again if I am going to Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Chipperhigh2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Dear George K,

Xin chao!

Good morning from sunny Saigon.

My Team joins me in thanking you for staying the Northern Hotel for your recent holiday in Ho Chi Minh City. I am more than happy to hear that the hotel looked after all your expectation, and your comments in regards to our helpful staffs, good location, quiet room…etc, it is certainly our endeavor to ensure each Guest has a relaxing and memorable stay with us.

We do hope to be able to welcome you back soon and please feel free to email personally and we shall assure your booking is all in good order

Yours sincerely,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

My partner and I stayed in the Northern Suite for six nights. I had pre-arranged to be met at the airport as this was our first time in Ho Chi Minh City.But no pick up. So we waited, with some of our holiday hopes a little quashed. Still no pick up from Northern. Some of the airport staff noticed that we had been there for a while and phoned Northern for us, whereupon we learnt that there had apparently been an "accident" and that is why there was no pick up.

The same airport staff arranged transport for us, and at the appropriate price.

No apologies to us upon check-in for such an inconvenience, as if oblivious to the situation. Maybe a face-saving exercise.

The Northern caters mainly to Korean business men, with a smaller sprinkiling of other typoes of guests. The Northern Suite is pleasant, spacious, functional.Great view of Ho Chi Minh City. However dont have the one one in the corner as above it is the minimal gym, so one late evening was punctuated with someone running heavily on the treadmill.Fortunately it wasnt used very much.

The welcome plate of fruit arrived sometime during the first night when we had already gone to sleep, simply thrust into my hands with some giggling from the room attendants..

So, a very odd and unprofessional arrival.

However, from thereon much improved. Staff were always friendly, especially those at breakfast, and ready to assist with information or small details to do with the room. Room was always clean and beds made when we arrived back after each day.Bathroom was clean. Beds firm but comfortable (although I can sleep deeply anywhere). Fresh plates of fruit left in our rooms throughtout our stay. Breakfast as included in the price was great: extensive choice of eastern and western menus. But not cooked to order (one angry and demanding patron insisted to have his eggs cooked the way he wanted them, staff jandled him very professionally and calmly). The dinner menu isnt that great though, but there are plenty of very fine places to dine nearby.

Gym is minimal.

If not for the intial clumsiness I'd have rated the experience much higher.

Room Tip: Avoid the top floor corner Northern suite as the gym situated directly above it.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mark J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Dear Mark J,

Xin chao!

Warmest greetings from Northern Hotel Saigon!

Thank you very much for your constructive review and so pleased that the Hotel looked after your every need. I am sorry to hear that our airport service did not meet your expectation. After having staff meeting, I would like to clarify this issue as followed:

We – the Northern Hotel co-operates with Online Travel Agents to sell the room only. On the remark of the Hotel facilities, we take note that the Hotel has airport pick up service, of course guests have to book to the Hotel directly if they have any special request, please be aware that we do not co-operate with Online Travel Agent about the transportation. This is the reason why the Hotel did not receive your pick up order, even you have written down when reserve booking via our partners website.

Once again, I am so sorry about this matter might causes you inconvenience, and look forward to have one more chance to welcome you back in the nearest future.

Kindly let me know it I would be of your any further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We spent a night here during a whirlwind visit to HCMC. The location is right in the heart of the city and we could walk across to the Opera House and other sights. The rooms were clean and functional. The breakfast spread was not too bad although it felt strange looking across at another breakfast being served at the next door hotel! I have no idea about the tariff since this was part of an all-country package.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Kollaparambil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Dear Kollaparambil,

Warm greetings from sunny Saigon and thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at the Northern Hotel. I am pleased to hear that your overall stay with us was satisfactory and trust that you have enjoyed the comforts of the property

I also thank you for your comments regarding the quality of service from our great location, breakfast and clean room, I will be sure to share these with all my staffs. Lovely comments like these as a great motivation for us to continue offering the excellent service we are always focusing on.

Again, I appreciate you sharing your concerns and your positive comments on your experience and look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is not a terrible place, but you can do a lot better for the money in Saigon. We stayed in the Northern Suite --- room was nice BUT: 1. Air conditioning automatically goes off in the middle of the night (every, single night) and you wake up in a hot sweat, then realize there is no air conditioning and have to phone the desk or try and re-set it yourself. 2. Couch was filthy and stained. Size of room was good. Breakfast: adequate. Stick with the chicken pho. Spoke with the Manager of the hotel before we checked out re: two issues above and unless it was my imagination, he did not seem too interested in what I had to say. Saigon has a ton of options and you can do a lot better for the money you put here.

Room Tip: Do NOT get a room on the 11th floor near the karaoke.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gary_TO_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tan-Northern, Director of Business Development at Northern Hotel Saigon, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear Gary_TO_12,

Xin chao!

Good afternoon from sunny Saigon!

Thank you very much for choosing the Northern Hotel as a place of resident for your trip to Ho Chi Minh City, it is highly appreciated.

My valued guest, I am glad to see our breakfast, room size and the location looked after you.
Regarding to the air-conditioner and the couch, we are so sorry to hear that it may causes you inconvenience. Please be aware that during your stay, the Hotel has to fix and change the power source, this may cause the air-conditioner system auto reset when the power go up or down (the issue just happen to some room only), even in case you are not happy with assigned room, we can change to another one immediately, as I promise you before check in that you are afraid of the noise from Karaoke room, we can give you a privilege to chose your ideal room until it satisfies you, but in real, you can see upon check in that the Northern Hotel has no Karaoke type in their own Hotel, the noise might come from some neighbor restaurants when they celebrate the year end party, and of course up to now it went away already.

Once again, I thank you for your constructive feedback on Tripadvisor, I am sure that your comment will be presented on the next staff meeting, it is surely a health contribution for us during the process to become a perfect choice of guest to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

We would be more than happy to have one more chance to welcome you back here when visiting to Saigon in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Tan
Tran Duong Tan Mr.
Director of Business Development
dobd@northernhotel.com.vn

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 Northern Hotel Saigon

Address: 11A Thi Sach Street | District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 00848, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #108 of 461 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range: $77 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Northern Hotel Saigon 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
...peaceful in saigon center With 99 rooms fully equipped at 3 star international standard, 100% room with nice view and large window, proposed in Superior, Deluxe and Suite categories, Northern Hotel is designed to provide comfort and style with personalized service and convenient amenities, you can enjoy simple comforts and stellar convenience at the best place in Ho Chi Minh City Located in Saigon’s central business district, we are just a short walk from the major entertainment and shopping districts including Opera House, War Remnants, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office… Take a stroll and explore! ... more   less 
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