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“Unbeatable City Panorama from Rooftop Pool & Restaurant...Stay Here For this Alone!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Golden Central Hotel

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Golden Central Hotel
Ranked #84 of 426 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Unbeatable City Panorama from Rooftop Pool & Restaurant...Stay Here For this Alone!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Spent a month in Vietnam - my first visit to the country and I had two separate stints in HCMC - about 14 nights in total.

First stint, I stayed at 5-star hotels (The Equatorial & the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers for two nights each...both great for different reasons, so see my separate review on each of these), but on the second stint, I decided to stay in 3 or 4 star properties in and around Ben Thanh Markets (Signature, Blue Diamond & Lan Lan 1 Hotels), in order to be up close and personal.to the sights and the sounds of the Ben Thanh and Saigon Centre, area.

I stayed here, at the Golden Central Hotel, a 4-star property, on my last day & night in HCMC, after having visited it during the week and asking to be shown a deluxe room.

For my last day in HCMC, I wanted to mainly relax by the pool and not many hotels in the immediate Ben Thanh area, great value for money that they are and all, actually have pools. (I think The Grand Silverland Hotel, another 4 star, in among mostly 2 & 3 star properties immediately surrounding Ben Thanh Markets, is the only other one that I found with within a couple of hundreds metres of Ben Thanh with a pool and the pool here, at the Golden Central, is way higher than that one and has a better perspective as you look down on the Grand Silverland pool....though admittedly, i didn't go and check out the Grand Silverland itself, mainly due to price ...it was substantially more expensive than the Golden Central on the booking websites,)

I was blown away by the panorama when they took me to the 16th floor to show me the pool /restaurant area and I knew I would stay here at the Grand Central, for the views/city sky scape perspective alone! I was able to drink it all in and those memories are still with me, even though I've been back home for more than a week now.

The pool area, while quite compact (especially when compared to the magnificent pool at The Equatorial...though that Hotel is in District 5 - a ten minute taxi ride away from the Ben Thanh markets, where there is a lot more space and not the ability to just go out and wander around the local neigbourhood at night), is nicely set out.....the restaurant is adjacent, so you can order food and drinks very readily and I truly enjoyed the time I spent up there, both swimming, sunbathing & soaking in the sights!

When making the booking, after looking at all the booking sites etc, and given that I was already staying just around the corner, I went in to see the front desk staff and they themselves gave me the best deal. It cost $95 (with breakfast) for a deluxe front facing room on the 15th floor.....initially they gave me a room on the 9th floor, but a building next door, obstructed some of the panorama over towards the CBD area and I asked to be changed to the highest floor available, on the basis that I booked the room for the view.. Staff checked room availability and promptly and pleasantly changed my room to the 15th floor at no extra cost.

Granted, as per some of the other comments, their rooms, even their deluxe ones with views, are quite small (even compared to the two three star properties I had stayed in just around the corner), but my room had quality furnishings, the bed and pillows were soft and very comfortable and the magnificent panorama, more than made up for the smaller room size.

My room gave me a 180 degree view over Ben Thanh markets in front and the financial and CBD districts out to the left and another part of the city out to the right. But the pool area on top offered a truly 360 degree panorama. If you can't get a room at the front, the ones on the highest floors on the left side of the building also look out towards the CBD and the Financial District... the ones on the right, while still having good views, look towards another part of the city that I am less familiar with.

Breakfast here was good, but not great if you really want that - try the 5 star hotels mentioned above. The breakfast, was much more geared to Western/Australian/American tastes than the three 3 star properties I stayed at, where Asian style options were in the majority (not that I minded there, as it was all part of the experience). The orange juice in particular stood out as being better than at the 3 star properties where I stayed.

Staff were friendly and obliging - the Concierge staff even offered to post a number of parcels for me to destinations, both in Vietnam and back here in Australia as an item of clothing that was being made up for me, wasn't finished and I left money to cover cost of postage etc and one of the staff was even going to go down the road to the tailors to collect the item for me and then take it and the other items to the Post Office in his own time. Concierge staff even helped me pack and wrap one of my parcels to an address within Vietnam.

Location wise, the hotel really is just a minute's walk from the markets as they say and there are some great inexpensive restaurants in and around the area too, not to mention tailor and dressmaking shops. The foyer area is large and spacious, with plenty of room to spread out, even for me, at this stage a singular traveller.....though even it's important, I think, if you are a group or family travelling together, as it's nice to have an area within the Hotel to congregate as opposed to everyone being in the one room (something you don't necessarily get in the 3 star properties in the area).

As a lone woman, I always felt safe, even when walking around at night as there are plenty of people around as the Night Markets (immediately adjacent to two sides of Ben Thanh Markets) open when Ben Thanh Markets close. Both are just a 50 metre walk to the corner and then turn right for another 100 metres and you are at Ben Thanh!. Go left or right a bot 30 metres and there are the night markets!

Depending on what my top priorities were re accommodation for my next visit to HCMC and who I was travelling with, I would definitely consider staying here again. Location is fantastic, it has a pool and the views are unbeatable! As a total package, the ideal location to Ben Thanh (also a five minute walk from the Reunification Palace), the pool, restaurant and bar, breakfast food variety, fantastic views from selected rooms and pool/restaurant, room furnishings, bed comfort level and overall hotel amenities, make it hard to beat, given it is definitely of a higher standard than the three star properties in the area that I stayed at and I believe, worth the additional cost if this package is your priority.

If you want larger rooms and nothing much else, especially, no pool, then you have a plethora of choice in the immediate vicinity, of mainly 2 & 3 star properties, but also a few other 4 star hotels....though again, to get a larger room, you usually have to pay a higher price to a deluxe or city view room than that of standard advertised rates. If you want a trendier 3 Star plus Hotel with riztier & trendier, decor, then the A & E Prince, just around the corner, offers that, but again the rooms are small - even the deluxe ones and the price is about teh same.....but there is NO pool! I checked that one out too, when on I was on the hunt for my final night - very nice but not having a pool, meant I didn't want to stay there....but the decor ad furnishings are very modern with ok views from their front facing deluxe rooms, but not the true city scape views offered by the Golden Central.

If for whatever reason, you decide not to stay here, at the Golden Central, then at least go for a drink or a meal at their restaurant so as to access the pool area and restaurant for the views alone - both day and night and don't leave the camera behind...you will regret if you do!
The rooftop panorama also helps you get an understanding of the layout of HCMC, which from my perspective, is also useful for this last current trip and any subsequent ones I will make.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank katebuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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663 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Tweed Heads, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

As every reviewer says its in a great location. Our room was very small and the cleaning staff didn't like to replenish bathroom supplies. I had to go to the trolley myself and ask for more soap, toilet paper, bodywash, staff don't seem to understand English. Breakfast was probably the worst we had in all of Vietnam. Not even eggs were cooked to our taste, rest of the food very poor. The best thing we remember about this hotel, was a young security man who stood out the front of the hotel and when he saw us coming up the street, ran out on the road with a stop sign and stopped the traffic and escorted us across the road. How good is that?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fae040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
136 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This hotel was in a great location, near the big Ben Than Market. The rooms were typical for this part of the world and adequate. The staff was good, the meals were ok. We had stayed at the Equatorial Hotel before which was a step up, but not in as convenient location.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank GR8TRAILBLAZERFAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

This hotel was booked for us as part of a private tour by car from HCMC to Hanoi. It was fairly basic and the room was very small and a little tired. It would seem they spent a lot of money on the shower recess - practically needed a license to operate it! The bed was comfortable but I found the pillow was very hard. Breakfast was OK and the pool was adequate for a cooling dip after a hot day. It was situated in a good spot, an easy walk to the main shopping street and the surrounding area. Very close to Ben Thanh Markets. It was an adequate hotel for a short stay in HCMC but would find it very cramped if staying for more than a couple of nights.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KateSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haifa, Israel
Level Contributor
50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

We were disappointed. We have checked hotel reviews before arriving.

Pros: Centrally located. Rooms are big.

Cons:
In room: Not enough electric sockets. We had to ask for an extra toilet paper (they put only the one in use).

Breakfast - Need to get coupons for breakfast. Sometimes too many guests at breakfast, and no room to sit, juice jar empty no refill, scarce amount of vegetables. Service not inefficient.

Bathroom: they supply only soap - no extra items.

Our room was close to elevator - noisy whey people return to hotel at night.

Room Tip: Rooms away from elevator are quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Kukiline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uralla
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Location of this hotel is excellent, within walking distance of the main daily market and many shops. Had a room with 2 single beds so not much space for anything else. One suitcase had to live on the floor for 4 days. Aircon not working when we arrived but was soon fixed by a handyman and his trusty ladder! Shower facility not well engineered, if you have the shower jets on the floor gets soaking wet. There is a full inventory of the room which is supposed to be checked by the guest on arrival (I don't know who would be bothered). Some of the items listed were not in very good order anyway. The room was clean but a bit dated, also rather noisy at times - we were on the 11th floor. Pool area quite small and needed some maintenance (broken slats in tables and umbrellas). We were quite happy with our stay, but I think for $110 you could probably do better,
Staff were friendly and helpful.
Watch out for 'tour guides' who sit down and start chatting to you (bringing out a book of glowing recommendations obviously written by the same person) and telling you about all the scams going on about town. We decided to head off quickly for an 'appointment' and when we went to pay the bill he had put his drinks on it as well. We didn't fall for that one Mr Tang!
Overall a pleasant stay in Saigon and would do it again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hyderabad, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

I was hoping for a comfortable stay at Golden central ...I was disappointed with the size of the room,there wasn't any walking space and it was hard to store our suitcases as well.The breakfast area is also very crowded ,for its size it is bustling with guests.The only prime advantage of the hotel is its location as it very centrally located make sit easy to walk around..On the whole it was a disappointing experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vsanghamitra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Golden Central Hotel

Property: Golden Central Hotel
Address: 140 Ly Tu Trong Street | Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 426 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Golden Central Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 120
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