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“Five Stars It Ain't”
Review of Caravelle Saigon

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Caravelle Saigon
Ranked #19 of 462 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 29, 2009

There exists no international standard in how hotels are rated in terms of how many stars it deserves. In our trip just ended visiting 8 different cities in Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, China, Cambodia and Vietnam and staying in 11 different hotels (2 of which, including Caravelle, were rated "5 Stars") in the duration, my wife and I were in a position to rate Caravelle vis-a-vis all the others we stayed in on this trip... and we have to say that Caravelle is not 5 Stars. I would say it's closer to 4 Stars and, in fact, was not as good as some of the 4-Star hotels we stayed in on this trip.

So what were the problems? As I said at the beginning, there are no standards to the hotel star classification system but Expedia and Travelocity describes 5 Stars as being luxurious, highest comfort and superlative/flawless guest services. This does not describe our experience at Caravelle.

Firstly, the thermostat in our room was faulty which made the room either too cold (because the A/C was on all the time) or too warm (when we had to turn off the A/C because it got too cold). We complained to the front desk, the staff were courteous and said they would look into it.

Next day, no change and we complained again and they sent a guy to our room to fix it. He pretended to fiddle with the thermostat switch for a few seconds and then said it was fixed! I said you didn't do anything, but he insisted otherwise. Needless to say, he lied and we had another cold night. We complained on checkout and they said they were sorry. I'm sorry, but just simply apologizing doesn't make it better given the 5-Star hotel rate were charged.

The room itself was average size, not big unless you're comparing to a 3-Star Tokyo hotel. The bathroom faucet was leaking on our first night but that was fixed by the next day. The hotel had all the facilities such as a spa, workout room, pool, restaurants, etc. Breakfast was very good. I tried to go to the business center to read a newspaper but the staff there said it was not possible. I think they just had fax/photocopying machines in there and not much else. Sorry, it's not a business centre.

However, at the end of the day, the hotel room was not comfortable due to the A/C problem and, other than saying sorry, Caravelle staff did nothing else to resolve the situation.

Caravelle is a solid 4 Stars in my books. If you're looking for a real 5-Star hotel, nearby Park Hyatt may be a better choice.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank AsiaTrip2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,188 - 2,194 of 2,766 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2009

We traveled with a group of 4 families (17 people) from San Diego. Our second times in Saigon. We stayed at the Renaissance Riverside the last time. We stayed at the Sofitel in Dalat and Metropole in Hanoi. This one is a truly 5 stars experience from the minute we arrived to the day we left. The grand entrance, the superclean room with all the luxury items. The view is awesome (the river and the downtown) from the 19th floor and very quiet at night. The breakfast buffet is a feast with high quality food and service. The staff are very friendly and accomodate every need. The manager Xuan Bao is going extra mile in doing everything to make the trip complete. The hotel is in the middle of all the action and highlights of district 1 and within walking distance to everything. It has a very nice gym, pool and spa. We got very fast in-room internet and flat screen TV/DVD. We love this place and definitely will stay at this place again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank rsfmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2009

Wow! This hotel was beautiful. We stayed in a Premier deluxe room with lovely views over the city. The room was unbelievable with a bed the size of 2 doubles put together! The staff were very helpful and attended to anything that we needed. The location was pretty good, just a 10 minute walk to Ben Tham marked. The only downside to the hotel was the cost of eating / drinking within it. Yes it is an upmarket hotel, however is US$4.50 for a diet coke a realistic charge? i would definately return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Fozzie_81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2009

My family spent 3 nights here mid April. We had just spent 4 days in Hoi An and were uncertain re what Saigon would be like. The Cartavelle is a stylish hotel in District 1 in a beautiful location opposite the Opera House well within range of the shoping areas and the more beautiful buildings of Saigon. Rated 5 star, we were not disappointed. We had booked on line thorough the hotel for their signature lounge package. Whilst it was reasonably expensive it subsequently prooved to be very good value. Our room whilst not to the elegance or style of the Metropole in Hanoi was still good. The 5-7 pm cocktail hour in the executive lounge was amazing value and a great way to unwind after a hot day touring. We made extensive use of the lounge for coffee late at night. The staff were very cahrming and attentitive.
We did one tour with the hotel to the Mekong Delta. It is a long day with 3 hours in a bus and is very comercialised, but reamined interstesting.
The front office statf are very friendly and helpful in particular the bell hops who love a chat and will give up some of the secrets of Saigon.
The hotel has a very large and well equipped gym opposite the pool. Take care with the pool as the tiles are very slippery.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank theshepherds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2009

The Caravelle fits the bill for a run of the mill chain hotel, even if it isn't. The hotel has no character and is streaming with tour groups. We came at time with two large ones, but the check-in, check-out and the luggage delivery was quick. You cannot beat the location, its right at the center, and you can walk all of Saigon in half a day. I took particular joy in strolling to Ben Than Market for cold beers and a bit of shopping...beware of store owners, they like to grab and pull you into their shop to sell their wares...street food is plentiful, and rather interesting....The hotel itself is nothing fantastic, and reminds me of a US chain property. We were travelling with our nephew and had a triple...rooms were clean...one great feature is the Saigon, Saigon Bar which has a great view of the city at night...mind you, you will also have great views of night life at the bar...unsual as the hotel allows unescorted women to hang out -- seemingly a throw back to days of the war I guess...just being catty....the buffets at breakfast were bountiful, and the service at the cafe was good....if you want luxury, you should check in at the Park Hyatt..we went really to check out Saigon for the first time....good value...

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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Thank monchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2009

After spending 2 weeks in Vietnam, it was great to go to a nice luxury hotel with 'western' comforts. Rooms are on the small side, but have amazing beds. they have a nice pool and gym, although at the bottom of the tower which makes it a little bit weird (both caravelle and sheraton guests can see you swimming). The good side of Caravalle is its location, right in the middle of everything, and their food. Breakfast was great, but their "seafood" buffet must be one of the world's best, you have everything, from clams,oysters, sushi, as well as meets, cheeses and great deserts (fondue,crumble...) i would recommend this hotel just for that!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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Thank SamDBxl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2009

Excellent staff, nice rooms. Good pool for a City hotel. Great location within all of the attractions of the City.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled solo
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Thank PUTNEYBIKER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caravelle Saigon

Address: 19-23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam (Formerly Caravelle Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#6 Business Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#9 Romantic Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#12 Family Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#13 Spa Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#15 Luxury Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range: $100 - $270 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Caravelle Saigon 5*
Number of rooms: 335
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Caravelle Saigon is one of Ho Chi Minh City's leading international 5-star hotels - in the centre of the business, shopping and entertainment district, 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The Hotel opened in 1959 with modern design combining French and Vietnamese architecture and to this day the address and service ensures we have kept our iconic landmark status in the Heart of Saigon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caravelle Ho Chi Minh City
Caravelle Hotel Saigon

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