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“Hidden paradise with lots of potential”

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The Alcove Library Hotel
Ranked #22 of 458 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Alcove became my choice after choosing and contemplating on different types of hotel in HCM. The main reason is because it's far away from the city crowd and we would like somewhere quiet. Despite the fact that many taxi drivers do not know where the hotel is located at. It is much easier to explain the area once you get the library's name card and countlessly trying to converse in vietnamese.

Alcove library is a boutique hotel which is newly opened in the last quarter of 2012. Both the interior lobby and the exterior of the hotel is superbly well decorated. The rooms were super clean and basic, yet the room should be much more decorated. Well, it' was not such a big deal for me even though I would prefer a higher level. My room as per Clarkson from the front desk was a quiet room and it was proven to be true partially because we only had 3 rooms on our floor (2nd floor). The view of our room was blocked by the other buildings but it didn't stop us from having to venture HCM. The library at the lobby was jammed pack with books that I have never seen before!

The roadhouse cafe at the rooftop has limited options for breakfast (3 intercontinental main course + 1 standard vietnamese cuisine) but for 3 days, we tried the breakfast, we weren't disappointed at all! It was very authentic and also, very delicious I must say! There were croissants, toasts, milk, coffee, tea etc. The staff were very proactive and very efficient. Though they do not have that many customers daily, their service and food quality is definitely tiptop. Do try the Brie Burger, Wagyu Beef Burger and of course, the Roadhouse Wings (that comes in mild, hot and crazily hot). It's superb!

Housekeeping were very good though I didn't get to see anyone of them. They even provide a turndown service!

Dani as the bellboy / security was extremely helpful and friendly. He even knows what we're doing and going for the day. Smiles from him everyday and it made the start of our day awesome.

Frontdesk / Reception staffs were helpful and friendly. Michelle (Supervisor) and Vivien knows how to treat their guest well. We were very grateful for them for recommending areas and food areas as we love to go for a food hunt especially when we travel. There were many flaws and those little things that made me upset but they were always there to fix it. The only thing that I felt they could do was to be much more well versed in English. It was slightly difficult to request for things or ask for assistance when we couldn't get someone from the night shift to help us. Also, some of the staffs could be less pretentious and try to listen to their guest's questions or enquiries first before jumping to their conclusion or answers. Other than that, I'll rate 4/5 for their service.

We booked our hotel stay via booking.com and the website has quoted us 20% off for laundry services and 30% off F&B dining throughout our stay. I was surprised that Alcove staff was not aware of this arrangement between them and booking.com and I felt they could have communicate much better. It definitely has caused us a bit of inconvenience but the staffs were able to accommodate and find a solution for us. Oh, there were minimal hot water during our stay of 3 nights though I tried to get them to fix it. That is something they should work on.

I would definitely come back to Alcove when I'm back at HCM. It's the kind of place where you don't get to see, everyday. Keep on the good service and improvement guys!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Hellofee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

Dear Mr Hellofee,

The Alcove Library Hotel team is awaiting you in Saigon!
It's our great pleasure to say best thanks to you for wonderful comments.
We will keep up our good services and will look for more ways to serve our guests better and better. About English skill of staff, we will give them more training and coaching, hope it will not be a matter anymore in the near future
Yes there is some incidents about facilities that can be happended anywhere and anytime without anyone expectation, but we are always on your services to fix it right away, that is our standard. We will continue to enhance this standard and we will pay attention more about maitaining our facilites as well
We are ready for your next arrival!

Best regards,

Moon/Ms

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Reviewed May 26, 2013

I first spied The Alcove Library Hotel on AirAsia's website when I was checking out packages for a long weekend. After looking at the other reviews on TripAdvisor and also taking a look at the hotel's website I was very keen to see for myself!

As it was my first trip to Ho Chi Minh, I called the hotel to arrange an airport transfer which they said on their website they offered. There were two men waiting for me with a sign when I landed and I was quickly ushered to the (very nice) hotel's awaiting van. The staff were lovely, asking where I was from and offering tips to make the most of my first visit to Saigon.

The hotel is less than 10mins from the airport, but about 15mins from the main tourist area (District 1) of Ho Chi Minh - keep this in mind if you're here for leisure as everytime you want to go somewhere you will need to get a taxi. The staff were great at calling one, however due to the location of the hotel which some of the other reviewers have mentioned you will have to wait a while (not like at any of the larger, more central hotels).

As we arrived at the hotel, I was happy to see it looked exactly like the photos - if not, better. In a nutshell, it looks like a very posh French-inspired mansion. So if you're not a fan of big corporate hotels, you'll love this. The French courtyard at the front is great a beautiful waiting spot while you're waiting for taxis. The reception entry is stunning - white walls, chesterfield armchairs and the entire wall covered in books, as the namesake suggests. Check in was prompt and friendly and even though I arrived well before check in, I was shown straight to my room.

My room was on the first floor and at the front of the hotel so directly above reception. I was a bit worried about this at first and contemplated asking them for a different room but decided to see how it went first.

The room was spacious with a king size bed and nicely finished. The floor near the bathroom had looked like it had sustained some water damage at one point, or maybe the flooring is just poor quality. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. The wardrobe was small but just enough for what I needed for the weekend.

The bathroom was simple and all you need for a weekend with lovely body products (though they are in large dispensers so you can't take them home, sadly!). I found the hairdryer stowed in the wardrobe and it was barely enough to blow a leaf over but I made do.

When I returned back to the hotel after a day of exploring I was delighted to find my bed turned down with a chocolate and an adorable bed time story at the foot of my bed. It would have to be one of the sweetest turn-down services I've ever experienced. And so fitting for the name of the hotel.

The reception staff were great in offering suggestions for local places to eat without having to venture into the main tourist areas and they also booked a spa appointment for me at a spa I'd read about in District 3. (If you're in Ho Chi Minh and looking for a spa treatment, head to L'Apothiquaire. The best day spa I've been to in my entire life and much cheaper than what you'd pay in Australia. Divine.)

The bed ended up being one of the best hotel beds I've ever slept in. Cosy and comfortable with big fluffy pillows. I was tempted to ask where I could buy one and have it sent home!

Unfortunately my room was also located across from the maid's storage so I awoke when they started shuffling around in the hallway rather early the next morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I would've been very grateful for a more private room, and the hotel seemed rather empty (I only saw 4 other guests during my stay) so I'm not sure why I was in this room - maybe as I'd booked an AirAsia package at a slightly cheaper rate? Mind you, I was relieved to only have one flight of stairs to walk. There's an elevator but it's very slow!

After a full day wandering in the Saigon sun, I would have been very grateful for a swim however the hotel doesn't have a pool. But the shower and icy airconditioning in my room was a welcome relief!

Breakfast was included in my packaged which was a continental breakfast served in the Roadhouse on the top floor of the hotel. I think I would've preferred to eat in the courtyard, but the food and service was good. You order your preferred hot dish from the menu (I had a delicious mushroom omlette on the first morning and bacon and eggs the second, each coming with perfectly cooked hashbrowns) and there is a table set with a selection of fruits, yogurt, bread and pasteries. Unfortunately you'll have to wait to get into town for a good coffee as the hotel only offers instant and it wasn't particularly hot when I got there. I'm sure I could've asked for a fresh pot, but I was happy to save my coffee hit for one of Vietnam's famous coffees.

In a nutshell: if I had been in a slightly more private room, the hotel was a touch closer to the main tourist areas, they served great coffee and there was a pool, it would easily have been one of the best hotels I'd ever stayed in. It gets huge points for it's stunning style, exceptionally lovely staff and world's best hotel bed. I'll definitely stay again and ask for a higher room - and maybe when the weather isn't so hot when I won't miss having a pool.

Room Tip: If you can, ask for a room on the second or third floor. Not too far to walk as the lift takes a whi...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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2  Thank MissRissMelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2013

Dear Miss Riss Melb,

Thank you very much for choosing The Alcove Library Hotel to accommodate yourself for Saigon trip!
We do appreciate for your comments on Tripadvisor with your highly intention to wrtie a long comment which makes us feel the very warm care of you to us
As you mentioned, we offer free airport pick up to all of our guests and this offer will be applied in next couple of months more. We would like our value customers, such as you, will get a special care from the first steps into Ho Chi Minh city, like what you experienced
Surely we will notice to our room attendants to keep quiet & gently work when they are on duty on corridors, expecially in front of store. We will strictly observe on this not to make inconvenient to guests
Once again, thank you very much for your value share and we are looking forward to welcome you back in a very near future

Sincerely yours,

Moon/ Ms

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Reviewed May 20, 2013

This hotel is a hidden gem in Phu Nhuan district, 5 min drive from the airport. However, like other members mentioned, it was not easy for the cab driver to locate the hotel as it’s located in a small alley way, Nguyen Dinh Chinh. Our taxi almost got into an accident as the alley only allowed one car to enter and there was another oncoming vehicle which jammed up the road. In the end we were stuck on the cab waiting for the vehicles to clear before we could get past, which resulted in our cab fare being twice as much as it would have been.

Anyhow, the hotel itself is charming with the little garden and the library backdrop. The room (alcove queen) was clean and basic, but we felt there was more potential for it in terms of deco and space allocation. The water pressure from the tap was intermittent, at times strong and at times weak, which was a little awkward and uncomfortable when taking a shower. Hardware aside, the hotel is filled with a lot of human touch and service was top notch. The front office staff (Clarkson and Ms Moon) knew us by name and served with a smile all the time. My mum and I went on a rugged motorbike tour after checking out on our last day and upon return to the hotel to pick up our luggage, the staff allowed us to shower in one of the guest rooms before going to the airport. It was a nice finishing touch for our stay there. We wouldn’t be keen for a return visit if not for the awesome service.

Just newly opened in October 2012, we wouldn’t fault the hotel for the lack of character in the guest rooms. However, we were really looking forward to some nice book shelves, or photo frames of HCMC/Vietnam on the walls in the rooms, just like the lobby itself. Maybe this is something the management can look into.

Overall it was a pleasant and worthy stay, comparable to other 4-star boutique hotels in downtown areas.

Room Tip: Rooms in Level 4 was a tad noisy from the restaurant upstairs. Opt for Level 3 rooms for a quieter s...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank rockjunkiez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 25, 2013

Dear Rockjunkiez,

Great thanks from The Alcove Library Hotel Management and team!

You comments and ideas are well received and we are on progress of improving and changing to serve you and our guests better
We are going to keep up the warm, friendly and conscientious service as what you had been experienced. And also we will fix the matter you just shared like water pressure, for example, in a soonest time
Located in a small alley as you mentioned, yes it is a bit inconvenient but we assure that it is very convenient for moving as our hotel is in midle of airport and city central, it is a hideaway place from the noise of the city, and this brings you a peaceful time, isn's it? We do hope so

Once again thank you very much for choosing our hotel and taking time to share your experience about us. We beleive that it would be much better for your next stay in the future

Best regards,

Moon/ Ms

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

The Alcove is a great hotel in a quiet street well situated in a very busy city.We stayed just the one night on a stop over and eat dinner and breakfast in the restaurant we were happy with our meals and the service was great, as others have commented cocktails and spirits are not there strong point but beer and wine no problems this would not stop me coming back..Thanks to all the staff for an enjoyable stay and can i suggest when you stay use the hotels airport transfer service our driver was great..Many thanks.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank renmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Dear Renmark,

Great thanks to your simply but delighful comments. We are ready to serve you for a longer stay soon!


Best regards,

Moon/Ms

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

I stayed in Saigon for 3 days 2 nights. I chose the alcove library hotel because of the library concept and the cozy little garden outside the building. When I reached the hotel, it looks exactly like the picture in the internet. The atmosphere was good. The staff are very polite and friendly. My room is located at level 2, it has a small area that can view the lobby from top. I really love it. The amazing part was the first night i back to hotel, a little note and a small box of chocolate laying on my bed, and I opened the note, it was a short story written on the paper! It was a very touching service. And I received this little note the next day with a different story.... Hotels can be pretty much the same in everywhere, but how their service touch the customer hearts, will make this stay and trip memorable!

Room Tip: 2nd level room
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Thank jschuanyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear Ms Jschuanyx,

Warm greetings and best regards from The Alcove Library Hotel!
Highly appreciate for your nice comments. Your good experience would help many guests to know more about our hotel. We do hope your next stays in Saigon will always be with The Alcove.

Sinserely yours,

Moon/Ms

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Reviewed May 9, 2013

this is the kind of hotel you get engagement photos taken in as its so stylish, cool and well, beautiful. i know this, because a couple were doing just that when we arrived, far to early for check in , but were still swept up to our beautiful junior suite within 15 minutes. we had been staying right in the centre of hcmc for a couple of days, but wanted somewhere quieter and closer to the airport for our last day.
and this just could not have been better. the staff were just lovely, the room was brilliant, it was quiet, and you could even have a drink outside in the small garden without hearing traffic, touts, or having men trying to clean or glue your filthy old 20 year old sandals together for the 100th time. it also has a bar overlooking the city where you can sit outside, but dont bother looking at the cocktail list...when we were there, despite a gllittering array of spirits on show, they didnt do cocktails. perhaps the mixologist was on a week off, who knows. it didnt make any difference to us, but a couple of german business men got a tad annoyed that they couldnt have whisky, and went off sulking. tant pis!
there are bars round about that are basically the family living room, the hotel will get you a taxi if you want to go down town, and the taxi to the airport, which is a mere 2km away cost us $2us.
its a lovely hotel, really nice staff, have to mention jennifer in the roadhouse bar/restaurant who was so sweet i could have adopted her, lovely lovely people. really nice hotel. and there are books galore...what more do you want?

Room Tip: the suite room was only £55...it had a toilet with a rain shower, to die for...and in the unlikely e...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lushchica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Dear Lushchica,

On behalf of The Alcove Library Hotel team, I would like to send a great thanks to you for staying with our hotel and spending time to share your wonderful experience about your stay here.

Yes you are totally right to say our hotel is a place for engagement! We have quite alot of couples coming here for wedding shooting because our hotel has a very special unique design in Saigon, and it is quiete & relax enough to hide away from the noise of the city and enjoy the peaceful time of love
And yes it should be a glass of cocktail or a shot of whiskey for stary night (colorful lights of the city) at our roof top bar would make it be a perfect place. We think it could happen for the next of your arrival with us!

Once again thank you very much for choosing us and highly appreciate for your great share

Best regards,

Moon/Ms

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Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

I booked a superior room. It was spacious, very clean and modern!

Staff is friendly and helpful.

We enjoyed our breakfast with a nice view each morning. Complimentary breakfast buffet is limited so make sure you order some pancakes or scrambled eggs (it's included in the price).

You'll sleep comfortable and don't even think about being disturbed while sleeping. It's a quiet area.

  • Stayed: February 2013
    • Value
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1  Thank mahu13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlcoveHotel, General Manager at The Alcove Library Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Dear Mahu13,

Delightful to receive your good comments here with our best regards!
Yes we dont have a huge buffet breakfast for our actual number of guest rooms at the moment, but we are willing serve more than enough as guest request, and especially care about quantity of foods
We are awaiting to serve you better in your future stay with The Alcove Library Hotel!

Thank you so much for your share

Your sinsere,

Moon/Ms.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Alcove Library Hotel

Address: 133A Nguyen Dinh Chinh Street | Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 458 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range: $60 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Alcove Library Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Alcove Library Hotel, an unrivaled boutique hotel experience in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. We opened our doors in July 2012 and are located just off Nguyen van Troi street, the main avenue connecting the Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the city centre. This prime location offers great convenience to our guests, as the airport and the city are usually only 10 to 15 minutes away by taxi, depending on traffic conditions. Nestled in a charming and quiet neighbourhood street, The Alcove Library Hotel also offers respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, and yet represents a perfect base from which to explore the excitement of Saigon.In keeping with our name, The Alcove Library Hotel offers a sanctuary of deluxe accommodations, architectural elegance and timeless style. Our rooms feature supremely comfortable beds and pillows, over 70 channels on flat screen TVs, and a range of amenities designed to cater to the needs of discerning and savvy travelers.Our hotel is meant to be enjoyed, experienced and rediscovered with each visit. We have an extensive library that offers a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books for guests to borrow during their stay with us. High-speed wireless Internet connectivity is also available free-of-charge in guestrooms and throughout public areas. Our concierge service can also help tailor a personal itinerary, offering recommendations on places to visit. Our restaurant on our fifth floor, the Roadhouse Saigon, aims to offer the best burgers and contemporary fare in town. Guests can eat in air-conditioned comfort or enjoy the outdoor terrace overlooking neighboring rooftops. At The Alcove, a new level of hospitality in Saigon awaits you, where smiles abound, the service is gracious, your needs are anticipated, and your comfort is our top priority. ... more   less 
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