The Caravelle in Ho Chi Minh City has a long history. A base for many international reporters during the Vietnam War, it has a lot of history within its walls. It’s full of charm and exudes a wonderful, sedate, opulence as soon as you enter the lobby, which itself is beautifully presented in its compact form, as you can see from the image below.
We arrived in the early evening and had checked in and were on our way to our room within a few minutes. The check in was efficient and to the point, but lacked any real personal touch. We had booked interconnecting rooms: one double and one twin. The rooms were quite small and faced out over the pool area, but they were functional and served our purposes. I suppose for the rate of €140 per night per room including breakfast, this was reasonable enough, but we had been staying in some really amazing places before we arrived here, so perhaps my expectations were a little too high.
That said, our overall experience in the hotel was excellent. The staff were in general very helpful with directions and guidance. In particular, the staff at the main restaurant went out of their way to be helpful during breakfast. Nothing was too much trouble and they were very attentive. The breakfast offering itself was outstanding. There was no shortage of anything! There was plenty of sushi and Japanese offerings, some excellent pho, the typical European pastries you might expect, cereals, and a generous selection of American style cooked dishes which changed daily, along with omelettes made to order. All in all, wonderful!
One place that is well worth a visit here is the Saigon Saigon rooftop bar on the tenth floor. We frequented here most evenings during our short stay and were happy to take advantage of the half price cocktail hour! It’s a great location and has a very pleasant, although small, balcony area, with great views around the city. We spent time here rather than in the Executive Lounge when we had drinks in the hotel. The Lounge, even with some free drinks in the evening, was pretty stuffy and lacked atmosphere. It was a world away from the fun in Saigon Saigon.
A friend of mine was staying in an Executive Room here, and although the rooms are a little bigger, I really wouldn’t pay the extra for an executive room. Better views and a bit more space, but the lounge is so lacklustre it’s really not worth it.
I would easily stay in this hotel again. It’s in a central and convenient location with plenty of restaurants close by offering a variety of different eating options. A great choice in Ho Chi Minh City!