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Park Hyatt Saigon REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Park Hyatt Saigon REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Sep 5, 2005, 11:55 pm
  #16  
 
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Just confirmed my booking online on a hyatt.com rate.
For the HKG Mid-Autumn public holiday weekend of 17-18-19 Sep I managed to get USD 117 and that is a steal IMHO!

I will be staying for 4 nights, so i hope top have plenty to report back on in 10 days!
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Old Sep 6, 2005, 12:24 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Moonlight
When you going in Sept? Perhaps you can give us a report on the other rooms, especially the suite. I am curious, too.
I'm now going in October, but at the moment, only see the park deluxe rooms on the website. Perhaps I should give them a call directly and see if any suites will be available then.

miles4all, please give us a report when you return..
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Old Sep 6, 2005, 1:59 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by tfung
I'm now going in October, but at the moment, only see the park deluxe rooms on the website. Perhaps I should give them a call directly and see if any suites will be available then.

miles4all, please give us a report when you return..
I think you need to contact them directly, or have customer service do that for you. It has taken about a week, but I am now confirmed in a suite for early December. I booked the rack rate of $160 on Hyatt.com and asked to use 6k points to upgrade to a suite.

here is the contact information I received:

Vu Thi Ngoc Hanh (Ms)
Reservations Manager

Park Hyatt Saigon
2 Lam Son Square, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Phone : (84-8) 8241234
Direct : (84-8) 5202324
Fax : (84-8) 8237569
Direct : (84-8) 8225588
Email : [email protected]
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 10:52 pm
  #19  
 
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The New Park Hyatt Saigon, Vietnam report

As requested in a previous thread hereby my findings about the new Park Hyatt in Saigon.

Mrs. Miles and myself arrived quite late at the hotel on Friday because UA had decided to depart HKG more then 1 hour delayed. But arrival was nice and the hotel welcomed us with open doors and took care of our baggage. We walked into the lobby and this is a nice contemporary space.
The lobby is not your typical marble and stainless sprawl, but a very tasteful design with plank wooden floors, which gives the whole area a very nice feel.
Checking in was quite efficient and the only problem that occurred was that the doorman hadnt given us a tag for our luggage and thus we had to check which bags were ours before we could move up to the room. The lobby with 3 lifts is easy to find.

We entered our room and accompanied by the lady who registered us. Consequently she pointed out the floor valet who would take care of our needs during our stay.
The rooms are small, but giving the restrictions Hyatt had to work with, we couldnt blame them. The building is only 9 storeys high. Apart from size the room is good. The bathroom can be entered from 2 sides and a very nice detail is that the cupboard opens to both the room and the bathroom. There is a separate toilet with door in the bathroom and a separate wet room with a small tub, shower and rainshower.
Detailing was nice and there are plenty of amenities, nicely presented, but no famous brands.

The room itself has a high, framed wooden bed and some might find it slightly hard, but it was fine for us. Surprisingly, given the size restrictions Hyatt had to work with, they used conventional televisions and not plasma screens. This does eat a little into the room and plasma would have created some extra space, but they had to stick the minibar somewhere and is is locate under the tv. Channel selection is fine.

The desk is equipped with e very nice swivel chair, much more comfy then what they usually provide. The windows have blind shutters and this adds to the traditional feel of the room. Our view was of the opera house, as requested. The ugly motorbike parking behind the opera house has been turned into an open-air coffee terrace, great job! Apparently plans are advanced to turn the quite ugly car park in front of the hotel into a square and pedestrian zone.

Fruits were provided daily and service to the room was excellent apart from a few slip-ups. The staff is all new to the job and some are still a bit clueless, but as mentioned before; an A+ for effort. Our room valet was quite sure that the last breakfast order was at 9.30, but in arrival in the lobby and consequent check we found out the breakfast was available until 10.30. Breakfast is good with only a limited supply of buffet items, all other items are made fresh for you while you watch, in an open-plan kitchen. This location doubles as an Italian restaurant, which we didnt try. There is also a Vietnamese restaurant on the second floor (can someone please report?)

The pool (3rd floor) is in Roman style and has mosaic tiles. Not too big, but sufficient and still pretty quiet, there are not too many outside buildings looking into the pool area. There is an excellent towel service at the pool and if the hotel gets busier, this guy is going to have a tough job to keep that level of service going.
There is also a bar outside, but it is tucked away in the corned and it took me 2 days to actually notice it. It looks like they want to use the lawn for outdoor dining in future. Maybe BBQ style food?

The spa is also on the third floor, just opened and Mrs. Miles and myself got an excellent treatment there. Go and try!
Likewise the gym is good. All the equipment has this new tv-screen-integrated system and there was enough to keep us occupied, but maybe some of you might expect more.

The lobby lounge area is great with a high ceiling and while I had a meeting there Vietnam television was using the space to tape some tv interview.

I didnt have a chance to check out the suites and the pool rooms are still not ready, but almost. Workers do hang around a lot there, but that is unavoidable I suppose.
I didnt try the business centre, maybe next time.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 12:07 am
  #20  
 
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Thanks a lot for this report which I read with great interest as I'm going there myself in a few months.

Is the Park Hyatt now the best option in Saigon?

Did you take a taxi from the airport or does the hotel provide transportation?
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 8:33 pm
  #21  
 
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If it is your first trip to SGN, maybe take the hotel transport, but otherwise just take a taxi. it is good and costs a fraction.

I would say that I do think that PH is now the best option. Caravelle and Sheraton just dont make the cut and Sofitel is good, but their location is not good.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 4:34 pm
  #22  
 
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What about proximity to safe eating near the hotel? I figure the restaurants will be expensive inside plus we want to eat Vietnamese food - not Italian made by Vietnamese. I was advised to find a better time of year than late Oct. Beastly hot, I am told! Is the hotel entirely new or a remodeled building? The picture of the entrance looks like a historic facade.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 5:08 pm
  #23  
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I'm not sure if the weather in SGN is anything like BKK but if they are - Oct can be rainy - and the hottest month of the year is April - best is probably Dec / Jan.
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Old Oct 4, 2005, 12:25 am
  #24  
 
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I loved the Sheraton, maybe the suite was somewhat small, but the club was fab, and over Xmas, it was the place to be as everyone in town came to see the decorations. (Not good if you don't like crowds, but the same is true for all of HCMC).
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Old Oct 4, 2005, 4:02 am
  #25  
 
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Karen2

HCM city and definately the area around the Hyatt is very safe. You might feel a bit overwhelmed by all the motorscooters, but you get used to it.
Compared to american cities after dark, you will find this a very comfortable environment. The hotel concierge will be able to help you with Vitetnamese restaurant choices. The chefs in the hotel are actually Italian (or at least european, so even that food will be OK).

The pic on the net is actually the entrance of the opera house next to the hotel

Compared to the Sheraton this will be an improvement.

Last edited by miles4all; Oct 4, 2005 at 4:04 am
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Old Oct 4, 2005, 6:10 pm
  #26  
 
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The Hyatt is a nice property. The Italian Restaurant is great ( and not SO expensive). Dong Khoi street is 2 minutes walk with many Vietnamese and 'fusion' restaurants ( I have never had a problem with them in respect of stomach problems..) The Hotel is decorated in old style, old pictures and paintings, window shutters, wooden floors...but vey modern facilities. I couldn't get the aircon to work well and mentioned the problem on departure. A couple of weeks later got an email from the manager saying that they were fixing that issue and also providing instruction cards in the rooms on how to adjust the aircon. October is not a bad time to visit...toward the end of the rains and not too hot.
The staff at the Hyatt were great...very well-trained and enthusiastic. I enjoyed it and I am a bit torn between it and the Sheraton for future visits
cheers




Originally Posted by Karen2
What about proximity to safe eating near the hotel? I figure the restaurants will be expensive inside plus we want to eat Vietnamese food - not Italian made by Vietnamese. I was advised to find a better time of year than late Oct. Beastly hot, I am told! Is the hotel entirely new or a remodeled building? The picture of the entrance looks like a historic facade.
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Old Oct 6, 2005, 9:20 pm
  #27  
 
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Good point about the a/c! I didnt mention that in my report earlier. The missus complained about it to me and during my second stay I finally figured out how it works.
Maybe we all need a little engineering training in this age....
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Old Dec 19, 2005, 4:41 pm
  #28  
 
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Just completed a trip to SE Asia with a stay here. I highly recommend this hotel, while I havent stayed at the competition, the Park Hyatt looks far better than any of the competing properties I walked into in Saigon.

We took the opportunity to try out the hotel's airport transportation, it's worth the meager price. A very nice car, a Mercedes Benz S Class with about 8000 km on it. Now this is the way to travel. I think it cost $35 to be picked up by the hotel, definitely worth it if you stay at this hotel.

And the hotel is a great find too. I had booked it pretty much as soon as it came online over the summer (they told me it opened in July). I didnt have much information on it, but I have so far had pretty nice experiences at the other Park Hyatts Ive stayed at. The hardest part with this place was getting the room I wanted. I had heard they would have several pool suites that opened onto the pool on the 3rd floor, but they were not put into the reservation system until well into November. I finally got an email address for the hotel in September and after a few emails secured one of these. I had initially reserved a basic room at $160 (the prevailing rate) and then tried to use some Hyatt points to do the suite upgrade. I think the hotel gave up on trying to deduct the points and just gave me the suite upgrade for free, because the points have never been deducted from my account. Either way, a suite here is a good deal. If you are a Hyatt Passport member, $160 plus the points is great, if not I think the suite goes for $250 and this is still a great deal.

We were put in one of the corner pool suites, its more or less the last room that faces the pool. It is nice and quiet over in that corner and you have very good privacy. Even though it faces the pool it's not as if the pool area is very busy. The room has two sets of French doors that open onto a small patio that also opens onto the pool. There is also a good sized bedroom, a limestone bathroom with separate walk in shower and bath and then a nice sized living room. The rooms are very nice, clean and modern, but done up in dark SE asian woods. Our room had dark wood floors with very nice silk rugs covering the center of each room. The walls were covered with a nice taupe and white striped wallpaper with gleaming white trim around the doorways and windows.

The pool area is very nice too, with a nice light sandstone around the pool and comfortable teak loungers. The pool area is quite large, especially for the number of guests who were using it, which is nice if you are looking for a sanctuary from the heat and craziness of the outside city. The pool area is on the third floor on the back side of the building, and since the building is an L shape, it does a great job of shielding the noise from outside (and the hotel is on a busy intersection). When you are at the pool you could be anywhere. There is also a nice bar and lounge area near the pool, this only stays open until 8pm, but it has beautiful lighting shortly after sunset. The food is also very good, we had some Vietnamese springrolls, Pho and some beef rolls and they were all as good as what we found outside the hotel, good authentic Vietnamese food with a slight fusion twist. Drinks are pretty reasonable at the pool and service is good, with some twists (more on this later). The Park Lounge on the first floor also had good food and drinks, both some western dishes as well as some good local ones.

The healthclub here is great, with brand new treadmills complete with built in TV monitors. If you use the club you have to ask the attendent to open the shutters so you can look out onto the busy street while you work out. It is fascinating! In fact I would advise doing this your first day, as you will learn a lot about traffic and the lack of any rules on the streets in Vietnam.

The breakfast downstairs is a buffet and we were not charged for this due to my Hyatt Diamond status, it was a great breakfast and a good way to start the day. We didnt try out the Italian restaurant, as we were looking for Vietnamese food.

Servicewise we were very happy with the Park Hyatt. First, the staff spoke english very well. I dont expect 100% fleuncy, in fact I have to say that I think americans/brits expect too much in terms of English fleuncy. Things will improve at this hotel as the staff learn some more common spoken english phrases, but overall I think they do a very good job in this category. The staff to guest ratio is amazing right now, maybe because the occupancy rate is so low. Doors are always held, help given with bags, etc, etc. We had a butler for our suite who would get us whatever we needed. The concierge worked out ticket arrangements with Vietnam airlines and coordinated with the Grand Hyatt concierge in Bangkok to make us dinner reservations for several restaurants in Bangkok. Overall, very nice polished service.

As far as venturing out, the hotel is in a good location. We did a fair amount of shopping, we really like to collect artwork when we travel, so we hit a number of galleries. We found that many had the same artist or at least the same paintings that had been churned out in high numbers. We found a few places here and there that had lower production pieces, some were even good bargains. There were a couple of places that had what I would call US prices for nice work of not yet well known artists, we passed on these. Luxury goods didnt seem to be a good deal here, nor did electronics, we could get these at home for only marginally more money and have an easier time with warranty issues/etc. But there are plenty of luxury goods places right around the Hyatt if that is what you are looking for.

Foodwise we tried several places in Saigon. We tried Pho24 for dinner one night, it was written up in the NY Times a few months ago, its a chain that serves good pho in a nice modern setting. There are a couple of branches near the Hyatt. It was very inexpensive, maybe US$10 for dinner including several beers, and I would venture to say this is a completely safe place even for tender stomachs (my wife was fine here and she tends to have a tough time with stomach issues). We also tried another fusion place near the Pho24 location that is down the street from the Sheraton, with similar results.

Incidentally, we tried the Sheraton for drinks (at the top floor bar) one night and I came away thinking the Park Hyatt is a far nicer property. At the Sheraton, we ordered what was supposed to be a California roll wrapped with shrimp but was instead a California roll with gobs of canned albacore tuna lopped on top of it. It was oily and had permeated the rice, making the roll taste like an old tunafish sandwich. I tried to return it several times, to no avail. What I faced each time was a number of attempts to avoid any discussion of what was wrong, in short, complete conflict avoidance. I would soon learn that some SE Asian service (particularly Vietnamese service) is infused with this conflict avoidance. There is a saying in the US (maybe elsewhere) that the customer is always right. That rule is not employed in Vietnam, later I would learn that this was just an aspect of traveling here that I would have to get used to. In any event, I went back and forth with the waiter, first politely asking and then insisting that he take the silly US$6 roll off the bill because it wasnt what they had on the menu. He went over and discussed it several times with his manager, looking over the menu, his manager shaking his head each time. I finally paid the check (complete with the extra US$6 charge).

But we had a number of things like this happen during our stay in Saigon and I think it is just something you have to get used to. This even happened a few times at the Park Hyatt when things got screwed up because of the language barrier. I thought the staff at the Hyatt spoke very good English, as well as I would hope, but sometimes they didnt quite hear us right. The most common thing is that I would order one drink and they would bring one for me and one for my wife. We also had a problem with our return transport to the airport and I think it was because the concierge didnt understand me. They forgot to book the Mercedes for us for the return and when I went down to talk to them about this, they pulled the conflict avoidance move on me and told me everything would be fine. Well, 30 minutes later they packed us into a basic taxi, without even an apology that they had screwed up the booking for the limo. Not a great note to leave on.

But I wouldnt want to end the review with that note either. This was a real 5 star hotel, maybe a couple of slip ups, but many more positive experiences to make up for these small mistakes.
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 4:20 am
  #29  
 
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Pics of Rooms?

I absolutely loved this hotel when I was there last year. I am having some decorating done at a new residential property and would like to utilize some of the elements I remember from the PH Saigon rooms.

Anyone have any pics they could email to me?

Thanks in advance,

Carberry
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 5:01 pm
  #30  
 
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We just completed our third visit to the hotel this year and while the service continues to be top notch and the food is also great (really enjoyed Square One), we had a few blips in our stay this time.

First, the hotel seems to be showing some wear, especially the wood floors and so there was a fair amount of maintenance of that. I actually noticed some scrapes the very first visit we made in Dec 2005, but thought it was just from moving things into the rooms in the opening process.

Second, without any warning the pool was closed for 2 of the days we were there! We typically alternate between a few hours out shopping and then an hour or so cooling in the pool, so this really annoyed us. It was sooo hot outside and we had nothing to do but go inside and take a shower. What really pissed us off is that we had exchanged several emails with the front desk staff about what room we wanted and I would have expected the pool closure to be disclosed in one of the email exchanges we had. Anyway, I was also not impressed with their response to my complaint about the pool closure, it was not really handled at all. I actually put a request in to Gold Passport for a refund of one night or points equivalent to one night, I'll settle for a suite upgrade the next time we return the SGN.
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