Bulletproof glass, state of the art air-conditioning, Italian marble and Berliet generators have given this hotel a very exclusive reputation. This centrally located luxury boutique hotel is the ideal place to begin your Vietnam adventure! Immerse yourself in history by staying at Caravelle Saigon, a nest for reporters, journalists and politicians during the war. The property even housed the Australian and New Zealand embassies at one point as well as various news outlets (NBC and CBS). Heck one of the rooms even had a bomb go off in it, you don’t get much closer to history than that (everyone survived by the way)!
This war era hotel, once among the fanciest in town, has been recently refurbished and feels very classy. And don’t even get us to start talking about the food. We would definitely say it’s one of the best buffet breakfasts we’ve ever had! The hotel’s rooftop bar oozes with history as a regular hangout during the war where much of the day’s debriefings occurred. The bar actually had a prime view of the Saigon River and was an ideal safe vantage point for the front line across the river.
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Caravelle Saigon Hotel
Even though Saigon has been renamed to Ho Chi Minh city, the Caravelle is located in the first district which is officially known as Saigon! This is the heart of the city and the property looks over the famous Opera House and Continental Hotel, famous icons in the history of Vietnam. Shops, cafes and restaurants are easily found as soon as you walk out of the door. We assure you, this is exactly where you want to be staying when you visit Ho Chi Minh city.
Originally built in 1959 the building has undergone significant upgrades in its time and in 1998 a new 24 story tower adjoined the original building making for much more space. A full-scale renovation has just completed in both the ‘tower’ and ‘heritage’ wings and the 303 rooms and suites ooze luxury whilst still holding onto their historic charm.
Inside Our Heritage Suite
We had the absolute pleasure of trialling the newly renovated Opera View Suite at Caravelle and were duly impressed. A true suite in every sense of the word. The second we opened the door and saw the view we knew this was one special place. Divided into two rooms and a bathroom this massive 90sqm suite offered balconies from each room. Looking out we looked immediately down on the Opera house and several french rule era properties, you could even spot the infamous Notre Dame cathedral. The large lounge room was cosy yet oozed luxury. The rich chocolate toned interior made you feel completely at ease. The renovations have clearly been performed with high attention to detail. Retaining the charm whilst having a complete overhaul (they were stripped back to concrete).
We were instantly wowed upon walking into the spacious lounge. A classically designed room where everything appeared smooth and classy. A comfortable sofa and chairs offer up views outside or to the large 55″ flat screen television. A minibar housed a Nespresso machine (an essential in our eyes) and a range of teas. Complimentary glass water bottles are provided (big environmental tick from us) and you can refill them in the corridors or request more.
The bedroom also offers up incredible views outside right down on a park and the opera house. This lavish bedroom has one of the comfiest beds we have slept on, a king-size Sealy Posturepedic bed with a great choice of pillows. The comfortably designed room features hardwood and carpeted floor and is instantly inviting. Electric curtains and room allocated airconditioning controls make this historic building leap into the 21st century.
The ensuite came as a surprise to us. A sparkling white marble room host to a standalone bath and separate shower as well as dual vanities. This indulgent bathroom was as luxurious as it comes and the Apples Black biodegradable range of bathroom amenities just added to its allure. Extra special was the opulent robes provided and the fact that even Ollie got his own kid-sized one as well as slippers!
Check In & Signature Lounge
Upon arrival, we were whisked up to the signature lounge for check-in. An exclusive privilege for those occupying signature rooms and suites. The lounge itself is massive and there is always a spot you can find to yourself. Large panoramic windows offer incredible views whilst you enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and refreshments all day. We sat on a comfy sofa and enjoyed some cappuccinos whilst we were checked-in smoothly by a friendly staff member. Ollie was even given a cute ‘Caravelle’ teddy bear which he instantly fell in love with.
The lounge is one of the best we have been too offering free pre-dinner alcoholic beverages from 17:30-20:00 and exceptional evening canapes from 17:30-19:30. Sparkling wine and non-alcoholic beverages are available all day. Honestly, we shouldn’t say this but the canapes can easily replace dinner and are all exceptionally crafted by the talented chefs. We can definitely recommend ensuring you have access to the Signature Lounge! Ollie was even welcomed up there with open arms and often chased around the floor by an eager staff member.
Outside on the 7th floor, we found the sun-soaked swimming pool. A large deep blue pool surrounded by greenery and a pool bar. This tropical escape has a Mediterranean feel and the blue and white plush pool towels add to this. There are plenty of pool chairs surrounding the pool and we loved splashing around here soaking up the sun.
The Gym at Caravelle is to be commended. It is full of the latest imported machines and has a huge variety of equipment available. Looking out to the pool area it also has a pretty good view. With well-trained fitness attendants and 24-hour access, this is definitely one of the better hotel gyms around.
Dining at Caravelle Saigon Hotel
Breakfast @ Buffet Nineteen
We are calling it now, the buffet at Caravelle is the best we have ever been to. And that is a big call. Caravelles buffet might not be the biggest but it definitely is the best quality. Everything is produced at an exceptional level from the best quality produce sourced from not just Vietnam, but abroad. Usually, places skimp on an ingredient here and there, but everything here was actually exceptional. We especially loved the station where they made up fresh noodles or even miniature Banh Mi, however, they serve a range of cuisines and items. And don’t even get us started on the pastries and desserts. Bonus points for having Vegemite!
Coffees @ Cafe de l’Opera
This civilised lounge area is on the ground floor looking out to the buzzing street outside and the classic Opera House. We indulged in some fabulous renditions of Vietnamese coffees, the egg white coffee and the iced variant. Both were fantastic, and we were very surprised by how good the egg white coffee was!
SaigonSaigon Rooftop Bar
Ok, we didn’t actually partake in any drinks here however we did hang out there for some photos and we loved it. Offering epic views of the surrounding area, all the way to Notre Dame it’s an amazing spot to watch the sun go down over Saigon. Steeped in history as a popular watering hole for politicians, journalists and soldiers you will get a feel for what it was like to be here all those years ago.
How Kid-Friendly Is Caravelle Saigon Hotel?
The Caravelle is well set up for families travelling with kids and all the usual facilities are provided for. Cribs are available as are high chairs at all of the dining establishments. Ollie even got given a cute Caravelle teddy bear. The nicest touch though was the baby-sized robe and slippers that were provided. Ollie being the little king he is always wanted to enjoy robe life when we were back in the room!
The pool is great if you have little ones as there is a circular shallow portion that they can frolic around in. The staff here always wanted to play with Ollie too and he always had the biggest grin on his face.
Book Your Stay at Caravelle Saigon Hotel
Address: 19 – 23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Luxury ocean view rooms start at approximately USD$200, per night. Enquire now!
Have any questions or comments about our stay at Caravelle Saigon Hotel? Let us know in the comments below…
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Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Caravelle Saigon Hotel. As always, all the reviews and opinions expressed are based on our personal view and experience.