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Caravelle Hotel 4.5

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In District 1, within walking distance of attractions, restaurants, and shops
  • Large rooms with LCD TVs, sitting areas, and floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Three restaurants and three bars, including a historic rooftop one
  • Upscale spa offering body treatments and salon services
  • Spacious, modern fitness center with personal trainers and pool views
  • Large pool with loungers and a bar
  • Casino with slot machines and gaming tables
  • Full business center, and meeting space with catering services
  • Concierges and private transfer services
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Some rooms have somewhat generic decor
  • Breakfast room can feel crowded at times

Bottom Line

The Caravelle is one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic hotels. It is known among locals and tourists for its historic rooftop bar -- featuring expansive city views and live music -- but it offers a wide array of other great perks, including an outdoor pool, three restaurants, a stylish spa, and a well-equipped fitness center. Rooms are large, bright and upscale, with floor-to-ceiling windows, free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, and king beds -- but a few have somewhat bland decor and underwhelming bathrooms for a hotel in this price range. Still, this is a solid option for a luxurious stay in central HCM.

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Scene

A luxurious property with a historic rooftop bar

First opened in 1959 -- barely four years after the beginning of the Vietnam War -- the Caravelle has not only been witness to decades of Vietnamese history but has also been a part of it, having housed news bureaus, embassies, and Air France’s offices for years. Despite the arrival of newer, fancier hotels in Ho Chi Minh, the property continues to be one of the town’s landmarks, with a historic rooftop bar and an Italian marble lobby that made the headlines on opening day. 

The property has undergone several renovations since 1959, keeping it up-to-date and luxurious. Saigon Saigon Bar -- once the highest point in town and meeting point of foreign correspondents during the war -- is still one of the hotel’s main draws among locals and tourists. It has kept its original feel, with wooden shutters, checkered floors, live music, and a popular veranda that stays open until late. The rest of the hotel is somewhat less festive but equally busy. All rooms are large and bright, and most have nice views. Decor, however, varies from renovated to non-renovated units. The latter have the same amenities as the newer ones, but decor is a little bland, with blonde wood furniture and a muted earth tone palette. Renovated units are luxurious and contemporary, with bolder color choices, and more inspired details.

Location

Centrally located in District 1, adjacent to the Opera House

Map of Caravelle Hotel

Caravelle Hotel is located in the heart of District 1, a central neighborhood home to most major attractions. There are several other luxury hotels within a couple of blocks from the property, and Ho Chi Minh’s famous Opera House is directly adjacent to the Caravelle. There are dozens of restaurants, bars and shops in the immediate neighborhood, and most main sights in town can be reached on foot, including Ben Thanh Market, the Fine Arts Museum, Huynh Thuc Khang street market, Notre Dame Basilica, the War Remnants Museum, and the Independence Palace. Xa Loi, the largest pagoda in HCM, is a seven-minute drive away, and the airport can be reached by car in 20 minutes.

Rooms

Large, bright, upscale rooms with solid amenities -- but some are a little bland

Although this is a historic property, the Caravelle has transitioned smoothly into the 21st century, and room amenities are on par with those at other luxury hotels, and include LCD TVs, king beds,electric kettles, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms have undergone several rounds of renovations, but some still feel a little bland and dated, with blonde wood furniture and a muted color palette. Others, however, have stylish, contemporary decor with more inspired details -- such as large padded headboards, dark wood furniture with silver accents, and light grey walls -- and striking marble bathrooms. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, and those in the Opera category have views of the grand Opera House building; most others have either city of river views. Signature Rooms and Suites also feature a number of other perks, including DVD players and access to the Signature Lounge, which offers free breakfast buffet, free snacks throughout the day, and free evening drinks and canapés.

Features

Three restaurants, a historic bar, an upscale spa, a great fitness center, and an outdoor pool

The Caravelle is known for its historic Saigon Saigon Bar, located on the rooftop and offering great city views, live music nightly, and pub fare. The Martini Bar and the Champagne Corner are the other two bars here, and there are three well-known restaurants as well: Reflections, which offers a seasonal menu; Nineteen, serving a renowned breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch; and Café de l’Opéra, which offers afternoon tea service and tapas. The seventh floor of the hotel houses an upscale spa with a solid treatments menu and salon services, a pleasant fitness center with lots of machines, and a large outdoor pool complete with a bar. The hotel also offers an on-site casino with gaming tables and slot machines, extensive meeting space, a business center, and concierge services. Private transfers around town and to the airport can be booked at front desk. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

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Address

19-23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam

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