Historic hotel housed in a gorgeous 19th-century colonial building
Centrally located in District 1, across the street from the Opera House
Huge rooms with Old-World decor and modern amenities
Two solid restaurants and three cafés, some with lovely outdoor seating
Excellent breakfast served in the serene courtyard
Small fitness center with natural light
Free Wi-Fi throughout, and free bottled water
A conference room, a boardroom, and a business center
Superior Rooms are plain and underwhelming
Bathrooms could use an update
Some room decor can feel stodgy or dated
Tiny, plain spa (but good treatments)
Housed in a gorgeous colonial building, the Continental oozes history and Old-World charm. Its serene courtyard is shaded by frangipani over a century old. Arched windows and high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and intricate ceiling moldings give the impression guests have stepped back in time. Most of the 83 guest rooms are huge, flooded in natural light and decorated in carved-wooden furniture. But bathrooms are in need of an update, and underwhelming Superior Rooms lack the elegance of other spaces. Notably missing in the hotel: a pool and a first-class spa. (The on-site spa is small and plain.) But guests appreciate the breakfast spread, the rates (lower than one might expect compared to other upscale hotels), and the central location.
A regal hotel steeped in history -- but showing some age
First open in 1880, the Continental claims to be the first hotel in Vietnam, and it certainly retains its Old-World charm and elegance. One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, the building is similar in architectural style to the Opera House, located across the street. A beautiful white colonial facade set with arched windows corrals a central courtyard decorated with wrought-iron lamps, fountains, and frangipani that has been growing since hotel's first days. The lobby is regal and bright; crystal chandeliers illuminate the intricate ceiling medallions. Polished hardwood floors, red-carpeted stairs, and a grand piano add to the majesty. Given its opulent style, this hotel has the potential of being one of the top historic properties of Ho Chi Minh City -- but the spa, the gym, and most bathrooms need to be refreshed. The Caravelle, located across the street, offers better amenities, but at higher prices.
Centrally located in District 1, adjacent to the Opera House
Located in the heart of District 1, Hotel Continental is central to most major attractions in town. There are several other luxury hotels within a couple of blocks from the property, and Ho Chi Minh’s famous Opera House is directly across the street. Dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops are in the immediate neighborhood, and most main sights can be reached on foot, including Ben Thanh Market, the Fine Arts Museum, Huynh Thuc Khang street market, Notre Dame Basilica, 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.
Huge, stately rooms with modern amenities -- except Superior Rooms, which are a little underwhelming
There are two things that stand out about these rooms -- the size and the decor. All 83 units offer ample space to move around, and high ceilings and large windows add to the spaciousness. Most have balconies overlooking the street or the Opera House with double-glazing keeps out traffic noise. Carved-wooden furniture, thick curtains in rich fabrics, and glass wall-sconce lighting are paired with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, minibars, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Some decor, like the beige wall-to-wall carpets, can feel a bit dated. But Superior Rooms are the most in need of a revamp, with worn furnishings, empty walls, and little natural light. Bathrooms are clean and spacious, but small sinks and simple rectangular mirrors with white frames lack elegance. Turndown service is available in all room types.
Two restaurants, three bars, a small fitness center, and meeting space -- but the spa is tiny, and there's no pool
Le Bourgeois Restaurant became famous as the meeting spot for journalists and politicians back in the day, and today that classic elegance remains. It serves a solid buffet for all three meals, but breakfast is the most acclaimed, with a wonderful spread of fresh juice and Vietnamese and international options. In the Continental Palace Restaurant, white columns, chandeliers, and arched wooden windows, were built to wow, but the atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed -- even more so in the charming courtyard with outdoor seating. The hotel also features three bars, including a traditional café with sidewalk seating great for people-watching. Aside from the restaurants and bars, the hotel is overall light on amenities. There is a small fitness center with a few machines bathed in natural light; a business center; a meeting space; and a tiny, unremarkable spa. And notably there is no pool.
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