As a new Hyatt Diamond Gold Passport member, thanks to Hyatt matching my Starwood Platinum status at the end of last year, this was my first stay at a one of the vaunted Park Hyatt hotels.
Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Arriving at Tan San Naht airport after a somewhat disappointing flight in first class on a Korean Air A330-300, I was met by my visa on arrival escort. He handled all of the paper work. I just paid the fee. There was no one in the visa que when I arrived so it only took 15 minutes to get the visa and go through customs.
A 40-minute, $10 taxi ride brought me to the hotel.
The Park Hyatt Saigon
The Park Hyatt Saigon is located on Lam Son Square, District 1, in the center of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the largest business center and most populous city in Vietnam. The Park Hyatt is a French colonial style hotel that was extensively renovated in 2015.
Check in was smooth and pleasant. The clerk then showed me to the room and explained its features. Even though I had opted not to use a suite upgrade award for this stay, the hotel still upgraded me to a very nice Lam Son suite.
Lam Son Suite
The suite is spacious, 78 square meters, and elegantly furnished.
I wondered about the name Lam Son, which was the code name of an ill-fated 1971 ARVN offensive in Laos (Lam Son 719). Lam Son is also the name of a 15th century Vietnamese revolt against Chinese rule. I’m betting the square and the suite are named for the revolt not the modern-day battle.
Suite Living Room
The living room easily accommodates a comfortable couch, a chair and ottoman, plus two tables for dinning or working. The living room also features a wall of built-in cabinetry containing the wide-screen TV, a refrigerator, mini bar, storage cabinets and the port for the hotel IPad.
The general manager sent a welcome note, a bottle of wine and other gifts.
The staff also left an assortment of fruit most of which I could not identify.
The bedroom was as functional and stylish as the living room.
The bedroom has a small desk and sitting area as well as plenty of light from large windows.
A walk-in closet adjoined the bedroom and bath.
The bathroom had a double vanity, separate tub and shower, and toilet and bidet.
Bathroom amenities include Cochine toiletries.
WiFi worked well and there are a multitude of TV channels, including many in English. The suite came with a private butler who will do things like pack and unpack a suitcase. I never used this service though.
As a Gold Passport Diamond, the Park Hyatt breakfast buffet is complimentary. There is a general buffet bar with the typical array of fruit, cheese, bakery goods, meats, Chinese dishes, cereals, juice, etc.
A waiter brings a menu for the entrees and takes the order. Entrees include many traditional western dishes like eggs Benedict, waffles, and omelets, or Vietnamese fare.
Breakfast was enjoyable and filling. However, I prefer the breakfast at higher end Starwood properties because there is no need to order from a menu and there is a wider selection of buffet items.
The hotel spa was recommended highly. I’d probably only use a spa for a massage, and in Asia good massages are readily available outside of a hotel for a much lower price.
Pool and Gardens
The hotel has a large outdoor pool with cabanas and garden seating.
The fitness center was nice but not up to the standards of the rest of the hotel.
Park Hyatt’s are usually out of my price range. I stayed at the Park Hyatt Saigon for the experience and because I needed a few more stays to re-qualify for Hyatt Diamond status for 2017. My budget did not suffer greatly because hotel prices in Vietnam and Southeast Asia in general are comparatively reasonable. Plus I took advantage of a senior rate that brought the cost down further to about $180 plus tax for one night and used 7,500 Hyatt points and $100 for the second night.
I am glad that I stayed at the Park Hyatt Saigon. The staff was very accommodating in meeting all of my needs including providing a 6 pm late checkout and arranging a tour on short notice. It was nice to get upgraded to a wonderful suite without using an upgrade award.
The hotel has a great location within walking distance of restaurants and many of the main attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.
Since the renovation in 2015, the Park Hyatt Saigon has received several prestigious hotel awards. I concur. If you want a historic, elegant hotel that delivers truly personal service in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, choose the Park Hyatt Saigon.