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Park Hyatt Saigon : New Colonial Luxury

In my years of trip planning and travel to Vietnam, hotels have always been the weakest link.  Unlike Thailand where the issue is too many luxury hotels to choose from, Vietnam is very inconsistent.  Hanoi always had the grand colonial Sofitel Metropole, but Saigon never had anything comparable.  This changed in 2006 with the opening of the Park Hyatt Saigon.

I’ve always said, even aloud, “why can’t there be a Sofitel Metropole in Saigon?”  The Park Hyatt Saigon which opened in 2006 finally brings Saigon to the hotel level of Hanoi.  Located on Lam Son Square, in the historical District 1 of Saigon facing the opera house, and the distant second best hotel in the city, The Caravelle.

The exterior of the hotel was expressly built in a colonial style.  The success of the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi is built upon the historical colonial style and charm of the old building and matching service.  The Park Hyatt decided to do the same except with a brand new building.  If you look quickly you would think it was a French colonial building from the early 1900’s, but you would be wrong.  The best thing about a new building is that you can look classical, but provide the newest room features.

The lobby is probably the most impressive feature of the hotel.  The lobby lounge is a high ceilinged three story open space, with tall windows and comfortable sofas and chairs, a perfect spot for afternoon tea.  The swimming pool is the other notable feature of the property.  Its located behind the property in a landscaped patio, that feels more like a resort pool than a city hotel pool.

The rooms themselves are what you would expect from a new Park Hyatt.  They do their best to maintain the colonial feel with nice décor, and four poster beds for example.  The bathrooms are a nice white marble and are probably one of the best hotel bathrooms in the city.  While the décor of the rooms fit the colonial style of the property and are very well appointed, I do agree with the main criticism I’ve heard over the years about the size of the rooms being relatively small for the top hotel in Saigon.  The most desired rooms, which some have a love/hate relationship with are the Park Deluxe rooms.  Essentially the same as Park Rooms, except they have a private outdoor sun patio facing the swimming pool.  The reason why some people dislike these rooms is that everyone walking to use the pool walks by your patio area and French doors.  So I’ve had numerous complaints about lack of privacy from clients over the years.  The suites on the top floors facing the city provide a sweeping panoramic view of the square below.  With a room inventory of only about 250 rooms and its status as the best hotel in Saigon firmly in place, make sure to book well in advance, especially during peak seasons

The hotel also has two restaurant options, one large award winning Italian restaurant with an open kitchen and a beautiful indoor/outdoor patio facing the square, and a second smaller fine dining one.  The hotel also has a high end spa, likely the best in the city.

The Park Hyatt Saigon provides colonial style and luxury in a city that is quickly developing and replacing its former colonial heritage for glass skyscrapers.  Enjoy the cavernous lobby lounge for afternoon tea, or sit on the patio and sip an ice coffee and watch the fast pace of the city.  The Park Hyatt Saigon is headed in the opposite direction of the city, choosing slower paced, colonial charm and class, over the widespread modernizing chaos.  I for one, am perfectly happy with this backwards direction. For luxury travelers headed to Vietnam, there really isn’t any other choice than the Park Hyatt Saigon.

http://www.saigon.park.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/

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