Vietnam, Cambodia, Macau and Hong Kong Trip Report: Park Hyatt Saigon

Index:

I checked into the Park Hyatt Saigon at about 8pm.

I approached the desk and they took me right up to the room to handle formalities.

I was surprised to be upgraded to a suite, not having used a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade — that’s not something I’ve experienced a lot at Hyatt properties (other than the Andaz 5th Avenue, but they have a lot of suites and I’ve been a regular guest). Although I was on a one night stay and that probably made it much more logical for them to do.

Here’s the living room of the suite:

And the bedroom.

The bathroom

I’ve wanted to stay here for quite some time, and I’ve had it on a mental list for no particular reason since I was in Ho Chi Minh City last five years earlier. On that visit I at the Sheraton Towers in a suite. That property, to this day, remains as one with about the best club lounge spread I’ve seen.

The Park Hyatt though was scheduled to close in 2014 for extensive renovations. I wanted to visit before the renovation, and will likely want to return afterward to see the difference. My impression was that I’d be staying right before the hotel closed, but there was a letter explaining that the renovation has been put off.

I went right to sleep, after traveling for an entire day to get here. I find I’m more subject to jet lag than I used to be and after a few hours’ time I woke up. It was the middle of the night, though midday back home, and I wasn’t going to fall back asleep. So I caught up on work and ordered room service. I hadn’t eaten since my flight in from Hong Kong and was hungry, and it was four or five hours at least until I’d be heading to breakfast.

In the morning I checked out the hotel a bit, and then went down to breakfast. There was a nice enough pool area for a city hotel, for instance, that I didn’t get a chance to take advantage of.

Diamonds receive breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, the full buffet plus a hot item (“Opera Breakfast”) which would otherwise run ~ US$30++ per person. It’s an absurd price for the area, and ordering a la carte even a bowl of Pho is ~ US$20++. My recollection of room service Pho at the Sheraton was more like $8.

For free, I was extremely happy — it was good and high quality. Given the alternatives in the area though, if I were paying I don’t think I’d be interested at the $30++ price point.

The ambiance of the enclosed terrace was fantastic, so I really did enjoy my breakfast. And the Saigon baguette with grilled pork, pate, pickles, chilies, and mayo was very, very good.

While I wasn’t at the hotel for long, just an overnight and enough time to make a stop for lunch the next day at my favorite place for Pho, I got the overall impression of a good quality hotel that does indeed need some capital investment.

Once I had returned to the hotel from lunch it was time to head back to the airport and say goodbye to my brief visit at the Park Hyatt Saigon.

I’m looking forward to returning once they finally do renovate the hotel.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary ┬╗

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to the Saigon Trip report and your favorite Pho place – I am heading there in April and can not wait to hear about recommendations of where to see and eat!

  2. @Dan – I’ve just written the Pho stop for the morning, I didn’t do much in Ho Chi Minh City this visit since I was only there for ~ 21 hours. But I have a trip report of activities there from a previous visit linked in Trip Reports – Other on the left hand side of the page.

  3. Thanks for the review, Gary I have a stay at the Park Hyatt planned for December. Do you know if the renovation will be done then? I am Starwood Platinum and Hyatt Platinum. Would you recommend the PH or the Sheraton given that?

  4. @Evan – I included the letter I was given, click on it to enlarge. It said the renovation was put off, I believe for all of 2014. I thought the Park Hyatt overall the better hotel. But the Sheraton, in the TOWERS section (not the ‘regular’ hotel), had a really good lounge.

    I understand regular rooms at the Park Hyatt tend to be small. But I’d take my Park Hyatt suite w/ breakfast over my Sheraton Towers suite w/ lounge, even though the evening spread in the lounge was really impressive and breakfast was buffet and cooked-to-order.

    I think the key to the Sheraton though is being in the Towers section, which they don’t have to upgrade into since it is treated as a separate hotel. I ‘bought up’ after booking an award using additional points, and then once in the towers section was upgraded to a suite.

  5. Just a FYI. If you ever want one of those Saigon sandwich again in the states. Look for a Vietnamese shop and ask for “Banh Mi BBQ”.

  6. Thanks for bringing back great memories, Gary! I think you stayed in ‘my’ suite at the Park Hyatt!! Love all your trip reports!

  7. Thanks for the review. I am planning a similar trip on Asiana for next January. I thought the Park Hyatt renovations would be done by then.

    My choice will be Suite at Park Hyatt (for three nights) using points to get the suite and NO breakfast, vs. Towers room (and likely suite using SNAs and schmoozing) including lounge.

    So I’m torn on where to go – Sheraton will count towards my elite status which is a real plus.

  8. We visited this property in December (our third trip to Vietnam – which is at the top of our Fave Places to Go list) … wondering where you like to go for pho??

  9. @Mo, Yes Tyler is my boss ­čÖé I’ve tried many of the places there, some very good, but the broth isn’t the same.

  10. According to the menu’s price, a bowl of Pho is around $10($210,000 VND), not $20 as you stated. That’s still very expensive.

  11. It’s unfortunate that the hotel tweaked the opera breakfast format by allowing only one hot item per guest. They menu actually didn’t specify that you could only order one dish when I stayed there last summer and usually we would go overboard by ordering at least 2 hot items just so that we could try all the interesting items on the menu, and we were allowed to do this and weren’t charged.

    Overall i thought this was an excellent hotel and in particular the staff was just fantastic. I used one of my Diamond suite upgrades and was further upgraded to an Executive suite which was massive and just beautiful. Definitely looking forward to coming back if given the chance.

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