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Ho Chi Minh City Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Caravelle Hotel
19 Lam Son Square
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 823 4999
hotel@caravellehotel.vnn.vn
www.caravellehotel.com

In the heart of Ho Chi Minh, the Caravelle is one of the best-value luxury hotels in the city. Built by a French company in 1959, it became the hangout of foreign correspondents during the Vietnam War, fell into disrepair, and then underwent a magnificent renovation in 1998 (subsequently it was used as a film location for the 2002 adaptation of Graham Greene's The Quiet American). Business travelers are drawn by the Signature suites, with fax machines, computer hookups, broadband Internet access, and CD players—as well as the Club Vegas casino on the first floor. The hotel's 19 Restaurant, formerly the Port Orient Restaurant, serves international and Vietnamese cuisine (reservations are advised). The open-air Saigon Saigon bar has rattan shades and lazily rotating ceiling fans and retains something of the romance of 1930s Vietnam.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Continental Hotel
132–134 Dong Khoi Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 829 9201
continental@hcm.vnn.vn
www.continental-saigon.com

If the walls here could talk, would they dish on Graham Greene—or the down-market decor of this famed-but-faded gem? Originally built in 1880, the Lam Son Square landmark has an incredible guest list: André Malraux stayed here, as did Greene, who took corner room 214 and set much of the intrigue of his novel, The Quiet American, at the Continental's terrace bar, a favorite watering hole for journalists and their sources. The bar is gone, sadly, replaced by La Dolce Vita café, yet the Continental's government-run operators seem content rest on their fading laurels. The large rooms are fitted with utilitarian furniture, dingy wall-to-wall carpeting, and outdated sinks and tubs. The breakfast buffet features slabs of that glorious proletariat cold cut, Spam. Even the free stationery is disappointing: A postcard of the hotel's exterior has been amateurishly doctored to include prewar automobiles. However, there are mitigating factors: a central location, Internet rates below $100, a helpful front desk—and a history that begs for a private-sector makeover. Request third-floor deluxe rooms overlooking the Municipal Theater, which have terrific views from the narrow, New Orleans–style wrought iron balconies.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
InterContinental Asiana Saigon
39 Le Duan Boulevard
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 800 496 7621
Tel: 84 8 3520 9999
Fax: 84 8 3520 9955
www.intercontinental.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/overview/hochiminhcity

Despite an uninspiring aluminum-and-glass exterior, the 21-story, 305-room InterContinental Asiana Saigon is a solid business hotel that isn't missing out on the bold modernization that's reshaping this city. In the lobby, a trio of 18-foot-long silk tube lamps dangle above fresh white orchids on a dark wood table, just one of many appealing decorative elements scattered throughout the property. The first luxury hotel to open in central Ho Chi Minh City in the last four years, the Asiana Saigon's modest palette of beige, sage green, and pale orange is set off by lively flourishes and textures, such as wavy walls made of bent bamboo. In the rooms, glass desks, white leather loungers, and iPod docks make the space multi-functional and work-friendly, while the lusciously soft beds are pure pleasure. Room decor is minimal, but the sliding wall partition made of twisted twigs that leads to the bathroom is a pretty touch. Each of the three restaurants and two bars oozes with character, especially the boudoir-like bar where guests lounge on aubergine velvet daybeds. Staff, though professional and prompt, are overly stiff and could stand to loosen up.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Majestic Hotel
1 Dong Khoi Street
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 829 5517
majestic@majesticsaigon.com.vn
www.majesticsaigon.com.vn

Opened in 1925, the Majestic Hotel retains a retro glamour, with wooden louvers, original hardwood floors, and old-fashioned bathroom fixtures. The guest list here has included François Mitterrand and Catherine Deneuve, who stayed in room 502 while filming Indochine. In 2003, a 53-room addition, done in the same style as the original block, brought the inventory to 175 rooms. However, the older (or "colonial") rooms, which have 13-foot-high ceilings, seem more open, especially those with river views. While the Majestic refreshed its look in 2007 with new paint and linens, the government-owned enterprise still misses on a few points, like furniture (clunky) and showers (temperamental). However, the riverfront location at the foot of Dong Khoi Street is unrivaled. Tackle the huge buffet breakfast on the fifth-floor terrace and watch the morning bustle as the streets fill with scooters and ferries swarm across the Saigon River. At night, the terrace holds the Breeze Sky Bar, an ideal base for happy hour.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Park Hyatt Saigon
2 Lam Son Square
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 824 1234
saigon.park@hyattintl.com
www.saigon.park.hyatt.com

The pale-yellow colonial-style Park Hyatt is a relatively new competitor in the five-star-hotel category (it opened in summer 2005). The 259 rooms and suites have marble-tiled bathrooms and all the mod cons, including flat-screen satellite TVs and broadband Internet access. There's a 60-foot outdoor pool surrounded by a pretty landscaped garden, and the nine Park Deluxe rooms have direct pool deck access and private terraces. The hotel's restaurants include Square One, a stylish Vietnamese and Western restaurant with an outdoor dining area. The hotel is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the Opera House downtown and within walking distance of the main tourist attractions.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Rex Hotel
141 Nguyen Hue Boulevard
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 829 2185
rexhotel@hcm.vnn.vn
www.rexhotelvietnam.com

The best of Saigontourist's holdings, this business traveler's favorite offers solid, albeit small, rooms with less kitsch than the Majestic and, in the rattan furniture, more style than the Continental. In addition, the Rex can claim a colorful history: The nation's reunification was announced in the hotel's conference room, which was also the site of the U.S. military's media briefings, known to many a jaded journalist as "The Five O'Clock Follies." The 217-room hotel is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar expansion. A new casino, the Bingo Club, operates on the first floor, while the 180-seat Royal Court restaurant features live traditional music and the spicy food of central Vietnam. The location, just south of the Hotel de Ville, is ideal for shopping. And the fifth-floor outdoor bar and restaurant has topiary animals, live music, and bird's-eye views of downtown.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers
88 Dong Khoi Street
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
Tel: 84 8 827 2828
sheratonsaigon@sheraton.com
www.sheraton.com/saigon

The service and attention to detail at this hotel are outstanding, with aromatherapy scents wafting from the air-conditioning on the landings. The 374 spacious rooms and suites have contemporary decor, marble bathrooms, and mod cons like Internet access (for a fee) and satellite TV. Ask for a city-facing room, and you should get a small balcony and a great view of the city (on the other side of the hotel you'll be looking right into the adjacent Towers rooms). Dining options include Li Bai, a superb Chinese restaurant, and the rooftop Level 23 Signature Restaurant. Patrons can boogie the night away at the hip wine bar/club attached. The hotel is in walking distance of tourist sites such as the Opera House.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Six Senses Con Dao
Dat Doc Beach
Con Dao
Vietnam
Tel: 84 64 3831 222
reservations-condao@sixsenses.com
www.sixsenses.com/SixSensesConDao/

Leave it to the Six Senses chain, known for bringing its contemporary eco-luxe designs to off-the-radar spots, to discover this remote island gem and its empty, white sand beaches and coral-rich aquamarine waters. Nestled into the dunes along a mile-long, crescent-shaped beach and backed by verdant hills, this 50-villa retreat literally shields guests from the outside world. Linked by sandy paths and separated by split bamboo partitions, villas are constructed from locally sourced tropical hardwood and topped with dramatically sloping flat roofs. Shaded by indigenous palms and feathery casuarinas, they wow without distracting from the awe-inspiring setting. The villas are light and airy, with walls, ceilings, beds, and vanities made of blond untreated wood; closets fronted by woven bamboo doors and rope handles; and white terrazzo flooring and bathtubs. Other than the oversized lime-green and tangerine cotton pillows on the daybeds, eye-popping color comes from Con Dao itself: To the front, a private saltwater pool seems to melt into the sea's countless shades of turquoise, and out back, emerald-green banana trees edge the alfresco rain shower. The sophisticated Vietnamese and Mediterranean fare at the two restaurants—one with upscale "street" food—is organic and local where possible, while the on-call butlers and earnest staff leave guests with little to worry about beyond choosing their next vintage.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.