The Park Hyatt, Saigon is around the corner from the Continental Hotel, where Graham Greene came up with the idea for The Quiet American, and close to the Caravelle hotel (with its bullet-proof glass) which played a key role, as a communications hub, during the Vietnam War.
I met Brian Lai from Events (as Ms Mai Phuong, their PR Manager, had flu) ). I was keen to ask him about the 'Burj Al Arab over the top style' decor at The Reverie, Saigon. He explained this hotel had local owners who wanted it to look uber luxurious.
Brian began the tour by explaining that their 2015 refurbishment had lightened the colours in the lobby and added the crystal chandeliers. The first thing that strikes you in the lobby is the imposing vertical wine 'cellar'.
I commented that the lobby looked very 'Park Hyatt'/international 5 star and wondered if guests were hoping for a more 'Vietnamese look'. This led Brian to point out Vietnamese art etc. The Park Hyatt is all about low-key luxury.
We then viewed Opera, the ground floor breakfast/Italian restaurant with an outside seating area overlooking the Saigon Opera House.
Brian explained that the hotel tries to make the most of Vietnam's favourable weather, with many outside seating areas for a city hotel.
Next we viewed the beautiful 3rd floor pool. A wedding was taking place in the Pool House and I was shown the imposing outside BBQ area, popular with Vietnamese guests.
Seeing one of their rooms was next on the agenda. Furnished in French colonial style you can open the windows and use a ceiling fan.
The technology/facilities in the room were impressive with a hotel iPad, Bose bluetooth speakers and a Nespresso machine in a standard room.
Brian explained these were now arranged as 'Houses', with open kitchens in each meeting room, Drawing Rooms etc.
Walls can hide the kitchen areas and the kitchens are fitted with cameras, so images can be shown in the meeting room.
Square One Restaurant
This is the darker mezzanine level Vietnamese, Asian & Western restaurant with live cooking stations, another vertical wine 'cellar', tanks of live lobsters & other seafood and more outside seating.
Park Lounge/2 Lam Son
We ended the tour in the lounge off the lobby, where afternoon tea is served. I was also shown 2 Lam Son, often referred to as the Martini Bar.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻 (5 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - while the Continental Hotel & Caravelle have more history, and The Reverie more gold/marble, the 2015 refurbishment of the Park Hyatt, Saigon puts it in a refined league of its own. Tips:- One Square looks like a great restaurant for dinner.
The Park Hyatt, Saigon is one of the most luxurious (and expensive) hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and so I decided I must have a look around it. I also wanted to have a chat with their staff about the rest of my time in Vietnam.
Si Frew has lived in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar, Cyprus & the Cayman Islands. During this time he met Whoopi Goldberg (in Claridge's), Mike Tyson (in the Concorde Lounge at JFK) , Gordon Ramsay (in the Doha Four Seasons), Chris Eubanks (in The Dorchester), Cherie Blair (in Bermuda & again in the Doha Four Seasons) etc. There are funny stories attached to all these interactions, feel free to ask Si about them when you meet him.