Anchoring Lam Son Square opposite the Saigon Opera House, Caravelle has some interesting history but a recent refurbishment has firmly brought the hotel into present day Ho Chi Minh City.
When Caravelle was opened in 1959, it was the most modern, cutting-edge hotel in the city and it quickly became a political and journalism hub, the home of embassies and companies like Air France. During the war, it was the headquarters of American news bureaus, and as you can imagine, also the watering hole for journalists. War correspondents could cover the action without leaving their bar stools in the rooftop bar.
Flash-forward to today and there’s nothing inside to suggest its age. Everything has been revamped. The lobby is marble and glass while the rooms are typical generic city hotel—clean, bland, functional, comfortable and overall faultless. It’s a room designed to please the masses.
When we inspected in 2017, the rooms we saw looked fresh and in great condition. Not a knick on the wall or spot of mildew on the white tiles of the bathtub/shower. Rooms have carpeted floors, a desk, flatscreen TV, minibar, WiFi, kettle with tea and coffee, air-con and safety box. Other facilities include a lengthy outdoor pool and hot tub, gym and spa.
The Caravelle really is located in the heart of the downtown core, on one of the main streets Dong Khoi, formerly Rue Catinat, the oft mentioned road in The Quiet American. Now Dong Khoi is lined with hotels, designer shops, department stores and posh cafes. It’s not as refined or luxurious as Park Hyatt or Hotel Des Arts MGallery, but it is a good four-star with a terrific location.
Address: 19 Lam Son Square, District 1
T: (28) 3823 4999;
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º42'11.14" E, 10º46'34.85" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over US$100
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Deluxe double room||US$159||US$159|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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