Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Saigon Hotel - Windsor Plaza

This hotel looks good in the photos, but it's a 3-star Asian style hotel that will disappoint most Western visitors. First of all...ONLY stay in District 1 if you want to be within walking distance of the Saigon action, shops, etc. This hotel is 20 min. ride (free in nice hotel shuttle) in District 5.

I think this hotel is meant for Asian business people. We booked the "executive floor" at $119++ and it was a high floor, but if you have stayed in other executive floors, this will not compete. When we arrived, the very friendly hotel staff (a big plus for this hotel) requested we wait and enjoy food at the free 24/7 buffet. It was very nice to relax and have a cup of tea and some sweets.

The room was as shown in the website photos...sort of. Tile floors and a plastic shower were a surprise when a "granite" bathroom (the sink counter is granite) was described...but it is a try. The biggest problem is not so much the hotel as the guests. When we returned to the Executive Floor Suite for an evening cocktail, the room was overtaken by a loud businessman carrying on a yelling match with his colleague. This went on for 20 minutes with no intervention from management who could easily have moved their "meeting" to a private room. It was completely distracting not only to us, but to the very polite young family sharing the table next to us...just trying to relax at the end of the day.

Dinner in the hotel's Chinese restaurant was very pleasant (except for the smoking) and well priced. But unfortunately, the walls in this hotel are so thin that upon return to our room, the next door neighbor's TV was so loud that I could have left the sound off on ours and heard everything perfectly.

I guess if you are trying to save a few bucks this is a good place to stay, but if you are going to spend any quality time inside the hotel, try another facility. If you are used to 5-star accomodations in big cities in Thailand and expecting the same in Saigon or Hanoi...think again. For some reason I have yet to figure out, the same hotels here are much more expensive and have a lower level of quality and service. But then are not here for the hotel, right?

No comments: