Saigon Con Dao Resort, - review by Rusty Compass
Con Dao Islands | hotels guide

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Saigon Con Dao Resort,

| 23 Jan 2012

Map

Map
Saigon Con Dao Resort,
18-24 Ton Duc Thang - Condao commune, Ba Ria Vung Tau province
+(84-64) 3830 155

Map

Price guide: Basic rooms from US$65

Our rating
Location
Design
Ambience
People
Facilities
23 Jan 2012

It's bland and predictable but perfectly comfortable and well located. Great views.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Location

Right in the centre of town on the bay overshadowing the entrance to Phu Son Prison ruins. Good walking access to the small town, museum and the prison complex. Beach suitable for swimming is a few hundred metres away.


Review

The first major hotel development on Con Son Island set a troubling precedent. Its location, overshadowing the entrace to one of Vietnam's most important historical sites, Phu Son Prison, compromises both the integrity of the site and the memory of those who suffered here.

Saigon Con Dao Resort is owned by government travel behemoth Saigon Tourist from Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon Tourist has made a name for itself across Vietnam turning beautiful locations and architecture into mediocre hotels. On this occasion, they can add cultural vandalism to their list of accomplishments. It's remarkable that the development was permitted in this location.

Once you get over all that, this a perfectly comfortable unremarkable hotel the likes of which are found throughout Vietnam. It features airy common areas and an attractive gardened pool. A reasonable hotel in the wrong location.


Design, ambience and people

The Saigon Con Dao Resort has two complexes. One is brand new - the "international" standard property. Across the road is the second complex with cheaper, more basic rooms that are part of the old French settlement.

The new building is bog standard Saigon Tourist - comfortably bland. Beautiful water views, an open pavilion and a pleasing pool are highlights. This is an innocuous property in a totally inappropriate location.

Rooms in the new wing are from around US$85USD for the superior room and US$155 for the "suites" - a big increase in two years.

The cheaper rooms in the old block are a better option but they've also seen big price increases and aren't great value for money. The garden and the views are nice and the old building still has some charm despite the best efforts of renovators. Rooms are basic. Prices start at US$65.

Staff are variable and spoken English is basic.


Brief
Cable TV, pool, air conditioning, free wifi, bay views. No beach swimming (a few hundred metres away).

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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