Grand Hotel, Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Ho Chi Minh City | hotels guide

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Grand Hotel, Saigon

| 27 Jun 2017

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Map
Grand Hotel, Saigon
8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Map

Price guide: More than US$110

Our rating
Location
Design
Ambience
People
Facilities
27 Jun 2017

The least known of the city's French era hotels. Great location, impressive facade, bland interiors with a handful of grand old rooms. The extension is a brand new high-rise block.

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

Review

Inaugurated in 1930, the Grand Hotel was one of the city's glittering properties during French colonial times. These days it’s a good mid-range option in a great location. Like its colonial era hotel counterparts elsewhere in Saigon, it’s a long way from its potentia - even after recent renovations and a major expansion. It’s best viewed as two hotels - the original building and the new wing. Those looking for history should pay extra for rooms in the old wing.


Location

On Dong Khoi St in the centre of Saigon with great access to restaurants, sights bars and shopping.

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Photo: Mark BowyerGrand Hotel, Saigon, Hotels

Design, ambience and people

Like the Continental, the Grand Hotel sports one of the most impressive facades in Saigon. And like the Continental, things go down once you get inside.

Best to view the old large rooms of the original building as one hotel and the bland rooms of the new wing as another. The decoration throughout is uninspired but rooms in the original wing are usually well priced and feature traces of old world charm including parquetry floors and French windows.

The lift in the lobby is one of the few interior remnants of the original building but it’s also felt the heavy design hand of the state.

Staff are good but tempered by the same old government owned outlook that exists in all the colonial hotels - in itself a piece of Saigon history.

The arrival of Hungry Jacks and other fast food outlets in the hotel's restaurant gives you a sense of the style of the place.


History

Somehow, from its opening in 1930, The Grand didn't capture the literary imagination like the Continental, the Majestic and the Caravelle - despite its impressive facade. Its visibility diminished further in the 80s and early 90s when it was the notoriously rat infested Dong Khoi Hotel backpackers. There was more original character in those days if you could deal with the uninvited guests.

Dong Khoi St,Grand Hotel,Ho Chi Minh City,hotels,Saigon,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerGrand Hotel, Saigon

Like its counterparts the Majestic and the Continental, The Grand is in the hands of the local government and in the mid 1990s, it was similarly uninspiringly renovated with a new wing added. The rats are gone but so too is much of the original character. The original elevator adorns the entrance.

If you know more about the history of Grand, please let us know!


Brief
Pool, courtyard, free wifi throughout, breakfast,

 

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