Guidebook Hotels with a history

Sleeping Around

Hotels with a history

Where the action was: Caravelle Hotel. “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 … 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.” - Travelfish

As you were: Continental Hotel. “At a time when hotels around the world are increasingly coming to resemble each other as they compete over ever-greater levels of pampering, trying to anticipate your every wish, it’s rather wonderful that the Continental has not moved with the times ... I’m sure if Graham Greene, or indeed Mathier Francini, came back tomorrow they’d recognize it instantly.” -CNN

French era, great facade: Grand Hotel. “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.” - Rusty Compass

A great perch: Hotel Catina. “Graham Greene knew this was a good spot; he took rooms in the 1950s in the smart, snappy white building … once you pass the lobby -- a glitzy, glassy jewellery shop -- the upstairs rooms are quiet, feature discreetly positioned TVs, and have alcoves with desks and coffee-making facilities … ideal for the shopaholic, the barfly, and the 21st-century flaneur.” - The Guardian

Refined colonialism: Hotel Majestic. “In a prime setting where Dong Khoi Street meets the Saigon River … its history (it was used as military barracks by the Japanese Imperial Army in WWII), riverfront location, throwback architecture, and refined colonial atmosphere compensate for the halting service and Socialist-era décor in the 90 rooms … plus, the rates are comparatively reasonable.” -Travel and Leisure

Head for the roof: Rex Hotel. “Remains the most historic hotel in District 1 … it’s undergone massive renovations since its heyday as a hangout for journalists during the war, including the addition of a luxury ground floor filled with pricey shopping … skip that and head to the hotel’s rooftop bar … everyone has told the same story -- Saigon has changed but the roof remains frozen in time … the same kitschy elephant statues, stiff drinks, small steaks and the rotating golden crown illuminating the local Vietnamese band playing some pop love ballads.” - AFAR

Sleeping Around
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