The iconic Caravelle Hotel in Vietnam, made famous during the days when Ho Chi Minh City was still called Saigon, has hosted a number of notable guests, including former President Bill Clinton and movie stars Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser (during filming of The Quiet American). During the Vietnam War, the Caravelle Hotel housed reporters and crew from international broadcasting companies.
A room at the Caravelle Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City's leading five-star accommodation
This year, the Vietnam Tourism Association named the Caravelle Hotel the “Best in Vietnam.” The association lauded it for accomplishments across a range of categories that include a 75 percent average occupancy rate, its average room rate, total revenue, total profit—even employee wages. The Caravelle was also cited for its training programs and charitable activities. This is a step up for the hotel, since last year it only managed to claim fourth place.
The award comes in a tourism year that is something of a mixed bag for Vietnam. Figures released by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism show that tourist arrivals increased in the first quarter of 2008, to 1.29 million, a 15.7 percent increase over last year. Visitors in March 2008 totaled 424,954. U.S. visitors represented 133,019 of that figure, a 7.9 percent increase over 2007. There was some fear that fuel surcharges and an economic slowdown would cause this percentage to drop in the last quarter of 2008.
Although the country was aiming for arrival figures somewhere between 4.8 million and 5 million for 2008, tourism officials are now predicting that figure will most likely come in at 4.6 million. Vietnam is still laboring under a shortage of hotel rooms: Demand rose by an estimated 40 percent in 2007.
For Business or Pleasure
Earlier this year, the Caravelle set out on a number of initiatives, including a major interior refurbishment and a plan to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint by cutting waste and recycling.
The 335-room hotel is the city’s leading international five-star accommodation, with a great location in the center of the business, shopping, market and entertainment district. It’s about five miles from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
The Caravelle has a variety of room categories, from Deluxe Rooms up to a single Presidential Suite. Amenities include IDD telephone, high-speed Internet and satellite television channel. Rooms are either city or river view.
Signature Floor rooms are the most highly prized for their special amenities, and the Signature Lounge. The hotel has 27 connecting rooms. The best rooms to book for families are the Two-Bedroom Suites or connecting rooms.
The spa has 11 treatment rooms, two of which are VIP rooms. The hotel has five dining venues, including Reflections Restaurant, which serves eclectic fusion cuisine. The hotel’s Saigon Saigon Bar has been voted “Best Bar” in the city.
The Caravelle Hotel is a popular wedding venue. Interested parties can contact Hong Hanh, BQT sales coordinator, at 011-84-8-823-4999, ext. 27516.