We found our Saigon hotel, the Alagon, on TripAdvisor, just like we did our Hanoi hotel. This was such a strange place. Our taxi took us from the airport to the hotel – a trip which took about 30 minutes. We pulled into the circular driveway and walked up the stairs to the hotel. At check-in, we were informed we had no reservations. Ugh.
We provided not only the reservation confirmation number but the email confirmation from the week prior confirming we had a room. Again, no room for us. They were apologetic, but continued to tell us we had no place to stay. After asking for the manager, he came out and checked our reservations. He quickly realized the issue and had a bellman escort us through the hotel, up and down various stairs, past the restaurant to another check-in desk. It was the same hotel, even the stationary, name tags, uniforms and business cards were all the same. This time, check-in proceeded quickly and efficiently. No idea what the hell happened here.
The lobby of the hotel looked quite new and clean, but the design was definitely out dated. It had a cruise ship feel to it.
|Lobby — Has a Golden Girls Feel|
Instead of putting luggage in a locked area these folks just put a big net over the luggage. Don’t worry, the net has a lock on it. I did watch a couple people walk up and lift the net taking two suitcases with them – presumably the suitcases were theirs…
|Look! I caught some luggage.|
At this hotel, we opted for a room with a king sized bed. We were given a room on the 8th Floor. The elevators were pretty slow and the hallways were very hot and humid. Like most modern hotel rooms, neither the lights nor the A/C worked unless the room key card was put in the in-room receptacle. We opened the door to our room and it was sweltering!
The room had a TV, a desk, a couple chairs, a side table and two night stands. Something about the design of the room, I really liked. The furniture was painted in high gloss white paint with blue / green fabrics (in limited quantity). It has a colonial modern feel. I dig it. The bed itself was pretty comfortable as well, better than at the Hanoi Elegance Ruby Hotel (but I still thought the Ruby had comfortable beds).
|Bed and seating area.|
|Bed and armoire.|
The bathroom was covered in marble with a single toilet (no bidet) a huge walk in shower and an average sized sink/vanity. The hotel has very hot water – critical – with pretty good water pressure too. While it looked nice and was clean, the bathroom wasn’t really much to write home about. I hate when you go into a hotel room and find the toilet seat lid is up. How hard is it to close it when you are done cleaning it?
|Toilet and Shower.|
Like in Hanoi, breakfast was included at this hotel as well. Unlike in Hanoi, we didn’t get made to order breakfast. We did get access to the buffet which had a big selection including western cereals, fruit, cold cuts, pre-made pancakes and lukewarm juices. Honestly, the breakfast at this hotel was really bad. I couldn’t really find much to eat other than fruit – it was quite tasteless.
The worst part of the hotel – our air conditioner in our room, even on high running all night long, didn’t get our room cooled down to a comfortable level. We told the front desk and they smiled and said that it just takes time to work. Unfortunately we couldn’t just leave another key card in the receptacle to keep the electricity on all day either. The room was so uncomfortably hot all night, I could hardly sleep.
If I ever return to Ho Chi Minh City, I will not be staying at this hotel again. It is quite possible we just had the perfect storm or inattentive service at check-in and a room that needed a bit of maintenance, but the response from the hotel staff showed a certain level of service that I don’t want to experience again.
Where did you stay in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City? Have you stayed at the Alagon before? What was your experience?