A Landmark of History and Luxury – Our Review of Hotel Continental Saigon
We couldn’t resist the long and epic history of the Hotel Continental Saigon. Opened in 1880, it’s the oldest hotel in Vietnam. Presidents, gangsters, artists, spies, and many historical big shots have slept here. In its prime, Hotel Continental was one of the best hotels in all of Asia.
Those days are long gone, but the rich history, classic beauty, and colonial charm of Hotel Continental Saigon make it one of our favorites in Ho Chi Minh City.
It’s no cookie cutter hotel that could be in any city in the world. Hotel Continental Saigon symbolizes, represents, and embodies the history of its city and country.
Hotel Continental Saigon is more than a hotel. Along with City Hall, the Opera House, and the Post Office, Hotel Continental is a true landmark of Old Saigon. It reflects some of the prime French Colonial architecture in the city.
Hotel Continental Historical Allure
Its historical legacy makes the Hotel Continental unique. We’ve stayed at several great hotels around Ho Chi Minh City. Some were more modern or more luxurious or more affordable, but no other hotel in the city has the exhilarating sense of historical importance.
The rich history of the Hotel Continental Saigon drips with political intrigue. From the late nineteenth century through the war with the USA, Hotel Continental was the “it” place in Saigon and “the” meeting place of the elite, the powerful, and the bold.
From 1930 – 1975 the hotel was owned by Mathier Francini, the notorious Corsican crime boss. Within its walls, politicians struck up deals, journalists spun stories, and revolutionaries hatched plans – and all of it affected millions of lives.Hotel Continental was the “it” place in SaigonClick To Tweet
We were amazed at our massive room. We had a Junior Suite and could have thrown a party.
The best part of the room was the 4m (13ft) tall ceiling. It made the room feel so open and had a very classy, colonial style.
We really loved the look of the tall French doors and windows. We literally said “whoa” when walked in to scope the room for the first time.
The bathroom also had a classic style but was very modern and convenient. The bathroom had an enclosed stand-alone shower and a separate bathtub. The included toiletries weren’t the best we’ve seen, but they were very nice.
The bed was huge, incredibly comfortable, and we slept like babies. The linens were very luxurious. It was like sleeping on a cloud. Despite being in the heart of busy, noisy Saigon, we didn’t hear a peep from outside the room.
The original architects used extremely thick walls to keep the rooms cooler in a time with no AC. Today, the rooms have AC to keep them cool. Those thick walls just keep the rooms nice and quiet. The sleep quality was excellent.
The location is ideal. Hotel Continental is in the heart of Saigon’s Downtown and in a very upscale and beautiful neighborhood. Most of Ho Chi Minh City’s major attractions are a short walk away. And the shopping and restaurant scene near the hotel is the best in town.
Hotel Continental is right next door to the gorgeous Saigon Opera House and many rooms have a view of it. When we stayed at the Hotel Continental, we saw a performance of the famous AO Show at the Opera House. It was an amazing, Cirque du Soleil type of show about the evolution of Vietnamese culture.
Continental Palace Restaurant
The breakfast buffet is served in the lovely Continental Palace Restaurant. The restaurant has indoor seating in a beautiful dining room and outdoor seating in the garden courtyard.
Eating breakfast in the peaceful and pretty garden courtyard are some of the best moments of our stay. The central features of the courtyard are 3 frangipani trees planted in 1880. The trees are almost 140 years old and are local celebrities.
The breakfast buffet is excellent with a wide selection of Western and Vietnamese food.
Le Bourgeois Restaurant
The luxurious fine dining at Le Bourgeois was a nice contrast to the Vietnamese street food that we love so much. We felt like royalty and loved every bite. They specialize in western cuisine, but there are a few Vietnamese dishes on the menu. Le Bourgeois has huge bay windows and fantastic views of the Opera House and Dong Khoi street.
Hotel Continental doesn’t have a full spa, but they do have Jasmine Massage. We had a couples massage here and enjoyed it. Jasmine Massage is a bit more expensive than many massage places in town, but they are extremely clean and totally “legit.”
Overall, we were very pleased with the service. We did have a slight hiccup at check-in that took longer to fix than it should have, but for the rest of our stay the service was excellent. Everyone from the doormen to the restaurant staff to reception was very warm, friendly, and professional.
We would definitely stay at Hotel Continental Saigon again. It is a beautiful hotel with elegant, classical style and atmosphere. Best of all, the hotel is itself a landmark with a place in world history in addition to being gorgeous, luxurious, and comfortable.
Have you stayed at Hotel Continental Saigon or another historic hotel? What was your experience like?