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“The hotel of unheard wishes” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Saigon Halong Hotel

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Saigon Halong Hotel
Ranked #8 of 61 Hotels in Halong Bay
Vienna
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“The hotel of unheard wishes”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2011

There is one reason I would recommend this hotel: The stunning (!) view over Ha Long Bay from the rooms, if after this review you should still feel like going there, be sure to book a room overlooking the Bay. Ok.. the rooms are also very large, granted, and yes, they're clean as well.

The most astonishing thing about the Saigon Hotel is the service. On arrival, I asked: "Excuse me, do you have a map of the city?" and I got the response "No."
I mean, the hotel operator could imagine that people staying in the hotel most likely are not people living in Ha Long City and therefore might require a map during their stay. I'm also pretty sure that I was not the first one asking this question. Ok, let's accept the fact that they are too cheap to give free maps during your stay, you would expect an answer like: "No, sorry, however, you can get one at the Tourist office" or "No, sorry, there is no free map available, but you can buy one at our shop". But "No."? So I asked again: "No? You mean, you have no map?" "No, we don't."

We booked our hotel over internet, and arriving, we heard that it was not a room looking over the Bay. So I asked for changing the room to a Bay view room. "This will cost you more" "That's ok for me" "But you will have to pay it now". --> How unpolite! Honestly, the most polite staff member was the girl picking up our clothes for dry cleaning, most likely because she didn't speak English.

Breakfast was also funny to remember: First of all, there was an enormous crowd in the breakfast room which is large. Also, they were serving everything possible, but everything tasted mediocre. It's incredible to see such a huge variety of equally bland things :-)

If you want to do better, I would recommend to check into the Novotel, which is just around the corner. Their seafood platter is extremly tasty!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mastemah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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253 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    39
    94
    85
    25
    10
See reviews for
57
80
25
10
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Vietnamese first
  • Any
English first
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
62 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2011

Booked for 5 days at the Saigon hotel in Halong Bay after spending 2 nights on a Junk in the Bay. What an anti-climax.... the hotel is situated along the bay side where all tourist attractions are supposed to be, pity that that side of Halong Bay gives you the impression of a ghost town... hotels are nearly empty, restaurants are empty etc. We decided to venture to the side where the local people stay and what a contrast.... nice vibe and a buzz. As 5 days in Halong Bay would have resulted me jumping from the 20th floor of the Saigon hotel to alleviate boredom we've decided to book 3 nights at Catba Island approx 2 hours boat drive from Halong Bay... an excellent choice and this was time well spent.

If you plan to visit Halong Bay you must do the 1 or 2 nights on a Junk, there are many options available, but if you have to stay over in Halong Bay try to limit that to one night as there is little to see or do...and if possible choose a different hotel as the breakfast, staff and location of the Hotel is best to try and forget... Rather book 2 days at Catba if you are looking for an island adventure and you will be really surprise with the location, style/elegance, beauty and more to offer if you book at the Sunrise Resort in Catba.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gerhardhud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2010

We travelled to this hotel in January and it was cold and raining in Halong Bay at the time of the year. Within a day of arriving we were contacted by the concierge to meet with him personally so that he could ensure that we would get the most out of our visit - given the weather conditions, everything we did was organised by the concierge and he ensured we were given 5 star treatment the whole way. We also felt as though the concierge was frank with us - telling us which tours to do and which tours were just an unnecessary waste of money. The rooms were extremely large and I found the laundry service to be excellent too! We didn't eat at the hotel restaurant but as far as amusement goes the hotel is just a few doors down from the 'casino royale'. Given the terrible weather we had during our stay, I would go as far as to say that if we hadn't stayed at this particular hotel we probably wouldn't have enjoyed Halong Bay.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MissBellatrix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alameda, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2010

Our tour package with Saigon Tourist claimed this is a four star hotel, it was nothing close to even 2 star. It's a very old hotel with outdated carpet and windows. It smell horribly and it was dark and dingy with old carpets in hallway and rooms. Would not recommend anyone to stay here. We had a party of 18 and not one of us like this place.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dangtothemax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Halong Bay hotels

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2010

The moment we stepped into the hotel, cigarette smoke filled our nose. The shouting and loud chatters of Vietnamese filled our ears. Apparently, they are having a function of some sort at their ballroom. They laughed and shouted across the room like school boys on their night outs.

We have to lug our own luggage to our rooms because I don't see any bell boys around.

Don't expect much from the room. The centralize AC is not cold enough so they provided a 2nd one. The only up to date electronics there is the flat screen TV. The bed is huge but is on the hard side.

There's hardly any night life because by 11pm, nearly all shops will be closed.

The scenery in the morning is breathtaking and like you are transported to some place in China. We took a lot of pictures from the balcony.

The breakfast is nothing to shout about but after that, you can go out onto the balcony and continue your picture taking.

We only stayed one night so we did not have the chance to try out other facilities like the pool or tennis court.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Will74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2010

Entering the Saigon Halong Hotel is like entering a bizarre world where all the people behave like early prototype robots from Japan circa 1968. Gaze into the staff's eyes for long enough and you'll begin to wonder whether there is anything behind them other than an old network of wires, capacitors, and transistors; watch them move and you'll swear you can hear the gentle whirring of servos mindlessly going about their business.
More on the staff later.
Our room is huge. When I say huge I mean it is bigger than my girlfriend's house which is a two up-two down victorian terrace. We asked for a double bed; they gave us two. The giant TV, which would usually consume all space in a normal room, looked tiny and distant; think Sun in solar system becoming Sun in Milky Way and you will go some way to understanding what I mean. The decor is like something from a 1980s DIY magazine that nobody bought; it's thick yellow and pink stripes everywhere; you'll feel as if you have wandered into the middle of rhubarb and custard. And then you open the curtains. The view is stunning; You realise the room has to be huge; it needs windows wide enough to accommodate the vastness and sheer brilliance of the scene. This is where the the Saigon Halong Hotel scores all of its marks; it's not what it has to offer but what it can show you from its windows.
After you get your breath back you can wander into the bathroom which, because it has no window, is of normal size. It has everything you need: shower, bath, sink, toilet, giant mirror, free toiletries.
Enjoy the room as much as you can for it is away from this sanctuary that the goose pimples appear, where the deep feelings of uneasiness begin to set in. Any floor above the lobby is deserted and dark; you get the feeling that the hotel is powered by a generator that runs on wax. There's also music which one would normally hear in a furniture store; the whole place exudes abandoned cruise ship. And then you hear the whirring; a member of staff approaches. In your desperation you run to the lift and find yourself pressing the button for the restaurant; down the rabbit hole you tumble.
It's in the restaurant where the weirdness really kicks in. It occupies a huge space; there is seating for thousands; and yet there are no customers. You won't be sure if it's open; as you venture a few steps inside you'll get looked at as if you were something new, some traveller from outer space. Eventually you are asked if you need help. As you explain your desire for food their faces will go blank; within the confines of their circuitry darkness will descend; and then they'll shut down completely. Eventually you'll be approached by an updated model who will show you to a table. You will be given a menu to share because, apparently, there is only one copy, And then you'll meet the waiters.
The waiters have been over trained. They have been programmed to think they work in a Michelin starred restaurant. However, somewhere there is a bug in the system; nothing is done with 100% accuracy. Beer is poured into your glass but most of it hits the table; everything is served from your right, even if this means they have to walk and crash through obstacles; you'll be given two knives instead of a knife and a fork; and all the time they'll be smiling, eerily, like characters from a John Wyndham novel.
The food is of a pretty good standard but every meal is preceded by a course of cold toast. Needless to say, it is not the food of a four star hotel; it's the usual Vietnamese mix of noodles, rice, pizza and pasta. I would avoid the two western options and stick to what the cook knows best.
After the restaurant you'll probably need a drink. The hotel has three bars but one of them has gone missing. There are signs for it everywhere but they'll send you round in circles. Your only option is to go to the lobby bar or the 2nd floor bar; both are, once again, deserted. We chose the 2nd floor and are glad we did for serving there is a human being. His smile is sincere; he greets you as though you're the first person he has seen in years, which is quite possibly true; and he makes the best cocktails. I fear that, one day, upon discovering he does not have "made in Taiwan" printed on his behind, the hotel managers will make him leave. We left him to return to our room, afraid to look back in case he'd already been shipped off.
In our room we stayed. Here we could revel in the view and, more importantly, avoid the robots. I thank goodness we were only staying for one night.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Manchester_Matthew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2010

The best thing about this place is the huge deep pool. The rooms are very clean, but very no-frills. We had a hard time getting the Internet working reliably. Some of the lower-level staff were unhelpful, but the supervisor went out of his way to make things right with us.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank taipa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Saigon Halong Hotel

Property: Saigon Halong Hotel
Address: 168 Halong Road | Bai chay Ward, Halong Bay 8433, Vietnam
Region: Vietnam > Quang Ninh Province > Halong Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Halong Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Halong Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Saigon Halong Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 228
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saigon Halong Hotel is one of the biggest 4 star hotel in Halong Bay with 228 rooms. Hotel has 5 Villas out side the main building and 205 rooms in the main 15 story splendid building including 88 Superior rooms overlooking the mountains, 104 Deluxe rooms and 12 Executive Suites with balcony overlooking the Halong Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saigon Halong Bay

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