Tried & Tested

Park Hy­att Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City , Amer­i­can Air­lines NewYork JFK – Los Angeles LAX A321 First Class

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

BACK­GROUND Opened in 2005 and de­signed by Da­mansara Ar­chi­tects and EDC De­sign from Malaysia, the Park Hy­att – Hy­att’s “bou­tique” ho­tel brand – trades on the nos­tal­gia of Viet­nam’s for­mer colo­nial pe­riod but with 21st century tech­nol­ogy and com­fort. It’s widely ac­knowl­edged as the city’s top dog for all things hos­pi­tal­ity.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The ho­tel’s el­e­gant, ivory-tone façade was in­spired by and sits well with the sur­round­ing French colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture. The sweep­ing drive­way to the stately en­trance is a rar­ity in HCMC’s highly de­vel­oped down­town. Both the lobby and ad­ja­cent Lounge Bar are dec­o­rated with In­do­chine-in­spired fur­nish­ings, teak wooden floors and Ori­en­tal rugs. I found the front of house staff fault­lessly on the ball – my limo door was opened and I was wel­comed, af­ter which my bags were whisked up to await me in my room dur­ing the few min­utes it took to check in.

WHERE IS IT? Built on the for­mer site of the war-era ho­tel The Brink, the Park Hy­att oc­cu­pies one of HCMC’s most cov­eted pieces of down­town real es­tate. Most of the city’s cul­tural high­lights – the Re­uni­fi­ca­tion Palace, Post Of­fice, Notre Dame Cathe­dral, People’s Com­mit­tee – are all within walk­ing dis­tance, as­sum­ing that you can take the 95-de­gree day­time aver­age. HCMC’s af­ter dark ac­tion hap­pens in sur­round­ing District 1 and District 3 and you don’t have to wan­der far for a good time – pop­u­lar din­ing and drink­ing spot Xu, Blanchy’s Tash bar and fab­u­lous restau­rant Blanchy Street are all within a one block ra­dius.

ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES My fifth floor Park King room over­looked the land­scaped gar­dens and pool, and its demi poster bed, in­su­lated lou­vered win­dows and the wooden ceil­ing fan swirling lan­guorously over­head found their con­tem­po­rary coun­ter­points in cen­tral air and a 40”Sony LCD TV and iPod dock. The workspace was all busi­ness – gen­er­ously sized with am­ple and ac­ces­si­ble power points. Thought­ful touches abound: a hand­writ­ten wel­come note from the GM, the closet that opened on both sides ac­ces­si­ble from both bed­room and bath­room and com­pli­men­tary twice-daily turn­down and but­ler ser­vice.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Both restaurants – and the bar – were de­signed by edgy Ja­panese firm Su­per Potato and have been main­stays of the city’s din­ing scene since the ho­tel opened. On the ground floor, ca­sual, con­tem­po­rary Ital­ian eatery Opera fea­tures an al fresco din­ing ter­race over­look­ing the Opera House. Up­stairs, Square One is de­signed to evoke a (very swank) Viet­namese mar­ket­place, serv­ing pre­mium im­ported steaks and lo­cal and im­ported seafood against a back­drop of ex­posed brick­work and “stalls” of col­or­ful fresh pro­duce. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES The free span, 5,920-square-foot ball­room is di­vis­i­ble into three sound­proofed sec­tions. The four additional meet­ing rooms – two of which have bal­conies and lots of nat­u­ral light – mea­sure from 646 to 807 square feet, with two ex­ec­u­tive board­rooms for smaller gath­er­ings. The ho­tel has a ded­i­cated meet­ing ser­vices team and au­dio-vis­ual con­nec­tiv­ity is state-of-the-art, with high speed broad­band In­ter­net ac­cess, of course, in all func­tion rooms.

LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES The fully equipped 24-hour fit­ness stu­dio in­cor­po­rates 19 Life Fit­ness ma­chines, Jacuzzi, steam and wet ar­eas. Out­side, the ho­tel’s land­scaped gar­dens cra­dle a 20-me­ter swim­ming pool. The ex­cel­lent Xuan Spa of­fers seven treat­ment rooms and a smor­gas­bord of ther­a­peu­tic de­lights.

VER­DICT The Park Hy­att seam­lessly weaves the op­u­lence of Viet­nam’s French colo­nial past with its en­er­getic, edgy present. It’s the city’s go-to venue for busi­ness and leisure trav­el­ers alike. BT

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