Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Lost in the Reverie in Saigon


The Reverie Saigon, no doubt, is the most luxurious hotel right now in this southern Vietnamese city. With Mandarin Oriental opening next door in 2020, should the Reverie Saigon be worried?  I don't think so as I'm sure the interior decor at Mandarin will be vastly different from The Reverie Saigon.

To say the Reverie Saigon is luxurious is perhaps an understatement.  Right when you walk in, it's full on Italian marble from floor to ceiling.  At the Reverie Saigon, 24 karat gold, is splashed everywhere!  My first thought was only if Liberace can dream up a hotel, this place would be it.  The owner wanted Italian opulence that perhaps no place in Asia have ever seen before and since.  You can tell no expense was spared.  I am doubtful Mandarin Oriental has half of the interior decor budget that the Reverie Saigon had.  I suspect the hotels will split tourist groups into two kinds: the ones who loves bling will go for the Reverie Saigon; the ones who likes something more elegant and subtle will go for Mandarin Oriental.  Given the construction boom Saigon is having, I'm sure both hotel will have no problem filling up their beds.

The suite I stayed is called the Designer Suites by Giorgetti.  Clearly everything in the room is imported from Italy.  I chose this room because it's the most clean cut modern/ not so over the top suite offering in the hotel.  Naturally the living room has what looks like a Sicis glass mosaic panel that practically covers whole length of the wall.  This huge expensive/expansive mosaic panel feels much more appropriate in a hotel lobby than in a living room of a suite.  The oddest thing of the suite is there is no bathroom fan which doesn't seem to make any sense.  I believe the architect of the building dropped the ball.  The lack of ventilation means they have to think of ways to rectify this situation.  One of the way is turn down the temperature of the shower.  Thus if you enjoy lukewarm shower (i.e. not so much steam), you are at the right hotel.  If you want scalding hot shower, better move along.  The worst part of the suite is the noise across the street; there is a nightclub (moved in couple years ago) that plays loud thumping music nightly!  I was told all the highest category suites of the hotel all happen to face this night club!  Luckily Designer Suite by Giorgetti is more off to the side thus avoid the direct blast of the night club and music is somewhat muddled compared to say the Designer Suite by Provasi which gets the full blast treatment!

I had dinner at the Cardinal which serves contemporary French cuisine in the evening.  Since Vietnam used to be a French colony, I had expected the French food here to be as good as the ones in Paris.  Furthermore, this is the most expensive hotel in Saigon thus I had expected minimally one Michelin star level French food at their main restaurant.  Sad to say, it was not.  It's not that food was terrible; I just had really high expectations and it was not met.  I would say food at this restaurant is thoroughly competent but don't expect Michelin star level food.  In another words, think Four Seasons good enough food.

By staying at the Designer Suite, I had access to the Reverie Lounge on 38th floor.  This essentially is Reverie Saigon's club lounge.  You can come here to have free snacks or afternoon tea.  The view here is very nice and I would highly recommend guests to utilize this lounge if they have access to it.  I enjoyed the afternoon tea and snacks very much.

All the staff here are quite nice.  The service standard is good.  Staff always smile and tried to be helpful.  While not everyone's English is fluent, majority of the staff can converse with me with no problem which is helpful when I need help.

I think next time when I come to Saigon I will try Mandarin Oriental as the decor style at The Reverie Saigon really just isn't my cup of tea.  With that said, if MO doesn't open next year and I come back to Saigon, I would not have any problem staying at RS again.  The location of the hotel is good and if you like this over the top style, you will really enjoy staying here.  


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