Renaissance Riverside Saigon: nice but a bit old-fashioned

Conveniently located by the river, the Renaissance Saigon offers quality services but is beginning to look its age.

To choose my hotel in Saigon, I proceeded by a process of elimination. Having already stayed at the Méridien Saigon (modern and very good) and the Sheraton Saigon (really old-fashioned), I didn’t have many Marriotts left in the city center, so I opted for this very well-located Renaissance.

Having generally only had good experiences in Renaissance hotels, I’m looking forward to discovering it, especially with the fatigue of a flight that arrived almost 4 hours late.

You’ll find a summary of articles about this vacation in Vietnam at the bottom of the page.

Booking

I booked a Deluxe room for 91 euros a night on the Marriott website several months before my arrival.

Location of the hotel

The hotel is right in the center of town, on the banks of the River and within walking distance of most of the city’s sights.

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Arrival and check-in

The day before my arrival I note in the application an upgrade to an “R Club” room on a high floor overlooking the river. A check of the inventory confirms that no suite is available, and with good reason: it was the national day, something I hadn’t anticipated at all.

That’s why my Grab (the local Uber) took forever to get to the hotel: fireworks had just been set off across the river, and crowds had gathered in the neighborhood to watch.

The bellman takes charge of my suitcase and accompanies me to the reception desk.

The Lobby makes a rather good impression, and the decor looks recent and tasteful.

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A bar is located to one side.

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The welcome is cordial and the formalities quickly completed, which is just as well: between the flights and a consequent delay, I’m in a hurry to get at least a shower and change clothes.

The room

Access to the rooms is via an elevator leading to an atrium, which reveals the hotel’s hollow structure. It reminds me of the Marriott Marquis in New York, which impressed me on my first trips back in the 90s. The overall style is very 80s/90s.

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In fact, while efforts have been made to make the lobby seem contemporary, the rest of the hotel is much more dated.

My room is located on one of the top floors of the hotel.

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Very classic, with no lack of taste.

The extra-wide bed will prove very comfortable.

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Something that is becoming rare these days, the bedroom has a real desk.

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The style of the furniture is a bit dated, although I’ve seen much worse at the Sheraton.

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Let’s just say it’s dated but not dusty.

A cosy lounge area near the window.

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The view is unobstructed, but I can’t say that the scenery is really pretty if I’m looking straight on, but it’s much better on the sides.

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The bathroom is in the same vein: a little stuck in the 90s.

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It features a bathtub that doubles as a shower.

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There’s enough to make your own tea and coffee, but the choice isn’t huge and isn’t very high quality.

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The minibar is empty…..

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I have a simple method for determining the age of a hotel room: I look at the sockets. If they’re few and/or poorly placed, it’s because the room dates back to a time when people didn’t travel with a host of electronic devices.

Here, nothing near the bedside tables and only this at desk level.

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So 90s…

The same goes for the switches next to the bed.

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And we end with the traditional video.

All in all, a tasteful room but without any personality, a little bland and seemingly stuck in the past.

Bars and restaurants

The hotel has several bars and restaurants, as well as a lounge. I’ll only be going to the lounge and one of the bars.

The lounge

Located on the top floor, in the same style as the bedrooms.

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The size of the buffet was quite substantial.

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The food on offer was consistent and of good quality, as is usually the case in Asia. Sweet, salty, hot, cold, with a mix of local and Western dishes.

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The hot dishes change daily, so there’s no way to get bored.

My only regret is the staff’s haste in clearing away even unfinished dishes when I just got up to get a drink, which led me to complain to the lounge manager.

A good lounge, especially when traveling in Europe or the USA, but just in the average range of Asian lounges, nothing more.

Liquid Sky Bar

This rooftop bar is billed as “the place to be” because of the view it offers, and I was expecting something perhaps a little too hip and noisy for me.

In the end, it won’t be: it’s just a very pleasant poolside bar with no design prowess, a very classic clientele and music that’s present but not excessively loud or unpleasant.

I made the most of it at night…

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As in daytime…

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Not much of note other than the friendliness of the staff.

During the day, it offers a beautiful view of the city.

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The facilities

The hotel features a swimming pool, gym and spa. I’ll only try the first two.

The gym

It is large, bright and well-equipped, even if the equipment is rather old.

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However, there’s little room for floor exercises, the music will be too loud and the air-conditioning really cold.

The Pool

You could see it at the presentation of the rooftop bar.

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Its appeal lies in its rooftop location, with a beautiful view over the city.

Perhaps this is also where the hotel shows its age the most, especially in daylight.

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That said, it’s still a very pleasant place to stay after a day’s sightseeing.

The service

Overall good and friendly, in line with local standards.

Check-out

I’ll do my check-out online without going back to reception. Smooth and trouble-free.

Bottom line

A hotel offering a solid service but without much personality. By no means disappointing, but not thrilling either. For the moment, Le Méridien remains my favorite hotel in Saigon.

The articles about this vacation in Vietnam

#TypePost
1Travel diaryPreparing for vacations in Vietnam
2FlightParis-Stockholm – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
3LoungeSAS Gold lounge – Stockholm
4FlightStockholm-Oslo – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
5HotelRadisson Blu Airport Hotel – Oslo Gardermoen
6LoungeSAS Gold lounge international zone – Oslo
7FlightOslo-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
8LoungeTurkish Airlines Miles&Smile Lounge international zone – Istanbul
9FlightIstanbul-Saigon – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
10HotelRenaissance Riverside Hotel – Saigon
11RestaurantAnan – Saigon
12RestaurantHoa Tuc – Saigon
13Travel diarySaigon city tour
14LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus lounge (domestic) – Saigon
15LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (domestic) – Saigon
16FlightSaigon-Hanoi- Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A350)
17HotelJW Marriott Hotel – Hanoi
18RestaurantGia – Hanoi
19RestaurantTung Dining – Hanoi
20Travel diaryCity tour of Hanoi
21LoungeVietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
22LoungeSong Hong Lounge (domestic) – Hanoi
23FlightHanoi-Phu Quoc – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320Neo)
24HotelSheraton Long Beach Resort – Phu Quoc
25Hotel JW Marriott Emerald Bay – Phu Quoc
26LoungeHoa Sim Business lounge – Phu Quoc
27FlightPhu Quoc-Saigon – Vietnam Airlines – Business Class (A320)
28LoungeLe Saigonnais lounge (international zone) – Saigon
28FlightSaigon-Istanbul – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A350)
30LoungeIGA Lounge (zone internationale) – Istanbul
31LoungeTurkish Airlines business lounge – Istanbul
31FlightIstanbul-Oslo – Turkish Airlines – Business Class (A321Neo)
32HotelRadisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Oslo
33RestaurantKatla – Oslo
34Travel diaryCity tour of Oslo
35FlightOslo-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS Plus (A320)
36FlightCopenhagen-Paris – SAS – SAS Plus (A320Neo)
37Travel diaryDebriefing of my vacation in Vietnam
Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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