I stayed for five nights at the luxurious Renaissance Riverside Hotel in the south Vietnamese metropole of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), also known as Saigon, recently.
The hotel is a massive building located in the bustling 1st district and overlooking the Saigon River.
We are Marriott Gold members, so checking in was almost a two-step process. The first step was at the main Reception area on the ground floor, and then we were taken to the Marriott Rewards Club lounge in the 18th floor. There we were given a drink and the option to have some snacks before being shown our room one floor above.
The Room at Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
The room was comfortably and elegantly decorated – there was a king-sized bed with side tables. The ubiquitous television set was available along with a mini-bar. Large windows gave a panoramic view of the Saigon River which remained quite most of the day. Looking at the river was a great change compared to the noisy bustle at the entrance.
There was a central console to control most lights in the room as well as the piped music. And there were sufficient number of power outlets as well as a console to use devices with HDMI and other ports.
As Gold members, complimentary breakfast in the 18th floor lounge was available. Plenty of food was available – from breads, cheese and cereal to congee, curry and sushi. Time to time omelets were also available but generally they were prepared food. What’s more, there were always local fruits, along with fresh juice, tea and coffee.
Later, snacks such as sandwiches and cookies were also available. The sandwiches were something I always liked. Soft bread with great stuffing.
In the evenings, between 5.30-7.30 pm, there was hors d’oeuvres with breads, cheese, satay, soups, sushi, seafood salads and spring rolls. There was also beer, wine and vodka available.
On the last day, I decided to take breakfast at the Riverside Café on the ground floor. Now, this was a grandiose experience, with fresh omelets, sausages, porridge/congee and many more options available.
The staff, particularly those at the 18th floor lounge, were extremely helpful and friendly. They were keen to have chats, whenever they were not busy. I had a challenge with the local SIM I had bought – it was simply not working, and one of the employees spent more than half an hour with the phone company to resolve the issue. It was very, very kind of her.