Caravelle Saigon (Hotel), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Deals

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For the longest time, the Caravelle was "the place lớn stay in Vietnam", this fame largely realised through its predicament in time, perhaps best portrayed by its "perch and proximity to lớn war" between 1960 khổng lồ 1975.

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Image source: Caravelle Hotel

The Caravelle Hotel grew from an idea in 1954 lớn create the premier hotel in the thành phố of Saigon (now officially Ho Chi Minch City). On Christmas Eve sầu of 1959, it opened its doors presenting air-conditioned splendour and an unmatched view over the đô thị, also with an air-conditioned elevator, the zenith of luxury in Saigon at the time.

Conflict and Independent Reporting in the Vietphái nam War

During the years of the Vietphái mạnh War, the Caravelle was well known as the base for independent reporting, where new standards were set during a period of time that attracted the attention of the world truyền thông media. The khách sạn itself was the backdrop to lớn significant events of the conflict with America. An explosion outside the building blew out many of the hotel’s windows, và as the conflict grew, a nightly show of distant explosions lighting up the sky beyond the fringes of Saigon was clearly visible from the hotel"s rooftop bar.

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Image source: Caravelle Hotel

Its 10th storey rooftop bar witnessed the birth of many famous dispatches from the conflict zone, penned by the best và brightest journalists of the time, including David Halberstam, Walter Cronkite, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett, Malcolm Browne, Morley Safer, Ward Just and Michel Herr. All have sầu stayed at the Caravelle, drunk at the Caravelle, formed opinions at the Caravelle và often dispatched their news from the Caravelle itself. The famous image of the last helicopter departing Saigon from the American Airlines airlift by Hubert-Van-Es was captured from the Caravelle’s rooftop bar. That same vantage point still looks over to lớn the former CIA office’s rooftop (the Pittman Apartment building), substantially unchanged from that time.

Beginnings of the Caravelle Hotel, Saigon

Historically, the first hotels in Saigon were built along distinctly French Colonial designs, principally serving the French colonial business and administration needs. The very first of Saigon"s hotels being the Continental (planned & constructed from 1880) with its street side cafes & presenting a distinct home away from home page the the French men & women passing through Saigon.

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Image source: agodomain authority.net

Saigon was not a tourist destination in the early 20th Century and the lone Continental Hotel served the needs of those seeking khổng lồ stay in Saigon. As dem& for hotel accommodation increased, the Majestic Hotel was proposed và began construction in 1925, located at the far over of Rue Catinat (today"s Dong Khoi). In 1928, not far along Rue Catinat away from the river, permission was granted for the conversion of a coffee siêu thị to lớn open The Grand Hotel in 1937.

Following World War II & with the convenience of air travel, Saigon"s foreign population grew lớn around trăng tròn,000, predominantly French. In the early 1950"s, Saigon was still very much a French concern, and Indochimãng cầu was booming with a growing demvà for upscale accommodation. Two entrepreneurs, Monsieurs Antonin Emery and Marius Mallein, phối out khổng lồ build the tallest, most luxurious và modern khách sạn the city had ever seen.

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Development and Construction of the Caravelle Hotel

The architect commissioned khổng lồ design the Caravelle Hotel project was Nguyen Van Hoa (born in Can Tho), an architectural studies graduate from the Ecole Superieure Des Beaux-Arts in Hanoi. The l& và permissions were secured to lớn begin construction in what was (và remains) a site that commanded excellent views of Saigon’s Opera House and the city’s most cosmopolirã thoroughfares. Primarily planned as a high kết thúc khách sạn, the plans included premium office and business spaces, và the entrepreneurs also brokered giao dịch for co-ownership with several high-profile parties.

These co-ownership deals resulted in the Australian Legation occupying the 7th floor, the Catholic Church generating income from the hotel exclusively khổng lồ fund the University in Dalat, và Air France as a major ground floor occupant. The project went through an extended planning và construction period, encountering significant delays throughout, but the architects (Hong Kong based firm Andrew Lee King Fun) & interior designers (California’s Hirsch Bedner Associates) maintained their kiến thiết standards to lớn realise the deluxe pháo khách sạn that stood proudly as the premier deluxe pháo accommodation in Saigon for many years.

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Image source: instagram.com

The name of the khách sạn itself owes much to lớn the growth of air travel to lớn the region, and in particular lớn Air France"s testing of a new airplane, the Caravelle, in the same year that the hotel opened. The name Caravelle was inspired by the fast, light ships of the 15th century that evoked thoughts of foreign trade, adventure, & new horizons.

Reunification và a new era of trade và development for Saigon

Following the reunification of Vietphái nam in 1975, the ownership of the Caravelle Hotel transferred lớn the Government of what became the Sociadanh sách Republic of Vietphái nam in 1976. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minch City and the Caravelle Hotel became Hotel Doc Lap (Hotel Independence. It continued khổng lồ operate through difficult times with a debilitating trade embargo until 1990, when government reforms began khổng lồ improve trade and economic growth in the country. In 1992, the Saigon Tourist and Glynhill Investment Vietphái nam organisations (an investment group from Hong Kong and Singapore) came together in a new partnership, the Chains Caravelle Hotel Joint Venture Company, with an investment plan to renovate the "Doc Lap" to lớn become an international 5-star hotel.

Thus, the Caravelle Hotel was reborn as an ibé of luxurious accommodation lớn the highest international standards, with a new 24-storey wing constructed adjacent to lớn the original historic building, complete with swimming pool and all other 5-star amenities. The new tower construction was completed in 1997, before renovations began on the original building. At this time, the hotel closed for one year while the old và new structures were united and finished to lớn the same standards.

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Image source: netdna-cdn.com

Since the Re-opening of Saigon’s Caravelle Hotel

The new Caravelle Hotel opened its doors once again to guests in May 1998, having weathered the Asian economic crisis that began in 1997. After re-opening, the Caravelle found itself in the fortunate position of being the only new khách sạn in the centre of town, at which seemingly everyone wanted khổng lồ stay. A New York Times article, written in July 1998 about the city"s khách sạn scene during the economic crisis, commented on the Caravelle"s new look: "The fabled Caravelle hotel in Ho Chi Minch City, a haunt of foreign correspondents during the war, has undergone a multi million-dollar renovation that has turned it into lớn a marble-draped palace".

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Maintaining their ranking as a highly regarded hotel in Saigon, the Caravelle is currently upgrading its Tower wing, which it expects khổng lồ reopen early in 2019, before proceeding with renovations of the "Heritage" wing planned for completion in 20đôi mươi. The Caravelle Hotel’s rooftop bar remains one of Saigon’s most well-known, commanding excellent views across the đô thị and serving as a popular destination for visitors with a keen sense of history.