After a one week stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, we are back in a bustling city: Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City. We decided to stay our last two nights in Vietnam at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon.
Booking at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon with Marriott Bonvoy points
For this stay, I chose to use points from the Marriott Bonvoy program: 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for 2 nights.
That’s 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night… or the equivalent of 8,333 starpoints, instead of CA$195 + tax.
The use of these 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points / 16,667 starpoints will have saved me more than CA$400 including taxes! Not bad when just one credit card, the Marriott BonvoyTM American ExpressMD Card, can give you 50,000 points!
Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy GOLD status
With the Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, obtained through the equivalence of the Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, itself obtained with my Carte de PlatineMD from American Express, I had various benefits such as:
- Free high speed WiFi
- Late departure / early arrival
- Access to the Executive Lounge
- Breakfast at the hotel restaurant or in the lounge (your choice!)
Due to our early arrival, no upgrade, only a high floor.
The Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
The Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon is a 5 star hotel. It is located in the heart of Saigon.
It is located on a “half” traffic circle. Next to it is being built a Hilton hotel.
Arrived from the airport with an Uber driver (about $5 ride for 20-25 minutes), no one in line at the reception. We will be greeted by the Marriott Bonvoy Elite Member Receptionist.
The hotel bar is located on the reception level:
It’s about 11am: I had requested an early arrival (Marriott Gold advantage) for our 2 rooms and it will be honored.
We head to the elevators behind the reception and go to the 12th floor.
The room at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
We had two connecting rooms: one with a king size bed and the other with two single beds.
Upscale room with city view: king bed
One thing we appreciated: the baby bed was already installed in our room as requested at the time of booking.
The decor is simple and effective.
The view… is a “city” view and not a river view (a category above). On the 12th floor, we can’t hear the traffic.
An office is present. Again, simple and effective. Nothing extravagant.
A coffee machine and a kettle are available next to the entrance.
And in the closet, you will find all the usual accessories: ironing board and iron, bathrobe, hair dryer and safe.
Deluxe room with city view: 2 single beds
The other room is composed of two single beds.
The layout is a little different here: no sofa, but 2 armchairs.
The office is identical to the other room.
Sweets – for a fee – are available.
Note the rather “vintage” lighting buttons:
The bathrooms of both rooms are identical. They are starting to show their age, but it is still very correct. Note that the hotel is generous with bottled water!
The pool and the gym
On the top floor of the hotel are the swimming pool and the gym. Surrounding the pool: the Liquid Sky Bar.
Opening hours. We appreciate the gym open 24 hours a day and the pool until 9pm.
First of all, the gym.
Then the pool. It was over 35 degrees in early January, the pool was rather cool, around 24 degrees.
From the pool, a beautiful view of the city and the river.
The catering areas
If you are a Marriott Gold member, you have automatic access to the Executive Lounge on the 18th floor. In addition, you can have breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.
The lounge executive
This one offers beautiful views of the river.
You will be able to have your breakfast, access throughout the day to serve you drinks…
…or in the evening for alcoholic beverages and lots of snacks!
I must say I was quite impressed with the evening service. However, expect to meet a lot of people between 6-7pm!
Breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant
Upon check-in, we were told that as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold member, we would be entitled to breakfast either in the lounge or in the hotel’s restaurant, Viet Kitchen Saigon.
This same choice was offered to us at the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel. If this choice is suggested to you, don’t hesitate and take the hotel’s restaurant! Indeed, the one at the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon is apparently famous: a lot of people from outside come there to have breakfast!
The room is pleasant and bright.
And the buffet is, as usual in Asia, gargantuan!
Salty in quantity AND quality:
Eggs… in every way!
And of course, sweetness:
And many different fresh juices:
This Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon is a quality hotel. I don’t think it’s on the level of a 5 star, 4 stars being more justified. On the other hand, it’s hard to fault the 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (or 8,333 starpoints). I would have to say that the executive lounge and breakfast are the highlights of the hotel…which were made available through Marriott Gold status. Without it, I would have been a little disappointed with the performance.
But it must be said that the bar had been set very high by the previous hotels we visited: the JW Marriott Hotel Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, the JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi or the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel.
My other choice in the city would have been the newer Le Meridien Saigon a few blocks away. This one was only 7,000 starpoints: a little cheaper than the Renaissance, but we would not have had free breakfast: the Marriott Bonvoy Gold status does not offer it, unlike the Marriott Bonvoy Gold.
In short, I recommend this hotel… provided you stay as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold or Platinum member!