caravellehotel #saigon #5star #hochiminhcity
One of our favourites to stay at in Saigon. A fascinating history. Today you take a look at our Signature King Room. Signature gives you the benefit to use the Private VIP Signature lounge. Providing food and drink within your stay at the Caravelle Saigon Hotel.
Caravelle Hotel Featured in the Hollywood Film The Quiet American with Michael Caine
Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, the hotel was taken over and operated by the government and renamed the Doc Lap (Independence) Hotel. This name remained until 1998, when the Caravelle name was relaunched following refurbishment.
When director Phillip Noyce in 2002 surveyed Lam Son Square as a movie set for the dramatic bombing scene in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, he chose the Caravelle as a stand-in for the historic Continental Hotel across the square. It was not that the Caravelle looked anything like the Continental, but the renovations at the Continental and the cost of shooting scenes at the hotel ruled out the original as an option. As the ground floor of the Caravelle donned stage makeup and a new persona for its acting debut, actors in the movie moved into the Presidential Suites upstairs. Hotel staff remember the actor Michael Caine, who won an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Thomas Fowler, as an extremely amiable character. Caine would take tea in the bar, chit chat with the restaurant staff, and after discovering that the hotel buffet included roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, became a regular fixture at the restaurant.
The Caravelle Hotel is located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The hotel was opened to the public on Christmas Eve 1959, when the city was known as Saigon. Contemporary journalists noted its use of Italian marble, bullet-proof glass and a “state-of-the-art air-conditioning system and a Berliet private generator.”
The hotel’s modern design was the work of a Vietnamese architect, Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa, a graduate of École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Hanoi. (Ref: “Caravelle-Saigon, A History” by VHSG, Saigon Culture Publishing House, 2009)
The original ten-story building is now adjoined to a 24-story tower that forms the bulk of the new property. However, the Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar has changed little since 1959.
Caravelle Hotel is owned by the state-owned Saigon Tourist Co.
During the 1960s, the Caravelle was home to the Australian Embassy, the New Zealand Embassy, and the Saigon bureaus of NBC, ABC and CBS. As a hub of communication, it played an important role in the Vietnam War. The Manifesto of the Eighteen became better known as the Caravelle Manifesto after a press conference to announce it was held at the hotel. It also became part of Vietnam fiction and non-fiction literature, such as in Danielle Steele’s novel “Message From Nam” and Morley Safer’s memoir “Flashbacks”.
Since its opening on Christmas Eve 1959, Caravelle Saigon has gained renown for being at the heart of everything important in this great city. Located in the city centre, the hotel is a short walk to iconic landmarks and locations, such as the Saigon Municipal Theatre, also known as the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, historic Dong Khoi Street, modern Nguyen Hue Walking Street, and the legendary Ben Thanh Market. Within its walls, the hotel has been at the centre of significant historic and cultural events as well, beginning with its original design hailed at the time as one of the tallest and most modern buildings of its kind in Vietnam.
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