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Inside the Storied Caravelle Hotel

The Caravelle holds a singular place in the cultural tapestry of Saigon. The luxury hotel was originally opened on Christmas Eve 1959 in the heart of the city, directly next door to the Opera House and a couple of blocks from the post office. It stands, not only as an architectural landmark, but as a reflection of the array of changes the city has undergone in the past half century.

 The Caravelle has adapted in tandem with the cultural and economic transformations undergone by the city itself. The Caravelle's Reflections restaurant has been a mainstay at the hotel for decades, but the hotel's newest incarnation brings together the classic with the contemporary with its recently opened tapas kitchen on the ground floor of the hotel, and the revamped drink menu at the Saigon Saigon rooftop bar.

The Reflections restaurant on the third floor specializes in fine-dining, and maintains the Caravelle’s dedication to serving creative international dishes to diners in the heart of Saigon. Reflections features bi-monthly guest chef appearances and uses the finest locally grown organic fruits and vegetables to provide an exquisite dining experience. The windows of the restaurant overlook one of the city’s most prominent intersections, which provides the perfect backdrop for an elegant night out. 

The new tapas kitchen features sophisticated appetizers that combine elements from different international cultural traditions. Conveniently located near the Dong Khoi entrance to the Caravelle, next to the L’Opera cafe of the hotel, the Tapas kitchen is open from 10:00AM - 11:00PM daily, and features a substantial selection of culinarily innovative appetizers, like the Seared Japanese Hitachi Wagyu Sirloin Nigiri Sushi with horseradish and soy, or the Hand Cut Fries Wrapped in Thinly Shaved Grass Fed Premium Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Bearnaise sauce. These scrumptious tapas are great for sharing, as well as for when you face the problem of having limited stomach capacity, but a taste for several international flavors.

Unlike the new Tapas kitchen, Caravelle’s historic Saigon Saigon Bar is the nothing short of iconic. During the 1960’s, the Caravelle was the headquarters for the American networks CBS, NBC, and ABC, and the Saigon Saigon rooftop was the decompression zone for their teams of journalists. Today, a photograph taken on the rooftop in 1967 of a young, scrappy journalist named Peter Jennings with his crew is prominently displayed on one of the bar’s walls. (This is characteristic of the Caravelle, which has reminders throughout its hallways of its significance in the annals of Saigon history).

The bar has a sumptuous food menu, which it calls the “Caravelle Manifesto,” serving some high-end bar food including traditional but mouthwatering appetizers, like the BBQ Pork ribs with Jack Daniels Smokey BBQ sauce, and the Fried Cajun-Style Chicken Wings. There are also some contemporary takes on Vietnamese dishes like the Delectable Spicy Squid Skewers with Lime Chili Dipping Sauce, or the Grilled Eggplant with Saute Minced Beef and Sesame Rice Paper Crackers. There’s also a decent list of sliders available at the bar, like the New Zealand Embassy Lamb Burger with Beetroot and Tatziki Sauce, a culinary memorial to the Caravelle once having been the site of the New Zealand Embassy.

The well-stocked bar has an inventory of 13 scotch whiskeys, 18 whiskeys, and a long list of signature cocktails, which along with local craft beers and bar bites, are available for 50% off during Happy Hour, between 4PM and 7PM daily. Sunday’s Happy Hour includes free flow packages on craft beer between 3PM and 6PM. At sundown, you can enjoy the majestic view of the heart of Saigon and celebrate the historical ties between Vietnam and Cuba with Luna Negra, a Cuban salsa band that performs six nights a week at Saigon Saigon, and is guaranteed to shake your maracas and make you to dance!

 

Caravelle Hotel's Website

Caravelle Hotel's Facebook Page

(84) 28 3823 4999

19 -23 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

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