Back Sponsored Listings » Hotels » How the Hilton Saigon Aims to Live Up to Lofty Expectations

How the Hilton Saigon Aims to Live Up to Lofty Expectations

For years, Saigon residents have watched the Hilton Saigon slowly rise and gain shape, the impressive building taking a prominent place in the skyline overlooking the river surrounded by historic District 1 landmarks. The global reputation of Hilton, a world leader in luxury accommodations has only heightened the city’s collective intrigue.

154 meters tall and occupying 3,800 square meters; 40 floors; 228 guest rooms and over 1054 square meters of meeting and event spaces: the sheer size and centrality of the Hilton Saigon means it needs little announcement that it exists. But Saigoneer was interested in learning about the human element behind the structure’s glass and steel facade and the iconic Hilton lettering. We sat down with Andrew Nisbet, the hotel’s GM, to hear more about the ethos and amenities that set it apart in the city, as well as how it plans to become a collaborative member of the community. 

“I hope that they feel that they can come in through the door,” Andrew said when asked what he wants people to think first when looking up at the tower. He understands that everyone will have certain expectations and assumptions about the hotel, but it must be a place where all people feel welcomed, whether it is a family coming for a once-in-a-lifetime special celebration, a local business holding an annual company function, or an international tourist who has visited Hiltons around the world. 

Making everyone feel welcome at the Hilton Saigon comes down to the culture and identity they strive to develop. Andrew explained that this involves seeking and responding to feedback. There will always be areas to improve, particularly when a property first opens, so what matters most is how they respond. “We can always tell ourselves how good we are, but we need to find out what's wrong, what needs to be fixed,” he explained. 

This perpetual desire to identify shortcomings and improve weaknesses via actively inquiring about guests’ experiences is the only way to provide them with the visits they desire, he noted. Such behavior has already resulted in improvements, from simple adjustments to room amenities to assigning more executive staff to the Executive Lounge. 

The centrality of adjustments based on gathered input extends to the Hilton Saigon staff. Andrew and his team have established routine opportunities for employees to share what they need or what could be done better in the hotel. For staff coming from other luxury hotels in the city, this can take some getting used to he said, but has already produced some meaningful operational changes including more flexible meal schedules and additional training across departments. This later point particularly stuck out for Andrew because the staff was inquiring about ways they could be better prepared to pitch in and help their peers. Compared to other Hiltons where he has worked in Europe, Australia and Asia, Andrew observed that Vietnamese seem particularly interested in supporting one another.

The Hilton identity aims to extend beyond the lobby doors too. The two properties in Hanoi have a reputation for community involvement, including extensive work with Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which is being extended to Saigon. During our hour-long chat, Andrew became most animated when telling the story of an individual with a hearing disability who received support from Blue Dragon and by extension, an opportunity at the Hilton in Hanoi. He’s worked there now for half a decade and spends weekends giving back to the next generation of young people in need at Blue Dragon. The Hilton’s work with charities and other organizations including local schools and universities, “that's for us internally,” Andrew said. “We do it because that's who we are and what we believe in; we’re not doing it to gain awards. We're just doing it because it's what we should do… That’s part of our culture; to do the right things and do them for the right reasons.”

The Hilton Saigon has some exciting opening soon, particularly the rooftop Song Bar and the Residence Eleven Chinese restaurant which will surely attract a lot of attention and further elevate the hotel’s reputation in a crowded F&B scene. Ultimately, Hilton Saigon’s ability to satisfy local guests and foreign travelers will depend on the culture and identity that makes every visit warm, welcoming and special. For Andrew and his team, luxury is a matter of the human touch. 


Hilton Saigon's website

Hilton Saigon's Facebook Page

Hilton Saigon | 11 Công Trường Mê Linh, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps.
However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser.
To view Google Maps, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again.