Caravelle hotel to turn 50 in May, cut room rates by 50%
“Fifty years ago, we opened and immediately set the standard as the most memorable, most talked-about hospitality experience in Saigon,’” said John Gardner, general manager of the hotel. “You could say the exact same thing about this hotel today.”


On May 8, the Caravelle will recognize its 50 years on the Lam Son Square in the heart of the city with an anniversary cocktail celebration in the hotel ballroom. Renowned wartime journalist and Pulitzer-prize winner Peter Arnett will keynote the anniversary celebration, accompanied by Robert Wiener, another wartime journalist.


At the same time, the hotel will mock up the Opera Room as Rue Catinat (now Dong Khoi Street) as it looked in the 1960s.


In concert, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Reflections, has worked up a special ‘Champs-Élysées’ menu of French cuisine.


For hotel bookings made in May, the hotel will cut its room rates by 50% through 31 December 2009. The month-long discount will be in effect only for online bookings made at hotel website from May 1 to 31.


Caravelle director of sales and marketing Sheena Shee said, “Fifty percent discount off on room rates is a way for us to thank our clients for their support and with that, they can together with us celebrate our 50 golden years anniversary.”


The Caravelle opened in 1959. It was renamed Doc Lap (independence) in 1975.


In October of 1992, for further its developing, Saigontourist Holding Company, teamed with Glynhill Investment Vietnam (a venture of Hong Kong’s Lai Sun and Singapore’s Keck Seng) as a joint investment partner in a new company called Chains Caravelle Hotel Joint Venture Company that sought to revive the landmark property, renovated 135 rooms to 75 bigger rooms.


The hotel made a comeback in 1998, with the refurbishment of the original 10-story, building and the complement of a 24-story tower. Today, the Caravelle ranks as one of the country’s most prestigious hotels.