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Twas around 2-ish when we arrived at Park Royal Saigon. Taxis and buses were unloading guests. It was a Friday and probably,  one of their peak days but my boys found themselves seats at the lobby while I queued up for about ten minutes. Two Korean ladies, who I assumed were flight attendants as they wore one of the airlines’ uniforms and other guests were arriving from the airport with their massive luggage getting themselves a room. Good thing the receptionists spoke good English,  checking in was swift. I gave them my name and  in 2 minutes the key cards were handed to me together with a very brief orientation on breakfast, room and WIFI.

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Park Royal Saigon. So this is the place- our home for 3 days and 2 nights.

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First impressions?

The atmosphere from the front door to the lobby wasn’t very warm. Most doormen and lobby staff of the 4 to 5-star hotels where we had stayed would greet or at least smile at the guests. Maybe they were too busy? Then, all four of us headed to the lift and pressed 6. We were still trying to feel the vibes. ‘A bit warm here and very quiet’ we thought as we walked to our room. ‘Do you think this is a good idea for our kids, our family to stay here over the weekend?’.  Hubsy and I were a little bit worried. But our thoughts changed just as about we stepped in our room!

What my family enjoyed at the hotel?

1. The kiddie bed. We hadn’t expected for it; I also didn’t ask for it. Seeing a small bed with kiddie cover, my little boy jumped with elation and looked at me saying: ‘Mom, I have a bed’.  That made me happy too.

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2. The bedroom. My hubsy instantly appreciated the room. The bed was huge. There was also a big working table, complete with convenient ports, including HDMI -very important for us couple- as we often work with our lappies at night.

DSC_2821Hubsy had a party to attend that night at White Palace, just a few blocks from the hotel. He was glad to find a flat iron which is not typically provided by many hotels. Surely he was  going to attend a very important event with a well-pressed suit.

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3. I am not a big breakfast eater but my boys are, the little ones especially. They’d always look forward to every morning, choosing from a variety local, oriental and western breakfast options. Garden Brassiere, the dining area, has plenty of fruit, juices and bread- my favorite choice for breakfast.

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Our friends, Kim and Ha came to visit us on our third day but didn’t choose the 15usd-breakfast buffet. They had American Breakfast and Horfun Seafood instead.
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4. We hit the pool after breakfast as the kids were excited to take a dip. The sun was up but coconut trees were giving enough shade. We were at the hotel to spend time with the family and the pool area was a perfect venue to linger. I had to ask my kids to ‘shhhh’ every now and then as their laughter echoed. Nevertheless, my kids had a blast- a great bonding moment.

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5. We still get to exercise while on the hotel. Yey! Right next to the pool is the most technologically-advanced gym we have ever been too. The treadmill was hubsys’s favorite.
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Plus if you ever get exhausted from swimming and exercising, you can always get a body massage at St. Gregory which shares the same entrance door with the gym.

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6. The people in the hotel are actually very helpful, polite and accommodating. So much about ‘first impressions’, we did feel the warmth of the service staff.
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7. We would have never known it if Grace, one of the executives of the hotel, hadn’t mentioned the Orchid Club Lounge. We went up to the top floor and regretted why we hadn’t been there the day before. It was a cool place to hang out!
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Look at that beautiful view!

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and the very important reason why I love this to spend my whole afternoon here: C – O – F – F – E – E

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8. Newspapers, books, magazines plus a reader’s corner in the OCL make this place ideal for relaxation and could be a fine spot for business meetings or social gatherings. We were lucky it was barely occupied when we went there. We had the all the comfy sofas for ourselves.

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9. The hotel has received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor. Obviously, travelers love this place.I do too.
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10. Accessibility to the airport and to district 1 and 3 (city center)plus they have a shuttle bus taking you to those places-compliments of the hotel. Big C supermarket is just across the street. Mon Hue Restaurant is a stone throw. There are ATMs in front of the hotel. So basically, everything that you need is just within reach.
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To sum up, this is what I feel about Park Royal Saigon:
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Wanna join “Trade for a Trip”? The mechanics are as follows:

• 17 April 2013, 00:01 to 17 May 2013, 23:59
• Share 3 picks on things to do in one of these cities: Singapore / Kuala Lumpur / Penang / Saigon / Sydney / Parramatta / Melbourne
• Pick a PARKROYAL hotel to win a two night stay in.
• 9 winners will be selected at the end of the contest