- Sheraton Saigon and Hilton Hanoi Opera
- Overnight Trip to Ha Long Bay
- Hiking Through Sapa
- Sofitel Metropole Hanoi and Park Hyatt Saigon
- Thai Airways F to Hong Kong
- Exploring Hong Kong
As Rick James once said, "hotel credit card sign-up bonuses, hell of a drug." Ok, terrible joke, but you get the idea. I was on a mission to accumulate hotel points, and stockpile them I did. In a very short period of time, I was able to get the following all via credit card offers:
- SPG Amex: 25,000 point sign-up bonus
- Hilton Amex: 60,000 point sign-up bonus
- Amex Premier Rewards Gold: 75,000 sign-up bonus + 35,000 system-glitch "gift"
- Hyatt Chase Card: 2 free nights systemwide
After landing in Saigon, I was an absolute wreck. I believe that the flight from ORD-HKG was around 14 hours, followed by a 3+ hour layover, then a 2 hour flight to SGN. I hadn't slept a wink on the longhaul ORD-HKG flight, and had a really hard time with jet lag on this trip. The Sheraton Saigon is located in District 1 which is very nice and central part of the city. I've actually found there to be a lot of good deals, especially in Asia, for western hotel chains such as SPG and Hilton. I believe that the cost was only approx. 2,800 SPG points and $40 per night which I thought was good value. Overall we enjoyed our stay at this hotel and in particular thought the breakfast buffet was fantastic and offered a lot of options.
After 2 days in Saigon, much of which I spent in a daze, we headed to Hanoi. We'd be spending 1 night there before leaving for Ha Long Bay. I used 30,000 Hilton points to book the Hilton Hanoi Opera, and despite having not stayed in a Hilton in the past decade, had managed to get Gold status through a loophole. At the time I thought I was a king with my Gold status, and the hotel actually did a good job recognizing it through room upgrade to a suite, access to executive lounge, and free buffet breakfast. Now that I've traveled more and more with hotel status, I've found that non-US hotels definitely do a better job recognizing status, especially those in Asia.
The hotel is definitely a bit older, and while it was perfectly acceptable for a 1 night stay, we certainly weren't dazzled, but I felt it was good value for the 30,000 points I spent on it. However, I was glad that I had booked the Sofitel Metropole Hotel for our 1 night stay later on, as we found that hotel to be much better.
|suite living room|
|fog/mist all over the city|
|traditional hanoi fish soup|