Back To The Motherland: Sheraton Saigon and Hilton Hanoi Opera

a room with pink couches and a desk


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

Coming from 0 hotel points, I felt like I was sitting on a small fortune, and was excited to put them to use.  The first uses of the points would be on 2 nights at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, and then 1 night at the Hilton Hanoi Opera.

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. 

a room with red couches and a table
suite living room

a bed with white sheets and a green couch
suite bedroom

a glass with food on it
welcome gift

a body of water with trees and buildings in the background
fog/mist all over the city
a pot of soup with a ladle
traditional hanoi fish soup

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