For our Tet getaway, we decided to just go to the nearest beach — Vung Tau. The last time we were here was in 2009 for Christmas. And even then, we chose the less crowded spot in Long Hai Beach.
This time, we decided to try the Ho Tram Grand (formerly known as MGM Grand until they left). It’s basically a resort for casino-going people which was quite odd for a country that disallows its citizens to gamble. 😛
What I liked about Ho Tram Grand?
1. Free shuttle bus. Yup, from Saigon to Ho Tram and back, you get free shuttle service. Plus with the opening of the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, getting to Vung Tau was quite short. What used to be a 3-hour drive was cut to less than 2 hours. The bus attendant would give us a call to remind us about our reservation and departure time.
Pick up point is at the Kim Do Hotel along Nguyen Hue in District 1.
2. Booster seats. Aside from the baby chair in the restaurant, they also provide booster seats. I wish they provide strollers too because the hotel is huge and yes, we didn’t bring a stroller for our 1 year old.
100,000 VND for an hour or 200,000 VND for the whole day. Not bad if you don’t want a whiny kid in tow.
The Kids Corner has lots of activities and even a nap corner!
For teens, there’s billiards, Wii, and a place to plug your laptop.
4. Pools! Because it’s Tet, there were a lot of people in the hotel but you can hardly see everybody because the place is spacious. You only get the idea of the number of guests during breakfast. So it’s terrific that they’ve got 1 ginormous infinity pool at 1.2m deep (yey!),
another 1.2m deep big pool cut into 2 so that the adults can swim in a safe distance while the kids are in the 0.5m deep pool, and another 0.5m deep pool just for the kids. And of course there’s the beach.
The best time to swim is after breakfast at 11 when the wind has died down and the weather ain’t too cold. Believe you me, we tried swimming at 4 pm, and it was freezing.
Lots of space to build sand castles, tramp on the puddles, and see starfishes.
6. Buffet Breakfast at the Ginger from 6 am to 11 pm. Hooray for people like us who wants to laze in the morning. There is an array of food from Vietnamese to Western dishes. We also tried their lunch buffet at 600kVND each. It was actually pretty good too. It’s free for kids under 6
7. Service with a smile. Sounds cheesy? But so true. Everybody working in Ho Tram Grand are warm and courteous people. No communication problem too as they can all speak English, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Well at least all the people I spoke to can all speak English.
Is the accommodation expensive? Um, yeah. But is it worth it? Definitely. Overall, we had a pretty relaxing holiday here in Ho Tram Grand. Wish we can still come back — if budget permits. 😛 It really is an awesome resort for a family.