- The Renaissance Saigon
- Cathay First Class
- InterContinental Hong Kong
- Cathay First Class Lounge
- Park Hyatt Tokyo
The Renaissance hotels are among my favorite not only for the properties themselves but for their locations as well. Simply put, a good hotel has a good location. In Saigon, District 1 is the place to be and unlike its main competitors, the Renaissance Riverside Saigon is right on the riverside.
My first impression was that it was a bit of a family hotel and I was rather unimpressed with the welcome but I was upgraded to a two room suite with a riverside view on the top floor (well, most of the top floor is the spa and pool and some smoking rooms). It’s hard to complain about that and the room was really great, though the decor was a bit underwhelming: not modern but not yet out of date. Marriott doesn’t officially upgrade Platinum members to suites but for some reason, this time they did, and on a points night too. Marriott treats their elites well regardless of payment and that works really well for me.
The lounge was nice, nothing to wow over. In fact, that describes the hotel pretty well. It was better than average but not one of those hotels that sweeps you off your feet. However, if you have Marriott free category 4 certificates, then a Renaissance might be the best way to use them. They are great hotels that are often listed on Marriott rewards as a category 4.
Earning certificates is easy as most of their promotions offer a free night certificate (at category 1-4 hotels) for completing two stays. The current promotion again allows you to earn 3 certificates from 6 stays. Not bad if you also are getting refer-a-friend bonuses. Overall, I would much rather get 20,000 points than the certificate as I would rather use the points toward a stay at a category 6 or 7. But I take what they give me and the Renaissance is hardly a loss.