1 January 2009, travellers staying at the Caravelle Hotel in the heart
of Saigon, will no longer have to worry about how much the hotel is
charging to connect to the internet, as the hotel will begin offering
from that date complimentary internet access to all hotel guests.
“The Internet is as essential in any upscale hotel room as a flat screen TV and a premium bed,” said John Gardner, general manager of the
Caravelle. “We don’t charge extra for television, or a bed for that matter, and we can no longer justify charging for the Internet.”
In early 2008, the Caravelle upgraded its Internet capabilities with implementation of the MagiNet Broadband Solution, an advanced fiber-optic
network infrastructure that allows travelers to work at speeds they’re used to in their home or office.
Through 2008, hotel guests accessed the hotel’s broadband by purchasing wired or
WiFi access on their browser. The new access procedure is
the same, except that hotel guests will no longer be charged a fee.
The hotel began offering Internet services to guests in early 2003. In 2008, the service costs $8 per hour, or $16 for 24 hours, whether for
The Caravelle will be
one of the first five star hotels in Vietnam to do away with internet
charges - something most travellers greatly appreciate.
“Someone’s got to be first,” said Gardner. “At some point, you have to say, ‘Well, we’ve recouped our investment’. The Internet’s no longer a
mere convenience. It’s a necessity for business travelers, and, we’re finding, for leisure travelers as well.”
The Caravelle stands at 19 Lam Son Square, across from the Municipal Theater. The hotel opened in 1959,
boasting a suite of amenities never before seen in Saigon, including bulletproof glass, a Berliet generator and Trane air conditioners (a first for
any hotel in the city).
In 1998, after more than two decades of operation on a shoestring budget, the aging landmark was resuscitated with a complete renovation and
a complementary, 24-storey tower.
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