Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
The Rex Hotel was a center of activity during the Vietnam War as it was the favorite hotel of the military brass, which meant the journalists weren't far behind. It is very elegant and a great place for a nostalgic drink on the rooftop terrace.
You can see the lights of the traffic down below --read my tip on negotiating the Saigon streets!
All that shopping made us thirsty, so we decided to stop for a coffee. Saw this place also had internet, so we ventured in. Well what a pleasant surprise! I'd heard all about Vietnamese coffee and am glad to say that I love it!! Will definately be looking for a place to buy it back home.
.....wasn't till we got home and I was trying to find out where this coffee shop was, that I realised we had actually found the Rex Hotel !! ...now I'm sure you'll be able to find our lovely coffee shop, since everyone knows about the Rex Hotel :o)
At the side of the Rex hotel opposite the Tax department store there is a bar and a place where you can have juice, coffee and a snack at a reasonable price.
We had a juice and they served it with a swivel stick with the Rex Hotel emblem on it. Guess what was taken home!!
The Rex Hotel was a popular haunt amongst journalists during the Vietnam War. It was once home to the daily U.S. military attaché’s press briefing which was dubbed the “Five O’Clock Follies” . The Rex, while not as modern and as upmarket as the newer hotels, still has a charm relating back to that period.
If you are not staying here, then come for a look! The Hotel is located next to City hall and has an important place in the history of Ho Chi Minh City. The Hotel is now a 5 star, 284-room, five-story building.
During France colonial rule of Vietnam in 1927, a French business man built the building
as a two-story auto dealership and garage complex, show-casing Citroën and other European cars. Then between 1959 to 1975, the Hotel was renovated and became the 100-room "Rex Complex" hotel, which featured three cinemas, a cafeteria, a dance hall and a library.
You wouldn't expect the first guests at the Hotel to be 400 U.S. Army soldiers who were billeted at the Hotel while their tents were set up. This was in 1961 before the Hotel was completed. The Soldiers enjoyed a Thanks-giving dinner which was cooked in the men's field kitchen on the rooftop of the Rex.
During the Vietnam War the US military officers would give the daily press briefings, these became known as the "FIVE O'CLOCK FOLLIES." The Rex was also was used as a social venue for American soldiers.
Since the war ended in 1975, the state's Saigon Tourism Bureau took ownership of the hotel and renamed it "Fortified Port." The hotel was used as the location for the press conference announcing the reunification of Vietnam in 1976.
In 1986, the hotel was renamed Rex Hotel and now anybody can come and enjoy a drink at the very popular roof top Bar.
Arguably the most famous Rex Hotel in the world, thanks to its association with American servicemen during the war. You can stay here too if you're willing to shell out. It's scheduled to undergo a multimillion-dollar transformation into a 5-star hotel, so hurry before it gets too expensive.
During the Vietnam War the American military held press conferences at the Rex, and its rooftop bar was a hangout for military officials and war correspondents.
You can see the old wing of the hotel and have a drink (or lunch) at the rooftop bar.
Coming to Vietnam meant cheap bia (beer), their beer per glass cost $0.70. How cheap can that be and its really good. A must try. I went to Rex hotel the other day, and sat on the open garden at their rooftop. A nice place to drink something and look down the balcony and their the crazy street of Saigon is there right in the eyes.
Nothing special to me this place, but since its a historical place and everyone is talking about it, so I must try it. But actually, its really nothing special.
One of the night we decided to go to the roof top bar of the Rex hotel, and we had a blast !!! the place was jam packed with locals and plenty of foreigner's. Prices were high, but your in elite company here. The service was excellent, views aren't all that, but this one of the best hotel's in all of Vietnam !!!! Rates start at $300 US dollars a night !!!!! Location of the Rex Hotel is 100% perfect. If you have time come and have some drinks here !!!!
The hotel has a fascinating history, and the restaurant/cafe at the rooftop was the favorite spot of the U.S. military and spies during the war.
Stay here if you want to experience the old-Saigon feel.
I suppose this should come under accommodation, but I never actually stayed there. I slept at cheap places in De Tham. I spoke to a couple who were staying at the Rex and they said it was great. It's certainly got a good location, in the best part of downtown Saigon, opposite the Opera House.
The Rex Hotel has featured in several books and films as it was the American bachelor officers' quarters during the Vietnam War. The rooftop bar and dance hall they used to frequent are still open to the general public.
An executive suite at the Rex costs US$450 per night.
This famous hotel was a meeting point for American journalists and army officials during the Vietnam War. The building actually started life as a two storey auto dealership/garage complex called Bainier Auto Hall where it showcased Citroen and other European cars. From 1959 the building was turned into the 100 room Rex Complex hotel with three cinemas, a cafeteria, a dance hall and a library. It quickly became a popular haunt for American troops when its conference room hosted a daily press conference, by the MACV, derisively named The Five O’clock Follies by cynical journalists who found the optimism of leading US military officers to be misguided.
After the Vietnam War (1975), Saigon Tourist Bureau took ownership of the hotel and renamed it "Ben Thanh." The "Ben Thanh" hotel was used as the location for the press conference announcing the reunification of Vietnam in 1976. In 1986, the hotel was sold and renamed the Rex Hotel and was then renovated in 2003.
The Rex Hotel sits near the Hotel de Ville on the corner of Nguyen Hur and Le Loi Streets. Today it is one of the nicer hotels in the city.
During the Vietnam war it provided housing for American Army officers. It became somewhat infamous as the location of the "Five O'Clock Follies," for the military's daily briefings to the media.
This used to be the favourite hangout of US soldiers, journalists etc. It has a huge glittering, revolving "crown", the symbol of the Rex Hotel.
The decor of this place is pretty unique...you can see in the picture that our table was in front of a white horse statue.
We ordered a beer ("333", a local brew) and a margarita, plus some french fries. The bill was about USD9, quite reasonable, I guess. Well, you pay for the experience.
Just as we were about to leave, we heard loud sirens blasting from the streets below. There were 5-6 fire engines tearing down the street. The waiter told us that there was a "big fire" in the vicinity, and we could actually see smoke in the distance.
The Rex hotel has undergone major changes since 5 years ago when I was here. This will be a comparison before in 2007 pictures and 2012 pictures.
The Rex has an unorthodox history: It used to be a French garage, was expanded by the Vietnamese, and then was used by the United States Information Agency (and some say the CIA) from 1962 to 1970. The Rex stands as a monument to Saigon's recent history. A French garage cum hotel that later became the base for American operations during the Vietnam War. Its conference room was the scene of the "five o'clock follies" -- daily press briefings to journalists. In 1976 the unification of North Vietnam with South Vietnam was announced in the same room. It was confiscated from the former owners and is now owned by the huge company Saigon Tourist (which owns the major hotels in Saigon and in Vietnam in General).
The hotel was transformed in a massive renovation and opened in 1990 as the kitschy, atmospheric government-run place it is today. former haunt of the press corps and site of the daily news briefing during the Vietnam War. The 5th floor beer garden (Rooftop Garden) is famous and its symbol, the golden crown, is rotating again