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First 5-star resort experience - The Grand Ho Tram Strip

Before we even headed out to Vietnam I was already thinking of our next trip/vacation. As we have had a lot of fun, exciting and adventurous type of trips I thought a nice get-away would be nice. I kept asking around for nice places near Saigon and eventually decided on Vung Tau, only a 2-hour ride from Saigon.

For this trip, I decided to go to The Grand Ho Tram Strip (formerly part of MGM Grand in Las Vegas!). A huge casino-resort, weird considering they don’t allow Vietnamese citizens to gamble… Next to their property they have a world-class golf course created by Greg Norman! The full resort is supposed to have a full waterpark included which is still being constructed and should be finished in 2018!

First things first. How to get there? Fortunate enough the resort has a free shuttle all the way from Saigon! No need to go through the hassle of trying to get to the resort by yourself. We were scheduled for the 12:00 noon transfer and had to be there 20-minutes beforehand.  Finally arrived there, we felt so out of place because of all the 50+ old people, and other rich looking guests going there. But oh well, we got an amazing price for our room!
The bus departed at exactly 12:00 noon and there we went, riding through the big city first before ending up on the highway where we saw a lot of condominiums and high-rise buildings! Surprised because we didn’t see any in the city center. After some sleep and looking out of the window we finally arrived on the resort’s grounds. Everything was just amazing and Grand from the gate, to the front desk, and even the hallways were a couple of meters wide!

After checking in we could go to our Deluxe King Room, unfortunately there was no one bringing us to our room nor was someone pointing us to the right direction. With the resort being so big we had no idea where to go to. Lucky that we found the elevators not long after! Upon entering our room, we were amazed by how new and big everything seemed to be. It finally sink in that we were at a 5-star resort. After exploring every nook and cranny we decided to change our clothes and head to the pool, which was our biggest reason of going there haha.

Before heading to the actual pool, we decided to have a late-lunch at one of the 7 restaurants, NamNam Express. The restaurant we chose is the cheapest of them all and has a diner-kind of feel to it. They have a mix of Asian food available, but do expect to pay higher prices compared to the ones in the City! We ended up ordering a Pho beef noodle soup, Wonton noodle soup, some spring rolls, and lastly a small custard pudding to share which we almost forgot. We both decided for an iced tea.

Pho beef              148.000 VND
Wonton noodle    148.000 VND
Spring rolls         108.000 VND
cream custard        88.000 VND
2x iced tea             64.000 VND
Total including 15%: 639.400 VND

You can find the full menu below.

The pool consists of 3 connected pools and a kiddie pool for the small ones. Right in front of the resort is also a private beach which was closed due to strong winds and they advised us not to swim there. Finally, being able to swim was such a great feeling! We ended up swimming for a couple of hours before heading back to the room where we ordered room-service. Since November I promised to have room-service with Rea but we weren’t able to get it the last time in Puerto Princessa. So here we are, a big menu with a lot of food which we can order to our room. We decided on a couple of dishes to try out everything. 2-stand alone dishes and one of the 3 Vietnamese set meals, but with no drinks. Fortunate enough the complimentary minibar has enough drinks for the duration of our stay.
Fish and chips     140.000 VND
Chinese pork       140.000 VND
 set A                   370.000 VND
Total including 15%: 747.500 VND

After a long travel, relaxing at the pool, and our bellies full it was time to use our bathtub for the first time. Not only were we able to watch T.V from the bathtub, but there are actual speakers inside so we could listen better or even louder. By then it was midnight and we slowly drift to sleep.

The next day

The next day we had nothing planned at all. It was a day just to relax, after all, this vacation was planned with nothing in mind but relaxing. First thing in the morning we head to our breakfast buffet which was better than any we've had before. There were so many options to choose from! I ended up getting only breads, croissants, and pastries. While Rea got croissants and some vegetables with bacon. With some freshly squeezed orange juice and some fruits as our dessert. Then we head out to explore more of the resort.

We ended up enjoying one of their facilities by ourselves as no one else was using it. which was Mini Golf! I haven't played that for so long and was looking forward to it so much! As expected the place was so clean and well made, however the courses were lacking creativity from the ones I went to in Europe which was a bummer. Despite that I still had a fun time together with Rea. Unfortunately... I lost....

At 11:30 AM the sun was rising high and it was so hot we decided to head to our room and change in our swimming gear again. After all, it's time to relax. We went to the pool, got our Baskin Robbin's ice cream (65.000 VND) and a long island iced tea (169.000 VND) to start our pool day. While swimming and relaxing in the sunbathing bed we ended up buying food and cocktails every 1-2 hours. Including some nice fruit platter and some fish and chips to keep us full throughout our day. We ended up getting a total of 5 drinks (169.000 VND each) and 2 iced coffees, a fruit platter, and some fish and chips.

Evening is coming and we headed to our room to freshen up and head back to NamNam Express where we got our dinner. Which ended up with Rea getting another bowl of Pho and I changed my mind with some hong kong styled noodles and peking duck while sharing a sticky mango rice.

Pho beef               148.000 VND
Duck Noodles      148.000 VND
Mango Rice           88.000 VND
2x soda                 100.000 VND
Total including 15%: 556.600 VND

After eating so much we decided to walk around the hotel to put more space in our stomach. We knew that the bakery inside the hotel has a deal of Buy 1 Take 1 after 20:00 which we wanted to use for a late-night snack. So after walking for a bit we went to the bakery to get the cakes for around 45.000 VND for 2! which was so cheap considering all the other expenses we had during our stay!

Having our fill we decided to make it early today. Freshening up inside the bathtub and heading to bed early.

The Last Day

We woke up right in time for our complimentary breakfast once again where we had the same. Because I really missed eating good bread while staying in the Philippines.

Since our bus ride back to Saigon was planned at 3PM we decided to just wander around for some extra photos and decided to rest at one of the cafes. Lucky us that we still had some desserts left from the night before!

In the end we had an amazing stay at The Grand Ho Tram Strip and will surely come back to enjoy the resort again! We will be saving up to stay at their Suite to make an even better post about it! haha

Our rating of this hotel:
Services      -  4/5
Cleanliness -  5/5
Value           - 4/5
Facilities     -  5/5

If you're looking for a nice place to rest for a few days I'd highly recommend The Grand Ho Tram Strip.

Menu of NamNam Express in The Grand Ho Tram
Drinks menu of NamNam Express in The Grand Ho Tram
Room Serice Menu of the Grand Ho Tram Strip

This post first appeared on 7 TIPS EVERY BUDGET TRAVELER WOULD SURELY APPRECIATE, please read the originial post: here

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First 5-star resort experience - The Grand Ho Tram Strip


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