The lower-than-expected sales and volume of international guests have forced many hotel operators in downtown Ho Chi Minh City to shut down, transform their operations or put their properties up for sale.
The four-star Norfolk Hotel, located at No. 117, Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, announced the closure on its website on Thursday, saying that it wrapped up a 30-year chapter of serving its guests.
The doors of the hotel are currently locked, the tables and chairs inside were neatly arranged but no contact information is available at the facility.
Norfolk, which sits opposite the headquarters of the municipal People’s Committee, was one of the joint venture hotels established when the local tourism sector opened its doors to international visitors in the 1990s.
Prior to its shutdown, the Norfolk Hotel had 104 rooms along with other amenities.
Next to the Norfolk Hotel, scores of retail space are put up for rent, adding that another hotel in the area has yet to be put into operation.
Nestled amid lots of retail spaces available for lease along Dong Khoi, one of the most expensive streets in the city, is the shuttered five-story Catina Saigon Hotel that already stopped operations, with its ground floor smeared with graffiti and fully covered with rental advertisements.
|The five-story Catina Saigon Hotel on Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City also shut down. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, another five-story hotel named T.T. on Ly Tu Trong Street has hung a notice saying “Available for rent” for almost three years.
After the previous tenant returned the hotel since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the owner of this property renovated the facility but still has not found a new tenant.
The Lavender Hotel, a four-star establishment on Ly Tu Trong Street, shut down after the pandemic and is transforming its operations.
Aside from hotel closings, many hotels are put up for rent or for sale on online real estate trading platforms.
For instance, an eight-story hotel in District 1 is offered at VND138 billion (US$5.8 million). This property is on a two-year lease contract at over VND400 million ($17,000) per month.
Also, a three-star, 12-story hotel is offered by a man named N. at VND265 billion ($11.2 million).
Other small hotels are available for sale at less than VND100 billion ($4.2 million), mostly at VND35-60 billion ($1.4-2.5 million)
Since the end of 2020, the pandemic has hit the hotel industry hard as lots of them were forced to be up for sale due to a dwindling number of international guests plus poor sales.
According to a property expert, as many hoteliers had to borrow bank loans to run their businesses or to rent retail spaces, the financial distress will force them to sell their properties.
|A hotel named T.T. on Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City has hung a notice saying “Available for rent” for almost three years. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|
|Another hotel in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, which served international guests, mostly Japanese experts, is offering its whole unit for rent. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|
|An establishment in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City transformed its function to offer space for lease after a long time of providing hotel services. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|
|A hotel on Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, is inactive. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|
|A hotel on Le Lai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City is under repair to resume operations. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre|