Ho Chi Minh City can be tough to love at first sight, with thousands of buzzing motorbikes, traffic and a skyline that rises year on year. However, under the hectic upper crust, this Vietnamese metropolis hides some of the finest hotels in the country. Here’s our pick of where to stay – bookable with Culture Trip.
A central option with large suites, the Orchids Saigon Hotel mixes modernity with classic architectural grandeur. The intimate swimming pool, sheltered by floor-to-ceiling carved wooden panels and glass, has a trendy poolside bar for sundowners, and you can feast on an array of Vietnamese and Western dishes at the in-house Orchids Restaurant. Opt for one of the grander suites for sink-into-me recliners next to large windows framing city views.
As the name suggests, the Hôtel des Arts offers you a curated boutique experience that blends old-fashioned Indochinese decor with wooden floorboards and minimal-chic modern fittings. Rub elbows with the local creative elite while sipping lattes at its Café des Beaux-Arts, and don’t forget to grab a sundowner at the popular rooftop bar, the Social Club. There’s also an intimate swimming pool, and some of the main city attractions are within easy walking distance.
This famous hotel in the city centre is your best choice for a lavish stay within proximity of Ho Chi Minh City’s main attractions, such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. The three annexed restaurants blend traditional wooden fittings with industrial-chic design and offer plenty of local and international choices. You can also spend a lazy day enjoying the large outdoor pool, surrounded by loungers and palm trees. Shopping malls and bars are nearby, but the private gym facilities and Spa InterContinental, equipped with a whirlpool, sauna and steam bath, may convince you to stay.
With large rooms that play with a Zen-like contrast of dark and bright hues and a rooftop infinity pool with a bar perched high above the Saigon River, this hotel is a solid option if you’re looking for something central with a modern design. Whether you choose to relax at the Soi Spa or catch up on work in the cosy Executive Lounge, Liberty Central remains a quiet and luxe address to get accustomed to the speed of Ho Chi Minh City in style.
If you can’t stay away from the water, this whitewashed, riverside colonial villa, clustered around a large outdoor swimming pool, is your best option. Each of the 23 rooms is unique and blends vintage Indochinese style with contemporary wooden furnishings, such as dark floorboards and four-poster beds. The in-house Villa Sông Spa offers soothing treatments, and if the pool is not enough, you can join one of the many riverboat tours to see the city from a unique perspective.
Enter a world of perfectly choreographed old-world luxury at Mai House Saigon, an arts-themed five-star hotel where you’ll experience the opulence of the city’s colonial past. Rooms and interiors are decorated to take you back to a time when glass chandeliers and golden-framed pictures were de rigueur. The traditional French food at C’est la Vie is worth the splurge, and if tea is your thing, you can devote an afternoon to Thom Tea Lounge, chilling and sampling the health benefits of many local tea leaves.
Feel the history at this former French garage from the early 20th century, recently upholstered to become this vintage-style, five-star hotel. The Rex Havana Cigar Club and fine-dining Hoang Sa Restaurant will make your stay both timeless and trendy, a perfect base to meet and mingle with the city’s elite. The outdoor swimming pools and bar are set above the city lights, while the spa, private gym and indoor tennis court round out the hotel’s facilities.
If a touch of Japanese chic is required to sparkle up your Vietnamese holiday, then go for the Silverland Sakyo in Little Tokyo. Rooms blend minimalist touches with Japanese luxe simplicity to confuse your inner compass, while dimly lit lounges, bars and restaurants play with an effective noir ambience. You may bring the party upstairs, where a jacuzzi pool hemmed by wooden floorboards sits next to a well-stocked rooftop bar.
Hotel Majestic was established in 1925 by the richest Chinese businessman at the time, Mr Hui Bon Hoa. Today, the 175-room hotel, the first five-star property to open in Ho Chi Minh City, is known for its colonial façade and first-class hospitality. If you can’t afford the price tag, you can dine or have a drink in one of its five restaurants and bars to see what it’s all about.
Once the tallest building in the region, the Caravelle Saigon opened on Christmas Eve 1959 in the city centre. Its location was important during wartime Vietnam, providing the setting for countless meetings of foreign war correspondents during the 1960s and ’70s. The rooftop bar, Saigon Saigon, is a great place to have a drink, where pictures on the wall narrate history of the hotel and the role it played during the Vietnam War.
The Alcove Library Hotel is a straightforward, no-frills boutique hotel, closer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport than it is to the city centre. Select a novel off the lobby bookshelves and retreat to your spacious room – book a suite for city views. Luxury touches include a nightly turndown service and valet parking. Breakfast is served in the rooftop restaurant, complete with western favourites such as fruit-topped pancakes and fresh baguettes.
This five-star, nine-storey, luxury boutique hotel, is centrally located in a French colonial building on Lam Son Square, so all the top attractions are just steps from your room. The 245-room Park Hyatt is a blend of sophisticated design and decor with the latest modern comforts, such as mini iPads and sensor lighting – no more fumbling in the dark for light switches. The service is friendly and almost telepathic – don’t be surprised if you’re about to ask the concierge for something only to find its already in your room.
On the outskirts of District 1, Hotel Nikko Saigon is a modern five-star hotel from a Japanese conglomerate. Minimalist design and an earthy colour scheme dominate the decor inside the rooms, suites and apartments. Book the Nikko Club Executive Suite for city views from your free-standing bathtub. After a hot day in the city, retreat to the rooftop pool before heading to La Brasserie for an enormous dinner buffet.
The floor-to-ceiling windows in the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon’s spacious rooms and suites allow you to take in expansive views of the city. Start your day with a dip in the rooftop pool or a workout in the fitness centre before devouring a sumptuous breakfast buffet at the Viet Kitchen (return later for the seafood spread). As it sits in District 1, it’s close to sights such as the Ben Thanh Market, Vietnam History Museum and Saigon Opera House.
The Sofitel Saigon Plaza Hotel boasts one of the largest rooftop pools in the city, accompanied by a whirlpool and offering the best sunset views. The property’s elegant rooms and suites feature a simple, modern design and come with pillow menus and illy coffee machines as standard. The Mezz Restaurant serves steaming Vietnamese dumplings alongside imported French delicacies, while the Boudoir Lounge is the best place to sample the hotel’s champagne mojito. Take advantage of its complimentary bath-time packages; they include a bath table, candle and matches, a loofah, bath bombs and bath salts.
The Reverie Saigon is a sky-high hotel sitting on the upper floors of the Times Square building. It’s an Italian-style masterpiece crafted by the finest architects and interior designers, making it undoubtedly the most stylish accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City. With mirrors, marble and mosaics, every surface sparkles. Each room offers unparalleled views of the metropolis and is every bit as showstopping as the common areas, with floor-to-ceiling windows, remote control curtains, chandeliers and Japanese-style toilets.
The Pullman Saigon Centre Hotel made its debut in 2015, reflecting the brand’s cosmopolitan, vibrant and modern identity. The signature suite, with its free-standing bathtub and 180-degree views, makes for an ideal romantic getaway. For delicious steak and seafood and city views from the 30th floor, visit the popular Mad Cow Wine and Grill; try the grass-fed angus beef tartare or lamb gnocchi. The hotel also has a rooftop pool, a fitness centre and an on-site spa.
Ma Maison is a cute boutique hotel, with decor inspired by a Provençal guesthouse. It has 12 comfortable rooms, each packed with antique furniture and textiles in pale shades and elegant prints, capturing the warmth of the European countryside. Head down to the Little Bistro, where French and Vietnamese dishes are served up on farmhouse-style tables.