The largest city in Vietnam is not known for ecofriendly hotels, but plenty can be found within a short drive of Ho Chi Minh City. To help you find your green retreat, we’ve listed the best below – and they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.
Vietnam has long been implementing sustainable tourism practices across the country. After all, it is home to some of the most vibrant national parks and pristine coastlines in Asia – and they want to protect it for generations to come. When it comes to accommodation in Ho Chi Minh, you’ll find a range of possibilities, from ecofriendly luxury resorts to rustic homestays, each promising sustainable practices and great facilities for your Vietnam adventure.
Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, the Caravelle Saigon occupies a prime spot within walking distance of the Opera House and Notre Dame Cathedral. Expect five-star luxury – from the four restaurants (including a tapas bar) to the freeform pool and luxurious spa. In terms of ecopractices, the hotel purifies its own water and provides water bottle refill stations around the hotel to reduce its reliance on single-use plastic. On top of this, LED lights are used around the hotel to reduce energy consumption.
The Mango Bay Resort is a favourite ecogetaway, on the rugged northern shores of Phu Quoc Island. Butterfly and orchid gardens, palm trees and vines, and a pristine, sandy shoreline add to the secluded feel. Choose from wooden bungalows and fired earth cottages. They all come with outdoor bathrooms and minimal furnishings, without TVs, air-conditioning or even kettles — hot water is provided in flasks every day. The idea is to minimise your impact on the environment and immerse you in nature. Grey water is used to irrigate the gardens, whilst immense effort is taken to recycle and reduce packaging waste.
Mango Home is a charming, warm little homestay 0n the banks of the river in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Expect days full of adventure, with excursions into the region included in the price. Private boat rides, factory visits, market visits, bicycle rides through the countryside, cooking lessons — everything you can do to really get to know the culture is available. The host family and local guides are there to bring it all to life, and take good care of you during the whole stay.
The Mekong Lodge is in Cai Be District, about 120km (75mi) from Ho Chi Minh City. In addition to the long drive, you have to take a 30-minute boat ride from Cai Be Harbour. At the lodge, there are 28 bungalows, with either a river view or garden view, and 12 exclusive bungalows that have their own private pools. All materials used in construction have been sourced locally, and the architectural style reflects traditional cottages in rural Vietnam – thatched roofs, bamboo interiors and handmade wooden furniture. Spend your days cycling, cooking, fishing, visiting villages and floating markets.
Con Dao is a breathtaking location, protected for decades as a national and marine park. Six Senses was the first five-star resort to open in the archipelago, a largely unexplored region. Despite being luxurious, the resort is committed to improving tits ecological and carbon footprint. In cooperation with the National Park, Six Senses has made it a mission to protect the dwindling dugong (sea cow) population around Con Dao. In addition, the hotel also provides education opportunities for the youth of the island.
Ninila is a jungle hideaway on Phu Quoc Island, with only 14 guest rooms. Each one is pared back and simple with outdoor bathrooms where you’ll often find geckos and frogs. Showers are heated by solar energy, while the restaurant serves organic produce grown onsite. There’s even a friendly cow that you’ll certainly bump into during your stay. Join one of the farm’s snorkelling tours or try deep-sea fishing to catch your own dinner.
Amanoi is located on a swathe of golden sand in Vinh Hy Bay. The secluded location, exceptional staff and luxurious facilities here make for the ultimate holiday – but only if you can afford it, as the prices could leave an unsustainable dent on your wallet. Just 14 villas make up the estate, meaning service is highly personalised. Each one is built using sustainable materials, and a percentage of the price of each stay goes to the national park to keep it as a conservation area for plants and animals. Book a tour of the park with an experienced guide or explore the surrounding coastline by kayak, before returning for a sunset yoga lesson or cooking class.