Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon, is Vietnam‘s largest city. It’s also among the world’s top cities for street food, whether it’s a crusty bánh mì (baguette) or a bowl of phở (noodle soup). Explore the sights that bear witness to Vietnam’s rich and rocky history, including the Independence Palace, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica or the Củ Chi Tunnels, before escaping the hubbub of this 24-hour metropolis at a chic hotel that packs a punch in personality. Read on to discover our top picks for the best boutique hotels Ho Chi Minh City has to offer — bookable with Culture Trip.
While Ho Chi Minh City is endowed with plenty of French colonial-style hotels, not many have managed to retain the ambiance of the past. But Hôtel des Arts Saigon has managed, and has earned international acclaim for its eclectic, opulent design and laid-back attitude. The cross-cultural decoration – a blend of East and West – is featured in the cosy salon with a piano, a private collection of artworks, a library and floor-to-ceiling windows with distinctively architectural styles.
The Alcove Library Hotel is a straightforward boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, albeit closer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport than the city centre. Offering respite from downtown, it is a sanctuary of deluxe accommodation combined with architectural elegance and gracious hospitality. The stand-out feature of this hotel is the lobby that welcomes you with giant library shelves stacked with an eclectic variety of books. Breakfast is served in the rooftop restaurant with views over west Saigon.
The Myst Dong Khoi’s facade certainly strikes you. From far away, it resembles a collage of pictures on the white walls, while a closer look reveals a cascade of potted plants. Inside, its intricate wood interior creates a calming atmosphere, complete with a wooden rocking chair and vintage desk lamps. Start or end your day with a dip in the 24 metre rooftop pool, followed by a Saigon-inspired cocktail from Bar Bleu.
The Fusion Suites has a Scandinavian, minimalist vibe. Elegant touches effortlessly mix with artistic photography and plenty of natural light. At the centre is its signature wellness philosophy – for every night booked, you’ll receive a complimentary facial, body or foot massage. Breakfast is available at any time of day – in the restaurant, by the pool or in your room – plus there’s an onsite poke bowl cafe.
Ma Maison’s warm design makes it feel more like an old Saigon home than a boutique hotel. The sophisticated interiors offer a fine retreat from the city centre, but standing on the balcony will quickly inspire you to go and explore: the smell of local street food and the sound of vendors are all nearby. Onsite, the Little Bistro Restaurant serves Asian and European signature dishes on a French farmhouse wooden table.
When it opened in 2013, Villa Song Saigon injected a shot of adrenaline into District 2’s construction boom in an attempt to lure wealthy immigrants. More design hotel than boutique, Villa Song is one of the most glamorous places to stay in this area, thanks to its location on a serene stretch of the Saigon River. Classical furnishings and elegant colours create a tranquil feel for anyone who wants to distance themselves from the chaos, but not the city life. Cool off in the outdoor pool, flanked by palm trees, in the afternoon.
Refurbished from a regal mid-century riverside mansion, this is Camille’s work of love. The French artist created all the artworks and planned the artsy-chic architecture that you’ll enjoy all over this beautiful property. Each room glows with a different vibe – you can indulge in French-colonial high living, or opt for the homely and youthful accents of the Artist Rooms. Don’t forget the ground-floor MDC bistro, where imported French cheeses and hams meet fine-tuned Vietnamese flavours.
Your city escape starts with a 20-minute boat ride along the Saigon River, where this riverside boutique hotel takes the concept of nature and water to new heights. If you have cash to splash, go for one of the riverfront pool villas, which come with city-view plunge pools and outdoor rainfall showers. And there’s more to do than just enjoy the natural environment: shrouded within the lush garden, An Lam Spa is a wellness sanctuary for deep-tissue and aroma massages, floral-scented scrubs and revitalising steam baths.
Silverland Jolie certainly tries hard to impress: the dark hues, marble-top tables and plush leather armchairs give it a cine noir ambiance. The rooms have shiny wooden floorboards and vintage decor, and will seduce you with their mix of the classical and the choreographic, with some of the best riverside views in the city. The rooftop pool with a circular hot tub, surrounded by lounge chairs, is the sweetest spot to start or end your day.
Maintaining a balance between luxe hotel and welcoming home, this French-colonial-style property has impeccable rooms with romantic baroque touches. You’ll love the sumptuous breakfast, a mix of continental and Vietnamese, scenically served at the rooftop restaurant. The attention and care of the staff will surprise you, and the free welcome cocktail on the Rice Terrace Restaurant and complimentary laundry service nicely seals the deal.
With a white-washed facade where attractive balconies hang below dark-wood shutters, this thatch-covered villa snuggles around an azure outdoor swimming pool and feels like a Greek holiday home. Like the highly curated rooms, the boutique hotel reflects the owners’ Euro-Vietnamese backgrounds: you’ll love the oven-warm, home-baked baguettes for breakfast, and the fact it’s tucked within an area that’s home to plenty of cafes and restaurants.
Central and close to the Tran Hung Dao Holy Temple, these 11 rooms are best suited to the urban traveller. Think large and minimalist loft-like apartments where you can whip up light meals in kitchenettes. The small desks come with reading lights and make it easier to catch up with work, before unwinding with a swing in the delightfully snoozy floor-hanging hammocks. The cosy ground-floor cafe also functions as a reception, and makes The Hut feel all the more like an insider’s secret.
The common areas at Prostyle, a bedazzling mix of Eastern and Western vintage, make you feel like you’ve entered the forgotten palace of a Khan. Asian furniture sits next to French- and colonial-inspired elements, exploiting gold and striking pastel colours. The rooms have warm wooden floorboards and partitions, and feel like little homely apartments. The complimentary afternoon tea with sweets is a nice touch.
The closest luxury hotel to Ben Thanh Market packs 13 floors of suites and rooms with charming wooden floorboards and a blend of modern chic and ageless touches. The infinity rooftop pool is a great spot to soak at sunset, and the two restaurants and the coffee lounge may convince you to spend your nights here, rather than out in the city.
Looking for more places to stay in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City? Discover our guide to the city’s top hotels for every traveller. Or, if you’re on a budget, check into one of Ho Chi Minh City’s best affordable hotels — all bookable with Culture Trip.
Dung Phan contributed additional reporting to this article.
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