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The easiest way to maximise your time in Ho Chi Minh City is to base yourself in District 1. Luckily, that’s no Hunger Games reference, but rather the most central area, where you’ll be best-placed to see the Opera House and Notre Dame. And the hotel scene here is (unsurprisingly) excellent, ranging from suites with floating bathtubs to rooms in a former military base.
The Reverie is at the top end of the price scale in Ho Chi Minh, but worth it if you want Vietnamese extravagance. Expect Liberace-esque marbling and gold-leaf interiors with a healthy dose of mirroring for good measure. Sure, it’s over the top, but The Reverie aims to be the standout opulent accommodation in Saigon – and you can’t help but be swept up in the drama of it all.
A 1990s bank converted into a hotel sounds cool – and that’s exactly the vibe Fusion Suites is going for. Rooms are bright and modern, and those on the higher floors provide an epic view of the city. As for gimmicks; the rooms have floating baths. Stick that on your social media and watch the likes clock up.
With five bars, you’ll never be short of somewhere to hangout in this hotel – but hopefully the central location will encourage you to leave the sleek interiors for long enough to explore the city. Keep some time free to visit the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House and Ben Thanh Market before returning to the ocean-themed spa at the hotel for some pampering.
The Sofitel hotel brand is worldwide, but their HCM offering is something special. The lounger-lined rooftop pool overlooking the urban sprawl is a delight, while the clean-lined rooms come with a pillow menu and city views. Food here is especially good, head to Mezz Restaurant for a cooked-to-order buffet menu, or Le 17 Bistro for authentic Provence cuisine.
Opened in 1925, Hotel Majestic claims historic status in the Ho Chi Minh hotel scene. But despite its age, this colonial building looks great. The 175 rooms and suites are classical in style, with marble bathrooms and private balconies. A central courtyard overlooks an angular pool, and there’s a pretty rooftop bar with views over the river.
If you’re looking for a hotel with history, this is it. It was a US military base during the Vietnam War, and was the place DJ Adrian Cronauer – played by Robin Williams in the film Good Morning Vietnam (1987) – made his daily broadcast. Aside from the historical significance, the French-colonial style rooms and suites are spectacular, combining elegant decor with welcome tech, such as iPad minis and Nespresso coffee machines.
A grand, dome chandelier in the lobby suggests the EdenStar might be an opulent place to stay. But, thankfully, the rooms tone it down a notch, with a near-all-wood look and floor-to-ceiling windows letting in plenty of light. The 12th-floor rooftop pool is the place for a splash with city views, while a coffee lounge with a water wall is a peaceful place to sit.
The rooms at Hotel Nikko have beautiful bathtubs, which is reason enough to visit – but the Japanese design and huge pool should help sway you, too. A little more understated than some of Ho Chi Minh’s more famous hotels, the Nikko has a chilled-out vibe and is located just on the outskirts of District 1, giving you some peace and quiet.
Culture Trip Travel Team contributed additional reporting to this article.