Whether you’re there for business or pleasure, the Park Hyatt Saigon offers it all for the jet-setting world traveller
What is the mark of a good hotel? Service, for one. Location, too, plays an important part. But by far, if we had to pick just one, it would be thoughtful design. You see, “thoughtful design” refers not just to the aesthetics of the property. It encompasses the elements that add to the comfort and overall experience at a hotel. For instance, how easy is it to find the switch for that pesky night lamp? Or how long does it take to get from your room to the lobby, and not get lost in a maze of corridors?
Park Hyatt Saigon ticks all the above boxes, and more. The hotel is lauded not just for its super location in the heart of the main Lam Son Square District, but also for the fact that it has been designed with the jet-setting traveller in mind – whether the guest is in Ho Chi Minh for work or pleasure.
The hotel, which is set within a French colonial building, offers an instant respite from the sweltering weather and chaotic traffic outside. Stepping into the lobby is like entering a cocoon, where you’re safely ensconced in the lush, elegantly appointed space. The space, with its high ceilings, chandeliers, oak-finished furnishings, local artworks, and luscious seating areas, speaks of refined luxury, and the winding staircase begs to be used to make an entrance.
The attention to detail that’s gone into the refurbished space is apparent from the moment you’re led to your room, where the light instantly switches on when you enter, thanks to motion detection sensors. Luckily, the air conditioner does not switch off when we left the premises, keeping the room cool and cosy even though we were out the entire day. Other thoughtful design elements include the wardrobe that doubles as the partition between the bathroom and the room itself, and can be opened on both sides, as well as the convenient iPad that makes it easy to scroll through the dining options and discover what’s around the neighbourhood.
Even though the hotel houses 245 rooms, the experience is at once intimate and exclusive. Service, as expected from a Park Hyatt, is stellar, including the friendly concierge that happily acquiesced to all our requests (including deciphering our destination address to enter into our Grab app).
All Under One Roof
Once within the hotel, you don’t have to step out for anything – the fitness centre is equipped with the latest gear for gym bunnies and fitness freaks, while the treadmills face the street, making the workout a smidgeon more bearable. Small touches like a cold towel- and water-stocked refrigerator simply indicate the lengths to which the hotel will go to ensure the comfort of its guests.
On the same floor is the spa (which we unfortunately didn’t have the chance to check out), and the outdoor swimming pool, which overlooks the twinkling city lights. Nestled within a green garden, the pool area is perfect to lounge the afternoon away with a cocktail in one hand, and a good read in the other.
While the hotel is a stone’s throw away from some of the city’s best watering holes, there are ample options to keep you satiated. Fulfil your cravings of local Vietnamese pho – albeit with Wagyu beef – and spring rolls – with Iberico pork and tiger prawns – at the French-Vietnamese joint Square One.
Breakfast at Opera, which doubles as an Italian restaurant in the evening, is where the hotel pulls all stops. The breakfast buffet has been highly acclaimed by several outlets, and the selection does not disappoint: a lavish selection of pastries, cheeses, cold cuts, and local and western dishes is complimented by an expansive menu of hot food – you can choose from Vietnamese delights to western dishes. While the pastries (a leftover from the country’s past colonial days) and the local fare were faultless, the Eggs Benedict with Avocado and Salmon was bland. Still, the experience of sipping our coffee within the glass-ensconced restaurant, covered in greenery and looking out to the Saigon Opera House, was simply one of the most relaxing ways to start our day in Ho Chi Minh.