WHAT’S IT LIKE? A piece of architectural elegance that evokes nostalgia from Vietnam’s French colonial past. This boutique hotel, which opened in July 2005, features a gleaming whitewashed facade, a lobby combining old-world and contemporary charm as reflected in its earthy tones and louvered windows, teak flooring, Oriental furniture and a glass-ceiling panel. Welcoming hotel staff clad in the traditional Vietnamese ao dai complete the picture.
WHERE IS IT? About 25 minutes by car from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the property, located in the heart of the city’s prominent District 1, overlooks Lam Son Square and Opera House. Nearby historical sites include the Reunification Palace, the People’s Committee Building, Notre Dame Cathedral and Ben Thanh market.
HOW MANY ROOMS? A total of 252 guestrooms including 21 suites, all featuring soundproof louvered windows and ceiling fans. Nine Park Deluxe Rooms and a Park Suite have direct pool deck access and private terraces.
ROOM FACILITIES: Vintage photographs add a nice, dreamy touch to the guestrooms, which boast a four-poster bed, work desk, an armchair and ottoman, and marble-tiled bathroom with separate bath and rain shower. My Park King Room (pictured) was equipped with a flat-screen television, dual-line phone, broadband internet connection and safe – all standard room amenities at Park Hyatt Saigon.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Two restaurants – Opera for Italian and Square One for steak and Vietnamese seafood – were both designed by Japan’s Super Potato design atelier (also responsible for the minimalist decor of Park Hyatt Seoul among others). Decorated with colourful Vietnamese-inspired latticework and brick patterns, Square One (which derives its name from the hotel’s location on Lam Son Square) offered a lovely lunch experience with the added drama of five show kitchens – that made us want to linger all afternoon, especially since we were quite aware that a busy afternoon of appointments stretched out before us. It also boasts a bar serving signature drinks and a variety of Caipis. The Park Lounge on the ground floor lends itself to cosy conferences with snacks and drinks throughout the day.
LEISURE FACILITIES: A 20-metre outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre with cardio equipment, salon and the Xuan (Vietnamese for spring) Spa offering seven treatment rooms with private shower and changing area – three of which have a private terrace looking out to the tropical garden pool area.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: The lobby-level grand ballroom can accommodate 500 for cocktail and 450 theatre style. On the mezzanine level are four meeting rooms and two boardrooms, all with Wi-Fi capabilities.
VERDICT: Laidback sophistication with a modern twist.
PRICES: Mid-June online rates start from US$234 for a three-night stay.
CONTACT: 2 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, tel 84 8 824 1234, www.saigon.park.hyatt.com