By Mario Ng
Réhahn's pictures greet you at Sofitel Saigon Plaza
When we headed down to Ho Chi Minh City, we stayed at Sofitel Saigon Plaza for three nights. We previously stayed at Sofitel Sentosa Singapore & Spa and enjoyed our time there. We thought that Ho Chi Minh City’s version should provide us with a similar experience, if not better! Moreover, there is a club lounge available here, something Sofitel Sentosa Singapore & Spa does not have. This makes perfect sense for us to check this hotel out. We managed to secure three nights at the Prestige Suite, translating to 65 square metres of space!
The first thing one notices about being in Ho Chi Minh City, or really anywhere in Vietnam, is the fantastic service provided by staff. Whether you are at a restaurant, hotel, or a retail shop, service is always top-notch. For sure, we are generalising the service levels in Vietnam, but we have enjoyed top service for the most part of our time in Vietnam.
Here at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, it was no different. From the time we arrived at the hotel, meeting the hotel representative checking us in, to the time we checked out and left for the airport, the service was just perfect. When we requested a late check out due to a night flight timing, it was done smoothly without delay, and without the need to negotiate a timing. When they found that our room remained available based on our requested late check out timing, they granted us the requested timing without hesitation. This is really top service as we usually encounter hotels who will attempt to negotiate a check out timing even though the room is available. Hence, Sofitel Saigon Plaza really hit the spot here with their customer service.
A limousine transfer to Sofitel Saigon Plaza is always welcome
Sofitel Saigon Plaza has the standard facilities that most five-star hotels offer, including a swimming pool and spa. While we did not venture to the spa this time round (they were out of slots when we attempted to make a same-day booking!), it certainly looks great based on the menu available. The next time we are here again, we will be sure to try it out!
Pool-wise, it was pretty cool. Perched at the rooftop on the 18th floor, it offers unique 360-degree views of the city. It also has a hot tub by the pool, so you can enjoy a hot tub session while your loved ones work on their fitness. Of course, if you are not that into fitness, you can choose to laze by the pool and order some chips. They have a working pool bar and are well-manned. Simply order some food and beverages and charge it to the room. Fuss-free! At night, it gets even better since the temperature would have dropped to an acceptable range in this tropical climate, and you can chill by the pool area after an entire day of walking.
The rooftop swimming pool is a great place to relax and have some light snacks
While we did not manage to try out the hotel’s restaurants, we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast at Mezz Restaurant, which has a wide variety of food options. It also has a french restaurant, L’Oliver, while we have heard good things about the hotel’s bar, Boudoir Lounge.
While we had access to the Club Lounge on the 18th floor, we figured we had to have breakfast at least once at the hotel’s main restaurant, Mezz Restaurant. On the final day of our stay, we headed down to try out the buffet breakfast, and were not disappointed.
Mezz Restaurant is open for breakfast daily between 6am and 10.30am. This works fine for early risers, while late risers should not worry too much, as we continued to enjoy our breakfast even after 10.30am. We figured the hotel understands that some visitors had a late night! Once again, this shows the top service, where they are more than willing to accommodate guests if they are able to.
Mezz Restaurant is where breakfast is usually served at Sofitel Saigon Plaza
As with most hotels, the variety of food options is always greater at the main restaurant as opposed to the breakfast at the club lounge. At Sofitel Saigon Plaza, we can see quite a big difference, which really makes us wonder if we should have headed down for breakfast everyday instead? A nice problem to have if you guys are getting lounge access for your stay!
For visitors wanting a more conventional continental breakfast, the options are all available, with the usual hash browns, baked beans, bacon, and sausages. Those with a sweet tooth can opt for pancakes and waffles. Cold cuts are also available, as with smoked salmon and quite a large variety of cheese, wisely stored in the chiller to ensure an optimal temperature. The egg station is there, and you simply order your preferred choice of eggs, and they will send it to your table. Lost about eggs? They have samples there, so you can simply point and request for a similar type of egg. It even has a poster on how eggs can be cooked differently, so you make an informed decision on whether to have a sunny side up or over easy.
Different types of cheese available during breakfast service at Sofitel Saigon Plaza's Mezz Restaurant
The usual bread and pastries are at a different section of the buffet spread, and the fact they have their own section really tells you the amount of choices available. Not to mention muesli and rice pudding were there as well. And boy did they taste good (Thanks Valtteri Bottas for the recommendation!).
For those who prefer a healthier breakfast, muesli and rice pudding are available at Sofitel Saigon Plaza's Mezz Restaurant
For those preferring an Asian breakfast, fret not. They do have an equally large spread of Asian food available. Since you are in Vietnam, remember to get some Pho. Dim sum and sushi rolls are good, while kimchi and chawanmushi are available. Those wanting a heavier meal can head for the fried rice and fried noodles too. As if all these options are insufficient, they also have quite a large selection of sweet treats. Enjoy some fresh tropical fruits, yogurt, donuts, cupcakes, and tarts. The list just goes on.
Sofitel Saigon Plaza's Mezz Restaurant offers sushi for those who enjoy a Japanese breakfast
Having said all that, we thought we should state clearly that the food tasted great! It was faultless and we enjoyed our breakfast thoroughly!
My breakfast for the day at Sofitel Saigon Plaza's Mezz Restaurant
When you enter the suite, you first get a nice view of the living room, along with the city view.
The living room is quite comfortable, with the sofa more than able to fit three people. It also has a rocking chair, so the younger ones can rock away while the older folks watch some television. Do note that there is a Bose sound system attached to the television in the living room, so you can thoroughly enjoy watching the latest blockbuster in your suite with a surround sound system. In the same room is also a workstation, so busy individuals can get some work done while still spending quality (but noisy) time with the family. All the necessary plugs can kept in Sofitel’s trademark barrel, so they remain hidden when not in use. Figure out the HDMI, USB, Audio/PC cables, fix them in, and you are good to go!
Prestige Suite - View from the living room
Sofitel’s go-to coffee brand, Illy, is available in this suite and you get some complimentary coffee capsules to start your day. Once again, being in Vietnam, it does not make sense not to have some Vietnamese tea, and here the hotel is happy to provide you with some locally-sourced tea leaves. If you prefer the traditional method of boiling water in a flask and use a tea bag, not to worry. They also have one-use tea bags and coffee powder for busy folks.
Prestige Suite - Fresh tea leaves with a teapot for guests
The bedroom is right next door, and the doors can be closed to ensure a more private setting while your guests stay in the living room. It has a King-size bed that is always welcome, with a separate television to enjoy your more artistic films, like Superman.
Prestige Suite - View of the bedroom
However, the highlight of this suite must be the bathroom, which is large enough to hold a rather big standing shower and bathtub. The standing shower is really big enough for two people, so couples can enjoy their time in this suite. The clawfoot tub must be the star of the bathroom, where it must make you want to drop everything and soak in it. Did we mention you can watch some tele while in the bathtub? You have your own television while the rest fight it out in the bedroom and living room.
Prestige Suite - View from the bathroom
In Sofitel Saigon Plaza’s Prestige Suite, they provide toiletries by Hermes, which is quite impressive. Not even in the Prestige Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa did we receive such amenities. We certainly enjoyed these Hermes products, using them to condition our hair and apply lotion to our bodies.
Prestige Suite - Hermes toiletries are available for guests' use
As if the hard product is not impressive enough, the top quality service by the hotel staff steps in to make sure we remain impressed. Every evening after we return to our suite, we were always surprised with a nice gesture. While the first night we received fresh fruits, we also received some sweet desserts and red wine with cheese on the second and third nights respectively. We were simply spoiled silly by them! And we almost forgot to mention that during their turndown service, they would always put cups with tea bags by our bedside to have a cup of relaxing tea before turning in for the night. How nice and sweet.
Prestige Suite - Proving solutions for a good night's sleep during turndown service
Throughout our three-night stay in this hotel, we totally enjoyed our time at the Prestige Suite. It is large enough to not feel like you are trapped in a hotel room, yet cosy enough to feel like you are at home. This type of feeling is quite uncommon in foreign hotels, and we were really glad to have enjoyed the Prestige Suite.
Prestige Suite - Sweet treats provided during turndown service
Club Sofitel Lounge:
A stay at the Prestige Suite comes with lounge benefits, and over here at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, this comes under the Club Sofitel Lounge. Located on the 18th floor, same as the swimming pool, it does provide some convenience for those who like to shutter between the pool and the lounge (free food?).
Club Sofitel Lounge - View of the club lounge
Breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapes are available, with non-alcoholic beverages available throughout the day. As mentioned previously on what we noticed at Mezz Restaurant, the variety of food in the lounge is definitely less. What they lacked in, they made up for it in their service and privacy. It is a nice lounge that faces the city. It is also private, where it was quite quiet as well. This means one can have a relaxing breakfast without too much fuss. The servers are always ready to bring you a nice cup of coffee, and top it up if you need an extra shot. If the options are not what you fancy, the staff can also provide hot options, like a nice steaming bowl of pho, which was what happened to us, when the staff so nicely provided this option while we were deciding what to eat.
Club Sofitel Lounge - A great way to start the day with some cold cuts and freshly-made pastries
Afternoon tea service is always a delight at the lounge, and here at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, it is no different. They have a decent selection of cheeses, cold cuts, and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, which were always the first to run out. Go figure! Their sweet pastries were really good, and we helped ourselves to multiple servings of those delectable pastries.
Club Sofitel Lounge - Afternoon tea service means local delicacies are on offer
Come evening time, along with some canapes served, it was also their “happy hour” between 6pm and 8pm. This means that free flow alcoholic beverages were available. Not that we saw a crowd, but simply slightly more than usual. For us, champagne was a definite choice, as we were on vacation and free from work! Have that with some cheese and sweet pastries and we were just satisfied. Seriously, how perfect is this?!
Club Sofitel Lounge - Happy hour means some cheese, sweets, and champagne are a must
Frankly speaking, with such a great service and amazing food and beverage options available in the lounge, we were amazed we squeezed out enough time to visit the sights around the city. Alas, we only regret we were not able to spend more time in the lounge. Oh well, there is always a next time.
Night view of Ho Chi Minh City
If you have not figured it by now, we really enjoyed our stay at Sofitel Saigon Plaza and the entire experience was simply perfect. The service was 10/10 and our room was just amazing. The Club Sofitel Lounge was fantastic, and the awesome staff made it that much better. We cannot wait to head back to Ho Chi Minh City and when we do, rest assured we will stay here again!
View of Ho Chi Minh City and Bitexco Financial Tower from Sofitel Saigon Plaza
Cost of Prestige Suite: Approximately US$385 per night - stayed in May 2019
Cost of Mercedes Benz limousine hotel transfer: VND1,550,000++ per way
Published by Mario Ng
Mario enjoys travelling around the world but finds himself visiting the same cities again and again. At this rate, it is unlikely he will travel "around the world" any time soon. He also has a dream to spend one year catching all the Formula 1 races live.