Hotel Review: InterContinental Saigon (Deluxe Suite Cathedral View)
InterContinental Saigon is located right in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. This is where many of the city’s shopping malls, tourist attractions, and eateries, are located. This hotel is right in the vicinity and is one of the many hotels tourists can choose from when they want to book a stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
I first stayed a couple of nights in one of the hotel’s Deluxe rooms a few months back. I was so impressed by the hotel’s service standards that I knew I had to book a stay there again the next time I visited Ho Chi Minh City. The time came just a few months later in February 2023 when the stars were aligned. Hence, I quickly booked a stay at InterContinental Saigon’s Deluxe Suite Cathedral View to soak myself in the hotel’s impeccable service standards.
Simply top-notch customer service throughout the entire hotel
Located within the vicinity of District 1’s main tourist area
Very comfortable suite that feels spacious
Delicious food offered by the hotel’s restaurants
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InterContinental Saigon’s service standards are simply stunning, to say the least. Compared to the rest of my hotel stays, InterContinental Saigon’s customer service stands out. From the time you arrive at the hotel to the time you check out from the hotel, the consistency of the top service standards totally impressed us. The hotel staff never fails to put on a smile when greeting you and their sincerity in asking how your day has been brings a warm fuzzy feeling to your heart.
When we first checked in, the hotel staff member noticed I was checking into a stay at the Deluxe Suite. He kindly asked if I would like to check in at the Club InterContinental Lounge instead and offered to bring me to the 19th floor, where the lounge is located. Usually, I had no issue checking in at the lobby itself. However, his enthusiasm and encouragement to get me to maximise my benefits while staying in this hotel got to me. I graciously agreed and was led up to the lounge by this kind gentleman.
Thankfully, I agreed to the staff’s suggestion. I was offered a welcome drink as part of the benefits of staying in a club room. I wisely chose a cup of Vietnamese coffee since I was in Vietnam. How often does one get to drink authentic Vietnamese coffee compared to how often one gets to drink alcoholic beverages? Anyhow, I was also informed that as part of the hotel’s promotion for club guests, I could participate in a lucky draw to win a gift. It was amazing to win a bottle of red wine, which the Club InterContinental Lounge staff told me was the best gift I could win. I was truly happy and it was made better when the staff warmly congratulated me. It was the type of sincere congratulations that made you enjoy your stay at this hotel.
One event that stood out for me during the stay was the quality of service recovery that InterContinental Saigon performs.
When I first entered my room, I was unable to switch on the bedroom’s air conditioner. I was unsure if it was damaged or if the remote control was not working. The living room’s air conditioner worked just fine but I was having trouble even switching on the bedroom’s wall-mounted air conditioner remote control.
I contacted the concierge for assistance and a staff member later came up to take a look. It turned out that the bedroom’s remote control works differently. You have to hold onto the button for the air conditioner to start operating. This differs from the living room’s air conditioner, where you only need to push the button once. I thanked the staff member for his assistance and chuckled at my mistake.
When I went up to the Club InterContinental Lounge later for dinner, I was pleasantly surprised when a staff member came to us to apologise for the inconvenience caused. I replied that it was no problem at all, not thinking much about it.
The next day, upon reaching our hotel room after a long day out, we found an elaborate plate of fruits, chocolates, and a beautiful gift, along with a letter from Club InterContinental Lounge, once again apologising for the inconvenience caused by the air conditioner. I was just wowed at their service quality. In addition to the many gifts, they also provided a bottle of wine and some local snacks for us to enjoy during our stay at the hotel.
Finally, upon checking out, the Duty Manager came out to greet me and apologise for the inconvenience caused during our stay. I had to clarify that it was I who made a mistake as I did not know how to switch on the air conditioner. Nevertheless, he requested for me to let him know if there was anything else he could help me with, including for future stays with them. I think the entire experience really highlights how important the staff at InterContinental Saigon treats service standards. While mistakes may be made, which is perfectly normal, InterContinental Saigon focuses on corrective action as well, working hard to correct the customer’s experience and helping them feel assured that they will be well taken care of by the team.
All in all, kudos to the entire staff at InterContinental Saigon. We were just pampered throughout our stay at the hotel and the consistently top-notch service standards provided by staff members made sure we lacked for nothing. Without a doubt, we will be back at InterContinental Saigon!
InterContinental Saigon has a beautiful swimming pool located on its rooftop. On the same floor is its gym, open 24 hours a day.
The outdoor swimming pool looks stunning and is a great place to enjoy sunbathing while surrounded by tall buildings. Situated on the rooftop, you feel like you are in an enclosed area while still able to enjoy the sunlight. The swimming pool reminds me of the one at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, where the swimming pool is also located on the rooftop. Over at InterContinental Saigon, you are able to swim to your heart’s content without being distracted.
There is a nice glass wall at the end of the swimming pool where your family can see how you swim while underwater. It is quite fun to watch and your children can make funny faces at you while you swim. I can see how families will enjoy this swimming pool in the mornings.
The gym is an open-concept style where guests can enjoy using various equipment without the need to tap into another room. There are multiple machines and guests will be able to get a full-body workout done efficiently. Being on holiday, that was my excuse for simply snapping photos of the equipment.
InterContinental Saigon has a spa located on the third floor, with various treatments available to guests. One mistake I made was not to make an advance booking. I stayed during the weekend and it turned out that trying your luck to get an immediate slot is most likely bound to fail. You should really make sure to book a treatment if you want to have some downtime while in the city. Open between 10 am and 8 pm daily, be sure to make your booking!
InterContinental Saigon’s buffet breakfast is held at the lobby level’s Market 39. It is the main area where guests come to have a delicious breakfast spread. It is also the place where the hotel’s lunch buffets are held.
InterContinental Saigon’s breakfast buffet is simply fantastic. There are just so many choices to choose from. During our 2-night stay, we enjoyed breakfast at Market 39 a lot. One unique feature at Market 39 is its local dish of the day. During our time there, we got to enjoy a delicious bánh ít trần, phở, and bánh bèo. All three dishes were so tasty.
Besides these unique local dishes, Market 39 also has international favourites. I got to enjoy my classic Continental breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, and sausages. I also had the all-important pastries, which made sure I had a certain amount of flour in me at all times.
Market 39 offers tasty-looking smoked salmon, cheeses, salads, fruits, and an assortment of bread and pastries. Asian options included dim sum, congee, curries, and more local favourites like Com Tam.
For dessert, we went for the cooked-to-order pancakes, which were delivered perfectly. Freshly made each time a guest orders it, it was warm and fluffy. Mixed with some maple syrup, it was a sweet and satisfying end to our breakfast session.
If breakfast is an important aspect of your hotel stay, I can say with certainty that you will not be disappointed in booking a stay at InterContinental Saigon.
Besides Market 39, we also got the chance to try out Basilico, InterContinental Saigon’s Italian restaurant. As we were catching an evening flight, we decided to have an early dinner at Basilico. This turned out to be the right choice. After checking out earlier in the day and enjoying the local sights and Cheese Coffee, we returned to the hotel to have a final meal in the city.
The menu was, as expected, comprehensive and offered many options for diners. Besides a wide selection of antipasti, there are also soup options, risotto, and cold cuts. Staying true to being an Italian restaurant, there are two pages worth of pasta choices, with another page dedicated to pizzas.
Not feeling too hungry, we kept things simple and just went for 2 main courses: a fish and a steak. Both tasted simply delicious. We love how Basilico likes to keep things simple. For the steak, it came with asparagus and potato wedges. A sauce is kept separate. This way, the steak remains the star of the dish. I absolutely loved it.
The fish also came gently seasoned. Comprising the fish and mixed vegetables, the pesto sauce is placed on top of the fish without overpowering it. This way, the fish continues to be the star attraction. We enjoyed how Basilico put in the effort to plate their dishes.
It was unfortunate that we were unable to eat more at this lovely restaurant. The dessert selection appeared tasty and we would have tried the tiramisu and banana affogato if our stomachs had more space. The food at this restaurant was really good and we know for sure that we will be back to try more food!
Club InterContinental Lounge:
For Club and Suite guests, the lounge should be your first or second point of contact with InterContinental staff members upon arrival.
When we first arrived at the hotel, we went straight to the check-in desk. Upon confirming our names and the suite booked for our stay, we were immediately invited to the Club InterContinental Lounge to check in. We were ushered to the elevators and brought up to the lounge. We were warmly greeted by the Club staff members, who then processed our check-in smoothly. We were also invited to order a beverage and then guided to a table to rest for a while while the luggage was sent to our room.
During meal services, the Club staff members were also quick to usher us to an available table and made sure to keep us well-fed. Whenever the meal service was going to end, the staff made sure to let us know and also offered to keep a serving of our favourite food in the kitchen as we were still not done with our food. The great thing about Club InterContinental Lounge and indeed, the entire hotel staff, is how warm and friendly all of them are. They were eager to please and try their best to cater to our requests.
During afternoon tea service, it must be highlighted how the staff members were meticulous, always taking the time to go through the food that was displayed on the stand. They explained what we were about to enjoy and always did so with a smile. This made our experience at the lounge that much better. The food was also displayed beautifully on the stand. It had the right balance of sweet and savoury foods, such that we did not feel that the food was too sweet or salty. The amount of food was also just nice for an afternoon tea. We did not feel so full that we could not move, but just the right amount so that we could take a walk later to enjoy the evening service that would happen in just a few hours.
During the evening service, we were surprised that there was also a unique local food feature. During our time there, the lounge was making a Bánh ướt, which is a spring roll that originated from Hue. Similar to all the other food we had at InterContinental Saigon, it was delicious.
The food selection at the lounge was really quite generous. Even though we intended to have a light meal before enjoying a late dinner elsewhere, we did not manage to do so. We loved the fresh hot canapes that were churned out for us. During our night there, we got to enjoy some popcorn chicken, prawn skewers, beef satays, and a vegetable ratatouille. They were just the perfect start for the evening service. After enjoying some salad, cheese, smoked salmon, bread, and more spring rolls, we were about done. Our last stop was the fruits to feel healthy before we made our way out of the hotel for an evening walk to burn off the calories.
More than just the food, Club InterContinental Lounge also acts as a family bonding area for guests. There is a family room complete with a large television and game console. There are also lounge areas suitable for large groups and families, where everyone can just relax and chat the afternoon away. Come evening time, the family can proceed straight to the buffet table and grab some well-deserved food and drinks. Perfect!
At Club InterContinental Lounge, club guests can enjoy a nice breakfast in privacy. This is ideal for those who are not morning persons and need some time to warm up before facing people. Having said that, privacy is offered at the expense of the variety of food options. Such is the fact of life as club lounges in hotels are usually smaller and the club lounges are unable to offer as many dishes compared to the hotel's restaurant.
On our last morning, we took a visit to the Club InterContinental Lounge to check out the selection. To be honest, the variety of food available was good and can definitely satisfy most guests. However, we were already pampered the previous morning at Market 39. Hence, we found ourselves more than happy to face the buffet crowd on the first floor!
The Deluxe Suite Catherdral View has a real estate size of a very comfortable 67 square metres. Facing the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, it offers guests a nice view of the city and the Cathedral.
Facing the living room when you first enter the suite, you are welcomed by the spaciousness of the room. There is a restroom for guests, separate from the bedroom’s bathroom. This is welcome if you have guests since you would prefer some privacy, especially if you need some personal time for yourself.
On the right side of the living room is a large workstation where you can do your work without feeling cramped. In fact, I managed to do some work during this trip and I actually liked the nice chair that came with the workstation. It was really comfortable and the large living room made the overall atmosphere conducive for some work to be done.
The living room also comes with really comfortable sofas and an additional day bed so that one can laze and doze off while watching television. One funny anecdote to share: We actually dozed off while lying on the sofas watching television after having a full breakfast at Market 39. I think this is a testament to the focus of this suite, which I feel is to ensure that the guest’s comfort level is always at the highest. The living room has a Bose sound system that comes along with the television. This is perhaps crucial so that you can watch a proper movie in this room without heading to the cinema. I won’t be surprised if one of the hotel’s KPI success factors is for guests to always remain in the suite except for meal times or to use the hotel’s facilities.
I believe one would have noticed by now the number of times I have used the word “comfortable” or “comfort” to describe the room in this suite. This is simply because of how relaxed we felt when we stayed in this suite. Honestly, we did not feel like leaving the room too much except for meal times or to buy a cup of coffee from the famous Cheese Coffee. I think the hotel scored a jackpot in the design of this suite.
The room’s caffeine options come in Dilmah teabags and coffee capsules from the Italian brand Gimoka. However, as the suite comes with Club InterContinental Lounge access, we did not feel a need to make coffee or tea in our suite. Nevertheless, for those who prefer to remain in the suite, these are good options for guests to have. Minibar options that are chargeable include the usual carbonated drinks, alcohol, still and sparkling water, and even some chocolate bars. This could be useful if you chance upon an excellent movie on HBO while channel-surfing and you are in need of something sweet to munch on!
Finally moving on to the bedroom, it is yet another spacious room within the suite that has made it really comfortable for guests to relax in.
Consisting of a King-size bed, this ensures guests can enjoy a good night’s rest while staying at InterContinental Saigon. The surrounding area around the bed is also large enough that you do not feel cramped when walking around the bed. You can easily stand by the bedside looking through the windows and enjoy the view of the city. Admittedly, that was what we did on more than one occasion. The bedroom’s television is wall-mounted so space wastage is kept to a minimum. Once again, it makes the room feel very spacious, which can only be beneficial for guests.
Something unique about this room is how it comes with a pillow menu. Rather than just using words like most hotels do, this suite comes with samples of the different types of pillows and how they would feel. This definitely allows guests to make a more informed choice and minimises time wastage in case the guest selects one only to find it unsuitable and requests a change.
The bathroom is quite large and comes with both a bathtub and a standing shower. It is also quite romantic and caters to couples. Beside the bathtub is a sliding door that opens directly to the bedroom. This means you can watch television while soaking in the bathtub. Alternatively, you can chat with your partner if there is nothing good on the television. If you fancy some privacy in the bathroom, there is a small wall-mounted television above the bathtub so that you can catch up on some news while reading the newspaper. The towels are conveniently located right above the bathtub so you will not catch a cold after completing your soak.
Toiletries are provided by Byredo, a Swedish luxury brand that is famous for its fragrances. As part of the hotel’s sustainability initiatives, all the shampoo, shower gel, conditioners, and hand wash are kept in large containers mounted on the walls. I personally like this approach as I do not need to keep calling the concierge to deliver more shampoo or shower gel bottles. This is especially the case in tropical countries, where there is almost a need to shower every time one is back in the hotel. To me, this is a win-win-win approach where the hotel is able to cut down on costs, protect the environment a little better, and save the customer any inconvenience from needing to request additional bottles.
Besides the wardrobe and space to put one’s luggage, this suite comes with a dressing table. Brightly lit, there are also wall plugs for your electronics. This is a functional feature of the suite that many will appreciate.
There is turndown service at this hotel and during our stay, we were also given a bottle of red wine and some local snacks to complement the red wine. We do not really drink alcohol and hence did not try it during our stay. However, we really enjoyed the local snacks and just love these small gestures provided by InterContinental Saigon. The service standards are simply impeccable.
Lastly, the view from the suite is just amazing. One may need to pay a little extra to get the Cathedral view. However, besides that, you can also get a nice view of the rest of the city. You can see Saigon Centre, one of the city's nicest shopping malls. While some may find paying extra for a good view is pointless, I feel that a nice view makes your stay that much nicer and you will feel just a little happier looking out the window!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the InterContinental Saigon. The Deluxe Suite was just perfect for a couple, with the impeccable service standards provided by the staff members an absolute delight. Without a doubt, InterContinental Saigon is my go-to hotel whenever I need to book a stay in Ho Chi Minh City!
Click here to find out more about InterContinental Saigon and book a stay today!
Cost of Deluxe Suite Cathedral View: VND 6,156,280.00 (approximately S$346) a night - stayed over a weekend in February 2023
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