Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: The PARKROYAL Saigon
I didn’t want to say goodbye to Vietnam. In my two weeks there, the country had exceeded already very high expectations. I don’t know if it was the country itself, the people I met there, or the fact that I seemed to be hitting my travel stride two and a half months into my round-the-world trip, but I had found total comfort and happiness in Vietnam and wasn’t ready to leave it behind, no matter how exciting my subsequent plans.
I had started in the north of the country and made my way south, with my last stop being Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. While hostels had treated me phenomenally during my Vietnamese adventure (especially Vietnam Backpacker Hostels), my last two days included the special treat of staying at the beautiful PARKROYAL Saigon.
You may remember that I had a fantastic stay at the PARKROYAL in Sydney a few months ago (following the ultimate Sydney day out), so I knew I’d be similarly pleased with their Saigon location. And I was right.
The friendly and helpful reception staff showed me to my room, a Premier King Room, which was extremely spacious, tactfully designed, and offered everything I needed: a massive, plush bed, a fully stocked minibar, a separate shower and bathtub, a huge plasma TV with no shortage of channels, a bathrobe and slippers, and all the other musts of a great hotel room.
The big advantage of the PARKROYAL Saigon is that it is located just minutes from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International airport. While Saigon is a relatively compact city for its size, the traffic can still prove frustrating, so convenience to the airport is a huge plus, especially when you’re catching an early morning flight like I did.
Though this means the hotel isn’t right in the heart of the city, it’s only about a 20 minute drive to the center of the hustle and bustle. One of the best features of the hotel is its complimentary city shuttle, which runs about five times a day. There are also separate shuttles that can take guests to the city’s corporate hubs if you happen to be in Ho Chi Minh City on a business trip. I took the air-conditioned, wifi-equipped shuttle into the city on my second day at PARKROYAL Saigon for a bit of exploration. Or if your schedule doesn’t sync up with one of the shuttle’s many trips, you can always catch an Uber car to the center for about $3-4 U.S. or an Uber motorcycle for about $1-$1.50 U.S. Too easy!
You could also spend a few days completely content at the hotel. After entering its elegant lobby, you’ll find a hotel bar and a restaurant that offers spectacular buffets (more on that in a minute!). There are conference rooms, a business center, and a gym, and, best of all, the PARKROYAL Saigon has a gorgeous pool area with comfortable lounge chairs, palm trees, and twinkling lights by night.
But hold on a minute — you didn’t think I could finish this review without raving about the buffet, did you? I had the chance to try PARKROYAL Saigon’s breakfast buffet twice and the lunch buffet once, and, oh my goodness, give me a second to drool. I had no shortage of good food in Vietnam; of the six countries I’ve been to so far on this trip, it hands-down wins the award for best food.
However, PARKROYAL Saigon’s breakfast buffet still had me raving, as it offered pretty much just about any breakfast food you could imagine. Meats, cheeses, cereals, waffles, pancakes, potatoes, noodles, soups, breads, salad… you name it. The highlight for me, though, was the table of fresh tropical fruit (hang on, just let me eat about six thousand passionfruits and lychees, thanks) and the 6+ fruit juices they offered. Excuse me, I’m getting a little worked up about this. And the lunch buffet was just as delicious and just as diverse, with a rich selection of Western and Asian main courses and desserts and even more of those fresh fruits I went so crazy over.
PARKROYAL Saigon is the closest high-end hotel to the airport, so if you’re looking convenience and comfort, it’s a great choice for your stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Most of all, be sure to take advantage of the free city shuttle, the pool, and the breakfast buffet! Tạm biệt, Vietnam, it’s been beyond grand, and I can’t think of many better ways to have wrapped up my time there than with a stay at the PARKROYAL Saigon.