Wonderful Gem of a Boutique Hotel – Do Not Miss

“A beautifully restored French Colonial property, Villa Song boasts just 23 rooms in a low key neighborhood, surrounded by expat residences and international schools. Hard to imagine that not much more than a decade ago, this area was pretty much swamp land!

Before going, you really should know what Villa Song is not:

– This is not a large chain hotel – every contact you have with the staff is friendly and warm, and chances are you may not know their names but they will certainly know yours. You’re not just a face in the crowd. However, for being of such an intimate size, Villa Song has the extras that you don’t often find in similar boutique hotels: a gorgeous long swimming pool for doing laps or sunning yourself by, a pretty decently equipped gym room (machines & free weights), and a spa that doesn’t break the bank.

– This is not a property you visit to party at as there’s no late night bar or club thumping away downstairs (thank goodness). Along the same lines, don’t expect around-the-clock room service – we certainly didn’t miss it, since there’s a ton of late night delicious eats in this city.

– Having said that, this is not the most accessible hotel to popular street eats and the sights, but it’s surprisingly easy to get around, thanks to the complimentary hotel boat shuttle that zips you up/down the Saigon River to/from the Cau Mong pier on the border of Districts 4 & 1. These run on a schedule (book at the reception beforehand), and if there isn’t one when you need it, an Uber saves you the hassle of dealing with unscrupulous cabbies, and takes you to/from the middle of District 1 within 15min for around US$6- US$7.

Now onto what this beautiful property IS:

– It is infinitely charming. Every room is unique, and even the same room type will vary in size. You’ll get the same awesome water pressure in the shower though, which we loved, and lightning fast wi-fi. Also, in our case, although the Sanctuary room that we were upgraded to was a bit petite in size, we had a wonderful good-sized balcony that overlooked the river...perfect for a mid-afternoon beer (complimentary from the minibar) or a snooze. Breakfasts by the river are a calming way to start the day, no matter what time you decide to rise (!!!), and the food is well- portioned and delicious. And THAT iced Vietnamese coffee...my partner and I will be dreaming of those until our next visit!

– It is incredibly service oriented. From check-in to check-out, and for our every want in-between, the staff at Villa Song offer up their help with warmth and smiles...we felt truly welcomed and at home. Besides our complimentary room upgrade upon our late night check-in, we were surprised with a cheesecake plate that was decorated with warm wishes (the trip was a belated birthday trip for my partner) – we were very touched.

– It is really good value for money. While it’s not the cheapest hotel around, it certainly delivers much better bang for your buck than you’d expect for similar boutique properties, especially if you can find a deal through a third party website. Bathrooms are fully equipped with toiletries, toothbrushes and other bits you may have forgotten, hairdryers, and in-room Nespresso and minibar is complimentary (albeit with a selection that’s a bit spare), and the value-add of the boat shuttle to town that I mentioned previously takes it to the next level.

Thank you to everyone at the Villa Song for a wonderful stay! The next time we visit, we will definitely be indulging ourselves with a stay at one of your beautifully appointed suites. We can’t wait.”