Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh as it is now known, is one of Asia’s iconic cities, a must see destination and a stay in one of the many Saigon boutique hotels is the perfect way to enjoy this characterful city. But how to navigate the many offerings and ensure your stay is perfect? The Secret Retreats team have got you covered, with our on the ground team and deep understanding of how to really get the best out of your Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, visit, we are ready to share with you our secret spots for the must dine restaurants, the must do experiences and the must stay best boutique hotels Ho Chi Minh has to offer. Ho Chi Minh City – or Saigon, as the locals prefer to keep it – is based in the south of the country at the edge of the Mekong Delta – another must see destination. Saigon is a city where shiny modernity rubs shoulders with the country’s vast history and this can be seen through the city’s architecture where enormous modern towers stand side-by-side with ancient buildings housing shops or if you know where to look, as we do, really unique Saigon boutique hotels and fantastic dining options offering traditional and cutting edge Vietnamese dining. A city that never sleeps there is endless fascination on every street corner, in every boulevard, in every view from a cute café table whether watching the hundreds of cyclists navigate the roads alongside hundreds of motorcycles at any one time or people watching as a myriad lifestyles play out in front of you on the stage of Saigon’s well trodden streets. Secret Retreats is ready to share our secrets of this city with you, starting with a Saigon boutique hotel, what we believe to be the best hotels in ho chi minh city to give you a real sense of place and the perfect base to discover the city of Saigon.
Villa Song Saigon
Villa Song Saigon
The luxury hotels Ho Chi Minh city and the French influenceThe French influence within the city is as evident today in the luxury hotels, boutique hotels and restaurants as it is in the elegant architecture and wide boulevards that remain to this day since France conquered Saigon in 1862. Ancient Chinese style pagodas sit next to colonial French villas and grand administrative buildings across the city and this is one place in South East Asia where you can find a delicious freshly baked baguette as easily as you can find a steaming bowl of Pho noodles – a staple favourite of Vietnamese cuisine. These diverse influences make for a vibrant and multi-cultural setting and Secret Retreats can provide the best hotels in HCMC from which to explore it.
Live the high life from the best boutique hotels in Ho Chi Minh City to the must see sightsThe luxurious high rise buildings in Saigon can offer the visitor a true taste of ‘living the high life’ in their many rooftop bars where you can join the fashionistas for an elegant cocktail or two, as the sun sets over the Saigon River as it flows towards the Mekong Delta. Modern life in Saigon is a far cry from the war-torn landscape of the history books and Hollywood blockbusters, so experiencing its many facets will leave you with a sense that Ho Chi Minh City is both a forward-looking, modern Asian city and a city that can retain its links to the past. This offers the visitor a wide range of attractions, from sitting on a tiny chair in the street and enjoying the local food vendors to having a try at cooking Vietnamese cuisine yourself, or learning about the history on one of the city’s museums or perhaps a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and learning about the American war as it is known, don’t miss a trip to the city markets, or maybe a cyclo tour to the city’s key sights from the cathedral to the opera house. There really is something for everyone in modern Saigon, whether you are an intrepid adventurer in South East Asia or a family seeking an active and exciting family holiday, Secret Retreats can offer the best boutique hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, or source the best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh for families, so your visit is tailor-made for you.
Food, fashion, boutique hotels and moreNo stay in a Saigon boutique hotel would be complete without a visit to some of its bustling markets – and the Secret Retreats hotel teams will be ready to share their city secrets with you. Across south East Asia, markets run throughout the day but are especially atmospheric at night and Saigon is no different. The famous Ben Than Market in District One has an indoor market during the day and once the sun goes down, vendors set up stalls around the streets of the day market and the evening then comes alive. It has been said that everything that can be eaten or worn can be found in Ben Than, so this might be the place to head to for a shopping spree. If you wish to shop for specialised ingredients, you can do no better than visit the Binh Thy Food Market. And for a ‘fragrant wander’, the beautiful creations on display at the Ho Thi Ky Flower Market are sure to impress. Those who don’t fancy getting involved with the bustling crowds at any of the markets can sit at a street stall, eating the amazing fresh food on offer and watch as the city goes about its business. The centre of town is also where to head for high fashion, as Saigon can compete with the rest in terms of high-end merchandise and incredible offers for high quality bespoke tailoring services in the side streets of the country’s largest city during your visit. The Secret Retreats team of concierge are ready to share their selection of a beautiful boutique Saigon hotel perfect for your stay. Perhaps set on the banks of the Saigon river just a few minutes from the cosmopolitan city centre or a hidden gem right in the heart of the city, either way we will find you an oasis of charm yet just steps away from the busy streets of the city. A Secret Retreats boutique hotel combines comfort with convenience, ensuring luxury with a strong sense of place and luxury and close to the city’s main attractions. A Secret Retreats property really is the luxury boutique hotel, Ho Chi Minh.
A not to be missed itinerary from your Ho Chi Minh boutique hotel stayThere are also many not-to-be-missed and unique attractions outside the centre of the city and you cannot visit Ho Chi Minh without a trip to the Mekong Delta. Named the ‘Rice Bowl of Vietnam’, the delta (and some say ‘water world’) comprises many, many tributaries branching off the mighty Mekong river that wind around islands of land as the delta widens as the river nears the sea. Extensively farmed for rice and fruit the people and lifestyle of the delta are unique. Floating markets, fruit farms, ancient villages and pagodas, unique river boats and one of Asia’s great rivers, the Mekong, make this a must-see destination. It can be reached from your boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City but is really best explored from within the delta, over at least
a two- or three-night stay.
The Secret Retreats concierge can arrange both an overnight or a 2-night cabin cruise in the Mekong Delta, or a stay on Unicorn Island in the heart of the delta at the pick of the boutique hotels for the region. A stay in Saigon, followed by a night in the delta on Unicorn Island before taking a cabin cruise on a converted Mekong river boat for a luxury cabin cruise into the delta before heading back to Saigon, really is the best way to see and enjoy this amazing region.
From the best accommodation, Ho Chi Minh has to offer to tailor made itineraries to enjoy Ho Chi Minh, Saigon, and beyond, whatever you choose to do in your visit to Saigon, do it with Secret Retreats because unforgettable, unique accommodation and experiences across south east Asia are what we do best.