Villa Song

Saigon - District 2, Saigon & South, Vietnam Book from

Strike gold at this riverside French villa hotel - just a speedboat ride from the dazzle of Saigon
Sometimes you just need to bask by a pool, gorge on grilled fish with rice noodles, and sleep in one of Asia’s comfiest beds. Enter Villa Song, an elegant hotel blessed with warm hospitality and a languid riverside location, just 15 minutes by speedboat (dreamy at twilight) from the excitements of the city. This is a white-wedding cake of a French colonial mansion, converted in style with every luxury thrown in. We're yet to visit, but we hear the 23 bedrooms are near perfect, especially those with balconies and Saigon River views. All are different, but marks of luxury include polished dark-wood floors and espresso machines, plus handsome bathrooms and cooling air-con.

Atmospheric suppers are taken amid twinkling lights and lavish breakfasts start the day off just right. Later, ask room service to bring you a cocktail; charming staff go out of their way to care for you. For a change of scene, it’s a walk or short drive to the many restaurants of this ex-pat area. As for the saltwater pool - serene and surrounded by magnolias - it’s long and perfect for laps. A comforting oasis just a stone’s throw from the city.

Highs

  • The tranquil location - bliss to relax by the pool after the city’s motorbike madness
  • An elegant spa, offering wraps, scrubs and beauty treatments
  • Free 15-minute boat shuttles to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Extravagant breakfasts, easy lunches and gourmet dinners in the riverside restaurant
  • Popular with couples and families alike

Lows

  • The out-of-town surrounds are somewhat sterile, and it’s a long walk (or short taxi ride) to local eateries - the last boat transfer is at 7pm, a little early for night owls
  • The restaurant is overpriced and not all the dishes hit the mark (for this price point)
  • Noisy air-con in some rooms, but fans are whisper-quiet
  • The river suffers from debris in the rainy season
  • Three floors and no lift

Best time to go

Wet season or dry? If you’re a budget traveller or professional sales hunter, the wet season (May-Sept) is great. From late November until April the weather is warm, dry and comfortable. After this, the temperatures and humidity soar. Christmas, New Year and Vietnamese New Year (Tet) are very busy; you’ll need to book months in advance for these periods.

Our top tips

Head into the city and thrill to cocktails with skyscraper views at the EON Heli Bar. Perched on the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower, sunset is prime time.

Some people may get obsessed with location and want to go for a city centre hotel, but in Saigon it’s better to dip in and escape to a refuge afterwards. The centre's humidity is sticky and the traffic is oppressive. This bubble of peace downriver rejuvenate you ready each evening, leaving you ready to tackle this monster of a city with vigour.

Great for...

City Style
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Sanctuary River Room

Rooms

Spread across 3 floors, the 23 spacious rooms are linked by stairs but no lift. All are different, but you can expect muted colours, gliding curtains and beautiful dark-wood floors. Local artwork and monochrome prints of Vietnam life give a sense of place. Mattresses are exceptionally comfortable, pillows plump and bed linen crisp.

Starting at the top, luxurious suites are elegant with four-poster beds and river views. For a real treat, the Villa Suite and Sanctuary Suite have private balconies. Even more decadent, the Imperial Suite has 2.

Of the double rooms, the Sanctuary River Room was beautiful and had the best river views. The single Writer’s Rooms are compact but practical for solo travellers. We stayed in Villa Room, which we felt was a good size and had lovely views of the pool. If you prefer high ceilings and rooms filled with light, request a top-floor room.

Bathrooms, although dimly lit, are the best of traditional-modern. All have top toiletries and showers; the suites have oversized tubs as well.

Complimentary minibars come stocked with fresh fruit, wine, beer and juice. There are Nespresso machines and LCD televisions. Cakes and pastries are part of the turndown service - a nice touch.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is à la carte and delicious. We enjoyed the mix of Western, Asian and Vietnamese dishes, from banh cuon (steamed rice rolls) and exotic fruits to croissants, baguettes, and eggs every which way.

The lunch menu follows swiftly and continues to be available throughout the afternoon. There's a huge choice of soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, risottos, seafood and meats from the grill. Gluten-free? No problem. Vegan? Tuck into fried patties with spicy tomato sauce. If you have a sweet tooth, the lemongrass jelly with lime sorbet comes in for praise.

Dinner is a sophisticated affair and the riverside setting is romantic, whether you’re in the glass-walled bistro or under the swaying palms. When the hotel is all lit up with fairy lights and the grand piano’s playing, it feels a world away from the big bad city. The wide menu has a Western slant; it’s a tad overpriced but you’re paying for the setting. We shared a Vietnamese platter (Pomelo salad, prawn mousse, deep fried seafood roll and beef in betel leaf) followed by an amazing cinnamon roasted duck breast served on an (underwhelming) sweet potato rosti, with jackfruit salad and ginger sauce. Cocktails included Watermelon Martinis and the wines were global.

The local area is popular with expats and the hotel can provide a list of recommended restaurants within walking or taxi distance. Of course, there's also endless choice in the city centre.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • A private speedboat leaves the jetty for District 1 six times a day (9am to 7pm). In 15 minutes you can be on Cầu Mống Pier and within walking distance of all Saigon has to offer
  • This dazzling modern metropolis was once French owned. Start with a stroll down the central boulevards and pick up the architectural legacy. Past the old City Hall, and the statue of Ho Chi Minh, is Paris Square, dominated by the twin spires of Notre Dame. Opposite is the Post Office, designed by Gustaf Eiffel. West is the Opera House; book into a show
  • Meet the tank that crashed through the gates of Reunification Palace on 30 April 1975 - signifying the end of the war and the fall of Saigon
  • Don’t miss Ben Thanh market on Le Loi, which teems with handicraft and souvenir sellers by day and food vendors by night. Or grab a fashionable bite at L’Usine, tucked down an alley and loved for its European/Asian fusion dishes
  • Back at the hotel, chill out beside the river with a beer and watch the boats chug by, or stake out a spot by the glassy pool: the loungers are divine and the laps are long
  • Collapse in the hotel spa with a scrub and a facial

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Shopping / markets
    • Well being

Kids

Villa Song opens its doors to children of all ages and the team will bend over backwards to make you feel welcome.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All but the Writer's Room can hold an extra bed or baby cot. Two of the Sanctuary River Rooms can interconnect with the Art Suites via a lounge. If you come with a stroller and a toddler, you may prefer a ground-floor room (no lifts).

Babysitting:

Babysitting is on offer.

Baby equipment:

High chairs and baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

The restaurant can provide kids’ menus - just ask.

Distances:

  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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