Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City was sprawled all around me as I took in the 360* view from the 29th floor of my hotel, Pullman Saigon Centre. It almost felt like I was merged with the city, a tiny little heart beating with the pacy rhythm of Vietnam’s largest metropolis. It was hazy as I gazed upon the skyline with a cup of Vietnamese cold coffee in my hand but I could see the traffic snaking its way through the city, as buildings jostled for space. It was early evening and I had just landed in Ho Chi Minh from Singapore on the Scoot flight. As the Pullman team came to pick me up, I was already lost in the humdrum of the city. The ride from the airport was quite short and as we entered the city, I realized that I was in District One, where the city centre is located. And yet as all the buildings seem to rise for the sky the towering Pullman Saigon Centre with its 31 floors, stood distinguished and tall, a little away from the crowded city centre and yet, a stone’s throw away from it. Pullman Saigon Centre is not just a luxury five-star hotel, but a landmark of the city as well and is one of the best hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. A blend of luxury, comfort, lifestyle and contemporary design, it is ideal for both leisure and business travellers.
The check-in was over in a jiffy as I refreshed myself with the famous Vietnamese cold coffee and took in the view from my room on the 29th floor. The personal jacuzzi in my room beckoned me as I lazed in the bathtub, allowing the warmth to seep into my tired limbs which were rather stiff after the long flights from Bangalore.
The room was elegantly designed with amenities that included a comfortable Pullman signature double bed, a 40 inch IPTV that can be integrated with my devices, free WIFI, coffee maker and some cookies with tea as well. There are 306 signature rooms which can be divided into Superior, Executive and Deluxe categories besides the Presidential, Pullman Signature and Executive Suites as well.
I stayed in an Executive Room on the 29th Floor and was allowed access to the Executive Lounge on the 30th Floor with exclusive check-in and check out, a variety of sandwiches and snacks throughout the day besides coffee and tea as well. Fitness enthusiasts can even request for weights and dumbells in their rooms as well.
I also had complimentary cocktails before dinner at the vibrant and open Roof Top Bar on the 30th Floor and that undoubtedly was the best experience. As the twilight sky turned into a jewelled night sky, I sipped my margarita and gazed upon the skyline as the lights came out. It was lively, romantic and special as the pulsating music set the tone for my stay in Vietnam.
Every storey here had a story as I explored Pullman Saigon Centre, one of the premium hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. On the ground floor is Urbane Lounge with its Pop Up Burger Bar. East meets West here as you get an eclectic menu of dishes, including a Burger of the Month. The classic comfort food includes a selection of local snacks along with Vietnamese beer and of course, coffee. You can also have an authentic Vietnamese breakfast here in the morning.
The hotel, though located in District One is slightly away from the crowded city centre but is located at a busy junction of two very different streets – Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Cu Trinh and both of them have a unique flavour of their own. And this atmosphere is reflected in the mood of the hotel. You can feel the local ambience and yet escape from the noise and rush at the Urbane Lounge.
The third floor is a foodie’s haven. You meet the world at Food Connexion as the buffet breakfast brings in guests from all over the world. The sumptuous spread includes a menu that is inspired by cuisines from Asian and European countries. I tried the vegetarian options and tropical fruits and Vietnamese noodles and fried rice while sipping the traditional cold coffee topped with ice cubes and sweetened with condensed milk. They have a unique circle grill concept in the live show kitchen where you can see the dishes being prepared. Food Connexion is also open for both lunch and dinner as well, besides breakfast.
On the sixth floor, you can find the fitness lounge with a gym, steam and sauna that is open 24 hours. The Spa by Thann offers wholistic and natural treatments and this is where you can relax after an entire day of sightseeing. Pamper yourself with massages, body treatments, and facials.
There is also a refreshing outdoor pool, from where you can gaze upon the city and yet relax in your own private space. The Pool Bar is an open deck with a bar and you can just lounge here all day or refresh yourself with some cocktails and snacks.
AS we climbed higher and higher, we reached the levels around the 25th Floor. The rooms in the 25th-29th levels are all of Executive Category and we finally headed to the 30th Floor at the Mad Cow Wine and Grill. The tag line is apt – Mad about Wine. Serious About Food. Known for their steaks, they also have a selection of 50 wines across 14 regions worldwide. Open from 4 pm until midnight, this is the signature restaurant of Pullman Saigon Centre, one of the luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.
Finally we were on the 31st floor at the Rooftop Bar. The highest hotel’s rooftop bar is the place to be after sunset as the lights of the city come up. This is where I came every night to unwind after exploring Ho Chi Minh City and lost myself in the twinkling lights that surrounded me.
The hotel is also ideal for corporates and business travellers and is an ultimate destination for MICE. With a large boardroom, a ballroom and over five meeting rooms, including two combined, it is a perfect place for conferences and events. There is a 24 hours business centre and complimentary WIFI as well.
The hotel, known for its design also have distinctive artistic decor and you can find fascinating and artistic installations, colorful paintings and sculptures in different nooks of the hotel. If you are looking to host an event like a conference or a wedding in any of the hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, then Pullman Saigon Centre is your ideal choice.
Pullman Saigon is also the ideal destination for the leisure traveller. Located conveniently in District One in the heart of the city and yet a little away from the crowded centre, it is close to most attractions like monuments, markets and museums.
The Ben Thanh Market is a stone’s throw away, while the Bui Vien or the Pedestrian Street located in Pham Ngu Lao is literally a few minutes away. Be it coffee shops, restaurants or vibrant nightlife, this is the best place to be.
The city centre with the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Post Office, Reunification Palace, the Tower and the famous Nguyen Hue Walking Street with a statue of Ho Chi Minh are all very close by.
Other attractions include the Saigon Zoo, the Botanic Gardens. the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City among others. the However Pullman Saigon Centre also has complimentary shuttle buses to the city centre five times a day. There is also an airport round trip shuttle for a small fee. The location is perfect compared to most hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Personally I loved my stay in Pullman Saigon Centre although it was just for a couple of nights. It was, for me a perfect introduction to Vietnam as it helped me get slowly familiar with the culture and comfortable with a new destination. The chic, contemporary hotel prides itself on its design and is a blend of both luxury and business and has a boutique atmosphere. It is also a foodie’s paradise as you have five options to choose from – especially for fine dining.
The rooftop bar is a unique experience, with panoramic views of the city. As the sun sets and the night lights came up, I lost myself in the surreal ambience. Personally, for me, it was a moment to savour as I was in high spirits and lost myself in the glow of the lights.
This post is written in collaboration with Pullman Saigon Centre, from the Accor Group of Hotels who hosted me during my trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.