The Reverie Saigon, Vietnam
Could the opening of The Reverie Saigon mark a new era in luxury travel for Vietnam like the Burj Al Arab did for Dubai? Hamish Kilburn reviews…
Among the French colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, sits the 39-storey Times Square Building that now embraces the majestic The Reverie Saigon.
The high-rise hotel opens with the aim of changing any outmoded perception of Vietnam. 40 years on from when Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, the city is light years away from that moment in history. The fresh, young and vibrant hotel hopes to be a catalyst in the city’s mass-scale transformation.
It’s an ambitious aim; yes, but certainly not impossible. Head 3,499 miles west, and you will see how one building has transformed an entire city. 30 years ago, Dubai was barely registered on the tourist radar. In 1999, the Burj Al Arab opened. From that moment on, Dubai has enjoyed the benefits of being on the tourist, business and residential map, reinventing the place and transforming a skyline one building at a time. It all started from a stand-alone building that stood – as it stands today – as a beacon for the city.
The Reverie Saigon also plans to put Vietnam on the map and make the young and lively city of Ho Chi Minh City the place of tomorrow. Much like the Burj, the interior design is bold and offers its guests exceptional service.
Chief architect, Kent Lui explains, “In French, the verb ‘rêver’ actually means ‘to dream’. And so, just as dreams are left to those who have them to interpret however they wish, it is our intent to present travellers with the absolute best hospitality that we believe we can offer (in product and service) – based on what we’ve ‘dreamt up’ for this hotel and guests’ experiences of it and of Saigon – and leave the rest to them to make of it all whatever they wish.”
As the definition of ‘dream’ revolves around thoughts, images and sensations, The Reverie Saigon encourages a response from its visitors with bold colours, grand architecture and elaborate detail throughout – and it prides itself on offering the most extravagant hospitality experience in Vietnam.
Guestrooms and suites
Standing as the highest hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, The Reverie Saigon’s 224 rooms and 62 suites start form the 27th floor with panoramic views overlooking the central business district and the winding Saigon River through floor-to-ceiling windows.
The hotel offers 12 categories of guestrooms. Each individually furnished by some of Italy’s finest design houses – including Colombostile, Giorgetti and Visionnaire – with interiors ranging from sophisticated modern to classical European, from whimsically romantic to fanciful and sassy. Lui explains, “The design is bold and its approach sophisticated. Its extravagance and splendour captivates because the hotel really does present a design experience like no other. This was very deliberate on our part, as from the very beginning, we set out to be a trendsetter rather than a trend follower.”
Three distinctive dining venues offer the best in Cantonese fine dining, refined French cuisine and hearty home-style Italian, while a 48-metre long bar is reminiscent of lively sidewalk cafes. Each venue offers a different atmosphere giving guests the choice to dine in the setting that suits them.
Relax, take it easy
Located on the sixth floor, the 24-metre-long, free-form pool (and two Jacuzzis) look over Nguyen Hue Boulevard and towards Saigon River. Accompanied by over-sized loungers, an underwater sound system and a wrap around wall of glass decorated with hanging flowers, this part of the hotel is a patterned extension from the ceremonial style found inside.
Covering 1,200 square metres, the spa area – complete with fitness centre – overlooks the swimming pool. The grand spiral staircase reveals 10 appointed treatment rooms – four dual-bedded and six individual.
The hotel has taken nearly seven years to build, (The Burj Al Arab took six). Its painstaking approach to detail with 20 of the worlds most famous design houses playing their part has taken the sky-high palatial retreat, The Reverie Saigon, to a level that could easily mark a new era of luxury travel in Vietnam.