Last Sunday, I planned to take my parents on a surprise staycation at Intercontinental Saigon. I did not meet them frequently and recently they had their wedding anniversary. So I followed my mom from Korea back to Vietnam and organized a luxury stay at the hotel.
If you read my introductory post which I posted last week, there were a couple of hotels in my mind for them to stay. But in the end, I chose Intercontinental Saigon as I had more chance of getting upgraded to premium rooms than Park Hyatt Saigon.
I will be reviewing two different hotels as this hotel was for my parents’ stay and I redeemed points at Le Méridien Saigon which is located a 15-minute walk from Intercontinental.
About Intercontinental Saigon:
Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s buzzing Central Business District, Intercontinental Saigon first opened in the autumn of 2009 as Intercontinental Asiana Saigon. Along with the hotel, apartment residences were also opened at the same time. In 2015, Intercontinental Asiana Saigon was renamed Intercontinental Saigon.
The hotel houses 305 rooms and suites while the residences have a total of 260 fully furnished rooms both featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and partial and fully panoramic views of the city. As I stayed at the “Hotel” side, I will mainly go over the features of the hotel.
Intercontinental Saigon Hotels and Residences is also connected to the M Plaza building which has various restaurants, a bakery, a convenience store and a Starbucks if you crave a coffee. Other malls and historic sites are all available within walking distance but make sure to be careful with your belongings when you walk in the streets.
Don’t be mistaken for the Intercontinental Saigon Residences as it has two different entrances.
Booking Intercontinental Saigon:
I made the booking through my friend TheLuxuryTraveller to receive luxury benefits such as US$100 food and beverage credits, complimentary breakfasts and more. I paid US$154 for a Classic King Room but with the luxury benefits valuing more than the room rate, it is definitely worth booking through luxury travel advisors.
As an Intercontinental Platinum Ambassador member, I received extended check-out and welcome points during my stay on top of the benefits.
Checking-In At Intercontinental Saigon:
The check-in took quite some time as I was greeted by one of the trainee staff. Booking the hotel through Virtuoso’s IHG Luxury & Lifestyle rate, was clearly uncommon at Intercontinental Saigon. In the end, I had to explain the rate to him and his colleague one by one and the benefits as well. Not a bad idea being a temporary teacher to teach a trainee staff about different rates😊.
After more than 20 minutes of explaining the rate to multiple staff members and settling the bill, I finally received the room key. As a Platinum IHG member, the room was upgraded to the Corner Room which had a tremendous semi-panoramic view of Ho Chi Minh City.
Whilst checking in, the staff handed me a glass bowl with different colored papers. He then told me there is a lucky draw with different prizes. I drew one and received 500 extra points!
Intercontinental Saigon Corner Room:
The room was assigned to 1112 located on the corner of the 11th floor. Based on the floor map attached at the door, there are four Corner Rooms on specific floors which the hotel website does not mention.
The exact size of the room is around 38sqm or 409sqft with two large floor-to-ceiling windows adjacent to each other. The Corner Room feels more spacious and has a bigger bathroom than the Classic Room due to the layout of the room. It reminded me of Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok’s Grand King Room I have stayed last winter.
With the magnificent panoramic views of Saigon, the room also offers classic design elements with modern technological amenities. Multiple power sockets and USB sockets are available around the room.
The huge marble bathroom had a separate shower and a bathtub and the bathroom amenities were dispenser-type by Byredo. In the past, it offered Intercontinental’s long-time “Agraria” amenities which was my favorite but I guess the hotel went for environmentally friendly ways now.
And here’s the partial panoramic view from the Corner Room. On the left side, it has a view of the Opera House while the forward view shows the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Unfortunately, the cathedral is under renovation so I was only able to see the construction framings.
After dinner at a nearby shopping mall, the guest service team provided an evening turndown service, as well as they, brought the flower bouquet which I specially requested to the general manager for my parents’ wedding anniversary.
Again many thanks to the general manager for helping out with my last-minute requests even though it was Sunday and the related service department was closed.
Intercontinental Saigon Market 39:
Breakfast was served at Market 39 which is located in the lobby, opposite the check-in desks. The breakfast buffet is served from 6 AM to 10:30 AM with a wide variety of cuisines available.
There were plenty of tables to sit at even during peak hours. I would recommend you to have breakfast either before 8 AM or after 9 AM. Between 8 and 9 AM, it is peak hour so you might have to wait in line at egg or noodle stations.
For the Virtuoso IHG Luxury and Lifestyle rate, breakfast for 2 is included so my mom and dad took the complimentary breakfast while for me I used the part of US$100 credit to join them. The breakfast buffet costs around US$21 or 472k VND.
Don’t forget to tell the staff your IHG ONE Rewards number when you get the bill to get a 20% discount on food and beverages! You can check out IHG ONE Rewards Dining Privileges for more information about the offer.
Intercontinental Saigon Residence Basilico Italian Restaurant:
Around an hour before the check-out time, I was notified by the front desk that we have to spend the remaining credit before closing the bill. This was a little uncomfortable as back in St.Regis Bangkok, I was able to settle a separate bill regarding the remaining f&b credit after checking out.
So I told my parents we really need to spend the remaining $80 at any restaurant before check-out. Having a late breakfast, we were all not that hungry but after some consideration, we decided to have an early dinner at “Basilico” restaurant.
The Basilico is an Italian restaurant that is located in the lobby of the Intercontinental Saigon Residence building. There is a rear entrance connected from Intercontinental Saigon with a sign written on a wooden barrel.
Basilico specializes in authentically Italian dishes and homemade desserts. With artisanal pizzas and a wide selection of wines and wet-aged and dry-aged steaks.
We ordered one creme mushroom soup, a baked salmon, grilled chicken breast and grilled beef tenderloin respectively.
The food quality and presentation at Basilico were great with the steak cooked to my preference. If you need to spend an f&b credit at Intercontinental, I would recommend you to spend it here as well. It is definitely not a waste.
We had a feast here but our food trip did not stop here. After having an early dinner, we went for a “Dinner” dinner on my next post.
Intercontinental Saigon The LIBRARY Lounge & Bar:
There are two bars in Intercontinental Saigon. Where one is located in the lobby lounge and the other is on the first floor called Purple Jade.
The Library offers an all-day snack menu and an afternoon tea with signature sandwiches. It is a venue perfect for a quick cup of coffee over the morning paper or a chilled glass of Chardonnay after a day of work.
Intercontinental Saigon Gym and Pool:
The gym, spa and a 20-meter long outdoor swimming pool are all located on the third floor. The gym had enough gym equipment while the pool featured a great view of the city. There were not a lot of guests using both facilities during my stay since there are more things to explore out in the city.
I prepared a surprise hotel staycation for my parent’s wedding anniversary and I am satisfied with how the hotel managed to prepare the things that I requested. Again, I praise the general manager and staff members to help me find outsourcing floral shops to get a flower basket to the room.
While I was not the one staying at the hotel this time, I am glad that my parents really enjoyed the stay and feasted the whole day with the US$100 credit.
Of course, one day is too short to experience everything for me and them that is why I took them to Le Méridien after checking out from Intercontinental to let them further enjoy and relax in the room I stayed for the night plus dinner together at the club lounge before I head back to the airport the same evening.
Hopefully, on my next visit, the luxury rate I taught the front desk staffs bear fruit and have a quicker check-in process time😉.