Hôtel des Arts Saigon - the Ultimate in Romantic Getaways

By: Stuart Miller

Romance is many things to many people. For some, romance is carefully chosen flowers and a box of fine chocolates; to others, it’s a handmade gift from the heart or a surprise home-cooked meal. Actions to spark or show love are usually highly subjective; however, what could be more romantic in anyone’s eyes than the chance to escape everyday life and enjoy the company of your loved one in the lap of luxury? Welcome to Hôtel Des Arts Saigon - the perfect romantic destination for visitors to Ho Chi Minh City and local residents alike.

Hotel Des Arts Saigon as a One-Stop Romantic Destination

The beauty of choosing Hôtel Des Arts Saigon as your intimate getaway is that all the love and luxury you need is on location - no need to step out into the hectic reality of the city. The hotel’s special experiences include couples’ spa treatments and wellness packages for plentiful pampering, refreshments for relaxing or partying by the pool at Social Club Rooftop Bar, and spectacular cuisine from morning till night. Set in the chic beauty of this 5-star boutique hotel in central Saigon, and with warmly attentive staff providing first class service, Hotel Des Arts is the only place you require to create unforgettable moments of romance with the special person in your life.

Video source: Hôtel des Arts Saigon MGallery Collection

The luxurious femininity at the heart of Hôtel Des Art Saigon’s design softly infuses each guest with a sense of anticipation from the very start. Excitement is created by the extravagant quality of services from exquisite dining to savouring the stunning rooftop bar views of Saigon’s dramatic city skyline. The plethora of possibilities for relaxation and the plush comfort of the hotel’s beautifully furnished rooms impart feelings of passion and romance to complete the getaway experience.

Hôtel Des Arts Finds a Way to the Heart Through the Palate

Outstanding cuisine can be sensual, sexy, and an experience to revel in with a significant other. At Hôtel Des Arts Saigon, the range of options for fantastic food and drinks is sensational. The French-inspired sophistication of the Cafe des Beaux-Arts is a perfect setting to spend time sipping top notch tea, coffee or a cocktail with a light snack or meal if you so wish. Enjoy a taste of the high life as you make your way through a free-flow of delightful French delicacies with Vietnamese hints and toast your loved one with a glass of Prosecco, thanks to one of three Paris-Saigon Afternoon Tea options. Appreciate the classy decor of the Cafe des Beaux Arts while taking in the gentle jazz music from the gifted pianist and planning the rest of your idyllic day with your partner.

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon’s all-day dining restaurant, Saigon Kitchen, is an impressively stylish blend of modern and ornate decorative touches that portray an upscale version of an Asian street food market. Saigon Kitchen focuses on top class cuisine that incorporates both Western and Indochine influences. In addition to the superb menu available each day, your taste buds will be tantalised by special weekend options. Every Friday evening, the Seafood Buffet will blow you away with the finest ocean feast Ho Chi Minh City has to offer - from succulent shellfish to love-inducing oysters. Saturday nights are all about the East Meets West Buffet dinner - a chance to delight in an incredible fusion of cultures and cuisines and share them with your loved one. Rest assured that with each visit to the Saigon Kitchen restaurant, you will be welcomed by an outstanding culinary experience for any romantic occasion.

Social Club Restaurant & Rooftop Bar - Romance in Saigon’s Sky

At the Hotel Des Arts Saigon’s Social Club Restaurant, you can alternate between staring lovingly into your partner’s eyes over the incredible food and looking out over a simply wonderful view of Ho Chi Minh City - romance doesn’t get any better than this. Everything about the Social Club Restaurant oozes artistic style. Take in the high class design choices from a time gone by of warm wooden furnishings and gorgeous lighting that ensure pure comfort and wonder simultaneously. The menu will further enhance your feelings of love as together you experience mouth-watering European fare from superb fresh seafood to perfectly cooked tender meat dishes and flavourful vegetarian options.

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon

Upon finishing your delectable meal, make your way up to the exclusive Social Club Rooftop Bar, a gorgeous space for relaxing by the city’s highest infinity pool in the day and rubbing shoulders with the city’s most discerning party-goers and DJs by night. Savour Saigon’s most breathtaking city views from all parts of the rooftop bar while sampling a selection of skillfully created craft cocktails or best quality beers, wines and spirits. Appreciate the best sunset spot in Saigon atop the Social Club Rooftop Bar, for any couple looking to enjoy special time together. As you survey the splendid orange-tinged city skyline, you’ll fall in love with the location, the moment, and each other.

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon - For Him and For Her

For Her

A perfect romantic escape will entail plenty of quality time for couples to be together; however, the right amount of personal “me” time away from your partner can further enhance the moments spent with each other. Understanding this, Hotel Des Arts Saigon provides carefully curated offerings that cater specifically towards luxury experiences for classy women and gentlemanly pursuits for sophisticated men.

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon

The hotel’s Inspired By Her concept, with its “Petite” and “Grande” options, is aimed at women who relish the chance to be spoiled in style. Full-on pampering mode can be activated via several sumptuous spa and beauty packages. Indulge yourself with rejuvenating massages, scrubs, facials, body firming sessions, and detox treatments. Alternatively, for some DIY pampering, you can order highest quality beauty products direct to your room for all your self-care needs.

Inspired By Her at Hotel Des Arts Saigon is not only about spa services. Incredible food and drink, either created by female chefs or influenced by celebrated women in history, also awaits ladies who desire a distinctly feminine touch to tantalise their taste buds. From the graceful flavours of the hotel’s signature Salmon Pho dish and the Tonkinese Jasmine Flower Salad, through to the richer tones of Chocolate Afternoon Tea and a variety of lavish desserts, there is something for every female palate to savour.

For ladies who love all things art and fashion, why not take the hotel’s private art tour or order a custom fitted ao dai (the enchanting traditional dress of Vietnamese women). Queens of social media may impress friends in the numerous “selfie corners” on location - sitting elegantly at the stunning piano, posing under an opulent chandelier, or gazing across the city from the glorious heights of the Social Club’s rooftop infinity pool.

Whatever feminine form your choices take, be assured that the Hotel Des Arts Saigon has you covered with Inspired By Her.

For Him

As a fine fellow looking for a little time away from romancing, you are more than well catered for. A monthly Gentlemen’s Night aims to bring out your suave and refined side. Select your ideal tipple from the selection of top shelf spirits and fine wines, puff on a flavourful cigar, and sit back in plush comfort under soft lighting, as you enjoy sterling conversation with other jovial gentlemen.

If you’re of a sartorial persuasion, take advantage of the hotel’s exclusive personal shopper service. Or perhaps you’re waiting on your fine lady to emerge from a spa treatment, in which case, why not make good use of Social Club Restaurant and Rooftop Bar’s happiest hours between 5 pm and 8 pm with 50 percent off all drinks by the glass.

Hôtel Des Arts Saigon

As you rejoin each other replenished and refreshed after your “his and her time”, will you take the opportunity for laid back relaxation together or maybe try a new culinary delight not yet explored in one of the hotel’s luxurious venues? Perhaps you will survey a glorious sunset from the rooftop pool or join a party and embrace on the rooftop above the glistening lights of Saigon. No matter your choice, these timeless moments for love and tenderness will produce unforgettable memories at the perfect romantic destination - Hotel Des Arts Saigon.

Image source: Hôtel Des Arts Saigon


The Best Pool in Ho Chi Minh City?

By: Aleksandr Smechov

Hotel Equatorial’s Pool is one of the Best in the Ho Chi Minh City.

What many consider the best pool in Ho Chi Minh City is not by an ocean-side resort, on the roof of an affluent condo building, or even in an indoor gymnasium. It’s on the fourth floor of the 5-star Equatorial Hotel.

Twenty-five meters of minimal-chlorine, salt-filtered ocean-blue water stretch across the mid-roof of the hotel. Potted flora line the pool, soaking in the Saigon sun. A poolside bar awaits those who want a drink with their tan, and a delectable food menu offers guests a luxurious outdoor dining experience.

Below, the bustling streets of Vietnam fill with chaotic traffic. The Equatorial pool is a slice of paradise amidst the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle four stories down.

Two sides of the pool are flanked by floors 3 to 11 of Hotel Equatorial. The other two are open to the trees and colorful buildings that surround District 5. It’s almost surreal how close this slice of tranquility is to the urban rawness of the Ho Chi Minh City streets.

In the mornings you can spot early risers lapping the pool, with families enjoying a swim by midday and stressed-out businessmen vegetating chin-deep by nightfall. The Equatorial pool draws a diverse crowd.

What’s the magic ingredient that makes this the best pool in HCMC?

“My friends love the pool,” says Jessie, the Guest Services Officer at the Equatorial. Guests occasionally express how much they prefer the pool to any other in the city. Jessie says some believe it to be “by far” the best pool in Ho Chi Minh.

It could be that the pool looks like it was taken straight out of a music video, with its planted trees, poolside bar, clean, blue water and its location in the middle of a bustling metropolis.

Well, that’s because it was. In 2011 pop sensation Minh Hằng filmed her “Beautiful Girl” music video by the pool. You can see the clip below:

The typical scene at the Equatorial’s pool may be a little less sensational and colorful, and a bit more quiet and peaceful, as lounge music plays softly by the bar and swimmers immerse themselves in the clean, cool water, or sit sipping drinks.

The pool actually uses a salt-based filtration system, which reduces irritation and makes for a more pleasant swim. The guests sometimes have a hard time getting out of the water.

It’s not difficult to see why guests prefer the Equatorial pool over any other in Ho Chi Minh City. Its proximity to the overwhelming cityscape, its slice-of-heaven location and its features all make it the perfect getaway that’s meters away from all the action.

Hotel guests also have access to poolside events, including parties, French nights and other exciting gatherings.

The Equatorial has even come up with non-guest service packages, where those not staying at the hotel can purchase a membership to Equatorial’s Equinox spa and fitness center starting at yearly fees of VND24 million++ per person and VND51.5 million++ for families of four with two children. This includes access to the gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and pool, as well as member discounts for most hotel services.

If a non-guest is content with just the pool, sauna and Jacuzzi, prices are VND19 million++ per year for adults and VND16 million++ for children under 18. A daily fee of VND300,000++ for adults and VND200,000++ for children also gives non-guests full access to the pool.


5 Things to Do With Your Partner at Sanouva Hotel

By: Phuong Tran

We’ve all had type of days while traveling with significant others when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy bed and explore the greater world outside. Some of our readers recently had one of those days while staying at Sanouva Hotel, located right in the heart of Saigon and have packed a list of things to do for a light-up couple schedule in one of the busiest cities in Asia.

1) Food Street Food, Lots of them, Yummy!

Perfectly located right in the heart of the busiest area of the city, Sanouva Hotel is just a few steps away from heaven of street food venues. Day time or evening, Ben Thanh market is where you can always discover new dish everyday.

2) A Short Stroll Shopping

Ly Tu Trong Street is famous for its variety of fashion stores. And do not miss the best shopping mall of the city: Vincom Center on the same street.

3) Museums Everywhere.

Just a few minutes walking from the hotel and you can visit a number of the best museums in the city, including Ho Chi Minh museum, History museum and War Remnants Museum. It is also worth your time to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House, Independent Palace and take the chance to watch a show of water puppet at Rong Vang Water Puppet Theatre.

4) A Different Nightlife

Though Ho Chi Minh City is still not a city for round-the-clock entertainment – most places close soon after midnight. But if you are seeking for a bit fun before relaxing for the next busy day, check out Lush and Apolycapse, two of the most crowded nightclubs in town.

5) Pamper yourself at the hotel

Too tired from all the above activities? Take a rest at this lovely hotel and enjoy local/international cuisine at your door with Sanouva restaurant.


5 Things the Best Boutique Hotels in the World Have in Common

By: Aleksandr Smechov

Ever wanted to stay in an extravagant palace literally fit for a king? What about running into a 100-year old tribal woman while exploring sand dunes outside a world-class luxury accommodation in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps enjoy some wild elephant gazing while you lounge in your private jacuzzi amidst an African national park?

Some of the best boutique hotels in the world aim to embark guests on unforgettable experiences, unreplicatable anywhere else. There is, however, a common thread among the cream of the crop in the boutique hotel world.

Pondoro Game Lodge

There are five essential values common in all of this year’s winners of the World Boutique Hotel Awards.


The hotel seamlessly integrates with its environment

This is so vital that it always seems understated. Rather than drone on about the importance of creating a space that compliments an excellent environment and vice versa, here are some great examples:

Set in the Thar Desert, Suryagarh is built with Jaisalmer sandstone, situated in the middle of nowhere, with stretching dunes and arid land creating a strangely beautiful backdrop. 

Suryagarh

Embodying Paris’s inimitable combination of class, history, architecture, cuisine and art, the Grand Hotel is located in the middle of the city’s biggest attractions, including the Louvre and Opera house. With a story stretching back to the 18th century, it’s no surprise that this hotel naturally takes in the culture and feeling of the historic city surrounding it.

Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal


The service is beyond expectation

This not only means taking guest from the airport and back, or even anticipating needs. The best boutique hotels in the world have staff that are interesting personalities in themselves, making them just as memorable as the hotel itself.

For example, Pondoro Game Lodge in Africa has Robbie, the owner of the resort and your personal ranger, guiding you around the African bush in his jeep. One of the staff in Suryagarh is an expert on the theory of relativity. The owners at Awarta Nusa Dua Luxury Villas & Spa in Bali tend to their garden themselves, including four bonsai trees over a hundred years old, and two merged frangipani trees, meant to symbolize unity.

Owners, managers and service staff at the best boutique hotels in the world are your friends and family. They genuinely care about their property and are glad to relay this appreciation to their guests - they feel like they’re at home, and make you feel the same way.

Pondoro Game Lodge


The hotel is beautiful, inside and out

This seems obvious, and, well… it is. Words don’t help as much as pictures do in this situation. The hotel must be beautiful, architecturally unique, reflective of the environment and the culture, and spotless. Here are some of our favorite examples:

Saffire reflects the natural environment it is built in: The Hazards mountains’ pink granite, the white beaches and sapphire waters, and the grey-green native bush land.

Saffire

The Royal Mansour in Morocco was commissioned by King Hassan the 6th for his most honored guests. The palatial riads all reflect a kingly aesthetic - in fact, over 1,500 artisans were employed to work on the facility.

The Royal Mansour

Venetian luxury is intertwined with a relaxed atmosphere at Ca Maria Adele in Italy, where guests are meant to forget what century they are in.

Ca Maria Adele


The focus is on creating new, unique experiences

A genuinely unforgettable experience goes beyond a comfortable stay and great F&B outlets. The best hotels in the world aim to have their guests fully experiencing the environment in and around the facility.

Besides a rounded experience that includes likeable staff, great food and drinks, a beautiful environment in and out of the hotel, and so on, the key element in creating a unique experience for guests is a series of small touches and moments that make the experience unforgettable.

Some examples include:

Swimming in your private infinity spa pool while watching the sky redden and the sun set across the horizon at Spicers Peak Lodge in Australia.

Spicers Peak Lodge

Reading your favorite novel with a glass of excellent wine by the magnificent grand piano at The Library Hotel in the United States.

The Library Hotel


F&B is on par with the best restaurants in the country

For many, the food and drinks at a hotel make or break the experience. Those who can afford the luxury are more often than not serious foodies with an appreciation for fine cuisine. It’s no surprise that the best hotels in the world also have some of the best dining outlets available in the region, and even the country.

The Royal Mansour in Morocco employs three-Michelin-star chef Yannick Alléno for both of their restaurants. Chefs at the Pondoro Game Lodge in South Africa serve local cuts of ostrich and buffalo steak in generous portions. Awarta Nusa Dua in Bali has some of the best Chinese food in the country.

Awarta Nusa Dua


Wrapping it all up

All these five points are intimately wrapped up and interconnected with one another. Take one out, and you very likely have no chance at achieving a World’s Best title. And while there’s definitely something to be said about the boutique hotels mentioned, this doesn’t stop operators of smaller hotels, or even corporate entities, from learning from this year’s winners and employing the very same elements to make the best experience possible for their guests.


Tet Celebration at New World Saigon Hotel

By: City Pass Guide

Vietnam’s biggest holiday is approaching, marking the arrival of spring and the new lunar year. At this time, the entire country goes into a fervor, visiting family members, eating traditional meals, drinking, giving gifts and practicing ancient traditions. Special Tet foods are cooked, lucky money is given out, and the past year’s troubles are forgotten in hopes of a better and brighter new year.

Taking hold of the spring spirit at the center of Saigon, New World Saigon Hotel joins the festivities, celebrating with stunning decorations and special menus for guests.

Mai Vang and the Kitchen Gods

In a Southern Vietnamese home, an apricot flower tree (Mai Vàng) helps ward off evil spirits in the South, and a pink peach flower tree wards off bad luck in the North (Đào). The bright flowers blossom only once a year around January and early February. The tree marks a new, prosperous beginning, while also being a beautiful set piece. One central element on display in New World Saigon Hotel’s lobby this Tet is the apricot flower tree.

Colors are very important elements in Vietnamese culture. Red (including the pink peach flowers) and Gold (the yellow apricot flowers) are lucky colors in Asian culture. The trees ward off evil spirits during the absence of the Kitchen Gods (Táo Quân) who leave the family to visit the palace of the Jade Emperor, where they will report back what the humans have been up to in the past year. They travel on the backs of giant carp to heaven and back, making the fish another important symbol.

The Spirit of Spring

Bursting with flowers, beautiful decorations, tradition - Tet is in a word, vibrant. To showcase this vibrancy to New World Saigon Hotel’s guests, Citypassguide.com has for the third time collaborated with the hallmark hotel to produce a stunning representation capturing the modernity and tradition of Tet in Vietnam.

Guests will be arriving at New World Saigon Hotel during Tet to find a mosaic of lively, colorful paintings and photographs displayed over wall-to-ceiling windows, as well as areas of Parkview Restaurant. The result is a showcase of what Tet is now and what it was in the past, using gorgeous imagery and the colors of Tet to surround guests in the Vietnamese Lunar New Year spirit.

Old Acquaintances

Citypassguide.com and New World Saigon Hotel have collaborated together twice in the past, installing beautiful displays to mark special times of the year. For New World Saigon Hotel’s 20th anniversary in 2015, Citypassguide.com collected its most stunning portraits, landscape photography and paintings of Vietnam and its people, as well as art from contributing artists.

Last Christmas, Citypassguide.com took its role a step further, conceptualizing a tree composed entirely of conical hats (nón lá). The nón lá is the unofficial symbol of Vietnam, used to shade the hardworking men and women who toil in the rice fields and farms of the countryside. A hardworking face, a sweet smile and a gentle glimmer in the eyes - the spirit of the people was captured with carefully selected professional black and white photography and allegorical set pieces.

Parkview’s windows were covered in transparent images of Vietnamese scenery and life, creating an immersive and cultural experience for guests entering the lobby and restaurant.

Tet Festivities at New World Saigon Hotel

Celebrate Tet at New World Saigon Hotel this year.The hotel will be serving lunches and dinners in line with the traditions of the lunar new year. See their featured promotions below:

From 7 to 11 February 2016, Parkview is serving up fabulous lunch and dinner buffets that boast the best of traditional Vietnamese Tet dishes as well as seafood specialties to satiate the biggest appetites. Lunch buffet is priced at VND680,000 per person and dinner buffet priced at VND980,000 per person.

Meanwhile Dynasty kicks off the first day of Tet (8 February) with a lion dance and an exquisite Tet Brunch Buffet priced at VND1,088,000 per person, including house wine, beer, soft drinks, and tea, (Club Epicure priced at VND888,000 per person). Tet Dim Sum Buffet is priced at VND450,000 per person from 9 to 21 February; and the Tet Holiday Reunion set menu is priced from VND6,800,000 for a table of 10 people including a bottle of house wine, available from 1 to 21 February.

Nian Gao, or New Year Cake, has a history of at least a thousand years. In Chinese, the pronunciation of word “Nian Gao” means “year high” and implies prosperity year after year – making Nian Gao a popular gift item during the New Year period.

Nian Gao at Saigon Bakery:
– Daily, 1 to 22 February 2016, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
– Medium box: VND 288,000*
– Large box: VND 588,000*

*Prices exclude 6% service charge and 10% VAT.


5 Ways to Increase your Hotel’s Revenue Per Room

By: Aleksandr Smechov

Revenue Per Available Room, or RevPar for short, is a crucial metric for any hotel. It’s a simple formula...

RevPar = total rooms revenue / total rooms available

… but the number you get is a good indicator of how well you are utilizing the value of your rooms. Let’s add to this another very important term: RevPor, which is money spent per occupied room. This is necessary when tracking how much people are spending on amenities - are they raiding their minibar and indulging in room service? RevPor is a useful indicator, especially in Vietnam where there are many niche hotels who need to watch their numbers closer than most mass market hotels.

Photo by: Intercontinental Asiana Saigon

If you’re paying close attention to your hotel’s booking patterns, RevPar and RevPor can determine what move you should make next to maximize revenue with your rooms. There is no concrete RevPar or RevPor that you can really aim for year round - the bigger the better of course, but this really depends on room demand during the season and other external factors.

Citypassguide.com consulted several industry professionals to finalize a list of five great methods to maximize both RevPar and RevPor. Get the most from your rooms this season:

1. Ramp up room benefits

Executive Lounge – Photo by: Hilton Hanoi Opera

Perception is reality, and if people perceive that a room is worth more than what you’re charging then it becomes an easier buying choice. This can done by adding exclusive benefits to certain rooms. For example, get the Executive Standard and get access to a private lounge with free refreshments and free flow drinks during fixed hours; free late checkouts; complimentary in-room breakfast; discounts on services like the spa or at certain F&B venues; or anything else that you can offer. While none of these are large investments, the person perceives these benefits as special treatment and values the room more than something similar but without the benefits. Ramping up room benefits is an excellent way to increase your RevPar.

2. Jacuzzi bonus

Jacuzzi – Photo by: Six Senses Con Dao

How many movies and shows have you seen where the characters enter a hotel room they can’t afford and get excited over the jacuzzi in the bathroom? No matter how overhyped, jacuzzis are what people think of when they imagine a luxury suite, a special treat they can only afford during special occasions. A jacuzzi room can be a lot more appealing to travellers than a “shower” room. Especially during colder or rainy months. This simple addition can change a regular room to a room with a taste of luxury.

3. Give them options - but limit their choices

Room with Welcom Fruit – Photo by: Eastin Grand Hotel

People like options, but they also like being told what to get. Using other items mentioned on this list (jacuzzi rooms and rooms with added benefits, for example) you can create more room options for guests. The next step would be to direct these rooms at certain demographics - if the Standard Room is now the Executive Standard, and couples have been flooding into the Standard Room this season, paint the Executive Standard as a honeymooner favorite, or something similar. This way, you get the added benefit of giving more budget options for travellers while promoting your “enhanced” rooms.

4. Stop sucking up to OTAs

Yes, there are plenty of travelers that head over to Agoda or TripAvisor or Booking.com without even looking at a hotel’s website. This can lead fearful managers to abuse their reliance on OTAs and neglect the fact that in the long-run, a balance between OTAs and direct bookings via website and phone is more profitable. This is because people on OTAs are looking for the cheapest option - meaning they are less likely to get room service, buy a bottle of wine, or even dine in the hotel. Many rooms on Agoda don’t even include breakfast - guests will be going to town to eat, not opting to laundry their clothes in the hotel, and avoiding the minibar like the plague. This is a big hit to RevPor.

5. Play with the length of stay

Photo by: Hotel Equatorial

If people are staying for a minimum of five to seven days in your hotel, give ‘em extra. Not only are they more likely to increase your RevPor by getting in-room dining and scouring your F&B outlets and spa facilities, but you will decrease maintenance costs as linens and disposable toiletries will have to be changed less. In-room breakfast, turndown amenities, better bathroom soaps and shampoos, gift baskets, welcome fruits and chocolates - these small investments make longer stays more attractive. And longer stays guarantee filled rooms, reduce costs and up both RevPar and RevPor. What’s not to like?

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