City Pass Guide visits Park Hyatt Saigon to witness how three months of renovations have transformed one of the most prominent hotels in Vietnam.
After three months behind the curtains, Park Hyatt Saigon has finished some major overhauls. Business guests especially should read on for some exclusive new additions that will make their time at the monumental hotel (centrally located right by many of Ho Chi Minh City’s best bars and restaurants) much less of a hassle and much more of a retreat.
While the outdoor façade largely remains the same, the inside has been redone to boast a new color palette (white, ivory and gold), original art pieces from prominent Vietnamese artists, redesigned rooms and facilities, and most intriguing, a completely renovated pool and garden area, along with new meeting venues that set a high standard for similar MICE facilities around Vietnam.
Feeling at Home: Lobby and Staff Review
Staff has undergone several new training programs to be able to better accommodate guests. From our time there, the people who we encountered were knowledgeable, had a genuine smile on their face and did not trip over their own politeness – a professional crowd.
Something that has not changed since before the renovation is the standalone wall hiding the reception area. This is meant to make the space feel homier – a bit like you’re walking into your personal mansion.
The newly renovated Park Hyatt Saigon reception area, now with a white, ivory and gold palette
The color scheme has shifted to a lighter spectrum, stepping over from a tepid brown to a more calming and classy white/ivory/gold.
Afternoon Tea at Park Lounge
The completely renovated Park Lounge now sports a lighter, more refined atmosphere for sipping quality tea or Bollinger Champagne (Park Hyatt Saigon is the only hotel in Vietnam that serves Bollinger Champagne by the glass). The simple palette and traces of original antiques reflect modishly off the lounge’s wide bar mirror, located behind the nice selection of whiskeys, wines and other spirits.
Handmade furniture graces the entirety of the hotel, and compliments the reflective chandeliers and lush carpet well. For a quiet chat with a business partner or tea time with the news in hand, the lounge is a pleasant and comfortable space.
The renovated Park Lounge boasts brighter colors, handcrafted furniture and new windows.
Tea and pastry buffs can stop over any Saturday for the Saturday High Tea Buffet at Park Lounge. For VND 570,000++ you can try several kinds of rich and savory sweets, made by the resident French pastry chef, along with one hot beverage such as Fine Dammann tea. We recommend the tiramisu, croissants and macaroons; if you have the stomach, sample everything and wash it down with plenty of tea.
A new dessert from our resident French pastry chef: Buddha’s Hand Cheesecake, served with the Buddha’s Hand fruit and Lavender sorbet.
Live piano can be heard at the Park Lounge from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday every week.
A New MICE Standard
Meeting facilities have been renovated – completely redone with slick, modern features that make it the only one of its kind in the city.
The ballroom has been untouched. It is fitted for weddings, conferences, functions and various other events and can also be divided into three separate sections. Each section has its own screen and projector. The ballroom in Park Hyatt Saigon is the only one in the city that has a vehicle access area, which means equipment for events can be brought directly to the ballroom. This ensures the setup is quick and effective.
The new Guest House meeting space is an eye-opener. The newly built section includes a break area with a show kitchen where some small dishes can be made, and is an ideal space for cocktail and hours-devours between meetings. Pillars stretching the break area showcase mirrors with inset LED displays, which can announce meeting developments and other useful information. It’s a nice feature if you want to quickly pat down a wrinkly bit of suit as you glance at projected updates.
The end-most meeting room (all three drawing rooms can be connected) features a full show kitchen, and can be used for cooking shows and demonstrations. The spanning ventilation system makes sure smells won’t waft into adjoining rooms.
New Dishes, New Drinks
Opera and Square One have received little aesthetic renovation, but menus have been revamped with new signatures and Opera now has a new entrance directly connecting to the street outside.
Opera’s standout features include a talented Italian executive chef and by-the-glass Bollinger champagne served during the Italian Sunday Feast – a rarity in the city. Expect authentic seafood pasta, great margherita pizza, and lauded beef Carpaccio.
Square One is an intimate eatery that offers Vietnamese and Western fare. Praised for its excellent steaks, imported from the U.S. and Canada, the restaurant has taken up a new American chef for Western dishes. Per regulation the five kitchens – Vietnamese, fruit, seafood, dessert and Western – are all open, so you can watch your meal in action. Four private dining rooms are available for reservation.
Besides steaks and most Western dishes, we recommend the crab noodle soup, chicken curry in clay pot and vegetable salad on the Vietnamese end.
Square One boasts a large array of traditional Vietnamese and Western dishes.
Tying up the dining renovations is 2 Lam Son’s signature drink menu overhaul (along with new floorboards). We recommend heading over during happy hour (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and trying the Gaudy Lady and Coconut Martini.
Exclusive Garden-Pool Area
The rebuilt landscape of the outdoor garden and pool area overlooks the busy streets below. It’s quite a getaway, with garden walkways and lush vegetation with multiple private seating areas that don’t feel like they’re in the middle of the city.
The pool has been made more aesthetically pleasing with a step-down waterfall and a glistening mosaic floor that is especially nice to look at during the evening. The pool reaches a standard depth of 1.4 meters.
The newly renovated garden and pool area now features an event house, a mosaic-tiled pool and lush private garden.
The old tennis court has been remodeled into an all-in-one Pool House, meeting area and BBQ station. The pool and garden nearby give the space quite a different feel from the normal stuffiness of meeting rooms. The BBQ space is equipped with modern burners and is suited for birthdays and other events.
The pool is for in-house guests only in order to ensure the highest amount of privacy and peace for Park Hyatt Saigon guests.
Spa and Gym Facilities
Modeling the Delta’s flora, Xuan Spa embodies the Mekong’s fruits, grains and herbs.
Gym facilities are modern and clean, with yoga balls, free weights, kettlebells and cardio and strength stations available for a complete workout.
Brighter, More Modern Rooms
Last but not least, Park Hyatt Saigon has renovated their rooms to feature modern amenities like iPads loaded with bedtime stories for kids and other useful apps, Nespresso machines, sensor-based lighting and sophisticated individually controlled air-conditioning.
Ten deluxe rooms open up to the garden and pool area, and new room types have been added to the roster. All rooms received an aesthetic makeover, with a bright white color scheme and Vietnamese original artworks adorning the walls.
Well worth the brief wait. The place looks gorgeous and feels serene. Park Hyatt Saigon is going for luxury but it’s not ostentatious at all – it’s simple, modern and accommodating, with enough added tweaks and features to make this feel local while retaining international standards. We recommend you take a peek for yourself.