Take the Saigon River, put a villa on its edge and then transform it into a boutique hotel. It’s a concept that’s worked elsewhere, but only now has it come to Vietnam.
Once a hotel that was part of the Thao Dien Village complex in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2, Villa Song has been separated from its former blood brother, refurbished and rebranded. Reopened in December 2013, the result is something unique. Wow factor unique.
Modern yet with an Indochinese touch, whitewashed and with only minimal décor, the elegant 22-room property comes with a leafy riverfront area, daybeds and a pool out back. There’s a spa and gym, too, all making it the kind of property you’d expect to find in Thailand or Bali, but not in Vietnam. It’s a sanctuary, a home away from home. And for this country it’s a first.
Seeing is believing, but experiencing is something else. So I took a weekend staycation there. Speedboat from downtown Saigon; brunch by the river; an afternoon by the pool; dinner in the aircon restaurant; night in the luxury of my room. Wine, contemporary western cuisine, Asian favourites, sun, relaxation and indulgence, all a short drive from home.
It was everything you’d expect from a luxury, hideaway staycation. Tranquil yet elegant, relaxing yet with enough promise of activity to make you leave your room.