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Hotel check: The Reverie Saigon

TESTED BY Ramsey Qubein

HOW MANY ROOMS? 286 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS The hotel towers over one of Saigon’s main squares and its interior décor oozes sophistication and artistic whimsy.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $255 on weekends

CONTACT Reverie Saigon, 22-36 Nguyen Hue Blvd District 1, tel 8-3823-6688,

VERDICT Open less than two years, this is a showstopper of a hotel has elevated the city’s stature in hospitality to the levels of Hong Kong or London. If the service doesn’t impress you, the dripping chandeliers and oodles of marble-coated surfaces surely will.

BACKGROUND This high rise sits amid a collection of other business and residential towers. In fact, many of its floors are reserved for private residences and long-term executive apartments. While Ho Chi Minh City has its fair share of brand names, this is just what the destination needed to put it on the glitz-seeking, luxury traveler’s map.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? This is the tallest hotel in the city and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. A unique perk is that reception will provide guests with a free year of Leaders Club membership in the loyalty program, which brings room upgrades, free breakfast and welcome amenities. The hotel’s flamboyant interiors include antique and designer furnishings throughout.

WHERE IS IT? The hotel is within walking distance of most of the city’s top attractions and most expensive shopping. City hall and the wide promenade leading up to it, where tourists snap photos with the statue of Ho Chi Minh himself, are just outside the front door.

ROOM FACILITIES Thick carpeting and beautiful wall coverings mark the accommodations, courtesy of some of Europe’s most celebrated designers. Of course, the basics are in place: desks supplied with business accessories, Bang & Olufsen electronics, and complimentary minibars and espresso machines stocked each day. Push a button by your bed, and the drapery gently slides open to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the river, the city or both. The lovely scent of Chopard toiletries suffuses the mosaic-lined bathrooms. Shower pressure is as drenching as the occasional monsoon, and closets house safes large enough for laptops and umbrellas.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The main lobby restaurant serves an impressive breakfast buffet. There’s also an a la carte menu. Later in the day, enjoy international cuisine in a beautiful space overlooking the pool and city skyline. Diners can reach the Italian restaurant from the street level, while the food in Royal Pavilion is popular with locals who scramble for a reservation. There is another casual café and bar with wood-fired pizzas, pan-Asian cuisine, and a thick list of specialty cocktails and craft beers.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Chandeliers of Swarovski crystal illuminate the marble-lined ballroom (the largest pillarless option in town), and numerous meeting rooms and breakout spaces are available for small and medium-sized conference groups. Free wireless Internet access is available throughout the hotel.

LEISURE FACILITIES The two-level spa here earns honors for its numerous treatment rooms and relaxation facilities like sauna and steam rooms. The outdoor pool has smaller plunges including a whirlpool, and there’s also a 24-hour fitness center that has a fridge stocked with fruit and bottled water.