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You know sometimes when you visit a crowded, bustling city and when you get back to your hotel and step inside - all of a sudden you are filled with an immediate calm? Those properties are not easy to come by, but we found one, in the bustling city of Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.


Arriving in Saigon, HCMC in the early morning after a long flight, I was not really up for going sightseeing or checking out what had developed in the city since my last visit - I just wanted to go to the hotel. Normally when I travel, and especially on business trips for Style by Asia, it is the ADHD way, with a schedule jam-packed with visits, meetings and events. There is very little time for relaxation and very little leeway for last minute changes. Too little time, too much to do, too much to see. But not this time.

Thanks to our friends over at Lightfoot Travel, we found out about Villa Song, and after seeing pictures of the hotel, we knew we had to make room for some down time at this place. Situated on the Saigon River, with a beautiful view of undeveloped rural land, nothing about this property feels rushed or hurried. And, the minute we arrived, we felt that aaaah-sensation that we talked about earlier and which is so hard to come by.

Villa Song

'Boutique Hotel' is a term that in our opinion is overused and which a lot of the times under-delivers. Not here. Villa Song is the ultimate luxury boutique hotel with its mere 23 rooms and suites - each room a unique creation with no two rooms alike. They serve your complimentary breakfast any time of day, because as Yega, the manager of the hotel says "who are we to decide when breakfast is good for you?". This attitude to provide what is best for the guest, permeates the hotel and is one of the key elements to why this hotel is such a great one, and why it feels so great to stay here. Yega says that he also always tries to accommodate guests' wishes for early check-ins or late check-outs "if we have the availability - why not?" And they don't charge for it either. We like that type of service.

Who are we to decide when breakfast is good for you?

Of course, being who we are and doing what we do, another thing that we love about the Villa Song apart from the fab colonial-style building, the gorgeous river setting, and the amazing staff (we're sold, can you hear??) is the art. Its a running joke that the hotel was built to house the owner's private art collection but it could just as well be true. Just stepping into the lobby makes you understand straight away that this is a hotel that prides itself on its art and design. And the staircase that runs up to the higher floors is to die for.

Villa Song Lobby

Villa Song Lobby


The gorgeous staircase, editors image

Also, in each well-appointed Suite or Room, art by local artists and photographers decorate the walls. If you are lucky enough to be checking into any of the 4 Art Suites (61 to 75 sqm), you also get a 4-poster bed, sculptures, more art and a divan in the bathroom! Plus a rather large and comfortable balcony with a daybed that overlooks the frangipani trees or a domed-ceiling parlour. Bliss. 

Villa Song Art Suite

Villa Song Art Suite

Villa Song Art Suite


Out of the 23 rooms, 2 are called 'Writer's Rooms' and 5 are 'Villa Rooms'. I get a tour of the premises and a peek into a Writers Room. When asked why it is called that, the answer is that it is because it is a rather small room compared to the others (21-30 sqm), and with a "single" bed rather than a large one (it's still comfortable enough). They also come with a balcony and I find them rather cozy. Indeed I am told, single people who have stayed in the Writer's Rooms keep on returning time and time again. I definitely understand why.

With so many options to choose from, many guests return to try a different room every time, and some change rooms several times during their stay, just to find the perfect one. If you book the Imperial Suite however, you'll only have one choice. But with its 105 sqm, 2 balconies with river and pool views, a 4-poster bed, Apple TV & Nepresso coffee machine and other bits and pieces, we don't think you will find any reason to want a change. 

Villa Song Imperial Suite

Villa Song Imperial Suite

Set away from the river in a lush garden, the pool is a 30-meter long creation filled with saltwater. Again, one of those small things that makes a difference. Because honestly, who wants to walk around smelling of chlorine? Luckily at Villa Song, you don't have to. Oh, and did we mention that they have gazebos to laze away the day in too?

Villa Song Pool


A few years ago, District 2 where Villa Song is situated, was barely developed. Until someone decided that this area would be good for a new part of the city that is. Said and done, construction begun and these days the area is filled with residential complexes and many international schools. That means that it is also blissfully quiet, especially at night. But don't worry, just because it is residential, doesn't mean that there is nothing to do when you have finally settled in. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle into District 1, which takes around 20 minutes. The shuttle used to be a boat, but the government suddenly closed the public pier so for now there is a shuttle bus, which stops right outside the Opera House smack in the middle of District 1 - very convenient. We have been told that a solution is underway though, so the boat should be up and running again in no time. In the meantime, the team are very happy to take you along on a sunset boat trip up and down the river which is well worth an hour of your time. Seeing the city from the water puts it in  yet a different perspective.

Editors image

Editors image

However, should you wish to explore the area around Villa Song, and the hotel staff warmly recommend that you do, there are some hidden, and not so hidden gems that are well worth a visit, just a (warm) stroll away. Don't worry, the staff will give you a map so you won't get lost. Among other things, we recommend you to stop over at VinGallery which is a boutique art space that host frequent art events ranging from solo and group exhibitions to art talks and art markets. The Gallery aims to provide a platform for the community to have an interactive exchange with artists, promoting an artistic discourse. We like that! You can read some previous articles on Style by Asia from interviews with some of the great artists that the gallery represent here, here and here

After all that walking, why not grab a sundowner at The Deck while watching the sunset from one of the hottest rendezvous and riverside places in D2.

And if you're into street art and graffiti just like we are, then look no further than Saigon Outcast! This bar/restaurant and general hang out place lies just a few minutes walk from Villa Song and is a big supporter of the the local arts scene. Tons of great art can be found on the walls and containers dotted around the premises. They also organise different events and even movie nights every night so check out their FB page to see whats on tonight!



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In the end, what we love doing most at Villa Song, is to sit down at the riverfront and just watch the world go by... We do head into town eventually, but we are always happiest when we return to the hotel at the end of the day (or for a cheeky pool session right when it is the hottest). And there is no better way to start your day than watching how the day unfolds on the Saigon River.

We will be back, of this I am sure. Connect with Yega and his wonderful team through the Villa Song Website or Facebook Page


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