Saigon: What’s Hot

Ho Chi Minh City

(or Saigon) is a sprawling, 10 million-person metropolis. Here, the median age is 29, and it’s easy to feel the pulse of creativity in the city’s lively streets. With a multi billion-dollar public transportation project underway and hip restaurants, hotels and shops turning up on every corner, Ho Chi Minh City continues to grow—and shows no signs of stopping.

Stay in Style: In 2015 the city added two new hotels to its roster: Hotel Des Arts ( boasts refined French Colonial design and a buzzing rooftop bar, and Reverie offers Art Deco–style interiors and an opulent Cantonese restaurant. Both properties forgo the ‘cookie cutter’ identities of corporate hotels, providing distinctly luxurious accommodations.

Cook Like a Local: Renowned Australian chef Luke Nguyen opened Grain Cooking School in early 2016. Perfect for foodies interested in learning the fundamentals of Vietnamese cuisine, the school offers hands-on classes, celebrates local chefs with events and workshops and encourages guests to shop for fresh produce on site. Guests prepare four-five dishes—beginning with fish dipping sauce, a staple of local cuisine—and instructors provide historical and cultural context while cooking. Contact the Bookings Team for more information.

Drink and Dine: Often unmarked and tucked away on quiet streets, speakeasies are becoming as common as coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh. Snuffbox (14 Tôn Thất Đạm) is one of the city’s best, mixing 1920’s Great Gatsby–style decorations with contemporary light fixtures and blush-colored upholstered couches. With an impressive cocktail menu, it’s a perfect place for a drink before dinner

Located off of Ho Chi Minh’s Art Arcade alley, L'Usine Café opened in 2010 and immediately became a hotspot ( Due to its innovative model, the eatery-cum-concept shop is still extremely popular and has inspired many similar establishments in the city. Guests climb a winding flight of stairs to reach the multi-room warehouse space, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and industrial-chic accents like exposed pipes and metal windowpanes. On display are contemporary pieces by local artists and a wall-to-wall selection of gifts ranging from prints to artisan chocolates and handmade jewelry.

Published onJanuary 6, 2017

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