Ho Chi Minh City, known as Saigon to just about everyone in Vietnam, is an energetic city where the pace of life goes as fast as the motorbikes zooming along the streets and the lights,colour and celebration that seems to be waiting around almost every corner.
We’d just spent four days in the forest of Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Province, watching the beautiful rescued elephants of the Elephant Valley Project and were craving a sleep in, a comfy bed and some rest time - and a pool! So some luxe at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza was a welcome treat after an overland border crossing - two bus rides, a motorbike and a long walk through No Mans Land into Vietnam.
We arrived at the Sofitel dirty, dusty and tired, and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible as we were shown to our room. Ahhhh heaven - two huge beds with the softest pillows I have ever felt and hooray a massive bathroom with a deep bath, toiletries and the hot water we had been desperately missing.
We had two days here to rest, relax and feel pampered and we did just that. Room service, beautiful baths, rooftop swimming and a buffet that had me feeling shame for the amount of delicious food I managed to gobble down.
And for kids? A fabulous kids menu, a child-friendly swimming area and kids pool, special complimentary bath time and The Disney Channel. Happy days!
The Sofitel Saigon Plaza is a beautiful five star hotel in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with friendly staff, luxurious comfortable rooms, a roof-top pool, adults bar with live music, fitness centre and walking distance to the city.
It's in an awesome location just footsteps from the city and with so much to see and do right on its' doorstep. We wandered around to the Book Laneway - a small alley covered in beautiful lights with lovely boutique bookshops and cafes on each side. I bought Emmie a pretty copy of The Secret Garden and she spotted Maccas at the end of the lane and grabbed some nuggets too.
A few more footsteps and we were outside the famous Ho Chi Minh Post Office. The Post Office is one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. It was built in 1886 – 1891, based on the design of French architect Gustave Eiffel - who, of course, designed the Eiffel Tower. It’s a gorgeous building and well worth a look. I just love the Parisian vibe in Ho Chi Minh.
If you’re craving Western Food theres a Hard Rock Cafe underneath the Intercontinental (just around the corner) and a Starbucks too. Yes I admit it, I bought a mocha.
While there is so much to see we were keen on bath time, room time and pool time and that’s where we spent the rest of our weekend.
Oh my gosh, we discovered the complimentary bath time rituals offered at the Sofitel entirely by accident. I called housekeeping to ask if we could please have some bubble bath or bath salts for Emmie and within minutes there was a knock at the door and two bath time packages were delivered.
Each came with a small bathed table, a candle and matches, a loofah and bath gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.
The only difference was that I had a jar of bath salts for my bath and Emmie had a big fizzy blue bath bomb.
Dim the lights, light the candle and relax. And since the Sofitel has Disney Channel I had a peaceful 30 minute relax in my bath while Emmie watched a movie on TV.
We love rooftop pools. There’s something magic about gazing over the top of the city and having a birds eye view of what’s happening below.
The Sofitel’s swimming pool is on Level 18 and is a twin, with a big pool for everyone and a smaller circular kids pool. There’s a bar and poolside service and super comfy lounges with umbrellas - um you need these! I was sunburnt very quickly in the fabulous sunshine and should have spent a little more time under my shade. We ordered chips and milkshakes and spent hours by the pool, swimming, sunbaking and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Emmie love the swimming pool, the comfy bed and super soft pillows and the room service kids menu. She ordered the mini burgers for dinner and loved them (I was craving lettuce and had a delicious Caesar with chicken). She really wanted to see the lunchtime chocolate fountain but we didn't make it down to lunch. Her absolute favourite though was her blue bath times and she felt very special!!
Oh my gosh I hope there wasn’t a hidden camera because again I lost my mind at the breakfast buffet. This buffet is one of the best I have ever seen. It has a cheese station. A cheese station!! With fresh baguettes, french butter, homemade pate and goats cheese, blues, camembert and a huge array of others to try. I also made my own salad - mixed by a waiter with my choice of dressing - ate Indian potatoes, tried many flavours of yoghurt and of course some pastries.
Emmie being a creature of habit ate a bowl of coco pops (what a treat!), fried eggs and bacon and a couple of pancakes.
That breakfast was heaven.
The most exciting part of our stay for Emmie was the return (or replacement, if I’m being entirely honest) of her little penguin pal Blair. The team at the Sofitel Hangzhou had given her Blair as a travel buddy back in December and he was penguin-napped at Shanghai Pudong Airport. They organised to send the new Blair to the Sofitel Saigon for Emmie and I have never seen a smile so big as when Emmie found Blair waiting for her. Thank you Sofitel.
We had a wonderful stay here at the Sofitel and I gladly recommend it for a fabulous stay with kids, or without!
Evie and Emmie
We stayed for two nights at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza as guests of the Sofitel.