Slow down at these glorious accommodations around the Vietnam capital
The Island Lodge
Two hours south of Ho Chi Minh City, on the islet of Thoi Son in the middle of the Mekong River, the Island Lodge offers a placid escape and — with only 12 rooms — plenty of private time.
Rooms come with either river or garden views, though all have grand four-poster beds, unique artwork, lots of pretty wooden furniture and gorgeous terraces. Emerge from your seclusion to take a plunge in the lap pool and chow down on French-inspired food.
The lodge is also big on eco-friendly, sustainable methods. Local villagers make up much of the staff, and all bathroom and massage products are 100% natural.
An Lam Retreats Saigon River
For a luxurious getaway, look no further than this jaw-dropping property located a 20-minute boat ride away from HCMC, in Binh Duong province.
An Lam has 19 roomy suites and villas, great food, a luxurious spa and a beautiful plunge pool. Each villa artfully blends local charm and modern elegance — think wooden floors, massive windows overlooking tropical foliage and stone-tiled bathrooms — while a private butler service makes sure you’re taken care of when it comes to the details.
An Lam can also hook you up with a range of activities, such as city tours and sunset cruises.
The Myst may not seem like an obvious candidate for a riverside retreat, being right in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City. But it emanates a serene vibe, thanks to its gorgeous dark-wood interiors, old-timey décor touches and artifacts from Ba Son, a nearby colonial-era shipyard that was demolished in 2016.
The rooms have accent walls, slanted roofs, interior arches and eye-catching artwork. The suite is highlighted by a large terrace that looks out toward the river.
The rooftop, which offers panoramic views of the Saigon River, has a pool that’s easily one of the most photogenic in the city, as well as a gym and full-service bar.
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Buzz along: Fuel up with some of Ho Chi Minh City’s best coffee
La Viet Coffee. This company, based in the mountain town of Da Lat, retails both whole beans and ground coffee, and their top-quality Robusta and Arabica varieties are highly aromatic. The warehouse-café in Da Lat is gorgeous, but you can also pick up La Viet beans in HCMC. Available at Maison Marou; maisonmarou.com
Bosgaurus Coffee. This oddly named temple to coffee takes its brews very seriously. The owners follow seasonal bean patterns, in addition to using ultra-modern roasting equipment. The café also offers barista training courses, allowing visitors a first-hand experience of their coffee philosophy. bosgauruscoffee.com
This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of Smile magazine.