Darling Hotels: InterContinental Saigon, a Luxury Hotel in District 1

It’s no secret that I’m not a stranger to an InterContinental hotel. I stayed at my first InterContinental at 10 and gone on to stay at their hotels around the world. On my recent trip to Vietnam, I came across the InterContinental Saigon, an IHG Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. It was an obvious choice for the last few nights of my trip.

Travel blogger Eva Phan of Eva Darling swimming in the rooftop pool at the InterContinental Saigon luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

A quick search for the best hotels in Saigon puts the InterContinental Saigon near the top of the list, so I was sold. The Intercontinental Saigon has phenomenal guest reviews, and I was in need of a convenient hotel and the type of place where a stay feels absolutely effortless.

So, did this luxury hotel in District 1 live up to its rave reviews?

hotel review InterContintinental Saigon

InterContinental Saigon Review: a Luxury Hotel in District 1


St. &, Corner, Đ. Nguyễn Du Lê Văn Hưu, St, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam


The Intercontinental Saigon is located in Saigon’s upscale District 1, home to some of the city’s most innovative restaurants, popular landmarks, and fabulous shopping. Many of the best boutique hotels in Saigon are also in District 1.

The hotel is near Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Saigon’s most central landmarks. Across from the Intercontinental Saigon is Đường sách Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (Ho Chi Minh City Book Street), an adorable, buzzing pedestrian street filled with indie bookstores. 

Even when traveling solo in Saigon, I felt really safe in this neighborhood.

It’s just a few minutes to walk or an inexpensive Grab to many of the best restaurants, bars, and things to do in Saigon, as well as Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, making the IC Saigon incredibly convenient.

The Intercontinental Saigon, an IHG Hotel, and InterContinental Saigon Residences are connected through M Plaza, where there’s a Starbucks and additional dining options.  

InterContinental Saigon Check-In

You know the hotel check-in nightmare? Long line, slow system, tired eyes, and the traditional schlepping of heavy bags? This was not that. The tired eyes may have been the same, but the experience was the complete opposite of that.

Check-in at the InterContinental Saigon could not have been smoother or more effortless. Before our car even parked, hotel staff was already walking towards it, ready to open the door and grab our bags. We were handed welcome drinks while they looked up our reservation and handed us our keys.

Bags arrived in our room quickly, just minutes after we did. By the time we made it to our room, we had easily already interacted with 5-6 staff members. The whole process was just so easy and set the tone for the type of treatment we could expect from our stay.

king bed city view intercontinental saigon luxury hotel

The Room

My room was located at a corner on the 15th floor. With floor-to-ceiling windows, I was offered a fantastic view of the city, including a view of Landmark 81, the Vietnamese equivalent of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The InterContinental has really comfortable beds, which is more than welcome after a long day of sightseeing in Saigon. Rooms are a little snug but are still a decent size and a good size for a dense, cosmopolitan city like Saigon. They’re well thought out, so they really didn’t feel small at all. Plus, in-room bathrooms are so large that they nearly double the room’s footprint.

Rather than typical generic hotel art, in the room and across the hotel were images of Vietnam taken across the country.

intercontinental saigon luxury hotel king bed

The bathroom in the room was impressive. With a large soaking tub and a separate, spacious shower to match, the InterContinental Saigon makes unwinding easy. I definitely got excited to see that in-room toiletries were Byredo products—one of the best in-room toiletry choices I’ve seen in a while. I ran out of conditioner while traveling through Northern Vietnam, so honestly, I was just excited to finally stay at a hotel with full bathroom amenities.


The InterContinental Saigon offers a full suite of luxury amenities for guests. In addition to the amenities listed below, the hotel also offers a spa, laundry service, same-day dry cleaning, business center, on-call doctor, and more.

intercontinental saigon room service pesto pasta basilico restaurant

Room Service

I gave in and ordered room service on my final night in Saigon. It was definitely a “treat yourself” type of night, so pesto spaghetti and a couple of hours of TLC it was.

The InterContinental Saigon offers 24-hour room service, with a more robust menu during the day, and a late-night menu after 11 pm. The room service menu is actually fairly diverse—I noticed The late-night menu still has a healthy amount of options, especially compared to other late-night room service menus I’ve encountered.

My food arrived within 30 minutes and was a very welcome sight at midnight.

intercontinental saigon rooftop pool luxury hotel district 1 ho chi minh city

InterContinental Saigon Pool

The InterContinental Saigon’s pool has to be one of the most Instagrammable moments at this hotel. It’s a glass-sided pool on the hotel’s roof deck overlooking the city.

Swimming around was a lot of fun, but unfortunately got cut short due to a large, windy storm that rolled into the city quickly. On a sunnier day, it’s definitely a great spot to relax and swim around. The pool has pool attendants to bring towels, water, etc., so you really don’t need to worry about much else.

intercontinental saigon luxury hotel gym fitness center


To go to the pool, you’ll need to walk through the hotel’s gym. The gym is sleek but is on the small side for a hotel of this size. During my stay, I really never saw the gym get very busy, so the smaller size doesn’t seem to be an issue.

This is definitely an aesthetic luxury gym as far as hotels go: machines match in tan leather, which coordinates with the light, warm wood flooring.

Also adjacent to the gym is the InterContinental spa, which offers a full-service spa menu from 11 am to 8 pm.


If you’re in need of an airport transfer from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the hotel can arrange a luxury private limousine transfer for $81 USD in each direction. The hotel is just 7km from the airport, making getting to and from the airport easy and fast.

Hotel staff was always happy and quick to call a taxi. If I ordered Grab Food or a Grab, I often noticed them assisting by asking drivers who they were there for.

Note on Grab to and from the InterContinental Saigon: Grab doesn’t differentiate between the InterContinental Saigon, an IHG Hotel, and the InterContinental Saigon Residences. When you book, you’ll be asked if you want to be met at the Nguyễn Du or Hai Bà Trưng gate. If you’re staying at the InterContinental Saigon, an IHG Hotel, you want to be met at the Hai Bà Trưng gate. If you’re staying at the InterContinental Saigon Residence, you want to be met at the Nguyễn Du gate. This created a lot of confusion early on during my stay, but luckily hotel staff were super helpful in letting me know where to go.

InterContinental Saigon Complimentary Breakfast

The InterContinental Saigon’s luxury is obvious in its complimentary breakfast. Breakfast is offered daily at Market 39, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant.

I sprinted into breakfast with just 20 minutes left and was happy to be seated. The assortment was absolutely shocking—I learned quickly while in Vietnam that complimentary hotel breakfasts are a serious business, but the Intercontinental Saigon’s spread was larger and more diverse than at any hotel we had stayed at previously.

Guests have the option to order off a menu at the grill station or help themselves to the expansive buffet. Market 39 is the hotel’s international restaurant, and I can say that the breakfast buffet definitely lived up to that description. The buffet featured American, British, Chinese, Indian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese breakfast foods, to name a few. 

Although it would have been nice if the buffet had a few more Vietnamese dishes, there were so many great options that I easily could’ve filled 4 plates (one of those just being fruit)!

InterContinental Saigon Restaurants

There are SO many dining options at the InterContinental Saigon (definitely contributing to the expansive and diverse room service menu)!

Yu Chu

Translating into “imperial kitchen,” Yu Chu is the InterContinental Saigon’s stylish Chinese restaurant, located on the 1st floor of the hotel.

The restaurant offers dim sum and a prix fixe all-you-can-eat buffet.

Market 39

Market 39 is a seafood restaurant specializing in international cuisine. The restaurant is buffet-style, and claims to have the best Sunday brunch in District 1. This is the hotel’s main restaurant, located on the lobby level, across from the concierge.

Although I can’t attest to the Sunday brunch claim, I can say that Market 39 has a very impressive complimentary hotel breakfast offering, as mentioned above.


Basilico is an Italian restaurant located on the lobby level of the InterContinental Residences Saigon. Although this restaurant isn’t in the InterContinental Hotel itself, it’s accessible without leaving the building by walking through the mPlaza passageway that connects the IC Hotel with the Residences.

the library bar intercontinental saigon

The Library

The Library is IC Saigon’s coffee shop and lounge. If you’re an IHG Rewards member, you can receive a voucher for a free tea or coffee from The Library at check-in.

Although The Library tends to be quieter during the day, at night, it was packed with lots of people drinking, talking, and hanging out.

intercontinental saigon ballroom

Turns out, it actually was quite the adventure because the ballroom of the InterContinental Saigon might be one of the hotel’s best-kept secrets. The ballroom is so chic, boasting a wave textured ceiling, patterned pillars, and a dimly-lit lounge area with a modern art deco feel. This definitely beats the cookie-cutter, bland hotel ballroom.

Meetings + Events at the InterContinental Saigon

It’s not often that I find myself exploring the conference centers of the hotels I stay at, but Sean took off for his flight the night before mine, and I decided to wander the hotel (a thrilling Saturday night, I know).

ballroom business lounge intercontinental saigon

Staff + Service

The InterContinental Saigon is a testament to how a well-staffed hotel contributes to a hotel’s success. I mean, seriously, nearly every guest review mentions just how wonderful the staff and service are at this hotel!

We received such wonderful, friendly, helpful service. Staff went above and beyond. I really think our stay would not have been what it was if service had been different.

The Bottom Line

The InterContinental Saigon is by far the best InterContinental property I’ve stayed at to date. The level of service at this hotel made my last few days in Saigon so easy and effortless. The location was perfect for accomplishing the last few things on my Vietnam “to-do/see/buy” list.

I’d recommend this hotel for any traveler to Saigon looking for the comfort and ease of an established, luxury hotel group in a convenient location.

My stay was provided complimentary by the InterContinental Saigon in exchange for an honest review. Extras during my stay, including room service, were not included. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.

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