Words: Tanya Joslin
Pulsating with a vibrant and youthful vibe, the Fusion Original Saigon Centre is a cool haven in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s (Saigon) buzzing District 1. Channelling the city’s rich culture, this bold and whimsical world invites you to reconnect with each other while exploring this dynamic city together.
For lovers of fashion, art, culture, and design, this is the perfect Ho Chi Minh City hotel. Inspired by atmospheric gallery spaces, every corner is adorned with unique art pieces and paintings, from the larger-than-life Vietnamese women in traditional ao dai who line the halls to the hand-painted ‘Hát Bội’ face masks in each guest room, it’s an inspiring celebration of creativity that delivers a true sense of place.
The Fusion Original Saigon Centre also features an incredible 6th floor swimming pool overlooking the city, decadent rooms, an exclusive guest lounge and fitness centre, and a fabulous signature restaurant on the 24th floor, Miss Thu.
In the heart of HCMC’s bustling District 1 (the city’s central hub), the hotel occupies ten floors of the prestigious Saigon Centre and Takashimaya shopping mall. From its prime location to its lavish amenities and impeccable service, this is the perfect destination for couples looking to explore all that HCMC offers. Just steps away, the Ben Thanh Market and Opera House await your discovery, and you’ll have top-notch shopping, dining, and entertainment options at your fingertips.
Best room for two:
All 146 immaculate rooms feature timber furnishings, gleaming bronze accents, and comfy king beds as well as flatscreen tvs and stunning views of the HCMC skyline. The Premium Deluxe Room category rates special mention for its lovely bathtub-with-a-view. Order up some Champagne, and you’re all set. Oh, and you can sate any snack attacks with the complimentary mini-bar or 24-hour Reload Pantry that offers snacks, a barista station, and a water menu.
Food & drink:
Miss Thu, the signature restaurant on the 24th floor, is a dining destination that tells a story. Central to the restaurant’s tale is fictional character Miss Thu: a pioneering worldly Vietnamese woman with charm and style whose presence is felt throughout the restaurant’s head-turning decor.
The ceiling design evokes the traditional nón quai thao, a style of Vietnamese hat, while textured windows feature a flutter of mandarin hand fans. The restaurant also showcases contemporary and bold artworks by local artists that capture elements of Saigon’s past and its more cosmopolitan present.
This charismatic setting offers impressive breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. For couples, the inspired menu brings Vietnamese flavours to the forefront, enhancing your stay with mouthful after mouthfuls of delights. A prime example is the Bắp xào sea bass, a playful unity of street food and fine dining by Chef Arnaud.
In-room dining is a favourite for cocooning couples while exclusive guest lounge The Nest offers a relaxing retreat with snacks and drinks.
Once you step outside, the Bến Thành Market is a fantastic place for an authentic street food experience. Be sure to order the local pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) and fuel up with a rich iced coffee over milk.
You won’t have to venture beyond the hotel footprint to get your shopping fix, with the popular Takashimaya Shopping Mall located downstairs. But we have a feeling you’ll want to step into the action and explore at least a little of HCMC.
Rent a Vespa if you dare; this is how the locals get around. To get your bearings, head for the clouds and enjoy breathtaking 360° city views at the Saigon SkyDeck, located 49floors up in the Bitexco Financial Tower in District 1. Or for a dose of green, visit the city’s Botanic Gardens.
Close to the hotel, sample a few local flavours at the Ben Thanh market. From there, you can walk over to Ho Chi Minh City’s Fine Arts Museum. Or take a stroll along Dong Khoi, an historic tree-lined street brimming with boutiques and shops that will take you close to the majestic Opera House. Built in 1898 by French architect Eugene Ferret, this lavish landmark building embodies French colonial architecture.
Another landmark government building is The Reunification Palace (or Independence Palace), a 1960s icon that mirrors Vietnam’s dramatic political past. Slightly further afield, The War Remnants Museum (District 3) is a must-visit for anyone interested in understanding Vietnam’s history and culture. The museum showcases a collection of artifacts, photographs, and vehicles from the Vietnam War, offering an important local perspective on the conflict. While some exhibits can be difficult to view, the museum serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of peace.
Then you can count your blessings at the Thien Hau pagoda in District 5. This revered 200-year-old temple is renowned for its stunning architecture and serene atmosphere, popular for locals and tourists alike.
When it comes to bars and restaurants, a new favourite is The Triệu Institute. Occupying a vintage two-storey building in the vibrant Mac Thi Buoi neighbourhood of District 1, the street-level dining space and open kitchen leads to an atmospheric upstairs bar and lounge spilling out to an open-air terrace.
Australian-born Executive Chef Chris Donnellan has crafted a menu of contemporary dishes incorporating the aromatic herbs and botanicals found in Lady Triệu gins, using premium ingredients and local flavours from Vietnam and highlighting the diverse regional flavours of the country. Perfect for a fun night out.
On the third floor of a 1960s apartment block in central HCMC, the Old Compass Cafe is a hidden gem worth seeking out. With a charming mix of vintage and modern decor, comfortable seating, and lush greenery, this cozy spot offers a delightful blend of local cuisine, coffee, and wine. During the day, it’s a bustling coffee shop and restaurant, while at night, it transforms into an intimate bar serving a small selection of wines and craft beer imported from Pasteur Street Brewing (see more below). Find out about their legendary tours – we did their Tales of The City (Saigon Tour). It was fabulous, taking in the city’s unique history, architecture, food and contemporary life.
We’d also highly recommend you stop by one of Pasteur Street Brewing Company’s six ‘taprooms’ splashed through HCMC.
Couples will love:
Couples will adore the Fusion Original Saigon Centre’s prime position, eclectic vibe, and opportunities to cocoon away from the 24/7 city outside. The hotel pool alone is worth a stay here. A lush retreat nestled in the urban sprawl, this is one of the best hotels in Ho Chi Minh City for couples.
Find out more about the Fusion Original Saigon Centre here.