I was introduced to this boutique hotel, carefully located just outside the hustle and bustle of the core of the city, by a friend who said “Why don’t you give it a shot?” And so I did.
MGallery Collection is part of Accor Hotels’ high-end boutique brand, featuring small(ish) luxury hotels, each with their own distinct take on interior design, restaurants & bars, and services. It’s something that works quite well for me — it feels like they actually made an effort, and a successful one at that, trying to make each place look different rather than sticking to some corporate hotel design rulebook.
Upon arriving at the hotel, you are greeted by the hotel porters and doormen, who seem to be on duty day and night to open the majestic double exterior doors. Inside the small but luxuriously appointed hotel lobby, there are reception desks on the right, a lounge area and café on the left, and access to the elevators is straight ahead.
There is a choice of rooms and suites, both of which are very beautifully decorated. White is the colour of choice, but dark wood is generously used to offset the lighter tones of the walls, curtains and doors. Both rooms and suites (at least the ones I stayed in) have a rather lofty and open feel to them — the bathroom in the smaller rooms is separated from the bedroom by loosely draped thick long curtains, and even in the suites there is a semblance of one large open space, while retaining plenty of privacy at the same time. It’s a nice place to be in!
On top of the hotel, we find the pool area and the rooftop bar — and the view really is to die for. Let’s also be really honest here: it could have been a tad bit larger. If your plan is to catch some sun, then I would advise to arrive not too long after breakfast. If about ten people beat you to it, then you might want to consider visiting the War Remnants Museum instead. During the day the rooftop bar is rather subdued (they’ve got some great fresh ginger lemonade!), but as from late in the afternoon, Saigon’s hippest crowd will join you for a drink.
Breakfast is served in Saigon Kitchen, the hotel’s restaurant, and there’s really nothing to fault here. Want eggs? Check! Want pho? Check. If you’re too lazy in the morning to stroll around the neighbourhood in search for food, then you might just as well stay in your hotel, and sample something delicious from the buffet. On top of that, it’s a stunning place to be in — there are plenty of dark tones in the interior, which is bathed in morning sunlight pouring in through the large windows.
When I stayed here in early 2016, not everything was perfect though. There were some noise issues during the night, the staff at the rooftop bar weren’t exactly accommodating or overly friendly, and the hotel management’s reaction to all that was haphazard at best. But I’m willing to chalk that one up to the place still being in soft launch mode after its opening in the autumn of 2015. I had a great talk with the hotel manager, promises were made if I were to decide to come back for another visit, and were then conveniently forgotten when I did so in early 2017. That was a bit of a disappointment for what is otherwise a great hotel. However, I have to say that the hotel management was magnanimous in their apology, and have kindly asked if I would mind awfully to give them another shot when I’m back in town.
Yeah. This place is really worth it!