The Intercontinental Asiana Saigon is a luxury 5 star hotel in Vietnam’s capital city, one of those slick sky scrapers in District 1 which dominate the skyline and create an atmosphere of sophiticated industry. It’s centrally located in Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City) and was recently voted ‘Vietnam’s Leading Conference Hotel’ by the prestigious World Travel Awards.
It’s more than just a smart luxury hotel for business travellers though, being situated just a stones throw from the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Opera House and some of the best top end shopping opportunities in the city, it’s one of those places that perfects offering something for everyone, catering for business or leisure travellers alike including those (like us) who are vegan or who have special dietary requirements.
We checked in for 2 nights to see exactly how they would cater for vegan guests; we were not only pleasantly surprised but we were pretty much blown away. From a warm welcome in the ‘Club Intercontinental’ lounge, where we were checked in and introduced to the lounge manager who was assigned as our contact point in the lounge during our stay, to the moment we checked out, the service was impeccable and very vegan friendly.
The Vegan Food:
We chose to take breakfast in the main restaurant where there was a huge selection of good quality, fresh food giving the option for a light and healthy breakfast or for something more indulgent.
One of the standout features of the breakfast offering was the attentive and knowledgeable service of the staff who seemed to spot when we might want to ask a question and come over to help us. There was a particularly high level of knowledge about the ingredients in the food on offer making it easy to identify the things we could eat as well as giving us confidence that what we were eating was free from animal products.
The red bean congee, expertly put together with the guidance of one of the staff, with a drizzle of sesame oil, peanuts, tofu, green onions and ‘youtiow’ (fried Chinese bread sticks), has to be amongst the best bowls of congee we’ve eaten. Vegan congee lovers will appreciate the choice of condiments here.
We drank Illy coffee and healthy fresh pressed juices from the juice bar. Our favourites were ‘Mango Spice’ made with ginger, fennel and mango and ‘Spice Queen’ made with lime, carrot, red pepper, coriander leaf and pineapple.
There was an abundance of sushi to choose from with good wasabi and pickled ginger. The vegan dumplings from the dim sum section were to die for (and highly addictive) with a peppery bean and vegetable filling and soft, slightly chewy outside.
In the ‘Club Intercontinental’ lounge we were served evening cocktails (they make an awesome Cosmopolitan if you are ever wondering) accompanied by specially made vegan dishes such as vegan noodles and a local speciality of Banh Cuon, freshly prepared at a ‘live’ cooking station and happily veganised for us. There was also fruit, nuts, salad and bread to choose from at the regular evening buffet for a light snack and specially made rolls and sweets for afternoon tea.
The Vegan Essentials:
We loved the pillow menu in our King Deluxe room, with multiple non-feather options and an invitation to have the feather mattress topper and feather duvet removed upon request (we simply called and the housekeeping team came and changed everything over when we were out of our room).
The amenities were provided by San Francisco based luxury brand Agraria who we contacted and they have confirmed their products are not tested on animals and use ingredients that are plant based only; it’s amazing to find luxury vegan amenities like this in a hotel, especially ones that are so enjoyable to use.
For vegan spa lovers, there was another vegan treat with a range of luxury vegan Ytsara products and very tempting treatments available at the spa. We love people who make sure that their spa offerings are cruelty free; top marks to the InterContinental Saigon team.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check in here for a luxury city centre hotel stay (business or pleasure) where the service is smooth and the vegan food is excellent. Enjoy sampling vegan food from different cuisines (including their delicious juices) and feel confident that your food is free from animal products and made from quality, fresh ingredients.
Don’t forget to use the wonderful vegan luxury amenities or visit the spa to indulge yourself and make the most of the cruelty free products in stock.
We were guests of Intercontinental Asiana Saigon but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Intercontinental Asiana Saigon
Corner Hai Ba Trung,
Ho Chi Minh City,
Cost From: £135 / $205 per night (Sept 2015)