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Cruising through Ho Chi Minh’s colourful streets and waterways in style
31 Mar

The hotel that once and for all re-defined Vietnam as a destination for the glitterati and the one-percent is popping the champagne bottle on how best to maneuver Saigon after dusk. A one-of-a-kind package by The Reverie Saigon, ‘Cruising Saigon’ dispatches hotel guests with a personal butler in tow on a private two-hour sunset cruise on the Saigon River, then switches gears at sundown for a city-chic adventure on a chauffeured vintage Vespa.

The cruise includes a picnic hamper, brimming with sweets and savories from a choice of five menus to choose from – including selections such as potato cream soup, smoked duck & egg sandwiches, cherry compote and traditional Vietnamese banh mi – all exquisitely prepared by the hotel’s culinary team and served by one of its butlers, and paired with a bottle of Taittinger champagne.

Leaving from a riverside pier near the hotel, the sunset cruise by Les Rives plies the storied waterway through the late afternoon, skirting giant rafts of water hyacinth and myriad river traffic, from sampans to ocean-going vessels.

The boat’s captain may elect to steer up lesser travelled canals and tributaries, though the main event is the river itself, lined with a colourful array of structures illustrative of Saigon’s past, present and future – from the landmark Dragon Wharf built in 1863 and the monumental Gustav Eiffel-designed ‘Rainbow Bridge’ of the same era, to the modern residential enclaves rapidly sprouting at the water’s edge and the corrugated tin-roofed shacks that intermingle between them.

As the sun sets over the city’s rapidly changing skyline, Cruising Saigon abandons waterways for roadways for a night-time adventure right out of La Dolce Vita. Part night excursion, part street food fest, the ‘Saigon After Dark’ excursion by Vespa Adventures lets travellers experience the city’s nightlife the way most locals do, and from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The evening begins with a six o’clock pick-up at The Reverie Saigon and a chauffeured transit to the first stop, Café Zoom, to meet one’s guide and kick-off the evening with casual drinks and appetisers.

From there, the tour ventures to a popular local, street-side eatery, cruises through Chinatown and then into the busy streets and alleys of District 4 for street-side snacks, including banh xeo (savoury Vietnamese pancakes) and more cold drinks. Along the way, the four-hour tour also makes a stop at a tucked-away coffee house for a taste of live Vietnamese music, before concluding at a lively club with a local cover band.

The Cruising Saigon package also includes round-trip airport transfers via choice of a Mercedes-Benz S-class or BMW 7 series, breakfast daily at Café Cardinal, as well as access to the lofty Reverie Lounge on the hotel’s uppermost floors.

The Reverie Saigon

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, The Reverie Saigon offers an astonishing hotel experience, showcasing extravagant, unapologetic European opulence in a storied Asian setting. The latest luxury addition to the country’s flourishing hotel scene features 286 rooms and suites alongside 89 fully furnished serviced apartments, all of which are among the largest in the city and feature incomparable views of the winding Saigon River and the city skyline.

Renowned Italian brands furnished the rooms and suites of both the hotel and residence, and set the ambiance with exquisite and, in some cases, one-of-a-kind pieces. The property features five distinctive food and beverage outlets, a 1,200-square-metre spa & fitness centre, an expansive outdoor swimming pool and 16 versatile and elegantly decorated function spaces.

The hotel and residences are located in the 164-metre tall Times Square building, a mixed-use development, which includes eight storeys of prime office space and the showrooms of some of the same high-end Italian furniture brands whose pieces are featured throughout the hotel.

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