One day in March of 2022 I opened my email to find an invitation to join a press tour around Vietnam with Vinfast which is a Vietnamese car company planning to release electric vehicles in North America. I must say that this was quite a delightful email to receive, an all expenses paid luxury trip to Vietnam! Vinfast belongs to Vingroup, which is the largest conglomerate in all of Vietnam. I got to tour around to parts of the country I’ve never been before and also was introduced to their hotel company Vinpearl. After the press trip finished, I was offered to stay for the rest of the month in their other properties. In total, I was able to visit six of their properties across the country. While in Ho Chi Minh City, I had an extended stay at their most famous property Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 Hotel. The Landmark 81 building is actually the tallest building in the country and at the time of writing this article, the 17th tallest in the world.
Arrival and Location
My stay included an airport transfer provided by the hotel. I was promptly picked up at the arrival door of the airport by friendly Vinpearl staff. If I remember correctly, it only took about 20 minutes to get to the hotel lobby from the airport. I actually got to enjoy a ride in one of their Vinfast SUVs which happened to be very stylish and comfortable. The Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 hotel sits in the Bình Thạnh district of Ho Chi Minh city. The hotel is part of a complex which includes a shopping mall. Nearby there is a large park and also the international Vinmec hospital just a stone’s throw away. From the property, it’s fairly convenient to get to district 1 in about 15 minutes by motorbike.
The lobby of the Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 Hotel is actually located on the 48th floor of the building. It felt like I was entering a hotel in Abu Dhabi or Dubai as it was extremely grand and luxurious. All of the marble floors, gold decorations, and expansive views were a great welcome for what was to come throughout the hotel. The check-in process was rather smooth as they actually did most of it during the airport transfer. Very smart indeed! I was served a welcome drink and cold towel which was refreshing.
For my extended stay I secured a Club King Room on the 61st floor of the property. The club rooms come with pretty solid benefits including afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapes, and a 30% discount on the menu at the Oriental Pearl restaurant. More on the benefits later, but first let’s talk about this shiny new room. I must confess that I was immediately impressed with the opulent style of the room. I actually noticed rather quickly that it had a very similar aesthetic to another luxury hotel brand, but I won’t name names. I’ll let you guess who I’m talking about! The layout and decoration of the room was smooth and lavish. There was a king size bed which was overall extremely comfortable (bedding included), a lounge chair with ottoman, desk, large floor-to-ceiling windows, USB port bedside, and a control station for the air conditioning and lighting also bedside. Halfway through my stay, I asked to change sides of the building to a room with a view of district 1. I must recommend you do the same!
There was also a well-equipped minibar which was chargeable. Complementary items included four bottles of water daily, 2 daily coffee capsules, capsule coffee machine, kettle, instant coffee, and Dilmah Tea. Upon arrival in my club room I also had a lovely welcome amenity which consisted of fresh fruit and sweets. Thank you Vinpearl!
I love how the dark master bathroom contrasted with the bright design of the bedroom which felt clean and modern. Inside the master bathroom there was a single sink vanity, scale, massive bathtub, and shower stall. This Vinpearl Luxury property used higher-quality toiletries made by Thann. Also noteworthy were the fluffy towels, better than average I must say!
I liked that the staff provided turn-down service almost every night (they did miss a few) and delivered a tasty snack along with a cute note card.
Pool, Spa, Fitness Center
On the 47th floor of the Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 Hotel sits the pool, spa, and fitness center. First, let’s discuss the epic rooftop pool! It protrudes out from the building and has epic views on three sides of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s easy to spend lots of time there because there is a bar just behind. What a way to relax in style!
As mentioned, I’ve now visited several Vinpearl properties around the country and can very delightfully report that they all have Life Fitness equipment, which really makes me happy as it’s such good quality! There’s nothing like working out with the best quality equipment, and the gym at the Landmark 81 was packed full of it. The gym was well equipped with cardio machines, free weights, as well as weight machines. Plus, like everywhere else in this hotel, had gorgeous views of the city below.
Last but certainly not least was the spa and relaxation facilities. The spa offers a wide variety of treatments. What I did use quite often were the steam room, sauna, and cold pool inside of the locker rooms. I love rotating in between hot and cold, from the sauna to the cold tub. It’s really good for your health to expose your body to different temperatures and I have actually recently read a study showing that people who do tend to live longer.
Food and Beverage
During my stay at the Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81 Hotel, I got to experience several meals at their Oriental Pearl restaurant located on the 66th floor. This restaurant is actually comprised of two expansive dining rooms and one bar. From any seat in the restaurant, glorious views of Ho Chi Minh can be observed through the very tall floor to ceiling windows. Whether it’s morning, noon, or night, the dining room is fashionable and a great place to spend time. The restaurant was in the process of updating their menu during my stay so I got to see the improvements in the food firsthand which was lovely.
The international buffet spread was fairly well stocked with items that can keep everyone’s mouth happy. Along with the buffet there were 3-4 stations that offered food prepared on the spot such as eggs and local Vietnamese cuisine such as pho. Over my multiple day stay, I found that as a rule of thumb, the Asian food tended to be a lot tastier than the Western items.
One of the evenings I stumbled into a large seafood buffet that the hotel was having on the weekend. This turned out to be my favorite meal of the entire stay. The same amount of service area that breakfast covers was now covered with a massive amount of fresh seafood. The salmon sashimi took the prize for the top item of the evening. This wasn’t just my opinion as it disappeared almost as soon as it was replenished.
I also noted that the Oriental Pearl did a fairly good job with their cocktails. My favorite was the Negroni which was made with Vietnam’s Song Cai gin. This gin turned out to be the best that I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried quite a few. It has a lot more depth than the competition and this made for a much better Negroni!
The menu for the room service was actually the same as the menu for the Oriental Pearl. I was able to enjoy meals in my room several times throughout the stay and was happy that they kept their word when they said 30-45 minutes. Well done!
If you are looking for an absolutely beautiful newer luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, you found it at Vinpearl Luxury Landmark 81. From a design standpoint this property is simply drop-dead gorgeous. Every space inside was enjoyable and paired with the view was really great. That being said, as it is so new, I saw a few occurrences where the service could be improved and it mostly happened while at the Oriental Pearl restaurant. Luckily, I was able to get to know the new restaurant manager and learn that most of the staff was very new and currently undergoing rigorous training to bring them up to speed. I’m sure that in the near future things will only get better. The rest of the staff in the hotel did an overall good job with a touch of warm Vietnamese hospitality. At the end of the day, I definitely enjoyed my stay thoroughly at the property and would return if I had the opportunity.
Source: Pierre Blake;;;