WallPaper featuring TajmaSago Luxury Hotel Design by Gema

This article appears in the print edition of WallPaper, City Guide, Ho Chi Minh City, originally published on December 2, 2013 – featuring TajmaSago, a luxury hotel design by Gema Architecture and Interior Design Company.



This city has a plethora of what it calls ‘mini’ hotels, which pop up proportionate to the increasing numbers of tourists. The Pham Ngu Lao area and streets such as Ly Tu Trong and Le Thanh Ton are lined with cookie-cutter shophouse accommodation: marble lobbies, ornately carved (and uncomfortable) armchairs, beige colour schemes, mass-produced furnishings and rooms that are priced according to site rather than amenities. However, if you are travelling on limited funds, it is possible to find some nicely executed mid-range bases. Catina Saigon Hotel (109 Dong Khoi, T 3829 6296), and the smart Mifuki Boutique Hotel (33-35 Le Anh Xuan, T 3520 2222), set on a leafy side street, are a cut above. Many grand hotels built in the French colonial period (1887-0940) are managed by state-run tourism groups, which invariably results in uninspiring decor and poor service. The 1925 riverfront Hotel Majestic (1 Dong Khoi, T 3829 5517) and 1927 Rex Hotel (see po84) are among the better alternatives. There is a dearth of interesting boutique properties in HCMC, with the exception of The Alcove (see p020), and the luxury-brand options are relatively limited. The TajmaSago (opposite), Park Hyatt (see p022) and InterContinental Asiana (see p023) are the best choices. Beyond the centre, Villa Song Saigon (197/2 Nguyen Van Huong, T 3744 6090) is a charming urban retreat on the banks of the Saigon River. For full addresses and room rates, see Resources.


This Khaisilk venture — the brand’s first luxury boutique hotel — was inspired by Moghul architecture and has elements of Persian. Turkish and Indian styles with a contemporary edge. Set on the banks of Crescent Lake, its located in the up-and-coming district of Phu My Hung. Guests are greeted in a lofty reception (above) and can enjoy super views over the lake or gardens through iwans (arch-shaped doorways), placed in all the public spaces and each of the 15 suites. The rooms, by local architects Gema, feature calligraphy panels, bas-relief decoration, stone inlays and carvings, and intricate screens. or jali, cut from marble; some have their own courtyard. There’s also a cinema, a library, a spa and a gym with an outdoor pool. 6 Phan Van Chuong, T 54116789.


Click here for more pictures about TajmaSago.