Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) or Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh to give it its full title, is a busy and hectic city. It is Vietnam’s biggest urban centre, and it is the focal point for commerce, although not its administrative capital – that responsibility lies with Hanoi. Divided into 24 districts, the cityscape is one of French empire, Soviet-style buildings and Asian pagodas. The region has developed at breakneck speed over the years and now offers all the trappings of a modern Asian city – there are plenty of fine restaurants, big hotels, nightlife and stores promoting luxury brands.
With so much for the visitor to explore, it’s a relief to discover that there is a burgeoning spa scene in the city. Along with day spas and wellness centres, several of the large hotels also offer guests luxurious on-site relaxation and rejuvenation options. Here we choose eight of the best.
THE NATURAL RENDEZ-VOUS SPA AT SOFITEL SAIGON PLAZA
Located on the tree-lined Le Duan Boulevard, close to the commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City, The Natural Rendez-Vous Spa at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza hotel is a calming space with plenty of natural light and a long treatment menu.
It’s the aromatherapy massages and treatments here that really impress, which, when applied by the attentive therapists, allow the general well-being benefits of aromatherapy, while providing nourishment and moisture to the skin. All of the aromatherapy treatments here use a carefully curated blend of six virgin oils – rice bran, sweet almond, castor, jojoba, evening primrose and sunflower. For an aromatherapy facial that really works, we like the Anti-ageing facial, which uses a special powder made from freshly harvested raspberries that are rich with antioxidants – ideal for reducing the signs of stress and ageing.
Otherwise, the hour-and-a-half Hot Stones therapy can be just the thing if work stress is getting you down. The direct heat of the smooth, water-heated stones, when placed at key points along the body, effectively relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist access to deeper muscle layers, while the heat also expands blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. If time is of the essence, try a Bamboo body scrub, which at just 40 minutes proves the power of bamboo powder, which is naturally rich in minerals and silica.