What is it like staying at a quarantine hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam? Depending on the budget and location, you can stay at a comfortable place.
We just finished spending 8 nights at our quarantine hotel, Ibis Saigon Airport, located across from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport. At the end of November 2021, we finally arrived in Vietnam from the U.S.
As you know, we’ve been living in Ho Chi Minh City for almost 4 years and returned to the U.S. in mid-July when the pandemic situation got worse in Vietnam. It took some time to get back into Vietnam, but we made it!
While quarantining somewhere tends to have a bad reputation, we had a positive experience staying at Ibis Saigon Airport. Continue reading to see what it was like during our quarantine hotel stay.
**Note: The rules regarding quarantining at a hotel can change at any time.
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Who Is Required to Quarantine?
Per Vietnam government rules, foreign experts and officials entering Vietnam must stay at an approved quarantine hotel for 8 nights if vaccinated with 2 doses of the COVID vaccine or 14 nights if not vaccinated. (You’ll see reports of quarantining for 7 days, but the first day on arrival doesn’t count as a full day.)
During the quarantine, guests must take two COVID tests – 1) the day after arrival and 2) the day before checking out of the hotel.
Once the test is “negative,” then guests leave the hotel and return home to self-monitor health for the next 7 days.
Why Stay at the Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel?
With a lot of quarantine hotels to choose from, why did we decide to stay at the Ibis Saigon Airport?
We heard good things about this place from the large, comfortable rooms, good food, and service from the hotel staff. It’s a popular place for guests to quarantine at. (The other recommended one is Holiday Inn, also nearby the airport.) Since we’ve stayed at many hotels in the Downtown District 1 area, we also wanted to stay at a new place.
Plus, Ibis Saigon Hotel is right across from the airport so we didn’t need to travel far, especially after a 20+ hour trip from San Francisco. You can walk across the street from the airport to get here.
What are the Room Choices & Costs?
We were given five rooms to choose from. The cost listed is for 1 person occupancy per night.
- Standard (18 m2) – Holds 2 adults – 1,800,000 VND ($79 USD)
- Family (26 m2) – Holds 2 adults & 2 children – 2,300,000 VND ($100)
- Studio (36 m2) – Holds 2 adults – 2,300,000 VND ($100)
- One Bedroom Apartment (54 m2) – Holds 2 adults & 1 child – 3,200,000 VND ($140)
- Two Bedroom Apartment (72 m2) – Holds 2 adults & 2 children – 4,200,000 VND ($184)
If there are 2 people or more staying in the room, there is an extra charge.
- For children (ages 2 to 5 years), the extra cost is 400,000 VND ($17.50) per person per night.
- For children (over 6 years) and up, it’s an extra 800,000 VND ($35) per person per night.
Therefore, the final cost of the room is between $630-$1,480 for 1 person occupancy for 8 nights. Guests or the company sponsor covers the cost of the room.
The room cost includes 3 meals a day, 18L water jugs, free wifi, two COVID tests, and hotel staff assistance.
Which Room Did We Choose?
We decided to choose the one-bedroom apartment. The room comes with a kitchen with a fridge and microwave, dining table, living room with TV and couch, bedroom with full bath, and a half bath. The kitchen also has a stovetop but there weren’t any utensils or cookware to make anything.
Space was a big factor. Since we had a few checked-in luggage and our carry-on luggage, we needed the extra space from the living room.
Plus, we wanted to have a large table and chairs to work on. The small side tables in the regular rooms wouldn’t work for the both of us as we have laptops.
How to Reserve the Room
We used an agency to help book the room. It was easier to have them arrange the room and the transportation. Although, it is possible to contact the Ibis team directly and arrange the booking.
During normal travel times, you can reserve a room online here.
Our Experience at Ibis Saigon Airport Quarantine Hotel
Arriving at Ibis
Transportation from the airport to the hotel must be arranged ahead of time. As we mentioned in our previous post, we received the full-body PPE outfits before boarding the shuttle.
It was hilarious to wear these outfits since the hotel was a 2-minute drive from the airport. Plus, we were the only ones on board.
Once we departed the shuttle, our luggage were sprayed with alcohol before we could enter the hotel.
Checking In At the Hotel
Checking in was a breeze. The Ibis Team already had our information on hand and handed us our room key.
Another Ibis team member helped us with the elevators. Unfortunately, the room keys do not work with the elevators as this is to help prevent guests from leaving the floor.
The One-Bedroom Apartment Room
Once we entered the room, it felt like we were almost home. Our apartment looks similar to the hotel room with the small kitchen, dining room, and bedroom.
Everything was clean on arrival. We know the Ibis team spends a lot of time cleaning up after guests leave.
We enjoyed how we received a set of cutlery to use during the stay. Although, there was only one set so we had to ask the front desk for another one.
The kitchen came with two mugs, instant coffees, tea bags, and a water boiler. It was a nice touch to have two 19L jugs of water ready for us. When we ran out of teas, we asked the front desk for extra.
What we liked about our room was that there was a view of the airport so we saw airplanes landing and departing every few hours. While the airport isn’t busy as it was pre-pandemic, it was still fun to see the planes landing.
The room is a bit noisier as it faces the main street, but it didn’t bother us.
The free wifi worked during our stay but was a bit slow, especially during working hours.
- Breakfast delivery at 7:30am
- Temperature check after 10:00am
- COVID test** after breakfast
- Lunch delivery at 11:30am
- Place an order for next day’s meal via phone after lunchtime
- Second temperature check after 4:00pm
- Dinner delivery at 5:30pm
**The morning after arrival and the day before checking out the hotel, there is a COVID test between 10:00-10:30am.
**Note: The food delivery times can be adjusted ahead of time. You can mention it to the hotel staff.
Food is the most important part of the experience!
The quarantine package includes are three meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It gets delivered at the times mentioned above, yet you can call the front desk to request a later time. The food is placed on a chair outside of the room.
There are two menu options available:
1) Regular menu with Western and Asian options,
2) Vegetarian menu
All of the meal comes with tropical fruit (guava, bananas, jackfruit, and dragon fruit) or yogurt as a dessert.
Breakfast is always a noodle soup or Western breakfast of two eggs, bacon, sausage, slices of cheese and ham, croissant, muffin, 3 bread slices. Coffee, juice (guava and/or apple juice mix), or milk is provided.
Lunch tends to have tastier options, so you can pick and choose what you want. Below are two of our top lunches – Crispy sea bass with potato wedges (left) and Pesto Penne with shrimp.
Dinner is a hit or miss depending on the day. Here are two of the meals that we had: Fried chicken with fries (Western) and eggplant parmesan (vegetarian) (Left), and Chicken burger (Western) and tofu mushroom burger (vegetarian) (Right)
We had a mix of Western and Asian options and vegetarian food. Since I’m a pescatarian (a person who eats seafood and no meat), there were a few days with fish on the menu. Therefore, I ordered from both the regular and vegetarian menu.
The quantity of food was enough for each meal and had enough variety for the week.
Outside food and drinks can be sent to the hotel and then to the room if using an app such as Grab Food. Unfortunately, the transaction needs to be cashless (prepaid through the app) since the hotel doesn’t want to handle money.
If you plan to quarantine at a hotel, bring your favorite snacks to make your stay more comfortable.
How Did the Time Past?
We kept ourselves busy during the quarantine time. Since we weren’t allowed to leave the room, Justin worked during the normal hours while I focused on blogging stuff. During meal times, we just enjoyed the break and watched TV.
Checking Out of the Hotel
Checking out was easy to do. Guests receive a call from the front desk when the negative COVID test results arrived. Afterward, guests have until noon to depart the hotel.
To go downstairs to the lobby, guests must call the front desk to ask for a trolley for the luggage and the elevator access.
It took us about 30 minutes to check out. We originally asked for someone to come get us at 11:00am but they must have forgotten until we called back later.
Justin’s colleague picked us up to drive us back home, but guests can arrange a taxi ahead of time or use Grab taxi to return home.
The next step after quarantining at the hotel is to self-monitor at home for the next 7 days for any COVID symptoms.
We’re happy to say that we’ve fully completed the 7 days of self-monitoring, so we can go out into the city. While we haven’t left our apartment complex yet, we’ve only visited the grocery store and walked around the park. Life seems to be back to “normal” in Ho Chi Minh City, yet we’ll still exhibit caution with crowds and keeping distance from others.
Would we recommend staying here? Yes! During normal travel times, Ibis Saigon Airport would be a good option to stay. If you have an early morning flight and need somewhere close to the airport, then this would be a good option.
We hope the hotel amenities return once tourists are able to travel to Vietnam again. This hotel has a gym and a rooftop pool, so that would be nice to hang out during the day.
We look forward to seeing Ho Chi Minh City and the rest of the country re-open for international travels in the future. There are reports of reopening in January 2022 but we shall see.