Recently, I was invited by the Odys Boutique Hotel for three nights for a little staycation right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Here’s how it went!
Want to hear a fun turn of events? So back before lockdown happened in Vietnam, I ordered some face masks from a woman selling them in the HCMC Fexpat group. I was obsessed with the cute embroidery, so I ordered two right away. Of course, when I picked them up, I asked for her Instagram so I could tag her when I wore them.
Well, she obviously saw I was a travel blogger when I tagged her, so she then turned around and invited me to check out the hotel she and her husband owned in District 1 called the Odys Boutique Hotel. District 1 is pretty much the center of everything in Saigon for a visitor, so it’s exactly where you want to be if you’re coming from out of town.
I was more than happy to come stay for a few nights to review the place and see if it really would be a good spot for both outside visitors and for anyone who’s in HCMC and needs their own staycation. Check out all you need to know below!
A Review of Odys Boutique Hotel
About the Hotel
What’s so special about Odys?
One of Odys’ most unique features is its stunning interior designs from the beautiful tiling to the paintings featured around the hotel, there’s a sort of old time glamour to a place that’s still quite young! Turns out they worked with an artist named Huong Hoai Nguyen, and you can see the unique touches and attention to detail everywhere.
Also, because of its location near the Fine Arts Museum and its artistic-inspired design, the hotel will often hold exhibitions. When I stayed they were finishing an exhibit by Dung Hung Ha and Thuan Thanh called “Sapa Ngay Ve 5th.”
When is check in and check out?
Check in as at 2:00 PM and check out is by 12:00 PM.
Is there on site parking?
None available (though hopefully you’re not thinking of driving in the middle of HCMC!)
About the Room
What kind of rooms are available?
There are four types of rooms:
- Junior Deluxe
- ODYS Premium
I stayed in one of the ODYS Premium rooms and it was just as luxurious and lovely as you’d hope. Great view over the city as well.
How’s the wifi?
Strong and reliable!
What other amenities does the room come with?
Plenty! Water, tea, kettle, robes, slippers, and all you’d expect.
How often is the room cleaned?
It can be cleaned every other day, but you can ask for them to wait until after your stay to be more eco-friendly.
What amenities come in the bathroom?
Bathrooms come stocked with typical Vietnamese amenities: various toiletry kits, a mini sewing kit, soap, shampoo, and towels. No washcloths if you need that.
How’s the shower?
Fun! Not all rooms have it but mine had like this jacuzzi shower situation where it felt like I was in a time machine! You can set it up for a bath, set it up to have jets come at you from the side, or like a regularly shower. I obviously tried all three!
Is there breakfast available?
Yes! While we had a Vietnamese menu option only while we stayed, they normally have a continental breakfast that sounds amazing. It’s served up on the rooftop restaurant.
What onsite dining options are there?
They have both BUP Restaurant and Lobby Lounge. BUP is the same spot you can eat breakfast at, and the Lobby Lounge, like the name implies, is right there at reception.
Is there a fitness center?
Yes! On the first floor is a little orange room with one treadmill, one elliptical, and one lat pulldown machine. Just enough to get a workout in, and I did a quick run/walk there one of my nights.
Is there a spa?
Yes! On the basement level is Nu Spa. Right now if you book a stay, you get a complimentary massage. I chose the body tension massage, and it was heavenly.
Is there a pool?
How close is the hotel to HCMC?
Smack dab in the center of District 1.
How far is it from the airport?
I think only 20 to 30 minutes by Grab! I had to go to get to Hanoi, and I remember it took no time at all. You can also talk to the hotel to arrange a shuttle.
A Quick Overview of My Experience
Talk about a whirlwind staycation! I actually checked into Odys while I was in the process of moving apartments, so it was very nice to have a cushy hotel room after emptying out my first Airbnb.
I stayed over three nights and found myself soaking in as much of District 1 as I could before I moved farther up north and all of these locations weren’t quite in walking distance anymore. The hotel is so beautifully designed, and I wasn’t remotely surprised to learn an artist had a hand in creating the interior!
Odys is seriously super central but you’d never know it from how peaceful and quiet the hotel is once you walk through the front doors. I just remember opening up the door to my suite and doing a happy dance at having such a gorgeous place to myself!
My first impression was of the insane bathroom situation where I had this jacuzzi type tub/shower that honestly looks like a time machine. Obviously took full advantage and each day of sightseeing ended with a nice bath.
Nearby Odys Boutique Hotel
Since Odys is very central in District 1, you’re going to be smack dab in the middle of all the big tourist sites as well as some fun restaurants, cafes. and street food all within ten minutes or less of walking.
This is great for anyone coming from outside of the city who wants to avoid Bui Ven, which is more of a backpacker vibe, and, of course, if you’re an expat who lives in in District 7, Thao Dien, or Binh Tanh, this is a fun location for you to play tourist in your own city!
I broke down some options for while you’re here:
Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum
For a pretty museum, checkout the HCMC Fine Arts museum! It’s in a yellow French Colonial era building and has three floors of various exhibits. It also makes a great photo opp ;)
One of the tallest towers in the city! You can see Bitexco Tower from the hotel, and it’s insanely close. Head up to the observatory to get in some views of the city or you could just pop up to Odys’ rooftop restaurant too.
Benh Tanh Market
For some shopping, head over to Benh Tanh! It has both a day and a night market. I’ll be honest, I have yet to spend too much time here. I’m trying not to buy things, so I’ve been avoiding putting myself in the middle of a busy marketplace!
Temple Goddess Mariamma
For a random stop, check out the Hindu temple: Temple Goddess Mariamma. The exterior reminded me of the one from Kuala Lumpur.
Nguyen Hue Street & People’s Committee Hall
A very short and easy walk away is the famous Nguyen Hue Street! It’s such a fun area that’s blocked off from motorbikes and cars, and you can walk all along it. The People’s Committee Hall sits at one end and the river at the other. During Tet, it’s absolutely decked out!
Really, I’d be rehashing my guide on the best things to do in HCMC on your first visit if I completed this list, so check out that post for even more nearby options!
Nearby Restaurants and Cafes
Scott’s Kitchen / La Fiesta
One of the days I was staying in Odys, I suddenly craved nice, gooey mac and cheese! Cue a Google search which led me to Scott’s Kitchen HCMC. Here’s the thing though. Scott’s Kitchen does NOT exist! It’s actually inside this Mexican restaurant called La Fiesta. Like you go into La Fiesta, ask about Scott’s Kitchen, and they’ll give you two menus one with Mexican food and one with mac and cheese options. I dunno. Either way, I got the buffalo mac and cheese and it was so good and so huge, I couldn’t even finish it!
Secret Garden 131 Calmette
Friday night after Alyshia was done work, she, Steph, and I all met up for dinner at Secret Garden 131 Calmette. Alyshia had sent us all options, and that was the one we picked; which was perfect because it was literally right around the corner. It’s full of delicious Vietnamese options, so if you go with your friends, get a bunch to split.
Bun Bo Nam Bo – Bà Bà
Bà Bà literally one block over from the hotel, and it’s so good! Bun Bo Nam Bo may be my favorite Vietnamese dish ever since I had it in Hanoi way back on my first trip! I went here twice and got the combo which includes spring rolls, bun bo nam bo, and a drink.
Godmother Bake & Brunch
Not too far of a walk away is Godmother Bake & Brunch, a place I went when I first got to HCMC. If you want to forgo breakfast at Odys, you can pop over here for their delicious brunch menu!
Quán chè Lâm Vinh Mậu 林榮茂磄水
Craving dessert or a little snack? Maybe less than a block from Odys is this little street stand that opens up at 7:00 PM. The owner recommended I check it out, and it wasn’t until I was standing in front of the stand that I realized I had NO idea how to order. Luckily some shrugs and confused looks, and the guy helped me put together something nice and refreshing!
The Hidden Elephant Cafe
One of my mornings, I decided to head over to the Hidden Elephant Cafe to get some work done! It’s a very cute cafe, quite literally hidden away and has a quiet rule, so you really can concentrate!
Okkio is another cafe I visited when I first arrived. I actually came here because Hidden Elephant was full. It’s up quite a few flights of stairs but is nice and cute on the inside. It was pretty empty when I was there but friends tell me it can get crowded usually.
42 Nguyen Hue Apartment Cafes
The famous apartment cafes! Funny enough, these look a lot more festive this time around than they did in 2016. I swear the building looked really decrepit but now all the cafes and shops have decorated their storefronts facing Nugyen Hue street! Pop into the many different cafes on all levels and check it out!
The Workshop Coffee
Another place I wandered over to get work done is the Workshop Coffee. It’s a cool space, but the chairs aren’t particularly comfortable to sit for hours at a time. I think I’d rather arrange a business meeting or hangout here instead!
As you can see there are a ton of options less than 10 minutes from Odys, and that’s not counting all the good street food vendors I passed by!
How to Stay
Over all, I enjoyed my stay at Odys. It was a nice break between moving apartments and getting to be a bit of a tourist in the main part of the city again. Definitely check it out if you need a nice staycation or are coming to HCMC for a few days as part of your trip!
What’s your favorite spot for a staycation?