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HFP in Vietnam: the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

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This is our review of the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

It is the penultimate part to this series on Vietnam, with only the Vietnam Airlines business class review to follow (click here for that). You can read my earlier reviews of premium economy on Vietnam Airlines, the Hilton Hanoi Opera, a Halong Bay cruise, the MGallery by Sofitel Royal Hoi An and a review of the Sailing Club Resort Mui Ne.

As a reminder, Vietnam Airlines provided all flights and accommodation for me and my plus one whilst HFP paid for all its incidental expenses.

The lounge at Tan Son Nhat Airport, Ho Chi Minh City

Tan Son Nhat Airport is the international airport serving Ho Chi Minh City. It is divided into two terminals: domestic and international. This review is of the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge in Terminal 2, the international side.

Finding the Lotus Lounge is very easy: it is almost directly above security and accessible via escalators. Click any photo to enlarge:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge review Ho Chi Minh

Here is the entrance:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge entrance

The Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge

The Lotus Lounge is in a sort of L shape and stretches around a corner. My flight was at 00:45 so it was dark outside, but I can imagine it being wonderfully light during the day given the floor-to ceiling windows on two sides:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge receptionand

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge

There is a range of seating, including tables, bar stools and these little private nooks:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge

I took most of these photos after 11pm, when the lounge started emptying out. It reached peak business at around 9:30pm, when most tables and seats were occupied. By the time we left for the gate, at midnight, it was almost empty.

There is also a business centre with computers and a massage chair:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge business centre

The toilets come with two showers as well, which can be booked.  They were empty during my visit, so there is unlikely to be a queue!

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge shower

Towels, razors and all sorts of amenities are available upon request.

There were a range of drinks on offer, including a wide selection of juices (I had lychee) although the alcohol selection was a little sad looking …..

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge drinks

Then came the food, which was disappointing. There were a lot of rice and noodle heavy dishes which didn’t look particularly appealing.

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge hot buffet

The highlight of the food offering is probably the pho, but even this came with some weird reconstituted pork balls rather than the traditional beef and chicken.

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge buffet

Take a look at this slightly creepy emoji coffee jelly!

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge jelly

Magazine stations are dotted around the lounge although none of these looked particularly compelling – no big name English language titles that I could see:

Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge newspapers

Conclusion

For a flagship airline lounge at a major airport I was surprised at how small the Lotus Lounge was. Despite this, however, it was never as busy as the British Airways Galleries lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5, and I was there during what I would assume is the busiest period for international departures.

The range of different seating areas can accommodate guests with different needs although there is little privacy.

Despite a disappointing spread of food and alcoholic drinks, the Lotus Lounge has decent amenities including showers, for which there was no queue. As a place to while away a few hours away from the crowds in the airport it gets the job done.

In the final part of this review, which will appear later this week, I look at Vietnam Airlines business class.

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Comments

  1. The Original David says:

    That shower looks even worse than BA’s in T5…

  2. OMG! That shower!

  3. Your description of the lounge is spot on in my opinion – and I can confirm in daylight hours the view is superb with a reasonable number of aircraft movements taking off and landing to keep you entertained.

  4. The only redeeming feature seems to be the fact it was relatively quiet when you were there, otherwise it seems a bit of a dump, frankly. Hopefully the flight was better. Can’t imagine it’s that pleasant a place to while away a few hours when it gets busy earlier in the day – I’d look to turn up at the airport as late as possible if not connecting.

    The Hilton also looked pretty poor (other than breakfast) for the relatively favourable review given, by the way.

  5. The food wasn’t good because it was “a lot of rice and noodle heavy dishes”? are you not familiar with Asian food? What were you expecting in an Asian airline lounge, Maybe the burger restaurant just past duty free would of been better for you.

    The pork balls are also probably the most traditional part of the Pho rather then the chicken and beef variants often adapted for tourists.

    Source: my rather irritated Vietnamese partner I showed this review to 🤣

    • Agree, the food is going to be mostly aimed at it’s own international flying community. Loved the local dishes, didnt look for eu food at all. And it’s quite small.

      • Yes, I would take the Asian food over any Western choices. Also would do the same on board. Not just because of my mixed Asian heritage, but because from experience in other Asian airports, it is always the better thing to do.

    • C’mon, hi is still a kid. Give him time to learn and explore other cultures.

    • Imagine how Asian students feel when they arrive in the UK for the first time…

    • “a lot of rice and noodle heavy dishes which didn’t look particularly appealing.”
      I don’t read that as complaining about it being Vietnamese.
      At least in Cantonese cuisine, one would expect rice-heavy dishes to be only say one in ten.
      It’s equivalent to complaining that a lot of the dishes in an Alitalia lounge had pasta – sure one would expect some to, but I would be disappointed if most were..

      @Wes – your partner might like to change the (English language) Wikipedia page on Vietnamese food which says that pho is most commonly beef or chicken. I suspect we may be touching there on something akin to fierce rivalries at a level well below a country – I seem to remember there was one here about what is a “roll” in different Northern counties. Or was it a “bap”?!

  6. Was there in Feb this year, shower is awful. Can barely move around.

  7. I liked the food in this lounge – the pho was very authentic – the private spaces were great too and it was quiet. The showers were not the best but I find this review obnoxious to read… Asian food in an Asian airline lounge is a given… in Vietnam you can’t find a better lounge than this unfortunately

  8. Probably the worst lounge I’ve been to outside of the US, although it was a few years ago. Absolutely rammed, nowhere to sit and the food was awful. Not much better on the flight itself to be honest. While the seat was very comfortable, I couldn’t help but think I’d found a biz class product that was actually worse than CW!

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