Lounge Review: The Rose Business Class Lounge Ho Chi Minh Airport

Lounge Review: The Rose Business Class Lounge Ho Chi Minh Airport

The mid-point for my Around The World In A Weekend Trip was back in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam. I made it to Vietnam after yet another incredible Qatar Airways A330 Business Class flight. I had just a few hour layover before my Cathay Pacific Economy Class flight to Hong Kong and I didn’t feel like leaving the airport. Instead, I decided to wait for the next flight at the airport.

Right as the Cathay Pacific check-in desk opened I lined up to retrieve my boarding pass. My original plan was to clear security and wait for the flight in The Orchid Business Class Lounge. I have access to that lounge thanks to a complimentary Priority Pass membership from the American Express Platinum card.

However, as I checked in to my flight to Hong Kong the check-in agent handed me a lounge invitation. Since I maintain OneWorld Emerald status through the AAdvantage program I have OneWorld First Class lounge access. I didn’t expect to have access to a lounge in this airport from my status so the invitation was a welcomed surprise. I was especially excited because I had not yet had a chance to review this particular lounge.

Accessing The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

All of the lounges at the Ho Chi Minh airport are past security and scattered about the terminal. The Rose lounge is furthest from the center of the terminal. The lounge is situated at the far East end of the terminal which makes it the furthest lounge from most departing gates. Even as such the walk from The Rose lounge to the West end of the terminal is no more than 10 minutes.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

A sign with a list of the various airlines that use the lounge sat just outside of the entrance to the lounge.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

With so many airlines using a single lounge I expected the lounge to be quite crowded when I arrived. However, when I entered the lounge at approximately 5:00PM I was among the first guests inside.

After passing through the short hallway above I reached the upper landing of the stairs which took guests down into the lounge. Don’t worry, there is also an elevator!

The Rose Business Lounge Elevator
The Rose Business Lounge Elevator

When I reached the ground floor I handed the lounge attendant my lounge invitation. The lounge attendant then took my invitation and directed me into the lounge.

The Rose Business Lounge Overview

At this point in my trip I had visited the two other contract lounges located in the Ho Chi Minh airport (Orchid Lounge and Apricot Lounge). As I entered The Rose lounge I quickly noticed how much more open the lounge felt when compared to the other two contract lounges. This lounge felt so much more airy thanks to the large wall of windows which faced two directions.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

Also when compared to the other two lounges, The Rose Business Lounge definitely takes up the most real estate. The lounge has very high ceilings and is surprisingly deep.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

Toward the front of the lounge is ample dining room style seating while you’ll find more traditional lounge seating toward the rear of the space.

The Rose Business Lounge Seating Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Seating Ho Chi Minh

The Rose Business Lounge Business Center

Now, as you know, a business class lounge really isn’t complete without a business center. Luckily the Rose Business Lounge comes complete with an authentic business center.

The Rose Business Lounge Business Center
The Rose Business Lounge Business Center

The “business center” is actually just three small cubicles with desktop computers.

The Rose Business Lounge Business Center
The Rose Business Lounge Business Center

Inside each cubicle is a very uncomfortable desk chair, a printer (because business), and a desktop computer with internet access.

After an extremely short visit to the lounge business center I decided to go back into the central area of the lounge and grab a quick bite to eat.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh Dining

The walk from the business center to the central buffet took approximately 2 seconds. Once at the buffet I browsed the dining options. All of the lounges in the Ho Chi Minh airport use the same catering service. Therefore, food in all of the lounges is nearly identical. Which isn’t great news because it’s not particularly good. However, this lounge definitely featured the widest variety of sub-par buffet dining options.

The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh
The Rose Business Lounge Ho Chi Minh

Right near the entrance to the lounge is a table full of fresh fruit, deli meats, cheeses, and breads. Then a little farther back in the lounge is a second buffet table. The second buffet line offered a variety of hot dishes such as a beef and potato stew.

The Rose Business Lounge Beverage Options
The Rose Business Lounge Beverage Options

Just around the corner from the buffet line were three refrigerators fully stocked with several beverage options. Primarily the right two refrigerators were fully stocked with beer. There were also three types of bottled water, bottled iced tea, assorted juices, and diet Pepsi.

Just to the right of the fridges was a second beverage station which featured a soda fountain and a coffee machine. You could also get hot water from the coffee machine to make hot tea.

While I wouldn’t recommend visiting this lounge for the food options, the beverage options were great. There was plenty of beer for all ten guests inside the lounge and there was bottled water which you could take with you on your flight.

Waiting For My Flight In The Lounge

I ended up spending about 3 hours in this lounge before my scheduled flight time. The wait wasn’t terrible as I got to see some very interesting planes pass by the oversized floor to ceiling windows.

Neptune Air
Neptune Air

Additionally, I had a great view of the thunderstorm which rolled through the airport around sunset.

The Rose Business Class Lounge Sunset
The Rose Business Class Lounge Sunset

One of the things I really appreciated about this lounge was the complimentary WiFi. Ho Chi Minh airport offers free WiFi to all guests, but it’s often painfully slow. When I connected to the lounge’s WiFi network I was able to download a few shows on Netflix to watch during my subsequent flights.

I also appreciated the number of power outlets found throughout the lounge. After finding a seat in the rear of the lounge I found a US style outlet which worked with my stock apple charger. I was able to charge my phone and tablet while I waited for the flight.

Sadly, this lounge does not offer shower facilities. This was particularly frustrating during my visit because I had been awake for well over 36 hours by the time I departed for Hong Kong. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to take a shower while I waited for my flight.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Rose Business Lounge is a great space to avoid the chaotic Ho Chi Minh Airport terminal. However, this is definitely not a lounge I’d go out of my way to spend time in. While the beverage options are plentiful, I found the food options to be less desirable. I’d much prefer to get food in the food court before passing through security than to eat a full meal at this lounge.

Of all the contract lounges in the Ho Chi Minh airport, this one is by far the largest and arguably the nicest. However, it is also the farthest away from the higher gate numbers. My flight to Hong Kong departed from gate 18 on the complete other end of the terminal. The walk from the lounge was about 10 minutes, but when I arrived at the gate there was no aircraft, yet the departure board still showed “on time.” Obviously the flight was delayed so I wanted to go back to the lounge. Instead of walking all the way back to The Rose lounge I decided to visit the closer Orchid Lounge. I guess that about sums up this lounge, nice, but not necessarily worth the 10 minute walk.

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