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Apricot Business Lounge at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City [Review]

Keri Stooksbury's image
Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

38 Published Articles 3339 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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Michael Y. Park

Editor

23 Published Articles 263 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 60+U.S. States Visited: 50

Michael Y. Park is a journalist living in New York City. He’s traveled through Afghanistan disguised as a Hazara Shi’ite, slept with polar bears on the Canadian tundra, picnicked with the king and que...

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Given my husband’s difficult experience with a tight connection at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (SGN) just a few days ahead of my flight, I paid to change the flight time for myself and my kids from Da Nang International Airport (DAD) so that we would have an abundance of transit time. After our flight arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất an hour late, we exited the domestic terminal, turned left, and walked outdoors to the international terminal to check in for our Qatar Airways flight to Hamad International Airport (DOH).

Passing through immigration and security took about an hour, so when I realized we still had ample time to hit a lounge, I took a welcome breath and began to navigate to the Apricot Business Lounge, 1 of 2 Priority Pass lounges that we had access to.

Apricot Business Lounge Location

The Apricot Business Lounge is in the international terminal, and finding it was a little challenging at first. Priority Pass’ website advises that guests should turn left after immigration and take the elevator in the duty-free shop to the first floor. When we saw this sign with an arrow pointing to the elevator just behind it, we assumed this was the proper elevator. It wasn’t.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN signage
When you see this sign, continue left down the terminal, then turn right.

This sign was actually telling us to keep walking to the left around this escalator area (to the left of the sign in the above image), then immediately turn right. When we did so, we noticed the duty-free area and the appropriate elevator signage for the Apricot Business Lounge.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN elevator entrance
This elevator means that you are in the right spot to access the Apricot Business Lounge.

The elevator buttons further confirmed that we were on our way to the appropriate lounge.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN elevator buttons
Select level 1 to access the lounge.
Hot Tip:

If you take the wrong elevator when you first see the lounge signage, note that that level 1 area did not appear to connect to a place you might be able to walk to the lounge. We found it easiest to return to level 2, walk to the appropriate elevator, and enter the lounge that way.

Gaining Entry to the Apricot Business Lounge

The lounge entrance was immediately visible from the proper elevator, so I breathed a sigh of relief that I was in the right spot.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN entry
The check-in area was contemporary, and we were greeted with a friendly smile.

The lounge is open 24 hours a day and is accessible via several lounge memberships or a day rate.

Priority Pass

Eligible Priority Pass members can access the lounge for 2 hours with 2 children under 5 admitted free of charge per adult. I am a Priority Pass member through my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and my kids were able to enter as part of my guest privileges.

Other Lounge Networks

The sign outside said that the lounge also offered access to those with privileges via LoungeKey, DragonPass, BIDV, JCB, Sacombank, HDBank, URBOX, Diners Club, Lounge Pass, DreamFolks, NASCO, vinaphone, viettel, or mobifone.

While Plaza Premium Lounge was noted on the sign, this lounge was not listed on Plaza Premium’s website at the time of writing.

Day Rates

The lounge also offered day rates, with adults at $43, kids from ages 5 to 12 at $21.50, and 1 child under 5 for free. Any additional children under 5 would be charged at the regular child rate.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN daily rates
Day rates were $21.50 for children and $43 for adults.

First Impressions

I was happy to see a lounge that was not too busy. It had an elongated layout that maximized the apron views. Unfortunately, the afternoon sun meant the blinds were closed, and no views were possible.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN seating
The lounge was long and had a full view of the apron … when the blinds were open.

After dropping our bags at some funky and deep blue chairs, I immediately noticed how stained the carpet was. It was certainly in need of a deep clean or even replacement with a more forgiving type of flooring.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN dirty carpet
The carpet near our seats was a high-traffic area with stains.

After looking for an outlet, I found that the one closest to our chair seemed like a gamble with electrocution.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN outlet
Charge your devices … if you dare!

Seating

There was a great variety of seating, with a lot of cluster options that were great for groups or families.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN wingback
Clusters of seats and tables were perfect for small families or groups.

To the left of the entrance were restaurant-style dining tables adjacent to the buffet area, with wingback chairs and dining tables closer to the windows.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN dining seating
Restaurant-style tables were closest to the buffet.

If you were dining as group of 3 or more, you would’ve either needed to push the dining tables together or select a different area to sit.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN dining tables
The buffet-area tables were more ideal for solo travelers or groups of 2.

To the right of the entrance, there were single chairs against the wall and more clusters of seats across from these at the window. At the very end of this area was a business center and a partitioned room with a massage chair.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN wall seating
Solo loungers were against one wall, with clustered seating next to the windows.

Food and Beverage

The food and drink options were well-stocked and tended to. Our visit started around 4:45 p.m., and hearty items were on the menu for a dinner-style service, though light bites and cereals were also available.

Buffet

I have never seen my kids make a sandwich at a lounge before, but to give you an idea of how they felt about the food offerings at this lounge, they totally made a few sandwiches. There was cereal, cheese, ham, and different kinds of bread.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN cereal bread cheese meat
When all other options fail, sandwiches are always a safe bet.

Minced pork porridge was on offer with peanut, pork floss, and fried shallot toppings.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN porridge
Minced pork porridge had a variety of toppings for customization.

Fried fish bites with gravy and an egg loaf dish were freshly stocked.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN fish gravy and egg loaf
These fried fish bites were the stars of the show.

This savory sticky rice just looked downright unusual, so you know I took a spoonful just to see what was up.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN savoury sticky rice
How could you resist a bite of something so unusual-looking?

Further hot options included roasted potatoes and beef Bolognese.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN potatoes and bolognaise
Blander foods, such as potatoes and pasta, were available.

Vegan options included rice and fried tofu with tomato sauce.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN rice and tofu
This fried tofu was the main vegan option.

I was interested to try the Vietnamese thick rice noodle soup. Each plate covered a bowl that already had noodles and pork in it. You simply needed to add the hot broth and any desired toppings, such as sprouts, lime, fish sauce, or chili flakes.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN rice noodle
A noodle soup with over 10 topping options piqued my curiosity.

I enjoyed that the noodle portion was intentionally small so as to give you just a taste and also prevent any food waste.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN soup
The rice noodles were very chewy — as they should be!

The buffet finished with a salad, fruit, and desserts. My kids enjoyed the passion fruit and dragon fruit, but the lack of desserts was definitely a letdown.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN fruits and dessert
Make-your-own coleslaw, curry puffs, fruit, and ching bo leung (a cold, sweet soup) rounded out the buffet options.

Overall, the food options were just a bit bizarre for my family’s tastes. The fried fish that was intended for the fish gravy dish was definitely my favorite and was quite savory. My kids, who are generally adventurous eaters, stuck with plain noodles, fruit, and make-your-own sandwiches.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN lunch plate
A little bit of everything, but the fried fish was the tastiest of the lot.

Of note is that both metal and disposable cutlery were offered.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN cutlery plates
Both metal and plastic cutlery were available.

Drinks

The canned drink options were a little atypical, with a variety of waters, Mirinda Xá Xị (which has a flavor like sarsaparilla or root beer), White Lion beer, and a variety of Ezos-brand juices. The juices were my favorite, with unusual flavors like pineapple-aloe vera, pink guava, and soursop.

Pepsi, Mirinda Orange, and 7UP were available from the soda fountain. No diet soda options were available.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN sodas
The cooler had unique canned beverages, and a fountain dispenser offered the more standard varieties.

A 2022 San Marino sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon were available next to an apple juice dispenser.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN wine
There were 2 wine options: white and red.
Hot Tip:

For Priority Pass users who also have access to the alcohol-free Jasmine Halal Lounge, consider that the only alcohol at the Apricot Business Lounge might be 1 beer and 2 wines.

A programmable machine could make coffee drinks like espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes, though a pot of Vietnamese coffee was also available. Premade tea was kept hot, but there was boiling water and tea bags for those who preferred to make their own cup.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN coffee
Make your own hot beverage or grab a cup of Vietnamese coffee.

Amenities

Bathrooms and Showers

The women’s restroom was small, with just 2 bathroom stalls on the right.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN womens bathroom
The women’s restroom was small, with 2 bathroom stalls and 2 shower stalls.

On the left were 2 shower stalls. The blue sign said to speak with staff if you needed to book a shower, though they were unlocked during my visit.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN womens shower
This shower was open, but guests were advised to contact staff if they needed access.

The shower was small, with a fixed overhead showerhead and a shampoo/soap dispenser. I assumed you would need to speak with staff to receive a towel, as no towels were stocked in the shower stall.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN womens shower interior
The small shower was stocked with soap but not towels.

Wi-Fi

The lounge had its own network, with the password on placards affixed to each table. I did not have an opportunity to test the Wi-Fi much at this lounge but had no difficulty with basic surfing or messaging on my phone.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN network
The password for the Wi-Fi was indicated on each table.

Periodicals

The lounge had a variety of newspapers and magazines for the taking.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN reading stand
Periodicals are a welcome sight post-COVID-19.

All periodicals appeared to be in Vietnamese.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN magazine
There were no non-Vietnamese-language options.

Business Center

Toward the right end of the lounge was a small business center with 2 desktop computers and a printer.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN business center
If you needed to quickly print a document, the business center had you covered.

Massage Chair

At the far end of the right side of the lounge was a partitioned room with 2 lounge chairs and a motorized massage chair.

Apricot Business Lounge SGN massage chair
The idea of a massage chair sounded great until I saw the condition of the leg rest and thought, “No thanks!”

Staff and Service

I suspected the front desk staff often see travelers relieved that they finally found the lounge. We were greeted with a smile, and our check-in experience was seamless.

The lounge was kept well-stocked throughout our stay, and used dishes were proactively cleared.

I appreciated a service interaction after my daughter went to the buffet on her own and attempted to put together a noodle soup. I did not realize this until a staff member accompanied her back to our seats, holding her soup for her. I found this move to be classy, courteous, and safety-conscious (and, most of all, appreciated).

Final Thoughts

We spent just over 30 minutes in the Apricot Business Lounge. Our intent was to take a breather, grab some food and drinks, and then pull out the devices for our ~2-hour layover. The lackluster food (and, honestly, the lack of desserts), uncomfortable seating, and stained carpeting gave me get-in-get-out vibes. With time on our hands, I kept the bags packed. We shifted over to the other Priority Pass lounge, the Jasmine Halal Lounge, for the remainder of our layover.

I imagine that Apricot Business Lounge is a lovely location for planespotting … when the blinds are open. However, you also have tremendous apron views at the Jasmine Halal Lounge, so unless having access to Apricot Business Lounge’s small selection of alcohol is a top priority, you might have a more comfortable visit at Jasmine Halal Lounge.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hours for the Apricot Business Lounge in Ho Chi Minh City?

The Apricot Business Lounge at SGN is open 24 hours daily.

What lounges are at Ho Chi Minh City airport?

There are 2 lounges in the SGN domestic terminal: Le Saigonnais Business Lounge and Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge. There are 5 lounges in the SGN international terminal: Apricot Business Lounge, Jasmine Halal Lounge, Le Saigonnais Business Lounge, Rose Business Lounge, and Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge.

What are the Priority Pass lounges in Ho Chi Minh City SGN?

Eligible Priority Pass members can access the Le Saigonnais Business Lounge in the domestic terminal and the Apricot Business Lounge and Jasmine Halal Lounge in the international terminal.

How do I access the Apricot Business Lounge in Ho Chi Minh City SGN?

Signage indicates that the lounge offers access to those with privileges via Priority Pass, LoungeKey, DragonPass, BIDV, JCB, Sacombank, HDBank, URBOX, Diners Club, Lounge Pass, DreamFolks, NASCO, vinaphone, viettel, or mobifone. Day rates are also available for $43 for adults and $21.50 for children ages 5 to 12.

Keri Stooksbury's image

About Keri Stooksbury

With years of experience in corporate marketing and with a nonprofit, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and reviewing thousands of UP articles in the process.

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