Edited by: Michael Y. Park
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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.
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.
The elevator buttons further confirmed that we were on our way to the appropriate lounge.
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.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day and is accessible via several lounge memberships or a day rate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After looking for an outlet, I found that the one closest to our chair seemed like a gamble with electrocution.
There was a great variety of seating, with a lot of cluster options that were great for groups or families.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Minced pork porridge was on offer with peanut, pork floss, and fried shallot toppings.
Fried fish bites with gravy and an egg loaf dish were freshly stocked.
This savory sticky rice just looked downright unusual, so you know I took a spoonful just to see what was up.
Further hot options included roasted potatoes and beef Bolognese.
Vegan options included rice and fried tofu with tomato sauce.
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.
I enjoyed that the noodle portion was intentionally small so as to give you just a taste and also prevent any food waste.
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.
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.
Of note is that both metal and disposable cutlery were offered.
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.
A 2022 San Marino sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon were available next to an apple juice dispenser.
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.
Bathrooms and Showers
The women’s restroom was small, with just 2 bathroom stalls on the right.
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.
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.
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.
The lounge had a variety of newspapers and magazines for the taking.
All periodicals appeared to be in Vietnamese.
Toward the right end of the lounge was a small business center with 2 desktop computers and a printer.
At the far end of the right side of the lounge was a partitioned room with 2 lounge chairs and a motorized massage chair.
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).
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.
Featured Image Credit: Keri Stooksbury. All images credited to Keri Stooksbury unless otherwise noted.
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.
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