Some people show up to the airport at the last possible minute. Others, like us, try to get there as early as possible to enjoy some time in the lounge before jet-setting to our next destination. In Vietnam this is especially true. The airport gates are a microcosm of the entire country : crowded and hectic. It’s times like these where a lounge can be your best friend.
Our flight on this day was to Johannesburg via Doha on Qatar Airways. Since Qatar doesn’t have a lounge of their own in SGN, we’d be going to a contract lounge. In this case it was the Apricot Lounge, located in the International Terminal (Terminal 2) at Tan Son Nhat.
How To Get In
You can get into the lounge a few ways, but the easiest is by flying a premium cabin. You can also buy a day pass on Lounge Buddy for about $30 USD. Unfortunately Priority Pass holders don’t have access to this lounge, but they can get into the Lotus Lounge in the International Terminal and the La Saigonese Lounge in the Domestic Terminal. Be on the lookout for those reviews soon!
Upon first appearance, the Apricot Lounge is quite small. Other than the toilets and the smokers area, it’s just one long room. SGN is expanding very rapidly, adding new long-haul routes constantly. I expect that either the Apricot Lounge will have to undergo a major expansion, or airlines will have to start opening their own lounges. Though the lounge is small, it does have the basic amenities to keep you comfortable before a flight.
There was a decent selection of Vietnamese hot foods. I particularly liked the pork dish.
We were luckily enough to be there during Tết, so they had a couple Tết specialties, like Chung Cake (Bánh chưng).
The alcohol selection wasn’t bad, but not at the level of a proper lounge. They had all the usual suspects for beers : Saigon Special, 333 (Ba Ba Ba!), and Tiger. The wine and spirits weren’t particularly amazing, but it was better than the VN Lounge in Hanoi which had Hanoi Vodka.
One of my favorite things about the Apricot Lounge are the massive windows looking out at the runway. You never know what you may spot!
If plane spotting isn’t your thing you can always relax in one of these comfortable massage chairs. If only they looked out to the runway!
If you need to get some work done, there are a few computers and printers at your disposal.
Vietnamese magazine anyone?
Overall the Apricot Lounge won’t be up to the standards of most proper business class lounges, but it will get the job done in a pinch. I suspect within the next few years you will start to see more proper business class lounges being built by their respective airlines, but only time will tell.
Have you been to the Apricot Lounge. What did you think? Comment and let us know!