As a frequent visitor for business in Vietnam and specifically Ho Chi Minh City I have tried all lounges in SGN airport. The Apricot lounge is one of the newest offered in the airport and opened together with the new Vietnam Airlines lounge in level 3, Apricot is located in level 1 though and it is a bit hard to find (using the small elevator inside the duty free shop behind immigration).
Since Tan Son Nhat is a rather unpleasant airport with mostly unhelpful, borderline rude staff, big crowds and long queues at security and immigration (which shuffle around every few days, sometimes they built security before immigration, than the other way around, then change again… completely insane) to me lounge access here is crucial in order to relax and calm down after the chaos of checking-in.
After the recent opening of new lounges in SGN the Apricot lounge now works as the new “contract lounge” for Tan Son Nhat airport after the old Rose lounge closed, which means it is intended for all non SkyTeam departures (SkyTeam partners are using Vietnam Airlines lounges). I put contract lounge in quotes because all lounges in SGN have been and are operated by SASCO, so all feature the same style, food, drinks and service just with different names.
To describe the Apricot lounge best I’d say it is basically a small and somewhat downgraded version of the new Vietnam Airlines lounge (which I also reviewed, link above). The place is drawn out in one long room that features 2 rows of tables and lounge chairs near the window and an other row of dining tables next to the buffet.
As mentioned the food is the same in all other lounges at Tan Son Nhat, you will find some pasta, rice, Vietnamese Pho and cold cuts. For drinks chilled soft drinks, beers and some very basic alcoholic selection is offered, no champagne is available.
The big problem with this new lounge is that it is way too small for the crowd. I have been invited a few times and stayed there only one time, all other times I have been sent to the Vietnam Airlines lounge because Apricot was just too overcrowded. Since it can fit maybe 50 – 70 pax without getting uncomfortable the lounge simply can’t keep up with the demand of all non SkyTeam airlines, so whenever there is a departure for Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific or other long haul routes it gets super crowded.
Besides the significant capacity problem the Apricot lounge features a decent modern style, good quality seating and awesome views on the gates and departing airplanes. Food and drinks are, as other lounges in SGN, ok but not specifically good. If given the choice I would always prefer to go to the Vietnam Airlines lounge at level 3.
Update on 19th August 2017:
As my original review did not cover the existence of shower rooms in the lounge I went back recently and checked how the lounge changed since my last visits and thoroughly checked the facilities. The lounge seating near the windows was very nicely upgraded to leather sofas and chairs with comfy pillows, with that the lounge feels a lot more modern and sleek than before now.
Catering stayed exactly the same as during my previous visits. The rest rooms feature 2 shower rooms each which were clean and looked fairly clean.
Besides that I unfortunately had to notice that there are virtually no power sockets at all available in the Apricot lounge, which given the recent renovation is quite disappointing. So don’t count on being able to recharge your electronic devices here.