1A Tran Phu, Vung Tau T: (09) 3301 0654
The coastal city of Vung Tau, 90 minutes from Saigon by way of hydrofoil, is a popular destination for those looking to escape the big city. Although it’s a beach town, getting off the beach can lead to some interesting finds, including the Binh Minh Cable Car Resort, just up the hill from Vung Tau’s Front Beach.
This is one of the more interesting hotels in Vung Tau for a number of reasons. First, the primary mode of transportation between the hotel and the city below is by cable car, which runs from Front Beach all the way up to the top of what is referred to locally as the Big Mountain.
Staying here also gives you free access to the Ho May Tourism Park, an amusement area with a variety of activities, from horseback riding and an ostrich exhibit to zip lining and go-cart racing. The park seems to have something for everybody and is especially good for families with kids, as it could keep little ones busy all day. You’ll also have what is arguably the best view in Vung Tau, as the Big Mountain is the city’s highest vantage point.
While the location is what makes the Resort special, Binh Minh’s rooms are nothing to turn your nose to. Rooms come in two varieties, double and VIP. Both are generous with space, although the VIP room is bigger, with large separate living rooms and big bathrooms. The primary difference between styles is that VIP rooms are on the second floor, offering a slightly better view, and they also have their own sauna, attached to the bathroom.
All rooms are equipped with air-con, fridge, flat panel TV, a big couch and a full-sized bathtub. Staff are also top notch, ready to help with queries or recommendations or to give rides around the massive complex.
There are some things to keep in mind. Although the view from the rooms is unrivalled elsewhere in town, the hillside rooms do come with a price: strong gusts of wind. Light sleepers may be irritated by the sound of wind moaning through the walls. Another potential downside is that the cable cars stop running at 23:00, so if you’re out all night you’ll find some difficulties returning to your room at a late hour. And, if you came to be close to the beach, well, you couldn’t get much further away. They don’t have a pool, though one is currently under construction.
If you can look past the distance from the beach and the noisy wind, things don’t get much better in Vung Tau than what you’ll find at Binh Minh. And even with all the activities and the view, Binh Minh is quite competitively priced. Double rooms start around 1,000,000 VND and VIP rooms can be had for about double. These prices don’t include the 200,000 VND per person ticket to ride the cable car, but do include a buffet breakfast. The resort only has 36 rooms so do book ahead online, which should give you a better rate as well.
If you’d rather skip the hillside and stay on the beach, Vung Tau has several decent offerings. Dic Star Hotel is a slightly more expensive spot, with similar quality and service. Or you could save a bit and stay at the Son Thinh Hotel 2.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.