Good value for the location
100 Ly Tu Trong, District 1 T: (08) 3823 2683
Although the default decision of most travellers visiting Saigon is to stay in the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, HCMC has plenty of other hotels that won’t kill your pocketbook, especially if you’re a flashpacker looking for a more desirable location. The Ellyse Nga Khanh Hotel is one such budget-friendly spot that can get you out of the backpacker area and into the heart of the city.
Formerly known as Ha My 2 Hotel, you’ll probably see some old signage floating around with the old name. Ellyse Nga Khanh has a prominent address on the busy street of Ly Tu Trong, just a block away from the Ben Thanh Market. Looking at the outer facade, or even the lobby inside, it’s easy to see that the Ellyse has ditched some of the pleasantries and makeup that nearby competitors use to lure guests for higher prices. Instead, they deliver solid no-fuss rooms at a discounted price.
The hotel has three kinds of rooms, starting with the 400,000 VND standards. While these rooms have the expected amenities of an average hotel — TV, air-con, private bathroom — be warned that they don’t have windows and things are a little cramped. For just 100,000 VND more you can upgrade to a superior, where you’ll get more breathing room, fancier linens and a window. Both standards and superiors have larger bathrooms than you may expect.
The best deal though are the deluxes, which are the biggest and come with desktop computers — no walking down to the lobby necessary. Even if you don’t need the extra computing power, it’s worth the price jump of 100,000 VND over the superior for the extra space and a decent view of the city through the large window. Bathrooms again are big compared to what you normally find in the city, with most deluxes having the addition of a bathtub.
While the rooms are reasonable and fairly priced, the real reason you’ll likely choose Ellyse is for its location. Here you’re right in the middle of city, which makes sightseeing all the easier. From here you’re roughly a five- to 10-minute walk from most of Saigon’s major sites, such as the Reunification Palace. We’re not talking a huge location difference from Saigon’s backpacker area, but when the sun is high and temperatures start to creep up saving 10 minutes can be great.
Staying in this location you’re also closer to more food, especially wallet-friendly street spots. And, since you’re away from HCMC’s nightlife, the streets outside are quieter (particularly if you’ve stuffed yourself into one of the windowless standards). If you are however looking to party your time away in the big smoke, head instead somewhere like the Vietnam Inn Saigon or Saigon Backpackers Hostel; but if you’re looking for a quieter spot in the middle of city or are in town on business, the Ellyse should be high on your list.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.