Nov 19 2012
With an easy to find, prominent location on the busy street of Bui Vien in Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, An An Hotel is one of the better choices in the immediate area for flashpackers searching for that needle in a haystack of low-end guesthouses, hostels and dodgy hotels.
A tall turquoise and maroon building, An An Hotel stands near the intersection of Bui Vien and De Tham, a great location to easily escape to explore the rest of the city. While the outside colouring is somewhat special, inside An An is much more down to earth. The lobby doubles as a tour booking agency, crowding the area with additional desks and littering the walls with maps of the country, leaving little room to lounge. Still, they’ve managed to squeeze two computers in for guest use or, if you brought your own, WiFi is available throughout the building. The staff are friendly and the hotel has a good reputation for taking care of guests.
Rooms are particularly spacious, almost to a point where the furniture looks smaller than it actually is. Not the most decorative rooms in Saigon, with just an occasional painting on otherwise plain walls. Still, each room is adequately furnished with the standard amenities, including a TV, desk, fridge and a couple of chairs, while being spotlessly clean. Each room also has a large window bringing in plenty of natural light. Bathrooms are similarly roomy; several are equipped with actual bathtubs. Prices start at $35 for a superior single, rising to $50 for a deluxe double; deluxe rooms are higher and have better views (and presumably less noise). Some “family” rooms have an extra bed.
Be warned that the hotel’s location can be noisy and busy. The An An occupies some prime real estate, with the Bui Vien and De Tham intersection having an active nightlife — as does the area immediately in front of the hotel, and the party here can last into the early hours of the following day. You may not only experience some street noise in your room, especially if you’re staying on the lower floors, but you should also be prepared for congested streets should you venture outside.
Also, while breakfast is included it is served on the rooftop restaurant at An An 2, about a five-minute walk down Bui Vien. Although it’s not the biggest hassle in the world, it is a mild inconvenience if you happen to be in a lazy mood. Plus, the lack of a restaurant coupled with the crowded lobby downstairs means that if you’re looking to mingle with other travellers passing through, you’ll have to do it somewhere else.
Things may be busy outside, but the clean rooms and friendly staff inside have helped An An Hotel develop a solid reputation. As such, even during slower times of the year, the hotel keeps a healthy number of rooms occupied, making it difficult to walk in off the street and get a room. Your best option is to book online in advance and to confirm your reservation before you leave.
If you can’t find a room at An An, several other nearby hotels may do. Just around the corner, the New Pearl Hotel on De Tham is in a similar price range with similar amenities, as is Seventy Hotel, also on Bui Vien. For more a personalised, quieter stay, you’re not far from Ngoc Phan Guesthouse, which may also be easier on the wallet. Or, if you want to stay at a higher-end establishment you could head to the Elios Hotel on Pham Ngu Lao.
An An Hotel
40 Bui Vien St, District 1
T: (08) 3837 8087
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