Dec 10 2012
In the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, the Saigon Mini 5 on busy Bui Vien offers a clean, affordable option for flashpackers and families.
As the name would suggest, HCMC is home to several Saigon Mini Hotels, most of which are relatively close together, but offering different amenities and prices. Saigon Mini 5 is among the best of the lot, with an easy to find location right off Bui Vien. From the outside, the hotel isn’t particularly awe-inspiring; it’s a simple thin silver building packed right next to another hotel. The lobby is unique in that they decided not to cram the computers for guest use in front of reception. Instead they use a separate room in the back, giving you easier access to the friendly staff behind the desk.
The Saigon Mini 5 has several rooms to choose from, all of which are basic but well sized and fitted out with TV, air-con, fridge and WiFi. Rooms are generally devoid of decoration, save for a random print on the wall, and some rooms are showing some signs of aging. While the paint may be in need of a refresh, the rooms and linen are kept clean.
Standard rooms on the lower levels are cheaper, at 450,000 VND a night, but are smaller and some have only small windows up high. Superior rooms have more space and bigger windows and are only slightly more expensive, at 550,000 VND. Deluxe rooms are the biggest, to accommodate an extra bed, and have bigger windows, better views and are less bothered by the noise that may come from the busy street below for a still reasonable price of 650,000 VND.
Normally in Pham Ngu Lao you would be worried about staying on higher floors as hotels in the area usually don’t have an elevator. This isn’t the case at the Saigon Mini 5; an elevator can whisk you all the way to the restaurant on the top floor, where your included breakfast is served and you’ll find the best views of the city the hotel has to offer.
Although things are clean and prices are manageable, be warned that the street outside is one of the busier in the city. The party on Bui Vien lasts into the late hours of the night, and although the hotel is far enough away from Go2 and Crazy Buffalo to escape the nightclub beat, you’ll still have to wade through your share of streetside bars and vendors to get anywhere.
If you can stand the crowds outside, the Saigon Mini 5 is a good pick for the area. So good in fact, that it’s developed a healthy reputation and seems to be consistently busy, making advanced bookings a necessity.
If you show up without one but can’t get a room at the Mini, you’ll find plenty of options nearby. Just down the street, the An An Hotel offers similar amenities at slightly higher prices or you could head to the Elios Hotel on Pham Ngu Lao for a step up in hotel stars and price. If you’d rather try a guesthouse, you’re near the Ngoc Phan, which comes heavily recommended.
Saigon Mini 5
196 Bui Vien, district 1
(08) 3837 0404
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