New name, basically the same
In the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, on the busy street of Bui Vien, Seventy Hotel — sometimes referred to as Phan Lan Hotel — has a much desired location for travellers looking to move about the city. Although it doesn’t have the biggest rooms on the block, the hotel is good value if space isn’t your number one concern.
From the outside, Seventy Hotel doesn’t do much to stand out from its neighbours; a simple, thin grey building that doesn’t seem particularly tall. Inside, the lobby is a clean but busy area; this is not only where you’ll check in and out but also where you can book tours, use computers provided by the hotel and eat the breakfast that’s included in the room rate.
You’ll have a choice between two types of rooms: streetside superiors or smaller standards at the hotel’s rear. Both types of room at Seventy Hotel are on the smaller side, but the standards are especially short on space. You still have room to move around your bed, but that’s about it. All rooms have expected amenities for the pricepoint — $19/$23, which is less than others in the area that are more spacious — like air-con, WiFi, minifridge, and TV. Each room also has a window but, just like the overall size of the rooms, a window in a standard will be much smaller. Still, the rooms are clean and have a private bathroom, which is decently sized compared to the rest of the room.
On top of the low prices, the staff at Seventy Hotel is particularly friendly and helpful, ready with information about the city, where to book tours or to hold your luggage while you explore the surrounds.
While you’ll save some money, and find clean, adequate rooms, you could find some things that may annoy you. The street that Seventy Hotel calls home is one of the busiest in the city. That might be great if you’re looking to drink some beer in Pham Ngu Lao or hit some of the nearby nightclubs, but if you’re distracted by street noise it might not be the spot for you. Also, there is no elevator inside the hotel, which is common throughout the area. If you have big bags and are staying on the top floor, prepare for a bit of a hike.
If you can manage the smaller rooms and busy location, Seventy Hotel is a simple, clean spot which is well priced for the area. It seems to be nearly impossible to get a room by walking in off the street, so your best bet would be to secure a room in advance.
If you can’t find a room, you have plenty of alternative choices just around the corner. For roughly the same price you could spill into some of the area’s guesthouses, like Ngoc Phan Guesthouse across the street and get a more personalised experience. If you want a bigger room, for a bigger price, An An Hotel is a good spot that’s just down the street, while the Elios Hotel on Pham Ngu Lao is the area’s higher end option. If you’d rather travel like a true backpacker, grab a bed at the Saigon Backpackers Hostel.
Check rates at Seventy Hotel - rated 7.9/10 on Agoda.com.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.