Practically next door to the famous Sinh Tourist on De Tham in Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao, the New Pearl Hotel is a welcome midrange alternative to an area dominated by low-end, and occasionally dodgy, hotels and guesthouses.
The hotel offers three types of rooms: standard, a superior and a suite. The difference between the rooms is mostly in overall size and size of the windows. Standards, with either one double or two twins, are away from the street, toward the back of the hotel. The smaller windows in these rooms don’t have much in the way of a view, unless you count seeing the backside of the neighbouring building. The step up to a superior room buys you a much bigger window and a much better view of the surrounding neighbourhood.
While the standards and superiors are plenty adequate, the suite at the New Pearl is the room to book if you have the extra money to spare. In the suite you are surrounded by a flood of natural light via the windows that wrap around the room. Since you’re on the sixth floor the view is a nice bonus to a room with tons of extra space and its own couch. Whichever room you choose, it will have the amenities common in two-star hotels, including WiFi, air-con, and flat-screen TVs. Having only been open since mid-2012, the New Pearl is still spotless; the floors are shiny, the sheets crisp-clean, and it still has that new hotel smell.
The newness has also brought some modern flair to a typically old-school market. A long hike to get to rooms in the higher floors of a hotel is usually a rite of passage for travellers in Saigon but this isn’t the case at the New Pearl. Here you will find one of the few elevators in Pham Ngu Lao and it definitely comes in handy if you’ve decided to occupy the suite. Another hard to find feature is the New Pearl’s easy to reach power outlets, which accept both Vietnamese and American plugs without adapters.
Not that they will be turned away at the door, the New Pearl Hotel probably isn’t the best fit for a backpacker looking for interactivity with their fellow traveller; there is no common area for guests to mingle and the lobby is so small that two people and a couple of bags would make it almost impassable. The hotel is really geared toward a more midrange, flashpacker clientele who would prefer the extra space in the room, general cleanliness, and the absence of a walk down a tight alley.
Prices at the New Pearl are in line with other two-star establishments in Saigon. Standards start at 750,000 VND and the suite tops out at 1,100,000 VND. Consider checking the rates online ahead of time, as they tend to be substantially lower.
If you can’t secure a room at the New Pearl Hotel, the nearby An An Hotel offers similar amenities with a more established track record. For those looking for something a little friendlier on the wallet, the Ngoc Phan Guesthouse or the Long Hostel would be solid choices with cheaper price tags and friendly service. If you want a step up, take the five-minute walk to the Elios Hotel on Pham Ngu Lao.
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By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.