Regal building, reasonable rates
With a prominent location on busy Bui Vien, which runs down the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, the clean facade of the 2012-opened Aston Hotel stands out among some of the dingier competition — and it represents great value compared to its neighbours as well.
From the outside, the Aston looks like a seemingly high-end establishment — except perhaps for the fact that its basement is occupied by a tailor shop. The cream coloured building is wide compared to its neighbours, with large windows facing the street. The lobby inside is also quite big for a Bui Vien hotel, complete with several tables, from which you will eat the breakfast included in your stay. The staff is friendly and speak good English.
Unlike other hotels in the area, navigation to the upper floors is simple as the Aston is home to not one, but two lifts — something very rare for the area.
While it looks like a smaller version of Pham Ngu Lao’s fancier hotels, such as the Liberty 4, rooms at Aston are quite affordable for those on a midrange budget. The hotel has two basic room options: the 500,000 VND standard and the 600,000 VND superior.
You’ll find both types of room to be well kept and spacious, complete with all the standard amenities like air-con, TV and desk. The primary difference is that superiors are bigger and have larger windows — or in fact, any windows, as some of the standards are windowless. Rooms facing the street have large windows, while rooms toward the back may have small windows in the corner of the wall. You may want to ask to see a few rooms before deciding on one, if they aren’t packed full.
Although the rooms are good value and the staff good, Aston may not be perfect for every traveller. While the central location is an easy base of operation for navigating the city, the prime location in the city’s main backpacker area brings with it plenty of late night noise.
Located next door to some of Saigon’s most popular nightclubs you may find the revelry from the all-night partying make it hard to sleep. You’ll also find the surrounding streets quite congested, with hawkers, locals and travellers alike.
With more than 30 rooms, you could potentially walk in off the street and get a room at the Aston but to be safe, booking online is recommended. If you can’t get a room at the Aston, a quick walk down the road will bring you to An An Hotel where you’ll find a similar quality in rooms and service but for slightly higher prices. The same can be said for Seventy Hotel, which is a short walk across the street.
If you’re looking for something a little more personal, the Ngoc Phan Guesthouse is great option, but space is limited. Or, if you’d rather save some money and travel like a true backpacker, you’re just down the road from Koniko Backpackers Hostel.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.