Midrange outside the ghetto
City Hotel is one of a handful of decent places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City if you’re on a budget but don’t want to stay in the backpacker mecca of Pham Ngu Lao. Located just 50 metres from Ben Thanh Market on narrow, busy Luu Van Lang — or “shoe street“, you’re in a great spot to explore the city.
City Hotel has two buildings basically across the street from one another, the smaller at 18 Luu Van Lang and the bigger at 35 Luu Van Lang. Not much separates the two buildings, except the free breakfast is served at 35. Both are clean and in good repair, with a similar selection of rooms — standards, superiors and deluxes, with size increasing as you pay more.
Their standard rooms are 22 USD and while the cheapest, are by no means small. Located toward the back of the hotel, these are the quietest rooms, either due to their positioning or possibly due to the windows. If you can stomach the absence of a window, and honestly the views upstairs aren’t legendary, these are probably the better value. They are quiet enough to get some sleep, have plenty of room and won’t break the bank.
An extra 10 USD buys you a window and some extra room, for wrestling or whatever people do in vast hotel rooms, as well as a bigger bathroom. A deluxe, for 40 USD, gives you the most additional space — almost enough to practise ballroom dancing — plus an even bigger bathroom and some extra furniture.
All rooms have creature comforts such as air-con, WiFi, TV and a work desk. Prices here aren’t the cheapest in the immediate area, but are by no means ridiculous.
The location is close to Saigon’s major sights and in a top spot for checking out the Ben Thanh Night Market, which sets up shop around perimeter of Ben Thanh in the evening. But what really made City Hotel stand out for us was their staff. More so than other hotels in the immediate area, the folks at City were friendly and more eager than usual to show us around and volunteer information about the surrounding area.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.