Plenty of space
One of the bigger buildings in Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao, the Liberty 4 Hotel is among a small group of midrange accommodation options in an area dominated by smaller guesthouses and hostels.
Compared to its neighbours, the extra wide, cream-coloured hotel has well-dressed doormen ready to grab your luggage as soon as you walk through the doors into the spacious lobby, giving an upscale feel otherwise hard to find in the surrounds. Besides a fancy lobby, the Liberty also has a fitness centre, meeting room and a rooftop restaurant, where the included breakfast is served every morning with a decent view of the city thrown in.
The Liberty 4 isn’t the newest hotel in HCMC; it would be easy to point out a few things that could use a quick fix while walking through the halls but nothing you’d lose sleep over. Rooms are plain but clean, with a minimal amount of decoration. They offer two types of rooms, a deluxe and a suite, with an executive deluxe bigger than a premium deluxe, which is bigger than a senior deluxe, which is bigger than a standard deluxe. Right?
No matter how deluxe you go, all the rooms have plenty of space and come with the standard amenities you’d expect to find in a proper hotel, like WiFi, air-con and TV. Large, clean bathrooms are a strong point for the hotel, you can even find a bathtub if you so desire. Unlike some big hotels in Saigon, starter rooms all have fairly large windows. Street-facing rooms may experience some traffic noise, although the hotel is on the quieter end of Pham Ngu Lao, and they have the added bonus of a balcony and a view, especially on the higher floors.
The Liberty 4 is a big hotel for the backpacker area, with nearly 90 rooms, but being one of the more affordable three-star options — with deluxe rooms starting at 800,000 VND and suites as low as 1,200,000 VND — they stay busy. While it may not be a complete impossibility to walk in off the street and snare a room, booking online may save you some money, as rates quoted at the desk can be higher than what you can find through various sites.
Just a few doors down, you’ll find the Elios Hotel, Liberty’s three-star rival. A little more well-kept, their rooms are a bit more expensive and a bit smaller. If you do go for one of these larger hotels, you may be passing on the more personalised service you’d get at a few of the nearby, and much cheaper, guesthouses. If you wouldn’t mind saving some cash, a few more minutes down the road you’ll find both Vy Khanh Guesthouse and Long Hostel, where you’ll sacrifice some of the sterile, three-star comfort for a family atmosphere. Or, if you really want to save, you can check out Saigon Backpackers Hostel.
By Max Murta
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.