We stayed in mid-range hotels in Vietnam for almost three weeks, in Ho Chi Minh, nha Trang, Hoi An and Hanoi. We budget for approximately $AU30 a night and centrally located to the main attractions. Here’s where we stayed and what we thought of the accommodation.
May Flower Saigon 2, Ho Chi Minh City
20 Bui Thi Xuan Street, Ben Thanh ward, District 1
The May Flower Saigon 2, not to be confused with it’s five star sister hotel The May Flower, is located in District 1, the central urban hub of the city. Only 20 minutes from the airport, the hotel is perfectly situated close to most of the major sights and an array of bars and resturants.
The staff are friendly and the porters are always waiting out the front to help you with your bags and in our case the pram up the stairs of the modest main entrance. The foyer will not wow you and the width of the building tells you the accommodation might be on the small side.
And to no great surprise, our room was tiny with the Queen bed taking up most of the space. Jack’s pop up cot was squished in between our bed and the wall making it uncomfortable to move around. Our outlook was hardly appealing as our small rectangular window opened into the internal staircase of the building. The bathroom was also small with no space for your toiletries on the vanity or place for your shampoo in the shower. However, it was clean, the facilities were adequate and the hot water lasted long enough for two showers.
A buffet breakfast consisting of both international and Vietnamese cuisine was served in a basement dining room. The food, sitting warm in bain maries wasn’t all that appealing for mid range accommodation, but it was the fellow diners smoking and the mouldy bread on offer (quickly replaced with fresher bread once notified) that made the dining experience unpleasant.
The hotel had the standard facilities including a free wifi service, air conditioning, laundry service, a decent size safe and cable TV. Spa treatments were also on offer, but as with most hotel extras, it’s much cheaper to purchase these outside the hotel.
The May Flower Saigon 2 would most likely appeal to those stopping for one or two nights for business or pleasure. If you are looking for longer term accommodation or a little luxury, you will be having hotel envy just walking past the entrance of the 5 star Mayflower Saigon. All in all, our stay was pleasant but a squishy one!
Thang Bom Hotel, nha Trang
4M Quang Tran, Hung Vuong, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Tucked away down a little street is the modern Thang Bom Hotel. Only a 2 minute walk to the beach and with numerous restaurants and street food stalls at your door step, the position is perfect although initially a little hard to find.
Fronting onto a court which houses a small fresh food market everyday in the morning and with several local homes surrounding the space,it makes for a much more interesting outlook and a quieter atmosphere. Local children are always running around and few bikes come through so it is a great space for kids.
Our room on the 2nd floor was generous in size and had two double beds, although only a small cupboard and no safe. The reception can keep your valuables if you prefer and will give you an itemised receipt as a record. It was clean however, and did have a small balcony which was lovely to sit out on a night and perfect for drying beach towels and bathers. This looked over the court and into the rooms of neighbouring hotels perfect for people watching!
Breakfast was served on the 6th floor and was average. Cooked on order, there wasn’t much to offer, it was slow and toast was a massive crusty white bread roll making it difficult to eat and not great with eggs! And no tea the first day was disappointing.
The staff at the Thang Bom hotel were very helpful in organising train tickets at no extra charge and a boat cruise to the islands. A power outage for most of our last day and a very small hot water unit didn’t make our stay amazing, but the location, friendly staff and the private balcony were a defiant plus.
Thanh Van 1, Hoi An
78 Tran Hung Dao Steet, Hoi An
We were met at the entrance of the Thanh Van 1 hotel by smiling staff all dressed in matching traditional outfits and instantly besotted with Jack.
Although it initially appeared they hadn’t received our booking, they were quick to show us to a very spacious room conveniently on the ground floor and opening to the pool. There is no lift in the hotel so request a ground floor room if you have kids – much easier!
With two double beds, a lounge, desk and a wardrobe this was by far the largest room we had stayed in. The bathroom was also a decent size although it was an art not to spread water everywhere when taking a shower in the bath.
The buffet breakfast was served in a large dining area and was impressive. Eggs cook to order, fresh fruit, Vietnamese food, fresh bread and pastries too hard to resist were out on display. This communal area was also great in the evening to work at and for somewhere else to sit and relax outside of the room. It was also handy as the Wifi reception was average in the room, but great out there.
Positioned just on the edge of the Ancient Town, it was only a quick walk to the main attractions, food vendors and the many tailors. Bicycles and motorbikes can be rented out the front of the hotel which are a great way to get around and see the sites. Much cheaper than the traditional cyclos.
The staff were attentive and overly friendly. They all spoke excellent English and are happy to advise you on what to do and where to go in Hoi An and neighbouring cities. They arranged our train tickets at no extra charge and a private car to the train station which was cheaper than a taxi.
The pool, which we were in at least twice a day, made this hotel most enjoyable and was a perfect space to relax after a day of sight seeing. We can highly recommend the Thanh Van 1 hotel for individuals and families.
Blue Lotus Hotel, Hanoi
60 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Situated down a tight canopy covered side street is the little Blue Lotus Hotel. A modest dining and foyer area is maned by friendly but not so helpful staff. We did met the hotel manager Kim later who was only too willing to look after us, was very interested in making friends with Jack and spoke excellent English.
The room was generous and had a little balcony over looking the street, through the trees and to the Cathedral (one of Hanoi’s major tourist attractions). It ticked all our boxes having a desk, safe, large enough wardrobe for all three of us and occasional chairs to chill out on. It could do with a lick of paint and a bathroom make over though!
The main down side was the hot water wasn’t excellent and the wifi was average. Oh and if there was a fire, you may have trouble squeezing down the narrow stairs filled with cleaning supplies and mattresses!
The location was excellent, only a short walk to same of the main attractions including the Hoan Kiem Lake, the night market, the museums and the Temple of Literature. There are also plenty of food vendors and convenient stores for any supplies.
Kim was happy to organise an overnight boat trip to Halong Bay, looked after our bags whilst we were away and organised a private car to the airport at the wee hours of the morning. She also had plenty of tips and advice about the city which was really helpful.
A basic breakfast was on offer, but on several occasions the hotel was out of items we would have enjoyed. Mango smoothies were delicious and the staff were eager to feed Jack anything he wanted at no charge unlike most hotels we previously stayed at.
We would highly recommend the Blue Lotus as a mid range accommodation option. Check their website as they often have promotional offers.