After visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia from March 29 to April 1, we travelled back to Vietnam on a stormy Sunday night and went straight to Ha Hien Saigon Hotel from the Sapaco bus terminal. We could have chosen to stay with Thien Xuan Hotel, where we thoroughly enjoyed our previous stay in. But because we were feeling more adventurous, we booked with Ha Hien Saigon Hotel over Agoda.com when we were still in Cambodia. Just for us to try a different hotel this time around.
When we arrived at Ha Hien Saigon Hotel, we first thought that it was in the midst of a very secluded district. We later figured that there was a blackout caused by the storm. It all added up when we saw the day after, a few streets that were closed due to uprooted trees. The road was actually scary when we were in transit back to HCMC. Jed and I prayed that the storm will die down in time for our arrival in Ho Chi Minh and God answered our prayer. It was only drizzling when we got off the bus to take a cab to our hotel. As for its location, Ha Hien Saigon Hotel is right smack HCMC’s Museum of Fine Arts and around three blocks away from Benh Thanh Market.
Lobby is considerably bigger than your usual HCMC hotel
Unlike the staff who welcomed us in Thien Xuan, the people in Ha Hien Saigon Hotel did not smile much. But we have to give it to them that they helped us with the cab driver trying to trick us by charging us $20 for what we would normally pay for just around $1. We ended up just paying $10. The exact fare we were charged from the airport to our hotel, which is more than 5 times farther than that ride. Oh well, since we just wanted to rest from that long bus ride (7 hours) from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we decided to just let it go. That cab driver will reap what he has sown anyway.
Cab tip when you’re in HCMC, Vietnam: Take only Mailinh or Vinasun Taxi. Those are the two cab companies we found to charge correctly and with no faulty meters.
We chose Ha Hien Saigon Hotel primarily because of its being one of the new hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. True enough, everything smells fresh and new. Compared to Thien Xuan’s Standard room, Ha Hien Saigon Hotel’s Superior Double is too small for comfort. Even for a family of three, Asian size, at that. Then there are a few more issues here and there.
The clogged lavatory drain
First, the clogged lavatory drain. We had to call housekeeping more than two times to take care of it. The clog was not entirely dealt with. Because we left the day after with the same clogged lavatory.
Now with the clogged drain, there could always be the previous settlers to blame for. But for the persistent murky water from the faucet? What’s up with that? I don’t know what the housekeeping did. But it got resolved after him doing his business in the washroom for quite a while. Could it have been the storm? Maybe. But my parents who was in room 205 (we were in 204) did not have the same water issue. It also takes forever for the water to warm up, if at all.
Another water issue is that they only provide two drinking water bottles upon arrival. Regardless of the number of nights we stayed in the hotel. That I don’t quite get. Our family arrived late in the evening and had to fly back to Manila evening the next day. So even if we practically stayed for just 24 hours in the hotel, because of the check-in and check-out time, we had to pay 2 nights for both rooms. That we understand. I was quite confused why they won’t provide the drinking water for our second night. Then I was told it’s only upon arrival. Welcome drinks, possibly? Anyway, it just doesn’t add up why that is. It is just as silly as it sounds. Moving on…
Another thing we consider when choosing a hotel to book with are the reviews. Aside from secure payment facility. We were warned about the Ha Hien Saigon Hotel rooms’ zero soundproofing. I thought, how bad can it be? We’d only stay one night anyway. That was, until we entered our respective rooms and literally hear the conversations of my mom and dad from the next room. Most of the sounds are coming from the washroom with the perforated ceiling furnishing. Ack! Yes, not to mention that particular part was coming off.
Each room has its own door bell.
I don’t quite get the need for a doorbell, really. When you can hear the slightest voice from outside your wall. Eye candy? Perhaps. Don’t get me started with their buffet breakfast. After having had a very restful and enjoyable stay in Thien Xuan Hotel, we really were every bit disappointed with Ha Hien Saigon Hotel and to think that their rooms are pricier than Thien Xuan’s.
Ha Hien Saigon Hotel
65-67-69 Nguyen Thai Binh St., District 1
District 1 – Ben Thanh Market
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 70000