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“great people” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Blue River Hotel

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Blue River Hotel
283/2C Pham Ngu Lao Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #90 of 358 hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Halifax, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“great people”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

For 5 years I have been staying at the Blue River on my trips in and out of HCMC.The owner undated the hotel a year ago and it looks great.With breakfast included and the ever helpful staff able to work miracles on any request you have this place is a winner.Tucked into a quiet safe alley the Blue River is a step above the competition at comparable pricing and the web-site is easy to use.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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528 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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Wirral, UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We booked this hotel based upon a recommendation from a colleague whom has stayed here, who got their recommendation from an apparently very discerning colleague. I am wondering if they were either a) high b) have VERY low standards or c) having a laugh at my expense.

Ok, my profile is a little out of date. I'm 35 now, I live and work in India at the moment, I have been pretty slack on the old TripAdvisor reviews. I have stayed in various places around the world from dorms in youth hostels, chain hotels in the UK, quirky boutique hotels, house boats, junk ships and from 1 through to 5 star hotels and b&b's.

Anyway, we booked a 'deluxe double' room and had several communications with Blue River regarding the booking and airport pick-up. We were actually delayed by over 1 hour and arrived around 2:30pm (30 minutes after check-in time), to be told our room was not ready and would we mind waiting for 10 minutes or so? So, we weren't impressed given the fact that we should have been there prior to the advertised check-in time and the fact we had numerous communications. We were informed that the delay was due to a last-minute room change, as the previous room we had been allocated would mean that we would have to change rooms the next day. Not entirely sure why, since if we have booked a 'double deluxe', why would we need to change if we have been allocated this in the first instance?

Setting that aside, we reserved judgement until we got to the room, which turned out to be a twin room with the beds pushed together, a loud building site across the alley and opposite our window and a room and furnishings that looked like something from a junk shop (in a bad way, not a cool, quirky one). It really didn't look like the way it is portrayed in the pictures and I am wondering if in fact some of them are the same room with the beds moved around. The room seemed spartan and shabby (if that's possible). Overall we were not impressed one little bit.

We spoke with reception and asked for clarification as to what we should get with a 'deluxe double' room, since we could not get wifi connectivity in our room to check. It was explained to us that the room is a twin or a double and they simply push the beds together. The receptionist went on to tell us that she had discussed the room allocation with the manager and that we had in fact been given a different room (hence the earlier delay and conundrum of whether we would shift tomorrow or stay in the one we were given). We asked about the noise from the building works (which had been incessant since our arrival) and were told it only goes on from 8am to around 6pm.

I informed the receptionist that I suspected they have a double bed in a 'double deluxe' room and the reality is that we had in fact been allocated a 'deluxe twin' room as the other was not available for 3 nights. She denied this and said she would get the manager.

Not being 21 year old backpackers who just want somewhere to get our heads down, we decided that this accommodation was really not for us. The manager assured my partner (as I had left to check out accommodation in the immediate vicinity) that we had been allocated the room as per our booking and specified on the internet. We felt that since the accommodation was really not reflective of the recommendation we had received and the gushing reviews on here, we would not be staying there.

The issue of false advertising was raised and the fact we believed we had been fobbed off and lied to, which the manager denied.

So if your definition of 'deluxe' extends beyond a private bathroom and a mattress on the floor, then I really would not stay here. Do yourself a favour and pay around $10 more and stay somewhere nicer, unless of course you are a 21 year old backpacker and simply want a mattress on a bed (not actually a double) and a private bathroom as a treat. Invest in some industrial standard ear plugs too if you don't want to be disturbed by the noise from the building site opposite.

On a positive note, the receptionist was very helpful and said we could leave our baggage with her until we found alternative accommodation. She then also booked us a taxi and walked us out and gave him directions. I appreciate that she did not have to do this (I wouldn't!) and she maintained a friendly demeanor throughout.

Myself and my partner have stayed in other budget accommodation during our trip to Vietnam, so I genuinely feel we have an idea as to what standards we should be able to expect here. This definitely was far below our expectations and really does not warrant the reviews that have been put on here, I really am at a loss to explain it. So, for an extra £10 a night I am writing this from the comfort of the Aries Hotel just around the corner.

Room Tip: Don't book a 'double deluxe' room, clearly the definition of this is irrelevant to the B...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast N Ireland
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Arrived from Malaysia and taxi had a little trouble finding it, but primarily because the Blue River is situated on a quiet side street just off the Main Street.
Check in was effortless and very pleasant, that is until our son realised he had left a small bag with passport in the taxi which was obviously long gone. Panic, until the hotel manager phoned the taxi firm and after the longest 30 minutes ever the taxi returned with bag & passport intact.
Blue River is a small hotel on three floors and we had a family room with double & single bed, and bathroom/shower. Whereas compact, it was clean and tidy with soap, shampoo etc. WiFi included. It's location is really good, in District 1 and close to bars, restaurants and shops. Walking around Saigon isn't really practical due to size and traffic - 10m population with 5m motorcycles!
Breakfast was included in the price - juice, omelette, fresh fruit & tea/coffee.
Overall very enjoyable stay at tremendous value in a fabulous city - thanks Blue River staff for your welcome and assistance.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex UK
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Arrived early evening and we were asked to wait for 10 mins before checking in. Finally the manager appeared to tell us that they had overbooked and were moving to another family hotel. We questioned why we had not been advised previously but got no response. They walked us over the road to another hotel which when looking we found to be a lower rating and also cheaper per night. The room was tiny so we told them that wedding not want to stay and would be leaving that night. They would not agree to a refund as they had to speak to the owner who was not available. They did say they would refund minus a cancellation charge?! I think not it wasn't our fault! We left and agreed to speak with owner the next day. We also advised agoda of the issue and having checked with the owner what had happened they refunded us in full which was appreciated. Aside from this they massively overcharged us for the airport pick up (more than double many other hotels) and the hotel is located in a particularly dingy alley.....

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013 via mobile

This was our first place to stay on our holiday and it had exactly what we needed. Really friendly staff, in a great location, small but comfortable room with a great little balcony to watch the passers by. We really enjoyed our stay!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The hotel’s strong points are its (i) location, (ii) free wireless internet, and (iii) very friendly and accommodating staff which really make a lot of difference.

(i) Location. Hotel is located in the popular backpacker’s area and walking distance (esp .if you love to walk) to key tour sites like Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Square, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and the Reunification Palace.

(ii) Free Wireless Internet. Free wireless internet was very fast.

(iii) Staff. Staff were very accommodating and helpful esp. Thu. She provided us with suggested restaurants to try and directions to take to go from one location to another. In addition, she also arranged for our Mekong Delta River tour.

In addition, the hotel is clean and safe (they have CCTV cameras scattered around the building).


However, the hotel is not perfect. Some minor points wherein the hotel can improve on are on the following:

(i) Toiletries. The room assigned to us did not have any toiletries except for a roll of tissue paper. I might be wrong but it seems that it is more expensive in Ho Chi Minh City compare to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. When I stayed in Hanoi 6 months ago, for the same rate, I was able to get a room with complete toiletries, free bottled water and 3-in-1 coffee (daily).

(ii) Breakfast. Breakfast food was very limited to French bread and two eggs (cooked fried or omelet). Hotel staff said their kitchen staff are still new and adding ‘complicated’ menu might confuse them. I hope they consider adding some meat (e.g., ham or hotdogs) in their breakfast options.

Other than the above, I guess the hotel needs to do daily cleaning services. We stayed for a total of 3 days and our room was cleaned I think only once. An almost filled trash bin stayed as it is for 2 days before it was picked-up.

In general, Blue River Hotel is a good place to stay while in HCMC

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

This hotel is located in a quiet little alley in the middle of the backpacker area of HCMC, close to some fab bars, restaurants and tour offices. The room was just what we needed no more, no less. The cleaning of the bathroom was basic and we had to ask for toilet roll a few times but at the end of the day we were so exhausted from our day trips that we were just glad to come back to our room with the bed made and our things tidied.
The staff could not be more helpful! They arranged all of our day trips, advised us on where to go and what to do in the evenings and were always happy and friendly (even when my partner went out at 3am in the morning to watch a soccer match!)
We hope to return to HCMC at some point in the future and we know where we will be staying! :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Blue River Hotel

Address: 283/2C Pham Ngu Lao Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Best Value Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#14 Business Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blue River Hotel is a newly built and refurbished hotel which combine Vietnamese hospitality with international and welcome atmosphere. All room offer a choice of queen or twin beds, window with nice view, air conditioner, flat screen LCD TV, free wifi, in-room safe, private bathroom, hair dryer.Whilst the room rate is budget, the facilities are clean and definitely comfortable, with a light breakfast included and friendly staff who are always willing to go the extra mile to help with tour bookings, hire cars, taxi’s and any other help you may require.Every room has a private bathroom, hair dryer, mini-bar, air conditioner, flat screen LCD TV with international channels, wireless internet access, IDD telephone and in-room safe.Blue River Hotel take pride in pampering our guests with service such as safe deposit box, luggage storage, laudry, DVD players as request and airport pickup & transfer service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Blue River

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