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Blue River Hotel
Ranked #96 of 467 Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City
Reviewed July 10, 2010

Our 4 night stay at the Blue River was easy, efficient and we felt very well taken care of. Thuy, the manager was very hospitable and helped us through the entire booking process, booked great tours, and organized our taxi to the airport for our requested price of 100K VND. She even bought our favorite street vendor ice coffee for us each morning which was an excellent touch that made us feel at home away from home. She's an excellent manager and great host! 

The rooms were clean (never saw any cockroaches), spacious, had air con and windows facing the alleyway to the other hotels. The rooms don't have safes but you can leave your valuables in the front desk safe which is what we did and did not have any problems. 

Location is convenient and walkable to many of the major sights in District 1. Taxis are all around and ao are the great motorbike taxis. They will take you just about anywhere and faster than a taxi in D1 for 20K VND. 

We did the Cu Chi tunnel and Mekong Delta tours which were reasonably priced at 5 and 14 USD for half and full days respectively. Definitely recommended.

For our last 2 nights we requested a room with balcony but when the time came the room was not available as the current residents decided to extend their stay. In exchange, Thuy lowered our room rate for our current room by 8 USD.

We would come back to Blue River again and recommend it to anyone looking for a convenient and comfortable stay in Saigon.

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2  Thank Oscar098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 8, 2010

We booked at Blue River Hotel months before our trip to Siem Reap and HCMC. Thuy, the manager, was the one corresponding with one of our friends, and the transaction was very clear. The 10 of us would need airport pick-up ($30 for the entire group) as our flight from Manila to HCMC was before midnight and we would be arriving early in the morning. Then, we also booked for a two-night stay in the same hotel on our last two days in HCMC. We actually spent only one night in HCMC, but we decided to book one more room for our luggage and personal belongings while we were on tour at the Cu Chi Tunnels. For this, we would pay a whole-night's rate since we would be using the room until 9PM, just hours before our early morning flight back to Manila. Lastly, we also requested airport transfer ($15 for the entire group) on our last day in HCMC. These were all made very clear to Thuy.

The morning we arrived in HCMC, we were picked up by a 10-seater van whose driver did not know the location of the hotel. He does not know how to speak English, and that made giving directions and suggestions very difficult. It took us almost an hour from the airport to Pham Ngu Lao Street. Upon arrival, Thuy who wasn't very warm and obviously was a bit irked by our wee-hour presence in the hotel, gave us instructions with regard to our luggage. By the way, as mentioned in her e-mail, inclusive in the airport pick-up service was free storage of our luggage in our hotel even until the time we would come back from Siem Reap. That elated us at first, of course. Since we arrived at around 2-3AM, we thought of booking a room (for which she charged $30) where we could get some shut-eye before our 630AM bus trip to Siem Reap. We sensed her annoyance when we tried to negotiate with her to charge at a lower rate since after a couple of hours, we would be checking out anyway. She expressed her disagreement in a tone that bordered between irritation and hostility. We understood that the manager was also thinking of the welfare of the other guests, so we complied with her instructions to go up to the room one at a time. After a couple of hours, we bade her goodbye, told her to expect us after 3 days (as agreed in the e-mail booking), and headed to the bus terminal. By the way, we spared her the inconveniece of watching over our luggage because we brought all our bags to Siem Reap.

After our unforgettable and perfect stay in Siem Reap, we went back to HCMC, hoping that Thuy would be in a better disposition. We got at the hotel at around 9PM. This time she was more hospitable and helpful, even helping us with our baggage. (Blue River does not have personnel to assist guests in their multi-level rooms. Elevators aren't really popular in inns and hostels in this area.) We had a short conversation with her when she advised us to get only 2 instead of 3 double rooms. (We were only 8 who booked during the last days of our trip since 2 of our friends already flew back to Manila.) She said she figured out 10 of us fit inside the double room during our short stay in the hotel days ago and that we would be able to save $15. Extra mattresses were provided in this case. After dining out and shopping up to the last hours of the night, we all thought everything's going to turn out well.

The horror began when Thuy welcomed us in her front door minutes before midnight and told us that she would not be able to accommodate us until the evening of the next day because she had guests coming in. She said she would be willing to let us occupy the room (really meant for our luggage and for freshening up after a day's tour) until 5PM at most and charge us $20. We said we were more than willing to pay $30 as long as she let us keep the room until we were done with packing our purchases and things and ready to go to the airport. We thought that at 5PM, most of us would not be done with shopping and touring the city, so we would need the room that we booked for. She insisted that she had guests who would be using the room. At that point, we realized there was no way that she would allow us to keep the room. Our fault was that we should have insisted on being given the room we booked for and to which she agreed to reserve for us. She suggested that we transfer to Blue River 2, which isn't near Blue River 1, and told us that we could walk towards the sister hotel in the morning. There was no offer of a convenient transfer to Blue River 2 if there was indeed overbooking. What's more disappointing was when she unsolicitingly told us that she thought we would have difficulty getting a hotel which would be willing to accommodate our big group.

In between feeling angry, avoiding the roaches that scampered inside the hotel rooms, and complaining about the stench of the hotel slippers, we lost no time in looking for a nearby hotel to transfer to. So at past midnight, some of us were looking down from our hotel windows and searching in the internet to contact other hotels which would be willing to take us in at 630AM. (We needed to check in early as our tour would start at 815AM.) We planned to go out and scout for hotels, but Thuy already locked us in. (Every now and then, Thuy would also call the rooms to remind guests that the doors must be shut very quietly. We think there is something wrong with the hotel's acoustics.) Ti of Ngoc Linh Hotel, a stone's throw away from Blue River 1, agreed via phone call at 1220AM to accommodate our group and belongings in a double room at $20 until we were set to go to the airport. We decided to cancel Blue River's airport transfer service at $15 and got Ngoc Linh's service at $16. When we checked in early in the morning, we were told to leave our things in the lobby while the room is being cleaned. When we got back after breakfast, the staff of Ngoc Linh Hotel had already brought all our things to the 3rd floor. The kindness and hospitality that they showed us was our saving grace from Blue River's inconsideration and discrimination.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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5  Thank TinaMarieCalderon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2010

My girlfriend and i had a lovely stay at the blue river hotel,great location down a little ally just 2min from all the hustle and bustle....the staff were very helpful in fact we booked all our trips with them and taxi to airport....the owner even let us hire her motor bike which was very kind of her.The breaky was just great....My girlfriend loved it here,we would definately stay here again.thank you Huynh Thanh Thuy.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bloomy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2010

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Blue River Hotel for 2 nights. The 2 girls on the desk were very friendly and we arranged a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels with them (through Happy Tours and the name isnt a lie because the guide we had was hilarious - constantly making jokes!!) - the tour was a bit more expensive than some others that we had seen but there was only 5 of us in a mini bus rather than 45 that the other tour groups run.

The room was spacious with air conditioning. We had a room with a window that opened up onto a wall but that didnt worry us. The shower and toilet were all in one which is common in se asian hotels but again this didnt bother us. Bathroom and room could have been a little bit cleaner.

Breakfast alternated between eggs or pancakes - both not great but there are a lot of Pho places in the streets surrounding the hotel.

We did our laundry at the hotel but have to say we were disappointed because they came back still dirty (e.g. whites) and you could feel the soap hadnt been rinsed out properly.

Prices of the mini bar were very reasonable (same prices as the local convenience stores).

Great location in the backpackers area so close to bars and restaurants.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nurmel57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2010

Don't be deceived by the location. When we were first brought by our pick-up driver to Blue River, we were dropped off a dark garage-type alley. We were already feeling iffy at this time but was relieved to see that when we walked a little bit, we reached the hotel and were greeted by its friendly receptionist, Thuy. She was very helpful--arranged for our tours, changed our USD into VND, gave us a map of the city to guide us where to go.

Rooms are okay. Bedsheets are clean but I strongly advise that you bring your own towel. Their towels do not look super clean. The toilet/comfort room can also be improved by the hotel. There is no partition that separates the shower area from the toilet bowl.

Breakfast is included in the package. Their dining area has limited seats so make sure to get up early so you'll be seated properly. The hotel staff cook your breakfast when you are already seated so you're sure that your food gets to you hot. First day, we had egg and bread. Second day, we had Vietnamese pancake. For those who want a hearty and big breakfast, I would recommend that you eat outside of Blue River. I think they only interchange the bread and egg combo with the pancakes.

Even with my average rating for Blue River, I would still recommend it for its affordability and accessibility.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank simpolghel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Just make sure to bring your own toiletries. Otherwise, staying at Blue River Hotel was a great experience. Hotel staff were very helpful. They genuinely care for their guests. I don't know if power failures are normal in HCMC, but we did experience them when we stayed there.

  • Stayed: May 2010
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2  Thank shopgirl258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2010

This is the third time we have chosen to stay at Blue Rivers. We couldn't fault it. The location is so handy and central yet being in a back lane it is also quiet.
The cleanliness and service leave nothing to be desired. Thuy,the manager,cannot do enough to help and the fact that her English is excellent makes seeking her advice so easy.
Breakfast is good and it really is almost a home away from home. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TasmaniaRon
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 70000, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#14 Best Value Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#41 Family Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
#52 Romantic Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Price Range: $18 - $35 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Blue River Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 25
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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