Vietnam Part 1: Happy digs at Saigon Mini 2

Monday, November 22, 2010

I’m normally a late sleeper and by co-relation, a late riser. On the night of October 30, 2009, I acted out of character and was asleep before 12 midnight. The next day, I felt good since I was well rested and was seeing my pamangkins for Trick or Treating. I checked my phone and was surprised to see calls from fellow kaladkarin, Mj. I text her asking what was up and she calls me back.

May sale ang CebuPac, less than P1,000 lang roundtrip papuntang Ho Chi Minh.(CebuPac is on sale and it’s less than P1,000 to fly roundtrip to Ho Chi Minh.)


I panicked. This was a freaking good deal and of AAAAALLLL nights for me to sleep early, why did it have to be last night?? Mj gives me the full report on what destinations still have promo rates and gives me all their booked flights. I frantically open my PC and mass texting people. To make a long story short, in 5 hours I was able to book tickets for me and my friend Danix for Ho Chi Minh for June 2010. I tried my best to get the same flights as Mj and Kim but was unsuccessful. I almost missed our Halloween family shenanigans for this! Haha

Fast forward to April 2010.

I was neck deep drowned in work courtesy of Take Me Out and was severely stressed. Management gives us our airing period and I thank the gods – the last airing week of the show was the week I was set to leave for Vietnam. Phew! Crisis averted! If I still had taping during the Vietnam week trip, chaos would ensue. I don’t like being away from work when major things are happening, I don’t feel at ease at all. The end of the show also meant the timing of the trip was perfect; after months of toxicity I had a beautiful break scheduled right away.

(Yes, I’m, talkative.)

So, Vietnam! It was my first time to travel there and for this trip, Danix and I shared booking and researching duties. Of course Mj and Kim gave great first hand information since they were just there a couple of weeks before us.

When we first booked our flights in October, we were drunk on happiness. Just days after the booking, Mj was mad researching on accommodations and infected me. We were chatting and immediately sharing links we researched and The Saigon Mini Hotel chain was one of first discoveries. We both fell in love and added it to our contenders for HCMC accommodations 2010. Haha It was pretty much the top contender and became the point of comparison when searching for options.
What sealed the deal for Saigon Mini were the price and the interiors. At $27 a night for a standard basic room with breakfast comfortably for 2, we were happy. We opted to stay at the cheapest hotel in the chain, Mini Hotel 2. The hotel had airport transfer service for $22 which is waaaayy to expensive for our budget. They did however let us know that it is safe to take a taxi going to the hotel and recommended Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis which would cost $8.

Why do we love the hotel?
They have good reception staff.
We loved Tommy. He was one of the receptionists who welcomed us at 3AM giving us a great first impression. Despite the ungodly hour, he was cheerful and was all smiles. He made an effort to answer our questions despite the language barrier. I didn’t realize that Vietnam was similar to Thailand in terms of the locals and the English language. Judy (not sure if we got her name right, the language barrier! She was pretty and had curly hair.) was as pleasant as Tommy and had a better grasp of English. When they didn’t know the answer, they’d consult each other or their co-receptionist or try to look for it online. Whenever we saw Tommy, his face would light up and so would ours. He is such a sweetie. When we were checking out, he said he missed us already and wanted to know when we’d be back. Haha Of course a photo with Tommy was a must. Danix and I were so impressed with their hospitality and service that we really wanted to give them a good tip. They were so surprised when we handed it to them, classic! Haha

Ease of booking our activities.
As a general practice, I don’t book anything through the hotel since I end up being overcharged – that wasn’t the case here. Saigon Mini Hotel has partner tour groups for different packages and they’ll assist you with booking any of them. We arrived at 3 AM and were able to catch the 7 AM tour. I’ll have a lengthier post about our activities in the future.
They bed made us want to stay in all day.
The mattress, pillows and duvet cover here are aallllllll heavenly. We wanted to burrow ourselves under the covers forever, they were THAT comfortable.
Clean me shower!
Don’t let the plainness of the photo fool you. I’ve stayed in a couple of budget friendly hotels/hostels and this is one of the cleanest that I’ve had. The BEST shower evah. The temperature, pressure and amount of water churned out by the shower were just perfect. On our tour days, we looked forward so much to going back to the hotel because of the shower. We felt so CLEAN! Hahaha
Free wifi.
Need I say more? We didn’t bring a laptop so when we needed to google (or in my case check my work email), we would comfortably do so in our room using Danix’ E72. You can also use the 2 desktops found at the lobby free of charge.

Would we stay here again? Yeeessss!! The hotel is actually enough reason to go back.

Parting shot, sign inside our bathroom. Haha

Additional photos from:
Saigon Mini
Travelling Mike 55
The rest of my Vietnam posts are here: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

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  1. ang galing ng review, winner talaga ang Mini Saigon and the staff=)) Would love to stay there again. Sayang lang we missed each other by a couple of weeks!-MJ

  2. Roomie! =) Super saya lang talaga tayo sa ating hotel. I think all this Vietnam talk makes us wanna go back together and explore more, correct? Haha Mag Miu Ne kami tapos kayo sa Cu Chi naman. Tapos the other days, other parts of Vietnam! Woohoo, woohoo! =)


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