Budgeteers usually bee-line for Dreams (see below) on Phan Chu Trinh St, down the hill to the north of the central market, or to east of the center, to Bui Thi Xuan St, which is a budget mini-hotel ghetto of nearly matching four- to five-storey hotels. Most serve a stream of tour vans and buses, with Vietnamese tourists piling out for a few days in the cool hills. Generally you can get basic, but fine, rooms for about US$10.

Just down from the center on a hopping little street with local eateries and several mini hotels, Dreams’ two locations are vastly popular and quite welcoming hotels with nice tiled rooms and a little more style than you usually find for US$10. The original 13-room locale – #151 – is the cheaper and older of the two (though they’re planning a October 2007 renovation, so prices could rise). Rooms have various layouts – all with pink walls and extras like a lounge chair, a balcony or desk. Seven computers get you online in the welcoming lobby. Just down the block are a handful of nicely done rooms – with urinals in the bathroom (!) and occasionally unintentional ‘70s style décor. Rates include free breakfast. It’s worth calling ahead, as guidebook reviews fill both up frequently.
Tel 063-833-748; 151 & 164B Phan Dinh Phung St; [email protected]; rooms at #151 US$10-15, at #164B US$15-20


Part of the Dreams’ extended family, the wonderful 12-room Thien An is an even nicer option – with a sprawling free breakfast (eggs, baguettes, jams, juices, coffee) and very clean, welcoming rooms nicer than your average budget hotel. (The modern, Kermit–green bed covers are sure a nice reprise from the usual floral ones – and all rooms have windows with lots of light, plus a desk.) The catch is that it’s a bit farther from the center on a dusty, less appealing stretch of Phan Dinh Phung St. Staff make up for it. The US$15 room gets you more room, plus an (unnecessary) AC unit – for US$20 you get that plus a balcony.
Tel 063-520-607; 272A Phan Dinh Phung St; [email protected]; rooms including breakfast $12-20

It’s not a real French villa, but this great, art deco–styled seven-room villa is made to look like one. Looking over green hills from near the cable car entrance – a couple kilometers south of the center – the villa usually gets snatched up by well-to-do locals with cars, as it’s a bit stranded from motorcycle or car taxis. Perched on a landscaped hill, the villa has seven rooms that share a couple small common sitting areas.
Tel 063-812-151; 8 Dong Da St; [email protected]; rooms US$16

Half way down Bui Thi Xuan from the lake, the freshly painted 20-room Quang Huy has wrap-around, communal balconies on each floor. Rooms are sparkling clean – with cheap floral bedspreads, TV and bath. Get a corner room in back, for the two windows that look over nearby vegetable gardens. Staff speak minimal English. No breakfast.
Tel 063-823-513; 4 Bui Thi Xuan St; singles/doubles US$8/10

A faintly stylish-little 11-room hotel just down the hill from the Dalat market, the Nguyen Ngoc opened in 2005, with typical budget rooms on a busy street. One of a couple good options in the area.
Tel 063-837-324; 3B 3 Thang 2 St, rooms US$10 & US$13

This curving strip, overlooking the lake and center, wind around this narrow lane, with mini-hotels, like this 30-room one, geared mostly to domestic tourists. If you come to the Loc, ask for room 302 or 202, with a window facing the lake. Rooms are typical budget stuff: thin mattresses with rosy bedspreads, clean tile floors.
Tel 063-821-708; 40 Nguyen Chi Thanh St; rooms (before negotiation) US$18

Sinh Café’s Dalat stop – the 28-room Trung Cang – isn’t terribly relaxing or well-priced, but rooms are fine. If you opt against a view-less basement room, free breakfast in the traveler’s café is thrown in (you may have to ask). Generally you can do better, either on Bui Thi Xuan’s row of mini-hotels, or near the market.
Tel 063-822-663; 4A Bui Thi Xuan St; [email protected]; singles/doubles US$15/25, in basement US$10/12

On the daydreamy strip of French villas on hillside Tran Hung Dao St, the 14-room, 90-year-old Villa Hotel oozes in potential. But its shoddy carpets and worn-out rooms hurt the appeal of setting up so far from the center’s services and food. Intrepid Tours come on their tours here, likely enjoying the common room’s fireplace. Consider it only if you must have a French-colonial home for a few dollars.
Tel 063-822-764; 28 Tran Hung Dao St; rooms US$15

Opened in 2007, this little budget hotel has a nice café downstairs and cheapie, clean rooms – I’d only consider the US$7 one with window; the US$5 one gets dark.
Tel 063-210-645; 36 Truong Cong Dinh St; rooms US$5 & US$7

A newly opened French villa in the hills east of the lake, the six-room Moon looks promising from the outside, but its scrappy rooms with worn wood floors, or wafer-thin old carpets aren’t really maximizing its potential, yet. Staff seem shocked by visitors.
Tel 063-822-417; 16 Hung Vuong St; rooms US$7.50-19