ACCOMMODATIONS - Near the Airport

Though Tan Son Nhat Airport is only six or seven kilometers from the center, some one-night visitors want to be near the airport. The nearest choices are a strip of so-so budget hotels (such as Tan Quyen, below) on a busy street 1km south, or the far nicer Novotel Garden Plaza (below). Personally, I’d never really stay in one of the cheapies out here: I’ve never had a taxi ride to the center take much more than 30 minutes, and if you have an early-morning flight, traffic is unlikely to hold you up. The Novotel’s not bad — particularly if you find a cheaper room at


This surprisingly welcoming, 192-room business hotel, a kilometer or so south of the airport, awaits if you just HAVE to be near Tan Son Nhat. The cheapest room is still quite roomy, with brown freckled carpet, big desk, big bed with modern bedspread (not the usual floral sort) and arm chairs by the window. All rooms are fresh and pleasant, and considering its price range not a bad mid-range option for Saigon. The towering lobby has a nice restaurant with buffet meals looking over the courtyard pool — nice, but a bit claustrophobically boxed in by the hotel’s wings. There’s free WiFi throughout the building. It’s nice, but go for the center unless it’s a one-night stay or your business meetings are up here.

Tel 08-842-1111;, [email protected]; 309B-311 Nguyen Van Troi St; rooms from US$85 to US$105 including breakfast


This budget hotel is one of a few options on busy Hoang Van Thu Phuong St, just over a kilometer south of the airport. It’s not any better than an average option around Pham Ngu Lao St, with a smoky lobby and clean tiled rooms upstairs. Staff like to push the balcony rooms up front (about US$15.60 per night). The window-less room in the middle is US$12.50, the room in back (with window) is US$13.75.

Tel 08-847-8726; 279 Hoan Van Thu St; rooms US$12.50-US$15.60