Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a bustling metropolis in Vietnam with a variety of nightlife options. Occasional crackdowns from police on adult entertainment establishments and an antiquated law that makes it officially illegal for a Vietnamese national to stay in a hotel room with a foreigner haven’t done much to put a damper on things, but it can be a real pain finding a place that will let a foreigner retire to their temporary quarters with a friend (or two) in tow.
Unofficially, the usual advice given to visitors is that one and two star hotels will allow guests in the rooms while better facilities will not. That is not a hard and fast rule however. There are exceptions and sometimes a little monetary lubricant can ease things up. No matter what the star rating of the hotel, guests can usually visit without problem before 10 or 11 PM.
All of this may sound a little confusing. That’s understandable. So, after receiving numerous requests, I’ve assembled this list of the top three guest friendly hotels that I’ve actually checked out myself. Things can always change, but these facilities were able to meet all of my needs when I’ve visited HCMC.
Of course I don’t advocate that anyone break the law in Vietnam or anywhere else in the world. I’m just providing some information based on first hand observations.
1. Thien Tung Hotel (District 1)
The Thien Tung Hotel is a solid three star hotel in the middle of the city. It’s within walking distance of a number of entertainment spots (including the bars of Hai Ba Trung) and more restaurants than you could try in a year.
The rooms at Thien Tung are very nice and the indoor swimming pool is quite good and good looking.
Considering the star rating of the hotel, you may think that it would be tough or even impossible to bring guests back here. It’s not. Assuming a customer books a room for two people and whoever they bring back to their room has an identification card they shouldn’t have any issues. Travelers can book their stay at the Thien Tung online for the best rate.
2. Boss Hotel Saigon (District 3)
The Boss Hotel Saigon is another three star hotel that is quite accommodating. Located in District 3, which is clearly more local-oriented yet very near to the tourist heavy area of District 1, the Boss offers all the amenities you would expect at a price that is probably lower than you imagine.
It’s near a lot of local action and only a quick jaunt to the places you may be more familiar with. There are even karaoke and 24 hour massage facilities on premises.
Best of all: As long as a person has proper identification, it should be no problem for them to visit a customer’s room at the Boss for a short or long period of time. Visitors can book a room at the Boss Hotel Saigon online to get the best deal.
3. Empress Hotel (District 1)
The Empress Hotel is a very well run hotel in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s very easy to find and check in. It has a great central location that allows guests to get where they need to go without hassles, yet it’s just far enough (about a 10 minute walk) from the most tourist oriented locations to keep guests away from some of the more annoying touts and scammers.
The Empress is officially a two star hotel, but I think it probably deserves a higher rating than that considering what some other “two star hotels” in Saigon look like. The rooms aren’t huge but they are well maintained and the building construction is solid, ensuring that customers don’t get bombarded with outside noise (or disturb theirr neighbors with noise if they are in the room having fun).
Bringing in guests at the Empress has never been a problem whatsoever that I know of. Visitors can book rooms at the Empress Hotel online to save time and money.