“A small, family-run B&B tucked away in a residential district of Saigon; great value for money”
A 15-minute taxi ride from the city centre, down an alleyway flanked by playing children and bubbling pots of Pho, you’ll find Ma Maison. Originally a family home then refurbed into a guesthouse in 2009, most of the people who work here are related, lending this discreet spot a feeling of charming familiarity. The 12 rooms are spotless, air conditioned and WiFi'd up, and the beds are so comfortable they have to be amongst the best in town. Better still, each room has been lovingly decorated in the Vietnamese interpretation of Parisian, with glass jars of biscuits made by an aunt, quaint writing desks and white embroidered cushions. It's all beautifully looked after, and you will be too.
- The calm and cleanliness amidst the heat and pace of the city
- Great rates, especially for such lovely rooms and excellent service
- Because it's in a residential area (District 3), you get a taste of modern Vietnamese city life that you wouldn't get staying in the tourist centre (District 1)
- Heading out for a night on the town: the feeling that life is happening here is tangible, and Saigon has some fabulous restaurants
- A day trip to the Cu-Chi Tunnels; completely fascinating and essential for a real understanding of what happened during the Vietnam war
- There are 5 floors, the stairs are steep and narrow, and there isn’t a lift. Your bags will be taken up for you, but you'll still have to climb up
- Some of the communal areas are looking a bit tired, but the cracks are more than smoothed over by the service
- Getting to the action from Ma Maison means a 15-minute cab drive, but it's convenient for the airport (5km) and taxis are cheap and plentiful
- Rooms are small and shower bathrooms are tiny
- No twin rooms
Best time to go
Our top tips
Make sure you get a taxi with a meter that the driver uses; there’s a healthy trade in marking up fares that you're never going to come out of well. Ask at the guesthouse which taxi firms are the best”
- Boutique Guesthouse
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- Children aged 0-10 only
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
Spread over 5 floors, the 12 guest rooms are styled simply, with a Parisian twist. All rooms feel new and equally cared for. Ensuite bathrooms are tiny but the showers are good, and the whole house is spotless.
We stayed in a Deluxe Double, which was simply adorned with a double bed, writing desk, TV and small balcony. We’d recommend these rooms first, as the extra space really makes a difference. Standard and Signature Doubles are actually the same size as each other, but Signatures include a little something extra (like a bottle of wine) depending on what they are offering at that time. The Standard Singles even cosier.
Regardless of where you stay, everything has been done with great care, from the embroidered cushions to the little box of sewing kits, tiger balm and shower gel.
- Air conditioning
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Iron (on request)
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
- Use of kitchen to make tea, coffee and toast
Breakfast is a choice of English, Vietnamese or Healthy. We went for the English and had a lovely spread of croissants, eggs, bacon and freshly squeezed passion fruit juice, plus homemade yoghurt. No other meals are served but if you ask in advance, they can cook lunch and dinner (perhaps Pho Bo or a spicy beef soup), or get a delivery from a restaurant. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available all day to help yourself to in the kitchen.
A 15-minute taxi ride will whisk you to all of Saigon’s gastronomic offerings - the choice and quality is quite phenomenal. Trying the flaming spicy beef at TIB (District 3) should be a serious priority during your stay. The restaurant is in an old colonial house and is decorated with pristine white tablecloths, large dark wooden chairs and deep red walls. For a chic modern restaurant, try Nha Hang Ngon (District 1); the starters are original and sublime. For a fun lunch or dinner head to colonial villa Quan An Ngong’s (District 1) outside terrace, where chefs cook your food on open barbecues.
Of course there are also masses of excellent restaurants that mainly cater to locals, though none within walking distance. Ask at reception for recommendations, and for help booking cabs.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Use of kitchen to make tea & coffee
- Take a tour of the city on the back of a 'cyclo' (motorbike) - Ma Maison can organise this for you. Saigon has an unbelievable energy to it, and is a real assault on your senses, with vibrant colours, delicious and disgusting smells, a cacophony of horns, and serenely peaceful temples
- Enjoy delicious food from street stalls. Vietnamese cuisine is lighter, healthier and more refreshing than Thai and Chinese food - raw herbs give similar ingredients a wonderful scent and flavour. We especially loved the fresh prawn open omelettes and pork marinated with chilli, ginger and garlic and barbecued on racks while you wait
- Gain an understanding of Vietnam's history. The War Remnants Museum is a good place to start, and don't miss a day trip to the Cu-Chi Tunnels. You will marvel at what the Viet Cong endured
- Go shopping at Ben Thanh Market - anything from children’s silk pyjamas to enormous bags of salted almonds
- Unwind with a traditional massage
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Ma Maison accommodates but doesn’t focus on children. The Vietnamese culture is by nature very child-friendly, but carrying a child up all the stairs would be hard work, and only children aged 0-10 are allowed.
Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Families are allowed in Deluxe Double Rooms only, where a baby cot or mattress (for ages 2-10) can be added.