I really had little expectations with this weekend trip. Other than watching Erwan Heussaff's guide to Saigon (where all he did was eat -- and that was what I was planning to do while there), I had little to no idea what Ho Chi Minh/Saigon has.
We usually reserve a hotel a few weeks before the actual trip. I browse through Agoda or Booking.com, look for the perfect hotel in the perfect location and make sure that the price is right for me and whoever I'm traveling with. I'm all for traveling cheap without sacrificing comfort -- so a boutique or 3-star hotel should be okay.