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“Peaceful location, charming staff and good local food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Forest Floor Lodge

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Forest Floor Lodge
Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam   |  
Hotel amenities
Exeter, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Peaceful location, charming staff and good local food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

We stayed at Forest Floor Lodge in March of this year and couldn't recommend it more highly. It could not be described as luxurious but it was the perfect antidote to the city travelling we had been doing. There is a choice of either wooden huts or tented accommodation and we were in one of the huts. We had our own resident lizard waking us up every morning which added to our experience and also enabled us to be up early enough to hear the Gibbons singing from the forest, a totally unique sound. The bird watching was phenomenal and the surrounding forest really good to explore. We did the Crocodile lake hike which was very enjoyable and not remotely challenging, although I guess if the weather was hotter, it may well prove to be more difficult. We also did the night safari but other than seeing a lot of eyes staring out of the darkness, we didn't see very much but it was fun. The staff at the lodge were delightful and we enjoyed all our meals and they were more than happy to provide local cuisine to suit our request which was delicious and very generous! But they also cook more western style food if that is your preference. They really could not have been more welcoming or indeed accommodating. I would love to return one day. I guess if there was a swimming pool then it really would have been perfect. Another thing to bear in mind is that as it is an "eco" lodge, they do switch off the power at various points both during the day and night but we never once found it to be an issue.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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74 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Cat Tien is the most important nature reserve in Vietnam, with about 280 sq. miles of tropical rainforest and grassland. Forest Floor Lodge is a group of wooden huts set around a central administration and dining building. It's a weary trip to get there - about 4 hours drive from HCMC - and some of the facilities are a bit primitive: the electricity is turned off at night and part of the day.
However, if you want an authentic experience of the rainforest this is the only option you have. We went for expertly guided walks in the forest with Dr Roy Bateman (a former lecturer at Imperial College who helps run the place) and saw and heard the gibbons "singing" in the early morning.

Room Tip: The de-luxe huts with en-suite bathroom are the ones to go for, otherwise comfort is a problem.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Forest Floor during our honeymoon.

Forest Floor and the tours seemed to be comparatively expensive when we booked from Australia but we found it was worth it for the unique experience. We did the Crocodile lake hike and the night safari as well as another forest walk and enjoyed all of them. On the night safari we even saw a Gaur! (much to our guide's excitement)

We had forgotten to mention that I am a vegetarian and when we arrived there was no problem with this at all. The food was plentiful and delicious helped by the wonderful view of the rushing river.

Our tent had a deck and view of the river and was well spaced so you're not too close to other tents.

My husband slipped and got a few grazes and immediately a first aid kit appeared.

We affectionately refer to our guide as the Vietnamese version of David Attenborough as he was full of information of the location's plants and animals.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We stayed in one of the Safari Tent in June 2012. This was the most delightful experince we had.
The Safari Tent was lovely & clean as well as nicely & simply decorated. It is beautifully located with views over the river and the sounds of the forest which was incredible. The food was also good and the staff were absolutly superb (despite the manager who was not one of the most pleasant character/person). They made our stay very special and enjoyable.

Although the place is a delight, the actual car arrangement wasn't. I would therefore recommend anyone going there to not pre-book transport through them. Similarly to another review, it didnt start as planned with a rather disppointing "shared luxury car" to take us from HCMC to the Lodge with no seat belts or else. The ride was fast, maybe a little TOO fast. Additionally we booked bus seats to Dalat and handed up seating on plastic stools in the alley of the bus which wasnt ideal and certainly not safe. The price for this trip was exhorbitant and clearly someone has taken a large comission to just arrange it.

All in all, I would rate the Forest Floor Lodge a 5 star, but since their arrangement for Transport was so overcharged and not to standards really, this brings it down to a 4 star. I would like to highlight though the fact that we had an absolute brilliant stay there for 3 days and I would go back any time.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We had a very bad start to our visit. We booked the Forest Floor Lodge luxury car to take us there from HCMC.Expecting air con and seat belts we got no air con, no seat belts and no padding. The driver got completely lost and the trip took us 11 hours. The staff were very apologetic and offered to refund the difference between the ordinary car and the Forest Lodge car. The children were exhausted so we changed the day for the Gibbon Trek and went to the bear rehabilitation centre. We enjoyed our visit there however could have easliy done ourselves. We left late, not being told that there was a time set to see all of the bears and the internal workings of the centre,so we only saw some of the bears. It was wonderful to see them and we were lucky enough to have a chat with a vet who was working there, he had many stories for the kids about the travels of the bears to end up at the centre. The next day we did the Gibbon Trek, unlike everyone that did the Gibbon Trek, leaving at 4.30 - 5am in a golf buggy and returning a few hours later we were asked to leave at 6am and walk. We did see some animals and heard the spectacular call of the Gibbons in the morning however I couldn't help wonder what we were missing out on after hearing others tales. The tours are expensive, and I think I would have preferred to have given a donation direct to the animal centres.
The lodge itself is nice enough and the food anywhere in Vietnam is hard to fault. The staff were very friendly.It is beautifully located, and the sounds of the forest magical. Car to Dalat was a much better experience although the damage had been done, two tired children and partner with a sore back!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poole
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Nice property overlooking the river but this was not exploited - no outdoor seating to relax and spot the occasional hornbill flying past. Our 'hut' was certainly not anything like luxurious, neither did it have any rustic charm. And nobody could get the air con to run for more than 20 minutes at a time, even when the generator was functioning. Why are they not using solar power?

We had an enjoyable short walk from the lodge and an early morning birding by bike when we actually saw some wildlife. Our third walk was a complete waste of time. All 3 'tours' were overpriced.

Food was average at best and not like any of the other food we had in Vietnam. Where were the noodles, hot pots etc? And very slow service. Staff were pleasant but apart from the manager (?) English was not well understood. The owner/manageress basically ignored us.

Cat Tien and the Forest Floor Lodge was our only disappointing stop on our 3 week tour of Vietnam.

I've seen a lot more wildlife on a 2 hour walk in the New Forest than we saw in 2 days at Cat Tien.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We enjoyed Forest Floor Lodge and would recommend it if you are visiting Cat Tien Park. The tent was nicely fitted out and comfortable, and the facility is sensitive to the environment. It wasn't ultra luxury but it gave us time to relax. The staff were polite and the service was good. Meals were great and prepared fresh from local products. The owner went out of her way to liaise with our tour operator on some minor problems we had picked up with our itinerary. The only item I wished for was tea making facilities in the room, but you could collect from the lodge which is close by. If I sound slightly unenthusiastic, it is not because of Forest Floor Lodge, it is that we were disappointed with the overall experience of Cat Tien National Park. To improve the experience, I would recommend that the traveller book their activities and all meals through Forest Floor Lodge and not with the park directly as the park itself has a long way to go to come up to standard in treating tourists professionally. Regarding the tours and activities on offer at the park, definitely book for the early morning Gibbon Tour as that was our highlight of the trip to Cat Tien and well worth the price.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Forest Floor Lodge

Address: Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Lam Dong Province > Cat Tien National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty lodging in Cat Tien National Park
Also Known As:
Forest Floor Hotel Cat Tien National Park

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