First of all this is a lovely place in a lovely forest setting surrounded by green-ess with good on site facilities and activities. Its 'Centre Parks' but much better. I've got lots to say about it, the good and bad so will put sub-headings for clearer information:
1. THE SITE ACTIVITIES - We went as a family with a 9yr old boy and near 7yr old girl. They both loved it. We planned to stay for 2 days but stayed an extra night because they enjoyed it so much. We went swimming in the pool which is on 3 tiers but not very deep so great for kids to play about in, but not really for swimming in.
We walked to the lake which is right at the top of the site (it didn't look too far but was in the blazing heat!). This is the water sports area where we did kayaking. We realised a couple of days in that it was very low season so there was hardly any other customers. We were able to swim in the lake which turned out to be the highlight of our visit. Beautiful. The workers at the lake were really helpful and friendly (though not sure they spoke any English).
We also did grass sliding which cost 20,000 dong (70p ish depending on exchange rate), went to see some crocodiles, did some target shooting.
Whilst exploring the site one day, we accidentally stumbled onto the 'sky walk' which was fun. There are amazing carved rocks (see photos). These are some activities that we got round to doing, other activities include zip wire, rock climbing and more water sports etc.
Overall we had a great time there and would return. However, as on the last day, we were the only customer there, many of the activities were unattended, but you can ask any member of staff around to call someone to the activity you want, on the plus side - no queues.
2. ACCOMMODATION - We had a room with 2 double beds and a balcony in one of the chalets upstairs, it was lovely, clean and spacious, great aircon, big bathroom with great shower. Two complimentary bottles of water daily when room was cleaned and towels replaced. We loved our room and no complaints at all. Costs £34 on exchange rate of £1 = 35,000d. Its the most expensive place we paid whilst in VN, but for a holiday resort and quality, we thought it was worth it.
3. CUSTOMER SERVICE - We found the majority of the staff working around the site really helpful and friendly though many can't speak English (not a problem for me as I'm Vietnamese but my husband is English). Ironically the staff at reception who do speak some English (probably paid more) were not as helpful or friendly as site staff. They did what they needed to but at times I felt like I was a nuisance to them. Summary: onsite staff = excellent, reception staff = ok.
4. BOOKING AND GETTING THERE FROM HCMC - There is an office in HCMC at 61 Hai Ba Trung, but when you get there, its called 'Lotus Tours'. I went there to book our room, the two ladies there were actually very helpful. Though the resort don't have their own transport services, the agents booked seats on a sleeping bus for us with a company called 'Phuong Trang', pick up was at their office on De Tham street. We paid a 50% deposit of our room booking.
It took approx 3hrs to get there from HCMC. The stop is just outside the resort, though not a long walk, in the heat of 35 degrees with 2 children and luggage, its hard work ( the resort will send transport over to pick you up if you book this when booking your room).
I have to say the service from Lotus Tours is exceptional particularly from Ngan. She booked tickets on the onwards journey to Dalat for us and sorted things out when there was a mix up (wrong advice given from Phuong Trang themselves).
When we decided to stay an extra night, Ngan re-booked our tickets (which had to be paid for at the Phuong Trang office in HCMC, Ngan paid for the tickets for us which we then paid to the Madagui Resort). This is above and beyond good service so I'm very grateful.
5. FOOD - The restaurant in the resort is quite expensive but the its nice enough - my tip would be if you do travel my coach, have a meal at the coach park restaurant where its cheaper. There isn't many choices of places to eat in the resort, though they have more than one restaurant, at low season only one is open.
6. BREAKFAST - This is a mix bag. At our first breakfast, there were only a handful of customers, we were offered a menu to choose from which was limited but ok. On the second morning, there was a international school party so a buffet breakfast was laid on which was very good, a wide range of choices!! On our last morning, as we were the only customer there, the onsite restaurant was closed and we were taken to their restaurant just outside. Again we were offered a menu with even less choice than the first morning.
In summary: Lovely place, good facilities, in our experience great rooms but....
- go in slightly higher season when its not packed but busy enough for them to put on buffet breakfast and all activities are staffed.
- go to the lake early for a swim.
- if you can, tip the staff around the site. We when tried to walk back from the Lake and our daughter couldn't walk anymore, someone (possibly field or site workers) we passed gave us a lift back, didn't ask for money.
- make sure you can get back from the lake, in higher season there's regular buses (which I think is a little expensive for a family) but no buses when we were there, hence walking.
- if you do arrive by coach and plan your onward trip by coach, make sure you buy your tickets in HCMC, there is no office in Madagui as I was told!!! We were just very fortunate to have such a good travel agent in HCMC who booked and paid on our behalf.
- In dryer seasons, the river is too low for some water sports, but the lake is fine.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Agoda, Venere, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Madagui Forest Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Madagui Forest Resort Vietnam/Lam Dong Province