The Sa Pa hotel, overlooking the lake, is nicely presented. However the room we stayed in for one night was a bit disappointing - the paintwork was patchy on one wall, we were not able to access hot water during our stay, and my sister received a small shock from the power point so we decided not to touch it again or recharge our camera/iPad (dodgy wiring seems endemic in Vietnam, however). Apart from that, the beds were firm but comfortable, we slept well, there was enough room to spread out our luggage, the minibar fridge was useful for chilling our drinks, and there was quite a nice view of the lake from the large balcony running around the outside. The staff were very competent and spoke good English. The set breakfast was fairly nice although the omelettes were a little oily.
After one night we took off to a homestay in Ta Phin (which was fantastic, by the way) and the hotel happily stored our larger luggage while we were away. When we returned we decided to move to a different hotel, mostly because we wanted a warm shower. The Sapa hotel was in a fairly good location, only about a 10 minute walk from the markets. Given the cold showers, it was not the best value for the 30 USD we paid - for just a few more dollars we found better. If they had provided hot water it would be fine. To be fair, we did not complain about the water, so didn't give them a chance to rectify the problem.
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