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“Poor Choice” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Topas Ecolodge

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Topas Ecolodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   24 Muong Hoa, Sapa 12345, Vietnam   |  
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Ranked #18 of 46 Hotels in Sapa
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Poor Choice”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

VERY POOR choice we had no idea it was so far from from Sapa,the roads are horrendous,very basic accommodation with rats in the roof,food very basic and over priced,nothing to do but watch the grass grow and the chickens lay eggs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Topasecolodge, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear CornwellAustralia

I'm sorry you did'nt enjoy your stay at Topas Ecolodge. However I do appreciate that you took the time to write a review on your stay. I think you are right Topas Ecolodge is not to everyones taste.

All the best, Pernille
Lodge manager at Topas Ecolodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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440 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We, a family of 4, had our dinner at the restaurant in Topas Ecolodge on the 14th of December 2012. With the price we paid for dinner, 350 000 VND, per person, we certainly expected more. No doubt it is a remote area, that is still no excuse for such a poor serving of food. We had to return all of our 3 main dishes back to the kitchen to be re-cooked! The prawns were extremely salty, the chicken and pork were raw on the inside. On top of that, while we were still having our dinner, we saw a rat scramble above our heads along one of the beams in the restaurant. We were certainly not pleased with this dining experience.

This is something, which the manager may want to look into to improve the overall experience of the guest staying in the Lodge.

-Jeremy Choy, Singapore

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Topasecolodge, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear Choyboyster

Thank you for your feedback. I'm sorry to read about your dinner experience here at Topas Ecolodge. I regret that I didn't learn about this while you were here. I would have done whatever was in my power to change your experience.

All the best, Pernille
Lodge Manager at Topas Ecolodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My partner and I had originally planned to spend 4 nights at Topas. We wanted to be able to relax and enjoy being there rather than spending full days trekking. However, had we known the extent of the travel needed to reach Topas, that alone would have put us off. From an overnight train arriving in Lao Cai, it is 2 hours to Topas. The hour from Sapa to the lodge is a rather scary, nerve wracking drive. I wouldn't recommend it if you are scared of heights or suffer from travel sickness. We booked Topas assuming it was within a reasonable distance of Sapa town (our fault for not researching the travel properly), however it was disappointing.
When we got to our room (the basic bungalow), I was blown away by the view. It is a truly amazing place. However, the room was a bit musty, and the bed felt a tad damp, possibly from the humidity. There was a humidifier on at all times, but this did not seem to help a lot. The bed was pretty uncomfortable and the bathroom very basic. While we were not expecting anything flash, we weren't able to feel comfortable in our room.
The food is pretty average, we both felt a bit unwell after eating different meals, while another couple we met said they experienced the same thing yet the day before. It must be hard being further out, however we felt this was disappointing as we were charged a decent amount for it.
If you are looking to do some serious trekking and don't mind the basic accommodation, Topas might be more appealing to you.
However, as this was not the sole aim of our trip, we were disappointed overall and ended up cutting our losses and only staying 2 nights. All the travellers we spoke too also said it was fine if you only stayed one night, but for one night it's not worth travelling so far - just something to keep in mind.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topasecolodge, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Hi Hannah2290

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review on your stay at the Topas Ecolodge.

My name is Pernille - I'm the new manager of Topas Ecolodge (as of mid October 2012) and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.


First of all I'm glad that you too were amazed by the view - so am I :-) It’s also one of the main reasons why Topas decided to set camp out here in the first place (back in the late 90's).    

As you point out the Topas Ecolodge is located on a remote hill top and the bus ride out here is quite 'adventurous'.

After reading about your experience here at the Topas Ecolodge, it has become clear to me that we haven’t been good enough at presenting ourselves as accurately as possible in order to make sure we provide a good experience for you.

Topas Ecolodge is very special and to be honest this is not to everyone's taste.

As you know our bungalows have no TV or other entertainment and we have no swimming pool. Our employees are young people from local minorities and not all are equally proficient in english. We often experience break down of the power supply and during winter we struggle with the lack of water. Sometimes the weather is clear, sometimes it's cloudy - and it can be even muddy.

However, we do invite people out here to experience Vietnam in a different way and to escape the busy city life for a true mountain getaway.

For years we have been working hard to maintain a high eco-profile. We still do! That said, we now realize that it's time to upgrade our bungalows in a number of ways. One way is by providing all beds with heating sheets to make sure all guests will have a nice and comfortable bed - even through very humid days.
We have also just started the process of upgrading all our bungalows which means that in the future they will all have air condition, new bathrooms and new interior design and decoration.

It’s difficult for me to argue about the food. Many opinions have been aired. We are known for the spectacular view out here, the great treks and mountain bike trips and we certainly also wish to be known for the good food. We are currently negotiating with a talented chef from Hanoi on a new concept for our kitchen, but nothing is yet settled.

Unfortunately we cannot change your experience at the Topas Ecolodge, but I would like you to know that your review reminds us to do an even better effort in taking care of the lodge and our guests.

Thank you

All the best, Pernille
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We came here after one night in Sapa town. The good thing is that its something new to our Sapa experience. The views are great. I loved the small lamp put in the front of every bungalow. The room is nice and quite. Food is bad and overpriced. Only some of the wine menu are available.
However, I still rate the hotel very good (instead of average) because I share the trip experience with my sweet companion :)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Jolla
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We spent one night at the Eco-lodge in an effort to diversify our 3 days in SAPA area. The hotel is in a fantastic setting and the views are beautiful sans the strip mining that is going on across the valley from the hotel. The Red Dzao tribe in the area is super aggressive and will pester you to buy things any chance they get. Luckily the hotel does a decent job of keeping them off the property.

The rooms are a different issue. Each chalet style room has a good view but ours was on the lower side of the property (the 200 series) which was not as good. The concept of the rooms were great but the construction and up-keep on the room was poor. The shower stunk like it had no trap which we fixed by putting a wet towel over the drain. The bed squeaked when you made the slightest move which we repaired with some cardboard between pieces of wood and the heater was mounted incorrectly on the wall such that it triggered the thermostat to constantly turn it on and off. Eventually we took it off the wall and placed it on the floor and got it to work as designed although even on full heat it barely kept the room heated and it was fortunately for us not a very cold night. The bar and restaurant were decent and the people working at the hotel were very nice.

Room Tip: get a room higher up on the property for the best views and to be closer to the restaurant and bar.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Dearborn, MI
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We stayed at the Ecolodge about a year ago and have been meaning to write a review. I thought I should warn some other travelers regarding our experience there. Not sure if things have changed since then, but after looking at other recent reviews-- it doesn't look like anything has changed.
Beware of a female by the name of Huong from the main office in Hanoi. She blatantly overcharged us for several hikes/tours that we requested (found out later that she screwed us after researching). The food there was awful-- especially for the price. It is a buffet style, and if you arrive a little later in the night, you get cold, overpriced bland food. The resort is about 45 minutes from Sapa. So if you are interested in going to the Bac Ha market (which is recommended) it takes several hours to get there.

The only pros I have to say about the place are the views and the bungalow. I thought the bungalow was spacious and quaint.

So to sum it up, I would highly recommend staying somewhere else in Sapa. It would be a lot cheaper, you would have access to much, much better food, hikes/tours and things to do.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
209 reviews 209 reviews
132 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We stayed at the Eco Lodge for 3 nights in a standard room.
Our friends stayed in an Exec room, so we got a chance to see both room types.

The resort is solidly built to high standards of design.
Our cottage was spacious and built with natural building materials.
All cottages have a really nice balcony.

Features
- Kettle with coffee/tea
- Room safe
- 2 different seating areas
- Mosquito net
- Very very quiet

During our stay, there was a sewer gas smell emitting from the bathroom drains. Staff on (3) occaisions poured some disenfectent in the drains, which improved but did not eliminate the problem.

We would have had an awesome view out our balcony, however we were shrouded in fog and cloud for the entire stay.

The main lodge has a bar/lounge on the bottom and a dining room on top.
The lodge is the only place to catch WiFi.

We liked the meals and found the prices of the extras (like wine) to be reasonable, considering the location.

What we liked:
+ The serenity of the lodge and location - great for reading and relaxing
+ Staff were very friendly and engaging when we initiated with a smile.
+ Design, style and decor.
+ Cleanliness

To improve:
- Sewer gas smell from bathroom drains (our friend's cottage didn't seem to have the problem)
- Kettle in room leaked at the base
- Room safe didn't work
- The bar/lounge area was very smoky due to a fireplace problem.
- The water temperature for the shower is extremely hot - I'm sure it would scald or burn.
- The de-humifier in the room, a small portable unit. The instruction sheet encourages guests to turn on the unit when you're not in the room. However, ours seemed to not function.

Conclusion:
- Beautiful design in a lush setting, somewhat let down by some mainteance and operation issues, however, on balance, we had a postitive experience.

Room Tip: If I was returning, I would splurge on the executive room, which is quite a nice upgrade
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Topas Ecolodge

Address: 24 Muong Hoa, Sapa 12345, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Location: Vietnam > Lao Cai Province > Sapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Topas Ecolodge 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Bungalow stay at Topas Ecolodge is the perfect way to experience the remoteness and quiet of Northern Vietnam, its landscape, fresh air and ethnic minorities. Set deep in the spectacular Sapa valley, Topas Ecolodge has a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and across the scenic valley. As our guest you will enjoy all the comforts of a pleasant stay in an environment that is making a responsible and sustainable commitment to the nature and people of Sapa Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Topas Ecolodge Sapa
Topas Ecolodge Hotel Sapa

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