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“very nice and unique setting, good service” 4 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 #22 of 44 Hotels in Sapa
Brussel
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“very nice and unique setting, good service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

had a 2 night stay and enjoyed every minute of it: good food and service, very noce bungalows and stunning vieuws. Only downside were the local women at the entrance who insist on walking with you everywhere you go, hoping to sell you their handmade souvenirs at ridicoulously high prices.

Stayed April 2014
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, May 2, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

The Red Dao minority ladies standing outside of the premises to the Topas Ecolodge are a challenge for all our guests. We are continually talking to the ladies and trying to make them put up shop. However they are local, colorful and can actually enlighten our guests stay by showing the way they live and there handy craft. I am as lodge manager please to hear that your stay otherwise was af very good experience. Our staff all from the local minorities work hard to get new skills, always pleasant in manner and energetic – giving the place a good atmosphere.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric.
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395 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (52)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

We had one night in Topas Eco Lodge after two days hiking some pretty rough tracks through the Sapa hillside. We had stayed two nights in home stays and were so excited when we reached Topas Eco Lodge. We were not disappointed. We were out of season in December so the place was fairly quiet. However, it was magnificent. With personal hillside bungalows with everything you could need. The management was welcoming and friendly, excellent beds, rooms, and bathrooms with a private veranda looking down over the valley behind the lodge.
We found being hassled by the local tribe women a real issue. We didn't walk around the local track because after 2 days of being followed and hounded to buy their craft items we had had enough. We talked to Topas management about this and they said that they had worked with the elders to encourage the hill tribe women to set up a stall in front of the lodge and not continually approach the guests but it hadn't worked. I would have purchased something rather than run a mile if that had been the case. They do not come immediately onto the hotel paths but the minute you stray they are upon you. However, this is the same throughout Sapa.
That was the only negative for us. Otherwise the lodge was truly beautiful. In season they will organise all you activities and you could base yourself here and do your hikes and bikes as well as a home stay from Topas. The meals were good but nothing special. Staff were friendly and helpful.
Well worth a stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, May 2, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

Hanne and I are new managers since the first of January 2014. The 4 months we have been here have also been challenging when dealing with the minority ladies from Red Dao. We are continually talking to the ladies and trying to make them put up shop. However they are local, colorful and can actually enlighten our guests by showing the way they live and there handy craft. It is very nice to hear that you were taken good care of, during your stay at Topas Ecolodge in December last. In the period leading up to our start here, there had been several management changes. It is very comforting for us to hear that everything was working well.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric.
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New York City
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
141 hotel reviews
Reviews in 113 cities Reviews in 113 cities
237 helpful votes 237 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Bottom line; it was gorgeous. Rice terraces out of central casting, roads and food that have improved dramatically since my first visit 15 years ago and outside of town, the Topas ecolodge (run by Danes) with good food, nice views and cotton duvets. Only flaw: they need to ramp up the service: arriving jetlagged and muddy after 10 hours of travel and 2 hours of walking in the mud it would have been nice if someone had greeted us with a cup of tea, offered to scrape off some mud and even told us how to do laundry. The locals don't bother and the Danes are too busy to do shmooze their customers. The rooms were cold and damp and no one had bothered to turn on the heating or lay in a hot water bottle before our arrival.

Apart from there minor points, our trip was fantastic. We walked hours each day through picturesque model ethnic minority villages and across rice paddies and around some stunning ridges and valleys. Fresh air, great views and remarkably uncrowded. Yes, the local ladies pursued us. We hired them to carry our stuff and help us cross the muddy bits of the road.Also bought many cheap purses from them.

PRICE: was very reasonable and included guides and a super efficient train transfer.

SHLEP FACTOR: high, as always in Vietnam. Eight hour train ride and then 90 minute drive as it's almost an hour to Sapa and then 45 minutes to the hotel. Trains not particularly nice and not much improved since my day. We took the "Fanxipan" carriage (hotels lease their own carriages and spruce them up a bit). I'd recommend tylenol PM and an eye mask.

Travel Agent--came off the hotel website. Efficient, great English. Replied to emails promptly and was patient with my endless questions and changes. All our Vietnamese friends decided to come along so we were 7 of us and the travel agent was very nice about accommodating everyone.

In short, it was a fantastic trip and I would recommend it to anyone. We had two nights on the train and two in the hotel so three days of walking. The guide there says they now have about 10 different walks.If we had had more time we would have loved to have spent a week there. Given how few places there in Asia that are prepared for middle-aged walkers this was a pleasant surprise and a fantastic choice.

Room Tip: face away from the hydroelectric plant
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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, April 29, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

Your comments about your stay here at Topas Ecolodge are very important for us as new managers. Hanne and I started at the lodge 1. of January 2014. Your stay fell at the same time as we were away on business and 2 days of vacation. First off day in 3 months. We take great pride in our work and have as one of our main goals – good service. All the staff are local people from the minority groups and we put in a great effort to give them skills in hospitality, english and specific skills according to there job at the lodge. I am pleased to hear that your overall experience was good and that you will recommend a stay at Topas Ecolodge to others – thank you for doing so. We have a variety of activities at the lodge – as you mentioned – hiking / trekking – mountain biking – home stay or hill top dinner. I am happy to see from your comment, that our guide has given you information about the different possibilities during your stay. Hanne and I will be managing the lodge for the next 2 years and hopefully in that period of time, be able to bring the service standards to an even higher level.

Thank you lodge manager Eric
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

After a few hectic days in Hanoi, it was pure balsam for body and soul. The unique view from the Lodge and the clean mountain air and the silence was wonderful. Helpful and friendly staff who only wanted the best for the guest. The Danish, Host Erik and Hanne, was a lovely experience. Not only that took care of the guests but it was also great to see the good atmosphere that was among the staff. The bungalows were super nice. Good and environment-friendly materials that fell well into the surroundings. Customize luxury without it was too much. All bungalows were well equipped with large beds and a large bathroom. Huge and nice terrace attached to all the houses with wonderful views. Lovely Main house with a cozy living room with fireplace and bar and restaurant. Super breakfast which could also be served on the terraces around the main house. From the lodge offers easy access to visit the various Minorities. There are daily shuttle to Sapa and the nearest train station. Contact the lodge for pickup. Thanks for two beautiful nights. I will certainly come back!

Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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, April 29, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

Hanne and I do not own the lodge – but we certainly feel that we do. Taking good care of our guests well being while they stay here is of great importance and giving them an experience out of this world so they like you, openly declare that they will be back, is worth all the effort. Therefore your comments about your experience while staying here and our relationship with our staff are most welcome. As new managers there has been and still are a lot of new tasks to look at. The lodge has been well driven the last years and now with a staff full of confidence we are ready to take it to a new level. Hopefully you will be back while we are lodge managers.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric.
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cumbria
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

I would love to have stayed here for longer. I had been warned that there had been a landslide near to the Ecolodge and was relieved to find that I would still be able to stay there. After a morning trek I was taken as near to the Ecolodge as possible and needed to cross the landslide (mud) which had blocked the single track road up. Fortunately there were a number of hill tribe people ready to lend a hand and rescue my wellie when it got stuck. This was to turn out to be one of the highlights of my tour in the north of Vietnam. I declined the motorbike ride to the Ecolodge and decided to walk instead (never been on one before) big mistake. What a beautiful place. Pay the extra and get a room on the left side of the mountain. These have air con and overlook the rice fields rather than the hydro plant. But sort this out before being taken to your room because otherwise it is a long trek back to reception. Look out for swarms of dragonflies hovering in the sun, and definitely walk up the hill to the seating area to look back at the cabins from above. Yes the electricity comes and goes, yes the cabins are not 5* luxury! yes the food is set menu BUT you are on top of a mountain in amongst green paddy fields in an awe inspiring area of beauty. I would return in an instant. Only difference......I'd stay longer and get on the back of that motorbike.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for room on left side.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topasecolodge, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

The road from Sapa to Topas Ecolodge has in recent years been a challenge. However the road has been repair in 2012 – some places widened – other places the earth along the side has been secured so landslides do not occure. There are still parts of the road that are bumpy. But we are happy to say that all our guests have safely been driven from Sapa to the lodge and back in the whole of 2013 and the first 4 months of 2014. We have had heavy rain several times lately without any new landslides. We can not agree more with you on your experience of the length of your stay. The train and shuttle bus journey both ways can move some of the joy of visiting us if you only stay one night. There will hardly be any time to explore the area – and that would be a bit disappointing. Your comment on which bungalow to choose will always be a subjective decision – the 101 to 108 and 201 to 208 have been upgraded to executive bungalows. They have a view to the valley and surrounding mountains. All 16 bungalows have aircon. and minibar. The remaining 9 bungalows 301 to 309 called deluxe bungalows have heaters og fans – all have a view to the valley and village Ban Ho were the river runs through. Yes there is a hydro plant down there but you have to know where. The hillside has still a scar from the construction work, but will soon again be covered of the very fast growing vegetation. All 25 bungalow are the same size and have shower and toilet facilities.
Thank you lodgemanager Eric
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Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

It is a beautiful facility in the hill country. lovely buildings on sread out grounds amid steep rice paddy country. The building where you eat is spacious and the cabins are large and have goo dviews. The Term "Cabin" is an understatement as they are stone built and spacious. Withoutthe heater it would be a little chilly as at night the temp was below zero Cent or 32 F. But we were cosy and warm. Food was very good.We did the 5 hour hike in the valley and had an incredible experience up and down the paths between Hmong and San villages. Our guide,Twan?, was amazing and never stopped explaining things about the uniqueness of the place and the people. The hike was challenging in the sense that it was a 5 hr walk but very doable, nothing precarious. Misty atmospheric country. lovely people at the lodge and everywhgere we went. the Town of Sapa is worth an explore as well.

Room Tip: closer to the lodge is perhaps better
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 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, April 29, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

What can I say – as new lodge managers it is very nice to receive comments like yours. On the other hand, all though we are situated in a very nice mountainous area – we do not lay back, we are constantly trying to improve. Teaching our staff more skills. They all come from the local community and having a job at Topas Ecolodge, means a lot to them. We are equally proud of being able to present the lodge and the different minorities working here. In general all the guides used here in the area are very skilled and have good knowledge of english and the history of the minority groups.

Lodgemanager Eric
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Phuket, Thailand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

I visited here with a friend whilst on a mountain bike trip run by Topas. We had a great time and really enjoyed the facilities and people we met at the Lodge. It is basic but that is it's charm. The food was a definite highlight and was a welcomed sight at the end of a great day cycling. It is a place to go and escape the 'real world' for a moment, take a good book and enjoy the incredible views. I have recommended to friends and hope myself, to visit again soon.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topasecolodge, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor.

We are so pleased to hear your comments about the experience you have had here at Topas Ecolodge. We are located in the remote area of North Vietnam and still surrounded by an unspoilt nature. Active rice fields all around the lodge and numerous trekking and cycling opportunities , as you have experienced. Hopefully you will make it back again with some friends while Hanne and I are lodge managers. Finally active people deserve good food. Our chef is constantly on his toes to deliver to our guests.

Lodgemanager Eric
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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:
#2 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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