Usually I read through tripadvisor reviews for every hotel I reserve at. I focus on reviews that gave each hotel a three star or less to see if there are any negative patterns that justify the poor-to-average ratings. Unfortunately, I did not do the regular due diligence with this hotel - placed a deposit for the room and afterwards, looked on tripadvisor where I found a litany of warnings...big mistake.
Here's the story....
A member of our party came down with really bad food poisoning on our last evening in Sapa. He could not travel (we were suppose to leave the next morning) so we decided to stay the next day and night - enough time for recovery, hopefully. Most of the hotels were fully booked (including the one we were staying at) or were asking for more than we could afford. There was a blackout in the town and most hotels were starting to hoard water because of the drought and the threat by officials to shut off the water supply.
Before coming across Holiday Sapa, we saw a few available rooms - all were musty and all said they might not have enough water after the current day. That was not what someone with food poisoning needs. We finally came across Holiday Sapa. The man at the reception desk was nice enough. He showed us a room at a reasonable - though high - price. He said the hotel was not hoarding water because it has two very large water towers that held a ten day supply. He tried to upsell us to the 6th floor suite, which we turned down. We reserved for a room on the 5th floor.
With electricity restored, we came the next day to check in. Our front desk gentleman said the room we were shown had to be given to someone else so he "upgraded" us to the 6th floor suite - the one we didn't want. Sigh. We needed a room so took it. Fools. What we found:
- the floors have not been mopped in awhile - there were footprints all over that you see when sunlight hits it.
- the water basins of the sinks were not properly installed onto the counter and shook/shifted when you leaned on it or when you washed your laundry in it.
- the bottom of the tub made a cracking sound when I stepped into it (I'm 120 lbs). My 240 lbs friend could not use it and so, showered quickly next to the tub and close to the floor drain.
- there were spiders all over the place.
- the construction of the room seemed unfinished - like they just stopped working on it to lease it out quickly - not surprising for Vietnam. Rigged electricity lines, places where the wall did not meet the ceiling, floor boards that were clearly separated from each other.
- no convenient power outlets. They are all about four feet above the floor with no tables nearby to set down your electronic device while it charged on its two foot cord.
- there were two beds - a queen in the bedroom and a twin in the living room. we were all scared of the queen (hard, and felt like it was going to break or pop) so all shared the twin or did not sleep that night (more so the latter).
- the complimentary containers of shampoo, lotion, etc were all reused. The printing on the containers were faded from wear.
- the fridge didn't work even though we kept our room key in the electricity slot so that the room did not loose power.
When we checked in, we asked the front desk gentleman to try to get us a train out of Sapa the following day in the morning - yes, the slow one (we didn't want to be in Sapa anymore and the extra night was going to be a drag). He said there were none until the evening. We had the train schedule...and yes, there was a train. But he refused, saying those trains are horrible experiences. Fine, so we asked if he could book for the evening train. He went ahead and did that. When we came back down to the desk, he said we had to pay him for the train tickets but we had to pick the tickets up at a random travel agency in the same town as the train station but not close to it. First of all, the train station is 45 minutes away from Sapa. Secondly, we needed to call the travel agent so that he'd be at his office which was not close to the station - just in the same town. We told our front desk gentleman to cancel the reservation - it just didn't feel right. Instead, we checked out of this horrible hotel at 5 am (no thank you to your breakfast buffet) and headed to the bus station and got the hell out of Sapa by 7 am.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.