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“Terrible” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Monkey Island Resort

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Monkey Island Resort
Cat Ba islands | South Halong bay, Cat Ba, Vietnam   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 37 Cat Ba B&B and Inns
Zurich, Switzerland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Terrible”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We booked that hotel about one month in advance. With the price and the photos from the resort, we thought it would be a very nice hotel. But the description of the way is already very bad, because it`s not on the harbour where the ferry from Cat Ba comes on.

Whitout telling us, we were downgraded. Unfortunately we just found that out the next day, but as we mentionned, we were treatend quite rough. The manager didn`t even show up, he just phoned with the receptionist who had to figure everything out. In the first room there have been seven huge cockroaches and about a dozen small ones. We couldn`t shower the first day, it was that ugly. The bedlinen and towels were dirty. The view out of this room was amazing.

The breakfast is simple to subsume: minimal and until 9 am.

The ferry to the small harbour on Cat Ba is NOT INCLUDED. Just the transfer for the Check-in. But it depended on the mood of the receptionist, how much the verry was. So you`re quiet limited to stay on the island on the evening (to eat there), because it`s dangerous to take a small boot around the rocks in the water when it`s dark.

Food was surprisingly good, but the staff is unmotivated, not trained and unfriendly.

There was harldy ever somebody at the front office. From the 3 rooms in the lobby, only one worked. From wifi not a trace (which would`ve been okay, if there would`ve worked more computers). There were computers at the room, which was great, but as they didn`t work at all, they were completely waste of place. By the way, the roomsizes on the booking-sites (including balcony and bathroom) are an amazing work of fiction.

Try to avoid it.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012 via mobile

This resort has some great marketing and seems to grab insuspecting backpackers from Hanoi to fuel this resort. Almost daily there was a new group of 20 or so moving through. We stayed for two nights and honestly after one night we were ready to go. The only thing that kept us at the resort was a boat tour of halong bay, which we were charged 50 US each; we later learned that others had paid 20 to 30 for the same tour. Ok this happens but for 50 US you expect to be droped off back at the resort. The tour left us on the other side of the island and we had to hike across. When we complained they discounted us 5 dollars.

This resort has huge potential but lack of care and service rank it amongst the worst I have stayed at, this being our second time through southern asia.

There are many choices in halong bay and around cat ba. I would NOT RECOMMEND this one. Stay away.

Alex

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Mammoth Lakes, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

I traveled for three weeks with my girlfriend after she had completed her internship in Hong Kong for the summer. This was easily the lowest point of our of our travels.

First off, Monkey Island is difficult to review because it could be incredible! The location is unreal. The arrival is breathtaking, you feel like you have stepped onto your own private island. We arrived, after considerable difficulty even figuring out how to get there. I organized this trip on my own, and was not a part of the usual tours that arrive daily (should have done this). We stepped on to the dock and there was no one to greet or even point our way after being dropped off by small privately owned boat. We found our way to the lobby, which had a fresh pile of vomit in the middle of the steps from either a local stray animal or one of the many, young partying toursits that come in groups of about 20 per day. After checking in, we went up to our room. We splurged for a Deluxe Sea View Room. Appalled. 3 cockroaches scurried straight out of the room as we entered. At first glance it seemed mildly acceptable. But after inspection, the sheets were covered in what looked to be blood or some redish/orange stains. The building itself felt as if it had been constructed by a child, and every step I felt like i would fall through the floor boards. The disappointment continued with bad food and continued bad service. This would have been acceptable if it were the cost of a hostel, but they still charged nearly $450 USD for three nights. The food was terrible, and it just got worse and worse. We finally left a full day early just to get off that awful island.

I feel like this resort could be incredible! But poor managment, infrastructure, and overall service bring this resort down to a 1 star in my book. I would never go back, nor would I ever recommend. These positive reviews are confusing. STAY AWAY.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

We spent 3 days on monkey island, an excellent beach resort in North Vietnam. This island is privately owned and has a limited number of bamboo houses. For families a great place to relax in a quiet beautiful environment.
The staff is really very nice and always ready to assist you. There is one big wooden building in the center front near the beach. The reception, free internet, a pool table and some other games can be found on the first floor. On top is the bar and restaurant with a beautiful sea view. The food is good and well prepared.
We stayed in the sea view bamboo houses near the beach. The air-conditioning is good, the TV is nice, the telephone works and the shower and bathroom are nice and clean. Before you take a shower you have to ask to turn on the boiler for warm water.
The beach itself is quite rocky, so going in the water one has to be a bit cautious. On the other hand the children don't seem to mind as they love to play with the water and small stones.
Overall we were very pleased. Definitely worthwhile!

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are the best choice, a little more expensive but this money is well spent regarding t...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

Let's be honest - it is not expensive by Western standards to stay here. But, if you are having a couple days respite after 2 niihts on a boat round Halong bay, it is the perfect place to rest, relax and unwind. There are just 15 units to stay in. It is a small beach and not very wide. Kayaks are available for free and there are other tours and water sports available at a small cost. The food was OK but got repetitive after a day! It is great for fish lovers but the meat (as we found in most Asian restaurants) is badly butchered, i.e. fatty and gristly. We had 2 beachside rooms, very adequate. Take your own swim towels. Air-conditioning (only at night) was a bonus. TV did not work, nor did telephones. However, free internet, snooker and ping pong available in the reception area. Samll balcony to sit and chill. Great place for a couple of nights unwinding.

Room Tip: Pay more for sea views, it is worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aguas de Lindoia, SP
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

I only spent one night here, as part of my halong bay cruise. When i arrived I was sent to the "superior" room, whic is a very small, sort of claustrophobic bangalow, in the back of the resort. For 25 dollars I was upgraded to a sea view room ( please note they have several sea view rooms and in my opinion, the best ones are the two on the right of the resort, as they are much more spacious).
The acommodation was clean and comfortable, the A/C works only in the evening ( which was fine) and there is a PC in these two roght rooms ( the orthers do not have it), but I could not connect with the internet.
These rooms were built around the environment and have huge rocks in the bedrooms, making it even more charming.
There are two common PCs in the games romm with internet connection ( no Skype, I guess the lines are not very good).
The scennery is stunning. Totally amazing and gorgeous, but the beach is very rocky and I suggest you take some water shoes with you. They offer kayaks and floaters to all guests.
The food is good and some of the staff are friendly, others are a bit rough. Try to find the nice ones and stick to them when you need to ask for something.

Room Tip: pick the ones on the right side, they are bigger and nicer
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

I have been to Moneky Island Resort twice, with 3 other friends, so in total 2 boys 2 gals, young and fun. Im currently living in china, One of my friend from german, one from Australia and one from VN. We fixed a certain time to see each other in Cat ba island, the resort was a random choice at first while searching on agoda and here is my review of the resort:
The first time was in March, which wasn't the high season, so we had got the whole island on our own. March was a bit cold so if you wanna swim, u should do some exercise ealier. I was so supprised by the view of the resort, it looked amazingly beautiful, (but the pics on Agoda suck big time, i hope they change their pictures), peaceful and quiet. The ocean were very clean and blue even that was in winter. So first impression, nice resort for great price (65$ for garden view). The second thing that made me supprised was the staff who worked there. They were all SUPER friendly and warm welcoming. Since there were only 6 guests on the whole island, the owner (who we met for the first time) treated us a free seafood buffet dinner, then later she and the whole staff stayed up all night singing karaoke with us. And eventhough we woke up at 11am the next morning, buffet breakfast was still there for us. The owner even gave us free seafood dishes for lunch and dinner llater on. We all were students so again that was Awesome!!!!! So 1000 stars for the service.
The food was tasting and fresh too. The price was about 10$-15$ per person if you share foods with your partners. It also depends on what you choose, if you wanna eat crabs and stuff, it would be more expensive.
The room was clean, garden view room was abit small, but the second time we stayed in the seaview room,which had the fantastic view with balcony,n i LOVE the chair in the balcony so much, like i could lie there the whole days.
My second times on Monkey island resort was in July, the beach wasnt as clean as in march, abit dirty but still good to swim and have fun. Just to tell you I heard the owner said the most beautiful season would be august.
The special about this place is If you wanna have quiet time with your other half, this would be a perfect place for you. But if you go with your best mates like us and seeking for good times, you still can find so many activities there, like free billard, pingpong, karaoke singing, and especially the bar could turn into a night club if you ask for, you can either play your ipod list or let them play their music and dance like crazy til mid-night. The thing is you MUST ask for it, if you dont ask they wouldn't know what you need. The bartenders are very friendly so you dun have to worry abt anything. All you need to do is to tell them What You Want,

Above was the good points of the resort, and here are the bad points:
- Place: in order to get there, it was abit tiring. We had to drive from Hanoi to HaiPhong (~2.5 hours), then buy ticket to get on the boat to go to the island (there were two kinds of boat: 1 was the Hydrofoil boat which was a big boat, driven smoothly and fast,I highly recommend you to buy the ticket for this boat. 2 was the high speed boat, small and slower,we all felt seasick after almost 2 hrs sitting, so highly Not recommend if you R not used to shaking boat.). After that, we had to go to another smaller port,which took 5 mins to get there by motorbike-taxi. Then finally, got into a small boat to go to the island, which took you another 15 mins. In total, from the capital to the island, you would have to spend about 5 hrs on the go.
- The ocean has many sharpy rocks, if the water goes down, it might cut your feet and it hurts. So check the beach before swimming.
- Make sure to bring mosquito's protector spray/lotion, or you will get biten while sitting by the beach at night.
Overall, I really love this place n i higly recommend you to go here. Talk to the staff, let them entertain you by their service and you will love them.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Monkey Island Resort

Address: Cat Ba islands | South Halong bay, Cat Ba, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Cat Ba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 37 B&Bs / Inns in Cat Ba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monkey Island Resort is located at a really lovely place in Lan Ha bay ( South of Halong bay). Staying here, please don't forget to take a tour to visit Lan Ha bay as it is unique beautiful area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monkey Island Hotel Halong Bay

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