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“An unplanned slice of paradise” 5 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
Crail, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“An unplanned slice of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

We ended up staying on Monkey Island by accident. Our arrival on Cat Ba Island coincided with Reunification Weekend so we only managed to find a room for the 1st night. Fortunately for us, while we were on one of Asia Outdoors full day cruise with kayaking (also great), the guys in the office organised us a room on Monkey Island - $65 including breakfast and transfers!
Our room was a bamboo hut on stilts, complete with fantastically comfortable double bed, mosquito net, a/c and en suite bathroom. It was beautiful. We ate dinner in the restaurant and it was also good - BBQ oysters and pork. Breakfast was lovely too. One night in paradise... Try it out, it's worth it!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 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
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English first
Laval, Quebec, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

This review is not only for Monkey Island Resort but rather for the 3 day/2 night cruise to Monkey Island in Halong Bay.

As stated in the title, the whole trip was a highly enjoyable experience, starting with the 3.5 hour mini-bus ride from Hanoi to Tuan Chau Harbour. I can't think of a better way to experience the driving style of the Vietnamese than to get into a vehicle, go with the flow and hope for the best. The mini-bus could have been a bit more comfortable but Tuan, our guide, apologized, stating that the vehicle originally foreseen was not available and promised a better ride on the way back.

Once at the harbour, we were quickly brought onto the eight cabin cruise ship and served a delicious lunch in the dining room as we got on our way. Once done with eating, we headed to the well appointed upper deck where we sat and chatted as we watched countless massive rock-outcrop islands and a number of floating villages drift by. Following a visit of the impressive Thien Cung & Dau Go Caves, we had to opportunity to kayak at a floating village and subsequently hop off the boat to swim once anchored off Cat Ba Island. A few did but most of us declined as the water looked somewhat murky. Dinner, once again excellent, was served on the boat, followed by an evening of mingling on the upper deck with the other travelers (nobody was keen about Karaoke). Rooms on the boat were comfortable though the beds were rather firm but we enjoyed the private balcony we had.

The next day started with breakfast, a short jetty to shore and a 30 minute bus ride to where we took another boat for a 20 minute cruise to Monkey Island. Water was more clear there, beach a bit rocky but nice overall and good for swimming, barring some jellyfish. The sea view suites were quaint but comfortable and spacious individual constructions built ten feet of the ground on stilts with a large balcony and bathroom and a marvelous view. The food was great for all meals and the drinks were cheap. We did some kayaking for the first time which was a blast.

The one thing I must criticize is the "trek" over the peak to go see the monkeys. What we understood to be a hike through the jungle turned out to be a jagged rock-climbing affair up pitches of 45 degrees or more at times where our guide simply dashed off ahead of everyone, showing no concern for the group he was overseeing. My wife and I turned back when we reached the top, not interested in the unknown descent nor in the return trek which would be required to get back. We were doubly disappointed to later learn that accessing the monkey site was possible via a 5-10 minute kayak excursion around a bluff.

Day 3 of the trip consisted of returning back via boat and bus to our original cruise ship which brought us back to Tuan Chau Harbour. Lunch was served en-route on the boat and, following an hour wait once back at the harbour, we were driven back to Hanoi in a larger, much more comfortable bus.

In summary, a couple of minor issues but all in all, a highly enjoyable experience with magnificent scenery and wonderful food and service on the boat and at the resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chester, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Our stay on Monkey Island was part of our tour of 3 days 2 nights, the first night of which we had spent on a boat around Halong Bay. On Monkey Island we stayed in a beach hut right on the beachfront, to fall asleep to the sound of waves washing up on the shore was beautiful. The hut was lovely. We had a twin room and the beds were huge and comfortable. The bathroom facilities are of a high standard (the only niggle is the hot water has set times that it is available, however it's pretty hot so a cold shower is often welcome). As part of our tour all of our meals were included. Our lunch was cooked on the table in front of us and was a noodle soup, and our evening meal was a bbq and buffet - both meals were excellent and food was plenty. Staff were helpful and friendly and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for the sea view - so worth it!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

What an amazing experience! We arrived at Monkey Island and from the moment we set foot on the beach we felt welcome. Thang is such an amazing host. He speaks English well, always has a smile on his face and is very helpful. Our room was everything that we needed and wanted. Sleep with the mosquito net around the bed, if it is not prepared on arrival the friendly staff will happily help you! A fair warning that some guests are not very considerate and can make a racket early morning which could be disturbing if you want to sleep in. Other than that we had such a great time. Ha and the rest of the staff at the restaurant/bar are friendly and helpful. They made us feel at home! We went to Cat Ba Island for a day and rented a scooter to visit some of the sites. Thang was helpful to arrange a boat for the trip and gave us good info. It is worthwhile going over to Cat Ba. Otherwise it is great to lounge around on the beach and catch some rays. The only negative is that during the tide change the ocean becomes dirty. We still had ample opportunity to swim and enjoy the beautiful scenery which is Monkey Island. We recommend Monkey Island to anyone who wants to take a break and just relax! Hopefully we will be able to go back there ourselves in the future.

Room Tip: Book the suites, they are located on the beach with a private balcony.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

We stayed one night at Monkey Island Resort and thought it was great. It has a rustic feel but is completely comfortable and has everything you need.

The main highlight for us was Tang who is in customer service, as well as the other staff. Tang is fantastic, he speaks excellent English and has a really good understanding of hospitality. He helped us with all of our arrangements and anything we needed. When we booked a two hour boat trip to have a look around Lan Ha Bay and the fishing villages, Tang came with us and provided really interesting information.

Little things like borrowing mosquito repellent were no problem. There was some music that came on when we were heading to bed that was pretty loud and would have been hard to sleep through, but when we mentioned it to the staff they were more than happy to turn it down. They also said that they're building a new bar further away from the bungalows so this shouldn't be an issue in the future.

Highly recommended as a lovely, relaxing place to spend a few days. Thank you very much Tang and the other staff for the excellent service.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Utrecht
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

The beautiful place has nice beach huts on monkey Island, just 20 minutes by boat from Cat Ba harbor. The people are very friendly and the staff helpful. The resort is isolated and you don't have the opportunity to eat or drink somewhere else. Coming from other parts of Vietnam, we found the Hotel and restaurant/bar a little overpriced. Other members had a package deal, which was definitely more value for money.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
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Hai Phong
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We took a one night stay on Monkey Island before joining their 2day/1night cruise on the second day of our three day break ftom Hai Phong.

Our travels took us by fast ferry from Hai Phong to Cat Ba, then to Beo Harbour for our transfer to the Island.

On arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to receive an upgrade to a Suite which made the stay that more enjoyable, and I would recommend the Suite for your stay, very spacious.

In the afternoon, trekked over to see the monkeys on the other side of the island.

The evening meal was a very well presented BBQ with no shortage of food.

After a very relaxing evening and breakfast, we transferred back to Cat Ba for our bus to take us to Halong to connect with the next phase of our journey.

All in all, a night on the island and the taking of the cruise with Monkey Island Cruises is well worth the trip to enjoy the best of what is on offer.

Thoroughly recommended.

Room Tip: Look up Monkey Island Resort on the web and review all options.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
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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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