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“Authentic experience”
Review of Forest Floor Lodge

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Forest Floor Lodge
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Cat Tien is the most important nature reserve in Vietnam, with about 280 sq. miles of tropical rainforest and grassland. Forest Floor Lodge is a group of wooden huts set around a central administration and dining building. It's a weary trip to get there - about 4 hours drive from HCMC - and some of the facilities are a bit primitive: the electricity is turned off at night and part of the day.
However, if you want an authentic experience of the rainforest this is the only option you have. We went for expertly guided walks in the forest with Dr Roy Bateman (a former lecturer at Imperial College who helps run the place) and saw and heard the gibbons "singing" in the early morning.

Room Tip: The de-luxe huts with en-suite bathroom are the ones to go for, otherwise comfort is a problem.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank tonyreynolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 85 of 148 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Forest Floor during our honeymoon.

Forest Floor and the tours seemed to be comparatively expensive when we booked from Australia but we found it was worth it for the unique experience. We did the Crocodile lake hike and the night safari as well as another forest walk and enjoyed all of them. On the night safari we even saw a Gaur! (much to our guide's excitement)

We had forgotten to mention that I am a vegetarian and when we arrived there was no problem with this at all. The food was plentiful and delicious helped by the wonderful view of the rushing river.

Our tent had a deck and view of the river and was well spaced so you're not too close to other tents.

My husband slipped and got a few grazes and immediately a first aid kit appeared.

We affectionately refer to our guide as the Vietnamese version of David Attenborough as he was full of information of the location's plants and animals.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lintski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We stayed in one of the Safari Tent in June 2012. This was the most delightful experince we had.
The Safari Tent was lovely & clean as well as nicely & simply decorated. It is beautifully located with views over the river and the sounds of the forest which was incredible. The food was also good and the staff were absolutly superb (despite the manager who was not one of the most pleasant character/person). They made our stay very special and enjoyable.

Although the place is a delight, the actual car arrangement wasn't. I would therefore recommend anyone going there to not pre-book transport through them. Similarly to another review, it didnt start as planned with a rather disppointing "shared luxury car" to take us from HCMC to the Lodge with no seat belts or else. The ride was fast, maybe a little TOO fast. Additionally we booked bus seats to Dalat and handed up seating on plastic stools in the alley of the bus which wasnt ideal and certainly not safe. The price for this trip was exhorbitant and clearly someone has taken a large comission to just arrange it.

All in all, I would rate the Forest Floor Lodge a 5 star, but since their arrangement for Transport was so overcharged and not to standards really, this brings it down to a 4 star. I would like to highlight though the fact that we had an absolute brilliant stay there for 3 days and I would go back any time.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank marsupone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We had a very bad start to our visit. We booked the Forest Floor Lodge luxury car to take us there from HCMC.Expecting air con and seat belts we got no air con, no seat belts and no padding. The driver got completely lost and the trip took us 11 hours. The staff were very apologetic and offered to refund the difference between the ordinary car and the Forest Lodge car. The children were exhausted so we changed the day for the Gibbon Trek and went to the bear rehabilitation centre. We enjoyed our visit there however could have easliy done ourselves. We left late, not being told that there was a time set to see all of the bears and the internal workings of the centre,so we only saw some of the bears. It was wonderful to see them and we were lucky enough to have a chat with a vet who was working there, he had many stories for the kids about the travels of the bears to end up at the centre. The next day we did the Gibbon Trek, unlike everyone that did the Gibbon Trek, leaving at 4.30 - 5am in a golf buggy and returning a few hours later we were asked to leave at 6am and walk. We did see some animals and heard the spectacular call of the Gibbons in the morning however I couldn't help wonder what we were missing out on after hearing others tales. The tours are expensive, and I think I would have preferred to have given a donation direct to the animal centres.
The lodge itself is nice enough and the food anywhere in Vietnam is hard to fault. The staff were very friendly.It is beautifully located, and the sounds of the forest magical. Car to Dalat was a much better experience although the damage had been done, two tired children and partner with a sore back!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Bjamz19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Nice property overlooking the river but this was not exploited - no outdoor seating to relax and spot the occasional hornbill flying past. Our 'hut' was certainly not anything like luxurious, neither did it have any rustic charm. And nobody could get the air con to run for more than 20 minutes at a time, even when the generator was functioning. Why are they not using solar power?

We had an enjoyable short walk from the lodge and an early morning birding by bike when we actually saw some wildlife. Our third walk was a complete waste of time. All 3 'tours' were overpriced.

Food was average at best and not like any of the other food we had in Vietnam. Where were the noodles, hot pots etc? And very slow service. Staff were pleasant but apart from the manager (?) English was not well understood. The owner/manageress basically ignored us.

Cat Tien and the Forest Floor Lodge was our only disappointing stop on our 3 week tour of Vietnam.

I've seen a lot more wildlife on a 2 hour walk in the New Forest than we saw in 2 days at Cat Tien.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AEWPoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We enjoyed Forest Floor Lodge and would recommend it if you are visiting Cat Tien Park. The tent was nicely fitted out and comfortable, and the facility is sensitive to the environment. It wasn't ultra luxury but it gave us time to relax. The staff were polite and the service was good. Meals were great and prepared fresh from local products. The owner went out of her way to liaise with our tour operator on some minor problems we had picked up with our itinerary. The only item I wished for was tea making facilities in the room, but you could collect from the lodge which is close by. If I sound slightly unenthusiastic, it is not because of Forest Floor Lodge, it is that we were disappointed with the overall experience of Cat Tien National Park. To improve the experience, I would recommend that the traveller book their activities and all meals through Forest Floor Lodge and not with the park directly as the park itself has a long way to go to come up to standard in treating tourists professionally. Regarding the tours and activities on offer at the park, definitely book for the early morning Gibbon Tour as that was our highlight of the trip to Cat Tien and well worth the price.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MandyFromSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I stayed in one of the tents with a view over the river basin. Getting up early in the morning and sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee was wonderful. The light and the sounds from the awakening forest were magic. The tents were nice and comfortable. But I could imagine that they are quite warm during the "non-cold" season. The hotel shuts down electricity in the night. They have a restaurant and library overlooking the river basin. Although the restaurant menu was modest the quality of cooking was good. The service was very friendly - maybe a bit awkward but in a charming way. Cat Tien NP itself is very nice for chilling out, easy walking and biking and one may also participate in some of the activities offered by the hotel and the park. A classic walk is to the Crocodile lake – no description. The park headquarter makes a nice relaxed small village. It has a friendly modest restaurant where I killed a few hours reading a book and chatting with other park visitors. I do believe that the absolutely best season is December till March. Wet season I can imagine is "not nice".

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Dantes_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Forest Floor Lodge

Address: | Tan Phu District, Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Lam Dong Province > Cat Tien National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Cat Tien National Park
Price Range: $78 - $202 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfortable, authentic accommodation in spectacular surroundings INSIDE THE FOREST; contributing to conservation in Cat Tien National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Forest Floor Hotel Cat Tien National Park

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