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“Brilliant”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Forest Floor Lodge

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Forest Floor Lodge
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Brilliant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

We loved the forest floor lodge. The room was beautifully decked out and very comfortable. The owners have clearly put a great deal of thought and style into the place. The lodge was a great place to hang out and is equipped with bikes, leech socks, guide books etc.

The best thing about the place are the guided walks and bike rides. Owner Roy is an entomologist of some note, and we were lucky enough to spend a morning being shown around the jungle by him. This was an incredible experience as he really brought it all to life. Mr Ting was also a terrific guide and we had a fantastic bike ride with him - he pointed out civets, sunbirds and all sorts. Really brilliant.

The only improvement would be the food. It was fine but none of the meals were ever very memorable. Also they could advertise their services better on their website - we didn't realise we could do an early morning gibbon trek through the lodge.

All in all though, it was a terrific experience. Thank you Roy and Mr Ting!

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jmamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

On the last night of a 4 night stay at this beautiful place. Spotlessly clean, very well run and with excellent food. I really can't praise the owners of this fantastic place highly enough. And to top it all a well stocked bar to treat ourselves with at the end of a days forest walk or cycle ride. Whilst you are right in the middle of the national park this place definitely has a feel of luxury and the owners go out of their way to make you feel at home - nothing is too much trouble. Loved it. Thanks for looking after us so very well.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sparklehorse68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

Like most reviewers I found the FFL to be exactly what you would expect from a facility that prides itself on being eco-friendly and at one with nature. As Roy, the owner, said "the animals were here before us so we have to fit in".

The accommodation is what you would expect from a place called "Forest Floor Lodge" i.e. they are lodges stilted above the forest floor. Our lodge was reasonably clean and it looked like the staff made a reasonable effort to keep the place clean. There was always all the bathroom amenities that you would expect (shampoo, shower gel, soap, fresh towels).

The power going off at 11pm initially seemed a bit of a faff but the battery light provided and torches that we brought ended up being enough. In fact it was the lack of light during the day when we were trying to pack which caused more difficulty but what could one do? The lodges are located in shaded parts of the forest so that they don't get too hot and have windows all the way around. Actually the whole timing of the power is aligned with what you should do when staying in this sort of park - go to bed early and get up at the crack of dawn when the forest starts to wake up.

The service was extremely polite and friendly. The food wasn't the best experienced in Vietnam but this is supposed to be a national park, not a city centre. All of the food was cooked fresh, was tasty enough and there was certainly enough for us. I never really did price comparison as coming from near London every bill seemed laughable. We could have a two-course meal for two of us and it would come to £6.

We had an attack of ants in our bed for both the nights we were there and had to use DEET sprayed around the outside of the mattress to stop them from coming in (they were tiny non-biting ants). One night we came in and found a Huntsmen spider in the bathroom and a tree frog on the wall. Roy came along and put both of them outside (we are both spider wooses!). All these experiences just remind me that we were sleeping right on nature's front door.

Overall, I guess the place could do with a regular look over of the rooms to make sure everything is okay. It would be nice if the food menu had a bit more variation in it but then again the restaurant was open from 6:30am to 10pm! The park is such a wonderful place to be in that FFL is the only place I would like to stay in. So there you have it, it's not perfect, it could do with a little bit more maintenance but overall I would say come and spend a couple of nights here and enjoy.

Room Tip: Try and get a room right next to the river for that soothing white noise as you go to sleep.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Spoonifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2013

You really are in the Forest of Cat Tien National Park. Hornbills, Draco spp (flying lizards), Gibbons, spiders, frogs the list is huge. The bugs, so many, amazing bugs. Waking up to Gibbon calls and getting to see them in the wild. Or at the rescue facility. And the library at the lodge will help you ID them. Not to mention the species list and map of walks that Roy has put together.

I was met at the barge in the buggy and scooted down the track to the lodge. What a site and sight from the deck. River, rapids, vines and trees! The service was excellent and the food to match. The bungalows are outstanding and massive. I was travelling alone and the only guest there. I must say it was the most expensive accom I used in Vietnam. But was a nice treat after a month on the motorbike and last days of my trip. Its worth it just for the ride in.

The wet season was starting. It proved no hassle to my days wandering the tracks, a jeep ride and walk to Crocodile Lake. Just have a poncho and dry bag handy for random down poor. Take binoculars and telephoto lens too.

Enjoy

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mattalz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stayed 2 nights and were extremely disappointed with our stay. It was partly due to the positive comments on TripAdvisor that we stayed and feel others deserve to hear my comments.

At a cost of US$130 per night the Forest Floor Lodge is grossly overpriced. Services and facilities were not up to the standard they are charging. At around $40-50 a night I would've left content. Food and drink (1-2 drinks each night) were another US$100 on top - also well over priced.

We arrived late in the afternoon and were shown our room which was comfortable but not especially clean. The manager explained that the generator is turned off at 11pm, but that another light that 'works when the generator goes out' could be switched on. When we tried to use this light, it didn't work. We asked the manager, who said 'oh yes that light doesn't work'. After complaining, the manager and another employee came to our tent @ 11pm, when we wanted to go to sleep, to fix the light. If they knew it didn't work, and had the means to fix it, why wasn't this done before our arrival? And why did we have to point it out before anything was done about it? The next night, the light stopped working again and the manager responded with "well we just fixed it so it should work". We used our own torch for the remainder of our stay.

The first afternoon we went for a ride on the bikes, to find they are charged out by the hour. To top it off, they were all in bad condition. My chain came off mid-ride causing a bleeding, bruised knee in time for our trek the next day. Later we ask about a lift on the golf buggy to the ferry (where the HQ for the Gibbon Trek is) but were told it would cost us $5! When we finally conceded to going with the buggy we take part in TWO buggy crashes into the front garden because the carts were faulty. We did not feel safe, but had no alternative but to walk.

That night we return to find that they would like us to eat dinner early because the staff want to go home by around 7.30-8.00. Even though earlier in the day we had been told the kitchen was open till 9pm. Trying to accommodate them we do this only to find that our entree and main are cooked at the same time. This leads to our dinner being cold. In general meals were average at best and expensive at ~US$8-10 per plate. We struggled with the menu after 2-3 meals. No where near the standard of the food we had elsewhere and twice the price.

Only the manager could speak English well enough for us to order. Each time we tried to order, the waitress would just look at us an laugh awkwardly. Even when we simply pointed at an item on the menu. So, we ended up having to walk downstairs or find the manager whenever we wanted to order something. Not good enough when you are being charged so highly.

There was no pro-activity from staff to suggest what to do. If I hadn't have independently contacted the park about the Trek i don't think we would've made it on. I asked the lodge and got next to no direction from them.

In addition, the shower was luke warm at best. The tent was never cleaned properly, there was dust everywhere! The food menu was limited, and many times we ordered something we were told "we don't have that today". On a couple of occasions we would order a side of "Morning Glory", only to be served mixed carrot and cabbage. When we asked the manager why, his excuse was that they didn't have any. We had already had some for breakfast, so we insisted he check. What do you know, 2 minutes later what we ordered was at our table.

Staying here was the ONLY disappointing aspect of our entire trip through Vietnam. We stayed at another National Park mid way through our trip. The place was clean, well run and organised while being in just as good location as Forest Lodge and just as isolated. It was also a third of the price.

There were another couple and a single traveller staying at the same time and all I can say is that they agreed with our sentiments when we chatted to them during our stay.

If you are seeking value for money in your stay I would not recommend Forest Floor lodge.

Room Tip: Avoid the wooden room with the leaking roof right onto the bed!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank imjohnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

Firstly, the pickup in luxury car was certainly not that - it was a very old car and quite uncomfortable. We were glad to get out after the 4 hour drive. The park itself is fantastic and I would recommend it - just stay elsewhere. We stayed in one of the wooden houses. It seemed to be low season. The man who checked us in, explained that the properties ran off a generator and as such the power would go off between 11pm and 6am, but there was a light that could be used during this time. Only problem was ours had no lightbulb and it was not fixed during our stay. Before arriving I was worried that we would be pressured into lots of expensive organized activities. This was not the case and in fact when I enquired about actives, such as the Gibbon trek, the staff seemed to not know anything. We ended up missing out. When we went to the lodge for dinner the first night only 2 places were set. Upon enquiring, we discovered we were in fact the only guests at the lodge. The food was fine. Breakfast the next day wasn't very nice.


The next day, we took it upon ourselves to enquire about borrowing some bikes and going for a ride. The park was fantastic and we greatly enjoyed ourselves. When we arrived back at our villa a few hours later, two staff were leaving our room after cleaning it. Later I realised they had been playing with my phone in the room, taking photos of each other with it! (I had felt safe leaving possessions in the room as we were so isolated and as I knew we were the only guests). When I realised, I felt quite violated. I didn't want to go to the lodge for dinner as I was upset. We ended up cycling to the spoonbill cafe for dinner which was great.
Upon checkout the next day, I showed the man the photos on my phone. He was quite apologetic but also laughed a little at the situation. He asked if anything was missing from the room and I said no - only later after I had left did I realise in fact my sunglasses were gone. I wasn't satisfied, but what could be done? I just didn't feel I could not bring it up to him. The ride to Mui Ne was in a slightly more comfortable car.

In summary - visit Cat Tien,just don't stay at Forest Floor Lodge!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Louise Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
147 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2013

We stayed at Forest Floor Lodge in March of this year and couldn't recommend it more highly. It could not be described as luxurious but it was the perfect antidote to the city travelling we had been doing. There is a choice of either wooden huts or tented accommodation and we were in one of the huts. We had our own resident lizard waking us up every morning which added to our experience and also enabled us to be up early enough to hear the Gibbons singing from the forest, a totally unique sound. The bird watching was phenomenal and the surrounding forest really good to explore. We did the Crocodile lake hike which was very enjoyable and not remotely challenging, although I guess if the weather was hotter, it may well prove to be more difficult. We also did the night safari but other than seeing a lot of eyes staring out of the darkness, we didn't see very much but it was fun. The staff at the lodge were delightful and we enjoyed all our meals and they were more than happy to provide local cuisine to suit our request which was delicious and very generous! But they also cook more western style food if that is your preference. They really could not have been more welcoming or indeed accommodating. I would love to return one day. I guess if there was a swimming pool then it really would have been perfect. Another thing to bear in mind is that as it is an "eco" lodge, they do switch off the power at various points both during the day and night but we never once found it to be an issue.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andreanna57
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

Property: 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 #9 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Cat Tien National Park
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 
Also Known As:
Forest Floor Hotel Cat Tien National Park

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