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“Avoid - Cold, dirty, noisy and more”
Review of Viethouse Lodge

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Viethouse Lodge
Ranked #5 of 80 Halong Bay B&B and Inns
Varazdin, Croatia
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Avoid - Cold, dirty, noisy and more”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Service: Very disappointing. Considering large charges of the property, the level of service did not meet basic 1* standards. The staff does not speak English and cannot accommodate and the owners do not seem willing to assist.
For example: - Drilling above the room at 10PM has been explained as normal maintenance.
- Advising to "make friends" with the insects and animals in the room
- Refusing to take the responsibility for damaged clothes during washing
- A/C out of order, minimal additional heating provided and not at all times

Value: Extra charges for non existing services

Sleep Quality: The guest houses are located in the forest, and some rooms/apartments have holes in the walls/roof, which allow insects and animals to crawl in. Also the cold during winter months and no heating besides small heaters.
Sheets and towels stained.

Cleanliness: Found a rat in the room and heard other guests reported finding the same during their stay. Rats are very common to be seen in the restaurant as well. Numerous geicos, cockroaches, spiders, ants and other insects.
No vacuum cleaner available.
Drawers with horrible odor when opened.

Location: Tuan Chau island is quite a deserted area in Ha Long Bay and most cruises start from Ha Long city, which is about 20-30min drive from the island. There are few activities available on the island (game consoles for kids). Viethouse located in the forest, quite separated from everything else.

No TV channels working, no Wifi in the rooms

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ninnadj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed here August 7, 2013 after a boat cruise on Ha long bay. My boyfriend selected the place after reading the reviews and assured me we were starting at a great place. Honestly, this place was a huge disappointment and I'm really shocked by other reviews. We didn't like this place at all - and we tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. We were on a trip going through South Asia, so we had stayed at a lot of hotels by that point. This place was not good for the following reasons:
1) the wifi was horrible. The weather was bad so we had to stay in and we thought that we'd at least catch up on American tv through his iPad. No such luck. The wifi was terrible so we couldn't do that or anything using the Internet.
2) way overpriced! We had one meal. Dinner for two and a bottle of house wine, which came to 55USD. We thought that was ridiculous.
3) the tv in the room had one channel. Normally this would not be a problem but when you're forced to stay indoors and there's no wifi and no tv, you get pretty frustrated.
4) the food wasn't that good. For all the food we'd eaten in Asia up until that point, this was the least good. And read point 2, which made me even more frustrated.

Overall I would not stay here again and I am sad to say this is one place I could not in good conscience recommend. However, I hated the bathroom here and thought it looked dirty, while my boyfriend said he had the best shower of his life. I guess that's a positive.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Felicity00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnstable, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

This lovely, secluded lodge is a great getaway from Hanoi/halong. We used it as a base for a day trip to Cat Ba which worked out well. The last ferry from cat ba is at 4 though so if you are wanting to stay late be aware of that.

Haiko (co-owner) is amazing. He prepped us completely for our day trip and even gave us a ride to the harbor and let us borrow his umbrella.

The rooms are basic but VERY well done for lodge-style accommodation. The restaurant has great food that is pricey for Vietnam. It is secluded so you don't really have much choice but the quality of food makes up for both factors.

The pool is a great treat as well, clean and tidy.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Creightonh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Absolutely stunning views from almost every location on the property were the highlight, the pool was very nice, lots of greenery around it, rooms have a very pleasant unique design and comfortable beds.
Good restaurant and laundry services (if a bit pricey). As much as I enjoyed the stay I should forewarn that you have no other real choice in terms of dining, not to bother because the food is very nice, its just the prices do add up.
Owners Heiko and Ly are incredibly helpful & accommodating, even driving us to Halong City to pick up some small things, always available for a cool tea and a chat, they will go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant and easy as possible, which is very important since the hotel is so far away from anything on the Island and surrounding area. Worry not though about getting around, Heiko and Ly will be happy to help.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the second floor, slightly better view and no shutters on the windows.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Paige G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2013

This is a review for both the Viethouse in Hanoi and the Viethouse Lodge in Halong Bay (Tuan Chau Island)

Firstly, my partner and I have been traveling through South East Asia for the past 4.5 months and both these guesthouses/hotels were amazing.Here are the reasons why:

The owners/hosts at both locations (Caroline, Ly and his wife) were so welcoming we felt at home and received personal care. They were so helpful with information, arranging for transport, recommending day-trips that common tourists were not doing, accommodating our dietary restrictions (we're vegetarian), and making our stay memorable.

The hotel in Hanoi is the best value that we found for the location (we did the backpacker hotel rounds in Old Town). It is a slightly higher price point, but well worth the extra few dollars. It has all the modern convinces and aesthetic that you could want while keeping an artistic and vintage feel. We got the penthouse suite which has amazing light that floods in through the expansive windows on all sides. You can actually see the lake from the room. We also looked at two other rooms which were equally beautiful. Caroline is welcoming and professional and is an exceptional chef. We highly recommend that you ask for the breakfast add-on. The best breakfast we had in months!! (Seriously)

From Hanoi, Caroline arranged a very affordable and comfortable shuttle bus service to Halong Bay. We were considering taking one of the infamous boat tours, but we were so glad we didn't. Instead on Caroline's recommendation, we stayed at their sister property, Viethouse Lodge on a small island in Halong Bay.

The sweeping views are enough to take your breath away and the property has old-world charm that is extremely hard to find in Halong Bay. If you look at their website, you will not get an appropriate gauge of the beauty of their property (they are renovating it, so hopefully there will be some better photos soon).

The old brick structure with large wooden support beams, the thatched roof, the wooden windows and other heritage furniture make you feel authentic Vietnam. The only thing we think could be upgraded are the bathrooms.

There is a great pool, a delicious and affordable restaurant, and lots of photo opportunities. If you are looking for a quiet and chilled out island, a nice deck to catch up on reading, easy access to the public ferry and great hosts to boot, then this is THE place to be in Halong Bay. Much better that any boat cruise.

Here's what we recommend – one or two nights in Hanoi at Viethouse. Skip the boat cruise in Halong Bay and stay at the Viethouse Lodge in Halong Bay. The owners will give you the low-down on the local ferry to Cat Ba (which travels through the beautiful karst islands) and spending a great day exploring Cat Ba and returning to dip in the pool at the lodge.

Loved it and highly recommend both places.

Room Tip: The second floor facing Halong Bay has the best view and light.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sat P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed in Viethouse Lodge for 2 nights on 4 and 5 April, 2013, before boarding a cruise around Halong Bay, and our experience was a world away from some of the recent reviews on here.

From the moment I contacted the owner to reserve our 2 night stay, I was looked after completely. The stay in Viethouse was a surprise for my girlfriends birthday during a 6 month trip around south east Asia and the owners of the hotel and their daughter helped sort out a birthday cake and a lovely bottle of fizz for her, plus they even put flowers in the room which was a lovely surprise! Personally, we received 5 star treatment from the owners from start to finish.

Our room was in a beautiful English cottage style with exposed wooden beams and a wonderful view over Halong Bay from the large balcony. The room was not the largest we have stayed in during our travels but had everything we needed including a comfortable bed with mosquito net, 2 bedside tables, one with a lamp and phone, a small wooden unit with complimentary bananas and snacks to buy, a safe, television, good aircon, a fridge and small open wardrobe rail. The bathroom was a small ensuite wet room with curtain. The balcony had 2 comfortable wooden chairs and a glass table.

Breakfast was very good with a small menu. We chose the cooked western option which consisted of 2 eggs any style with bread, a plate of fresh fruit, a yoghurt and tea or coffee. We also ate dinner in the restaurant both nights we were there which was excellent. It was slightly on the pricier side but then the meals we had were superb so we didn't find this a problem. And the ambience of the restaurant was great, with a homely feel and good service. We didn't find any problematic language barriers and if there were, the friendly owners and reception is right next to the restaurant so if you really need to, just ask them for assistance. They both speak perfect English as well as Vietnamese and German. The restaurant doesn't serve lunch so you'll need to head elsewhere for this and options close by are limited. The marina (5 minutes drive away, 20 minute cycle, I wouldn't walk it!) has a very nice reasonably priced cafe-restaurant serving lunch overlooking the marina.

The hotel also has a beautiful swimming pool to relax in with sunbeds, laundry services and bikes (incl tandems) to rent. The bikes are very dated though so should be used with caution. The Internet was very shakey when we were there but when it did work, it just about reached our room which was nearest to the reception/ restaurant area (room tip there for you!)

In terms of Tuan Chau Island, it is quite an odd little place. On the one hand, there is enough infrastructure there to support lots of hotels which is exactly what is being developed at the moment. In 10 years it will probably be thriving. But at the moment don't expect an all singing all dancing resort island with loads to do. If you want tranquility however, it may be the place for you, but you may only need a couple of nights.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, were looked after fantastically well from start to finish by all of the staff and thought the place was good value for money. This family run lodge offered something different from the madness of Halong City and the corporate environment of chain hotels. The reviewer who was told Viethouse Lodge is a 5* Hotel should take up his complaint with whoever told them this-nowhere does it claim to be a 5* Hotel; it's a 3* on its own website! If your looking for rustic, relaxed and peace, then Viethouse Lodge is just the place.

Room Tip: Get a room near reception so the Internet works in room. Rooms with a view of the bay are worth the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jpw222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Our stay at the lodge was unfortunately not that great. The room (including the bed linen) was dirty and the bathroom is a bit of a joke. There is nothing to do on the Island of Tuan Chau so you are forced to eat and stay at the lodge. The food is not bad but it is pricy. The staff doesn’t understand or speak much English which makes it very difficult to communicate. The owners were helpful in arranging a private taxi for us for our trip back to Hanoi. That was a great help. The AC in our room did not work and even after we asked at reception to have it checked, no one came to do that. Personally I think that the lodge can be amazing if they spend some money and shape up the so called modern rooms/bathrooms. In all a disappointing stay.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chala69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Viethouse Lodge

Property: Viethouse Lodge
Address: Ngoc Chau str, Tuan Chau island, Halong Bay 123456, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Quang Ninh Province > Halong Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 80 B&Bs / Inns in Halong Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Viethouse Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Viethouse lodge is located halfway up the hill, next to the road leads to the highest peak of Tuan Chau Island, one of the thausand of small and medium island in Halong Bay. Viethouse lodge consists of a number of houses on stills with the ages of at least 15 years, the houses reflect a typical architecture of Viet ethnic. They have been transformed into a showcase of authentic and traditional living in a moderm environment. the houses located at different heights on the hillside. Nestled in green gardens which draw you to a natural relaxing and romantic atmosphere. ... more   less 

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