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“BAD AFTERTASTE”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Viethouse Lodge

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Viethouse Lodge
Ranked #5 of 69 Halong Bay B&B and Inns
Vught
Level Contributor
84 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“BAD AFTERTASTE”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2014

What promised to become a relaxing 2 night stay on Tuan Chau island near Halong Bay, became one of our worst experiences as travellers. Indeed, the remote location of the lodge secures quiet nights in a merely hectic Vietnam. But we experienced that this remoteness is exploited by the owners in a very unsympathetic way. Firstly we should have been warned by the fact that this was the only hotel in Vietnam where we were charged for drinking water, about 1 USD for 500ml. In all other places in Vietnam we were offered free drinking water in the room. In this matter it is relevant to know that it is hard to find a supermarket on the island, if any.
The lodge is being run by a family of 3, of which the mother and daughter are Vietname but spent decades in Europe. The mother sold us an 'exclusive', 'all inclusive', boattrip in Halong Bay, which afterwards appeared to be far too expensive. 120 USD per person for the 6 hour boat trip is -in the end- extremely overpaid. The sold 'exclusivity' of the trip was the length of 6 hours instead of the 'standard' 4 hours. Well, in reality these exclusivity was achieved by the low speed of the vessel...... We noticed during the trip that we visited no additonal sites compared to the 'standard' trips.
During the trip coffee was presented to us and also a (good) bottle of wine with the lunch. Because the trip was sold as 'all inclusive' we obviously considered the coffee and wine to be part of the package. However, after we checked our invoice balance on the night before we left (we had to leave next day very early for Haiphong airport), it appeared that the drinks of the tour were yet charged to our bill. Apart from the fact that this was against the deal we made, it caused a practical problem, since the lodge does NOT accept credit cards and no ATM can be found nearby. After we saw the drinks charged to our bill, a very unpleasant dispute followed with the daughter, who was relentless in her attitude. The worst aspect of the discussion was her threat to cancel the private car to the airport early next morning they had arranged for us, in case we would not pay for the drinks. Also for this car we were dependent from them, since the island has no regular taxi services etc. The way the daughter approached us during this discussion was despicable and she will need a long, long training in customer care. She was only 'helping' us with driving us to an ATM late at night so that we could pay the -unjust- full bill, in order to secure our transfer to the airport early next morning, which she had threatened to cancel.
For this car to Haiphong airport, by the way, we were charged the same price we paid earlier for a private car from Hanoi to Ha Long, which is twice the distance.
Another detail which proves these people rip you for every penny, was the fact, that the towels were not replaced after the first night. It should be mentioned though that the male owner was most customer friendly. This could not compensate though for the greediness of the females in the house.
The food in the lodge was well above average standards in Vietnam, but so are the prices.
The location indeed offers quietness, but in this case it was used against us. So, do not book your Ha Long trip here and anticipate the dependency of these people. They earned an awfull of money on ours. The fact that a crew member of the boat (the cook) tried to trick us at the end of the day by presenting us a bill of USD 95 for the same bottle of wine, proves that they cooperate with crooks. The only reliable person in this story seemed to be the the skipper of the boat.
Fortunately Ha Long Bay itself fully compensates for this horrific experience. And in the end that's the memory that will linger from these 2 days.
The island of Tuan Chau by the way will not remain quiet much longer, The number of large scale hotels that are being constructed, is overwhelmng and the island wil be fully exploited within a couple of years. What a shame.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Vuppies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2014

Stayed for 3 nights and had a very nice relaxing time after the very busy hanoi
The owner Heiko Willuweit and his Wife a great people who made us very welcome and i must say the Food was great and over all a nice homely Resort with a pool to relax and recharge
Thank you Heiko & Wife
sorry i forgot your name .

Room Tip: room with view of habour really nice
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank arkash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, illinois
Level Contributor
162 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

It felt good being at the Viethouse Lodge, it is a very homy place. Our hosts were wonderful - helpful and warm, truly caring. The view is amazing and the place is quiet, relaxing and a nice heaven of peace in this busy country. The rooms are quaint and comfortable; the restaurant has delicious local cuisine and the coffee is wonderful. We had a wonderful time at the Viethouse Lodge, and recommend it highly.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Coffeesip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here last weekend following a Friday night with viethouse hanoi (also excellent) and an overnight cruise in Halong Bay. These guys really know how to look after their guests - friendly, relaxed and genuinely hospitable - a really happy ship. Heaps of character - a world away from your typical resorts - tranquil and hidden with spectacular views of the Bay. Excellent food and a lovely deep pool. Tuan Chau is kinda surreal - I'd strongly recommend a visit to the unique little theme park on a quiet evening - a surreal experience indeed!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Belle06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2013

It is a basic and simple place but the the people are helpful and caring. The dinner in the evening at Viethouse Lodge was always delighted, and the fruit was good.

The pool was clean and refreshing - it is a great place to relax away from the world as there is no TV chanels worth watching

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Louise L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Varazdin, Croatia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ninnadj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Felicity00
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 69 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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