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“Would not recommend.”

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Hmong Mountain Retreat
Ranked #37 of 132 Specialty Lodging in Sapa
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Would not recommend.”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

We arrived at Hmong Mountain retreat at 3pm to utter confusion. Although we had a confirmed booking, they did not seem to be expecting us and our room was not yet ready. Normally this would not have been too much of a problem but no one seemed to know what was going on, and no one showed us any kind of hospitality (coffee, tea etc) while we were waiting.

We were finally shown to our room, and upon discovering our heater was broken, were treated with utter indifference as we tried 3 replacement heaters to eventually find one that worked.

We both woke up feeling quite ill the next morning due to suspected food poisoning. Despite vomiting and looking generally unwell, we were again treated with indifference as we were told to leave our room and wait an hour for the shuttle bus in the cold reception area. The staff did not even have the courtesy to drive carefully to ease our sickness (another hotel in Sapa arranged our transfers to Lao Cai and they drove extremely carefully for a full hour so as to not make us any sicker, these guys couldn't do it for 20 minutes!)

We understand the owner markets this accomodation as employing local disadvantaged people, however, in our opinion, this isn't enough. Quality training is what really makes the difference.

The view is amazing, the accomodation basic (but that is to be expected) however overall we were disappointed that a business that seemed to have so much potential was executed so poorly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Graeme757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Edlesborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Fantastic location and amazing scenery BUT service is only available for a couple of hours a day. Shuttlebus does not shuttle. Check out is at 10 a.m. but 1st bus doesn't leave until 11a.m. so an hour of sitting waiting for no reason. Only other bus is at 2 p.m.( apparently) which is useless if you are doing an organised tour with another company. Evening meal needs to be booked in advance as they only have enough for those who knew to reserve. However if you are prepared, arrive early morning, take the walking tour adjacent to the hotel and walk yourself back to the retreat it is fabulous. No hot drinks available so again bring your own drinks as staff only seem to be around at breakfast and dinner. Overall this hotel has such potential and maybe we were just unlucky but it felt like a homestay where no one was home!

Room Tip: All rooms have valley view - all the same I believe. No preference required.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ashley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

The view alone is worth it.
Sure it's rustic - but you're in Sapa! The beds are comfy, the huts peacefu, quiet and private, and the brekky is yum.
Yes it's expensive (relative to a dorm in town), and probably not for the road weary backpacker, but if you're on a short break and can afford it, then go for it.
The staff are lovely, and you really know you're making a positive impact on the local community.
Visit the trout farm up the road, and play with the kids in the village below (take them some pencils and note books, and a spinning top from the markets - they'll go silly with delight).
The view from your hut is breathtaking - I only wish I had more mornings to wake up to the timelessness of the view.
Go there, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We just got back from a one night stay in one of the bungalows. The bungalows are very basic but we found them to be clean. Ours contained one very large double bed (two big singles joined together - notable and uncomfortable join in the middle), an electric heater (cut out after about 30 minutes and didn't heat the unsealed room at all) and a light. Our general feeling is that visitors should be warned when booking these bungalows in the winter. Warm clothes are an absolute must as well as a bit of bravery... unenclosed bathrooms were located in the communal area - 30 to 50 metres away from the bungalows on stepping stones surrounded by ponds/paddies. The main communal area was open/outside and it was just too cold and damp to sit comfortably. The cooking class offered by the Sapa rooms group took place here and the participants we saw were very cold. One final point, as these bungalows are located 6KMs out of Sapa town and only two shuttle services were provided quite early in the day, expect to pay for a transfer or two if you want to eat in town at one of the many good restaurants instead of paying for the 15USD vegetarian dinner offered on site. Sapa rooms charged 30USD per return trip for any additional transfers which we found to be expensive.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gibbo077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

This is not a place for Gucci handbag toting types with a penchant for hand pressed towels and little bottles of Yakult. It's way up in the hills and the bungalows are basic. But that's the whole idea, it's a place you go to escape, relax and enjoy views you thought only existed on the pages of National Geographic. My wife and I spent one night, two days there. There's a full day cooking class on offer but we opted just to unwind, drink wine, read books and enjoy the setting. It's an easy place to meet other travellers too, there's a communal area and we had a great time enjoying dinner and drinks with a bunch of people we just met. Go with a relaxed attitude, don't expect too many frills and you'll love this place. Worth doing splitting your time with a few nights in busier Sapa and a night or two here.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Guy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012

Disappointing since day one. Booking email gave incorrect details - dinner wasnt included as stated. Overcharging for transfers (even their own blog says so!). Had to wait for 1 1/2 hours at station upon arrival to depart to sapa. Arrived at retreat. A handful of bungalows in a beautiful setting, yet at nearly 70$ inc all charges are grossly overpriced. Each bungalow has nothing but an appalling bed (two scrappy mattresses pushed together) and are all a good distance from the bathroom of which only one has hot water. I have stayed at better $5 per night bungalows in SE Asia. Our bungalow was confusingly built facing the back of the one in front so even the amazing view was obstructed. Veggie set dinner was fine but again massively overpriced at $17 per person inc charges. The place itself had little to no on site manager or host so any requests were difficult. Our stay included one free transfer too and from Sapa which is fine but these are at set times, so if you wanted to do the trek on offer (which was fine but again massively overpriced at 35$!!) you had to pay 17$ inc charges to get into town in time. To be fair after a little hassle they accepted this was wrong and offered for free.
Now they do put a little of the money to charity but even considering this it is still crazily overpriced. A local cabbie offered to drop us for 5$, an identical private trek (theirs was a group one) was offered for 25$ per person.
In summary the place could be great but unfortunatley it was disgustingly overpriced and poorly managed.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank trasbash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

The place is nice and the views are great. It is 6 km away from Sapa town, and transport is usually not available, so you should plan everything before getting there if you don't want to waste time. The bungalow was basic but nice, it was clean although quite small (considering that we had big backpacks) and there were no so many facilities (no bin!) The staff working at the Retreat was not really helpful and their knowledge of english was really poor, so it was difficult to get basic information from them. The dinner there was tasty and nice Finally, it is a really beautiful place, the views are great and the location is lovely, but the are some details missing and it is a pity that the don't make an effort to better organize your stay there.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amokaddict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hmong Mountain Retreat

Property: Hmong Mountain Retreat
Address: 018 Phan Si Pang St | 6km outside Sapa, Sapa, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Lao Cai Province > Sapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 132 Specialty Lodging in Sapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ultimate mountain hideaway overlooking the breathtaking terraced rice fields of Sapa.The H'mong Mountain Retreat is made up of a number of buildings: the large 85 year old stilt house, five rammed earth bungalows and one 70 year old H’mong House.Indulge in rare quality time with your loved ones in this natural setting; it’s as close to nature as you can possible imagine...Retreat to the serenity of your hill top bungalow and experience Sapa in its true beauty.Made entirely of sustainable products from the land; a mixture of clay walls, palm leaf thatching and palm tree wood flooring gives a true sense of being wrapped in nature, while the hand woven cotton bedding made by the indigenous tribes of northern Vietnam and Laos ensure comfort and warmth. Slip into a deep slumber.Choose either a Hill Top Bungalow for two people or a two bedroom H’mong House sleeping up to four. Breakfast is included each day...Throughout our properties we encourage our guests to make conscious decisions, which impact their holiday destination in a positive spirit.We believe our organisation has a responsibility to give back to the local community. By staying, dining or trekking, we show you how easy it is to travel with generosity and to give back...Don't forget to visit our other properties! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hmong Mountain Retreat Hotel Sapa

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