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“Simply incredible”

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Hmong Mountain Retreat
Ranked #23 of 105 Specialty Lodging in Sapa
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Simply incredible”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Beautiful mountain views, excellent staff, amazing rooms! very clean, fresh, great views, and new!!!
The only drawback is this hotel is its on a mountain, so I recommend a motor bike to city downtown and back, but you can manage walking too. Can't get such a pristine location without walking uphill a little.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AManWithAPlan11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Well, where should I start? I have roughed it out at places like Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang etc. Yet, I'm not a fan of getting all dirty. I chanced upon Hmong mountain retreat while researching for what to do in Hanoi. It was either this or the all famous Halong Bay. After much hesitation, I took a plunge and went for it.

I started to contact Pete from Tet Lifestyle on my arrangements to Sapa. After emails back and forth, I arranged with Pete for a 1 night stay at Hmong Mountain Retreat, with transportation arranged from Lao Cai station to Sapa town, a mountain trek with a guide, and cooking class.

Upon arrival at Lao Cai station, the driver greeted us with our names on the card and we were escorted to his van. The 35km journey from Lao Cai to Sapa took around 45-60 minutes. The trip up the mountains was winding but I've seen worse.

After which, I was asked to wait at the Village Noshery to be briefed on my itinerary before we started on our trek. The staff at Village Noshery spoke fluent English and we felt just like home. She had maps all drawn out for us on how our 2 days at Sapa will be like. And explained everything in detail. We could take a shower before we started off our trek, and have a good breakfast after the 9 hour train ride. Their banh mi was yummy.

Tamay was our local guide for the 12km trek. She too spoke fluent English and there was no problem communicating with her on Sapa's history and culture. She kept making sure that I was alright during occasional points of our trek and made sure we paced ourselves well. She also kept coming over with an umbrella so I would not get sunburnt. A word of caution though. The other Hmong locals tend to tag along and help you along the trek. However, if you don't want to feel guilty not buying their handicrafts, it will be better to decline them to tag along from the start of the trek.

After 4 hours of trekking, the driver from the lodge came with our bags and took us to Hmong Mountain Retreat. The bungalow had a comfortable bed you could laze around all afternoon. The view was fantastic and breathtaking. It was basically in the padi fields. There was a mosquito net to keep the bugs out though there was no mosquitoes present. Every bungalow has a key and lock if you wish to lock your belongings. There are 2 toilets, each with a gas heater, a toilet bowl, sink and shower facilities. The restrooms were decent enough, but it'll be good to shower before the sun sets as the lightnings are not like that of city's. I had a good nights sleep with no disturbance of bugs, animals and the weather was cool.

The next morning we had a cooking class. They feed you well so not to worry if you ever get hungry. It was nice to cook and eat at the same time. The food was good.

Overall, I would recommend Hmong Mountain Retreat to one looking for a place away from the city, to take your mind of work/life. To just relax and enjoy the scenery around you. The staff were all very welcoming and warm. But first, you'll have to endure the 9 hour train ride to and from Hanoi.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alison L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Maybe the coolest "hotel" experience I've ever had. Didn't know quite what to expect as a friend arranged our trip. We arrived at the Mountain Retreat to the most beautiful view of the Sapa valley - extraordinary. Our sleeping accomodations were thatched, one room huts on stilts, with a basic bed (and mosquito netting) overlooking the valley. Going to sleep with all of the night sounds of the valley and the wind blowing was wonderful. We had a fantastic vegetarian dinner that was a 5 on a 5 point scale. The staff couldn't have been more delightful. Had lovely conversations with a local Hmong woman who works for the hotel - fascinating.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wittless6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

I get the less than stellar reviews in that the Hmong Mountain Retreat is a bit out of town, is not your typical hotel and does not have the amenities one normally associates with a hotel.

That said, this place is one of the most special inns I've ever experienced. It is truly placed in a slice of heaven, the rooms, yes basic, but INCREDIBLE. It is like floating in the clouds.

Don't go here if you don't have an adventurous spirit. RUN here if you do. We had a marvelous vegetarian communal meal (and I am a meat eater) accompanied by the inn's only bottle of wine which was shared by seven of us (and I am a drinker.) I could not have had a better evening.

Pete, the owner, is a joy and the place is so remarkably special that it almost hurts.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TSF3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Graeme757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edlesborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
31 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.
See more room tips
  • 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.
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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 #23 of 105 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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