It appears that Victoria probably does the train better than the other operators, as we couldn't get the return with VE we can make a comparison with orient7, probably the next best.
We booked the deluxe cabin (for two) which was as good as we could get, the service was fine and prompt.
A porter from VE was at the entrance to the station and met us at our car and took our luggage directly to our cabin on the carriage, it is no hassle to do it yourself but it made things a bit easier.
Upon boarding the train a host greeted us and showed us through the cabin, while not overly large it was clean, comfortable and cosy, off memory food and drinks are not readily available so probably best to take your own supplies.....on the trip with orient7 the only drinks available were from the sellers that walked through the carriage prior to departure..beers etc for a couple of bucks.
The toilets in the VE were clean, a rare treat on overnight trains!
The only downside was that the carriage (Victoria Express has one carriage on a train of about 14 carriages...all owned by different operators) and it is at the front of the train and is noisy and appear to rattle and vibrate much more than in the middle or back of the train, I can usually sleep anywhere but this was a tough nights sleep...the orient7 carriage was a much nicer sleep.
After about an hour climbing the mountain in you bus/car you will arrive at Sapa....so here is the hotel review.
The resort is compact and nice, it is perched above the town and has views from the dining area. It is not glitzy but you don't visit Sapa for glamour, the resort is excellent considering the local environment, its a short stroll down the hill to the town, coming back up could be a problem for the aged or people with walking restictions.
We were there in March and did have a cold misty day and the open fire in the foyer was a welcoming feature after a day of walking.
Breakfast was fine...just the usual stuff.
One funny little thing though after we had checked out....as soon as you check out most asian hotels send a runner to make sure your aren't souveniring the LCD screen, as we were waiting for our car they called us back to make us pay for the slippers....the funny thing is that once someone has worn them they shouldn't be re-used, well it appears not so in this case, rather than go through the whole payment thing we simply gave them back at which they returned them to the room for the next unsuspecting visitor??
All in all a nice experience with the train and hotel, would recommend to potential visitors.
If you are considering the train and cant get a twin cabin, for a relatively small outlay it is worth buying all 4 tickets in a 4 berth cabin as sharing a cabin with strangers, for a 7 hour train trip could be challenging...especially if you got someone like me...although my snoring might drain out the noise of the train!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa is unique 4 star with international standard, is located in one of the most beautiful and unspoiled locations of Northern Vietnam, (1,600 m), 380 km Northwest of Hanoi, among the highest peak Fan Si Pan (3,143 m), 38 km from Chinese border and 34 km from Lao Cai railway station. The Victoria Sapa Hotel is reachable by Victoria Express Train, which departs 6 times a week from Hanoi to Lao Cai and Laocai to Hanoi. In December 2015 the Luxury Victoria Coach will be launched from Hanoi to Laocai with 6 trips/week. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Victoria Sapa Hotel Sapa
- Victoria Hotel Sapa
- Sapa Victoria Hotel