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“I'm Speechless: this Hotel/Restaurant is just that Good!!!”

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Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #72 of 84 Hotels in Sapa
Reviewed December 7, 2009

I have nothing but good things to say about this hotel. My boyfriend and I have been traveling around Asia for the past two months and this is our favorite hotel thus far (it's even comparable to the Chiang Mai Four Seasons Resort). The owner, a very friendly Norwegian named Tommy, owns the hotel with his sweet, Hmong wife. Their staff is entirely Hmong, and I'm fairly certain they are the only establishment in and around Sapa that holds that claim to fame. We had been looking forward to Sapa and to climbing Mt. Fanxipan, the highest peak in Indochina, for quite sometime. Well I got really sick the first morning and we summoned a doctor, who hooked me up to an i.v., etc. Needless to say Tommy and the staff were fantastic, and let us stay an extra three nights, despite the fact that they were having a staff party one of the evenings and weren't even going to rent out their rooms!

Their restaurant is, hands-down, the BEST restaurant in town. Order the French chicken stew - it will rock your world. The wine list is fantastic as well. I have absolutely no idea how Tommy manages to import the amount of excellent wine labels that he does.

Despite my being sick, my partner and I summited Mt. Fanxipan on our fourth day in town. We did it in five hours and went with a tour agency that Tommy recommended - Nature Travel (it's right across the road from the hotel). It was such a treat to return to the hotel after such a difficult, yet gratifying endeavor!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Amy_PDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 98 of 166 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2009

Our stay at Cha Pa Garden was fine. We experienced none of the problems we read about in some of the other reviews. The location is perfect. It's in the center of town but off the street so it's quiet. The dining room is beautifully decorated and the food and wine were shockingly good for being in an out-of-the-way place like Sapa. The price seemed fair to us given it's size and the fact that Sapa is a quasi resort town for Western tourists.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank garsarFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2009

Since this hotel has only four rooms, we booked it several months before our trip. Upon arrival, we found out that it normally has only about 50% occupancy. Also, the "spa" portion of this establishment's name is a big misleading. Though the hotel opened two years ago, the spa portion is still uncompleted (and perhaps not yet started...). Instead, you can get treatment at Victoria Hotel's Spa, but we decided not to spend the time doing that so I don't know what that's like.
The hotel lobby/eating area is quite nice with a fireplace and trendy Asian design. The rooms themselves were smaller than we expected (especially for 65 usd a night). The first room we were offered had a big mosquito problem and smelled like mold. The shower curtain was completely mildewed half-way up.
The second room seemed a little better taken care of, though the light was burnt out in the bathroom. (The management had an electrician come in to fix it early the next day.) In general, I felt like, if it were my hotel (or my house), I would make more of an effort to scrub the tiles, clean the walls, etc in the bedrooms. The common areas were fine.
Also Tommy (a Norwegian married to a Vietnamese), the manager, is a really nice guy once he feels like talking. It seems like many of the folks in Sapa see tourists as big dollar signs and want to make a little extra cash by selling you 1. a room, 2. a hiking/cultural tour, 3. some food. Once you are sheltered, fed and signed on to a tour, they move on to the next victim/client. Tommy was definitely not like that, for which maybe it is worth paying the premium to stay at Cha Pa. (?)
The breakfast was plentiful and delicious.
After visiting Sapa and seeing how touristy the town is and how many hotels are now available, I think I would just wait to book accommodation upon arrival or from Hanoi.
If you really want to book in advance, another hotel that has similar style rooms and contributes to a good cause is Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel (http://www.saparooms.com), which supports the local community. The "Baguette and Chocolate" Hotel (which also has a "give back to the community" philosophy) also has just four rooms, but their rooms are a little smaller than Cha Pa's and are more simple. Their average rate is 22usd/night.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank inakaweekends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chapagarden, Owner and manager at Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2009

Dear all,

First of all a big thank you to inakaweekends and everyone else who have taken the time to write reviews and feedback for our hotel - it motivates all of us working here to keep on improving and to keep striving to offer the best possible experience for guests at our hotel.

I also just wanted to write a short note to clarify a few points in the above review.

- We have now replaced the previous shower curtains with new higher quality ones so we are finally rid what certainly did become a bit of a torn in the eye.

- Unfortunately it is true that the spa is severely delayed and it was not our intention to mislead guests by our name. The spa is planned to be in a second building right next to the current villa and we were building both buildings at the same time but were forced to suspend the construction of the second building when we ran into some unexpected problems.
Unfortunately we have not yet been able to get the construction restarted which has resulted in the spa (and more rooms) still not being completed. We are still working on finding a solution and to resume construction as soon as possible.

- I do not know where the reviewer got the information that we are running on 50% occupancy but must state that this information is not very accurate and as a general rule I would recommend everyone who wants to stay at a specific hotel in Sapa to book early as rooms can get booked out fast. If on the other hand you are happy to stay anywhere you will certainly not have a problem finding a room in town on arrival.

- Last but not least I have to say that one of the best aspects of running a small hotel is the chance to talk to and share stories with guests from all over the world. At the same time since it is a small hotel I also try to make sure that the guests have some personal space and avoid being intrusive. I am sorry if the reviewer here got the impression that I only speak once I "feel like talking" but am looking forward to continue to welcome guests from all backgrounds and corners of the world to our hotel here in Sapa.

I thank you for your attention and wish everyone a great day and happy travelling.

Best regards,

Tommy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2009

We were in Sapa in early September, and a friend living and working in Hanoi recommended this hotel to us. It was great - Tommy, the young Norwegian owner, was really kind and helpful, booking the tickets on the overnight train from Hanoi, arranging the pick-up at the train station, giving us loads of time and information, and his local wife, Chai, was great - organising hikes and excursions, and even taking us on one herself. What a great experience! The downstairs dining room and the wine list are amazing, breakfast and dinner was excellent. It's not a 4* or 5* hotel - it's far better than that - you should imagine staying in a friend's really beautiful, comfortable and modern house, with the addition of a restaurant and tourist services. Can' t wait to stay there again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank IHarri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2009

We were initally disappointed at Chapa Gardens. For the price we were paying we expected a bit more - the bathroom wasn't that clean, lights didn't work, tv didn't work well, toiletries were poor, etc. A little damp has had an effect on the paintwork in some of the rooms. However, Tommy and his wife were good to us, let us check in early and leave late and Tommy's wife took us on a good tour round the local villages - including lunch at her mother's house. You can get this cheaper elsewhere but we felt it was worth it to get a more authentic and personal experience. Chapa Gardens has a good setting, just off the main road. For the price, we were expecting the rooms to be in a slightly better state but overall this is a good option in Sapa.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank UKtraveller5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2009

We had an amazing weekend at the Cha Pa Hotel. Friendly owners and great staff. The house and garden has a really nice and relaxed atmosphere. A bit of luxury in a beautiful old french villa. This is good value. We recommend this place to everybody who looks for a quiet, romantic getaway.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FrkSmilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2009

First of all: Cha Pa Garden Hotel is a small hotel, what WE like very much. Situated right in the center, but quiet rooms.
We stayed in a deluxe room, and the room was perfect. Nice and clean and crispy white sheets on the bed...something that you are growing to appreciate after a while of travelling...Tommy is a great host. the food is just the best and the staff is very charming and helpfull. Absolutely a great place to stay. The hotel is very comfortable, the dining room is very stylish in a basic comfortable way. Nice decorating.
In brief: go there and you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank tientje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa

Address: 23b Cau May | Lao Cai, Sapa, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Lao Cai Province > Sapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #72 of 84 Hotels in Sapa
Price Range: $65 - $80 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel & Spa is the first hotel of its kind in the town of Sapa and provides a breathing space only 50 m from the busy market. Guests are welcomed to comfortable rooms and friendly service in this beautifully renovated French villa.The restaurant is making great both local and western dishes, and our green garden is unique in center town. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel And Spa
Cha Pa Garden Boutique Hotel Sapa

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