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“Stunning. A must stay in Sapa”
Review of Topas Ecolodge

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Topas Ecolodge
Ranked #9 of 79 Hotels in Sapa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

It's been about 6 months since I stayed here for 2 nights but it was one of my favourites.
To get there we had a hellish over night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai which arrived about 4am. We were so tired we barely noticed the scenic drive through the mountains as the sun started to rise. By the time we'd driven up to Topas it was about 6am and all I could think about was a shower and my bed and I questioned why on earth I'd done all this just to get there. I was soon regretting that!
We got in to our bungalow which was basic (but I'm saying that in a positive way) and extremely charming. The balcony looked out on to miles of mountains and rivers and countryside. Everything was clean and fresh and after the chaos of Hanoi the silence was bliss.
I've read some reviews on here which didn't really enjoy how basic the rooms were but I was more than happy. The room can get very damp as you are in the clouds but I soon learnt to leave the humidifier on and it wasn't a problem. Some people said they felt very cold at night but again the heater and warm PJ's were fine for me.
The bar/restaurant had simple but tasty food. The menu let's you sample a lot of different dishes which I liked. The main plus of this hotel is the location. You are just surrounded by the most amazing back drop and even in February when the sun came out it was gloriously hot.
The Red Dzao are a handful when leaving the complex but this is the nature of that area. At the end of the day they are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful guides. We were accompanied by 3 ladies round the buffalo trail trying to sell us things but also telling us about the area. Just be firm but fair if you don't want anything and its not a problem

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank gnatwilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor

Living on a hilltop and at a remote place at the same time gives its challenges. Nice to hear that you had read about the place before you came and to some extent knew what you could expect.
I can totally agree with you that the scenery is spectacular. It is no secrete though that we do experience days of cloud. We are situated in 1000 m altitude and it can be cold and cloudy. The opposite - sun and a clear sky is no rarity.
I am very pleased that you acknowledged the Red Dao ladies and your comments are most help full for future guests to understand there way of life, which is very hard compared to many of our guests.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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367 - 373 of 825 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2014

We chose this hotel because of the superb location, and upon arrival this happened to be very true. What nice premises beautifully located. We stayed here 3 nights in a deluxe bungalow with a superb view and (nessecary) AC. We spent a great time amidst a breathtaking scenery. The service however was not up to standard. Taking into consideration the high prices you pay we don't think you can use "working with local people who don't speak our language" as an excuse. If one is aware of this the prices should be lower.
All guests are obliged to use their dinner in this lodge and we found out that there is nothing to choose but only a set dinner at an expensive rate compared to Vietnamese standard. The food offered however was not even coming close to the standard compared to other (also difficult to reach) places in Vietnam. For all other meals in 50% of the cases we got something different from what we ordered. We think these are points that really deserve attention.
However, the breathtaking scenery also from our veranda made our stay worthwhile.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank godelleiden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor
The deluxe bungalow (9) do not have AC. There is an additional cost for one of the 16 upgraded Executive bungalows with AC and minibar.
Service and english skills are 2 key points we are dealing with as new managers. The staff are all hard working, however just to move a little forward, you have to persevere. The lodge is open all year, and with the same amount of staff in high and low season, there is a cost. We do not hide behind the fact that the staff are badly in need of more english skills, but part of the ecolodge mindset is to give local minority groups of people the opportunity to have a job and through this give them the necessary skills.
Your comment about the food – receiving something else than order is for me a little understandable. I have inquired into the matter – we are located remotely on a hill top and if stock runs out we can not always provide everything all the time. Our chefs however have a good feeling for what we can sell and buy accordingly.
Service is one thing, keeping all the staff in the low season is another. Price and quality will always be a subjective and personal view. We have other challenges compared to other hotels. We try to do our best and the majority of our guests thoroughly enjoy there stay.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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Reviewed 6 July 2014

One night stay in Topas Ecolodge is another challenging experience for my Sapa trip. The location is far from busy Sapa Town, serene and quiet location is definitely place for rest and relax. The lodge have a balcony which I'd enjoyed my day just to look at the amazing show of the nature, the clouds surrounding the mountain changing all the time. After a few hours of resting, we decided to take our dinner at the only restaurant there. After I looked at the Menu, I found that I only have one dinner set menu to choose. I'm not really picky on the dinner, especially after I'm arrived Hanoi, I found most of the food (even the street food) are good to eat and is cheap. But, the dinner set menu here is disappointing me. Night time is the most challenging, I like natural and can accept most of the wildlife even cockroaches, but in the night, the lights in our room had attracting moths and some small bugsssss. The weather is hot and due to security issue we decided to close all the windows and the balcony door. That is no air-con or fresh air flowed in the room that night, and in the middle of the night the electricity seem like cut off..... ><lll

I felt so lucky that I only stay here for a night. Hope the lodge can improve the facilities and staff service attitude. I'm knew that most of the Vietnamese still can not communicate in English well, but that night I'm stayed might only have 10 couples, I would expecting one or two of the staffs would come to my table while I'm having my dinner or breakfast to check our needs and comments on the food.

As my conclusion, the lodge had located at very beautiful and fantastic location but most of the facilities and services are need to be improved.

P/s : Ecolodge should be environmental friendly, so please do consider to cut off the use of mineral bottle in the lodge.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MichelleLow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

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We have 2 kinds og guest that come to Topas Ecolodge placed 18 km out of Sapa town. The one kind have either found us on the net or somebody has explain about the place. They come here to sit and relax – read a book an enjoy there holiday. Others come here for action. Trekking, walking and cycling in the vast area in the mountains and when the weather makes it possible you can get a very good experience by swimming / bathing in the nearby rivers.
The other kinds of guest are sent out here without knowing what they can expect. Some love it, others see it as a great challenge.
Topas Ecolodge is situated remotely on a hill top in the mountains. This place gives us as lodge managers different sorts of challenges and for the majority og guests very rewarding remarks.
Eco lodge has not so much to do with bottle water. Bottle water is clean and for drinking which is a necessity. Eco lodge has completely something todo with, not using pesticides and other chemicals and mostly giving the local minority people jobs, all year round. Part of our job is teaching them different skills. One of our goals is teaching them english and hospitality, something the minority people have no knowledge of. So it was correct of you to observe that several of our staff have still at lot to learn. They are all hard working og interested so it is a matter of time, then the results will follow.
We have upgraded 16 of the 25 bungalow with a combined air condition, dryer an heater. The last 9 bungalows are fitted with heaters, fans and dehumidifiers. We do a great deal to keep the humidity down in the rooms, so when our new guests arrive the rooms are nicely conditioned.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

This was our spoil to end our 18 days away from home and what a wonderful time we had. The scenery was ever changing - one minute you could see the mountains then it was shrouded in mist. The sun would shine on the rice paddies but by the time you had your camera out, it had changed!
We were told that 2 days here would be one too many but we found that we could have stayed another day longer.
It gave you time to connect with the location and peacefulness.
The Managers were amazing considering they have only been there for 4 months - very, very welcoming and full of knowledge.

Room Tip: Try to choose the Executive Suites - the view is continually changing and breathtaking. Be careful...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Mudjimba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor
We have now been here for just over half a year. It takes time to a just and learn all the staff. Well on our way and very rewarding, when our guests have positive remarks about our work. Thank you. We will try to keep up the good work. It is a fun place to be and combined together with the fantastic location that gives our guests so much and reminds us to acknowledge the beauty of the area. Hope to seen you here again at some point.

Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

Magical two nights at Topas Ecolodge. The views are outstanding. I haven't been anywhere more beautiful. I think we had a 'quarry view' that some below have complained about but it was honestly a tiny corner of a stunning landscape, changing constantly as the clouds rolled in and out. The deluxe bungalows are fabulously designed, comfortable and spacious but there is no real storage or hanging space so don't bring your suit/ballgown.
The weather seemed to be better than Sapa which is higher up and we certainly caught the sun on our day mountain biking - take gloves and high factor sunscreen if you're planning an outing! We took the bikes without a guide and had a great time on our own. If you're getting weary of the delightful but persistent 'shopping?' ladies the bikes are a great escape as you whizz by!
Cannot rave about the food enough. I still think about it. The set dinners are HUGE so make space, and leave room for dessert. Veggies and pescatarians are well catered for at dinner but make sure you give advanced warning.
The place is literally buzzing with wildlife: frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, all so beautiful. Mossies, horseflies, cockroaches not so beautiful but all part of eco experience, so take plenty of spray, cover ups and someone brave (for evicting the roaches).
I think the management were away during our stay but credit to them that everything continued to run smoothly. The staff were just lovely, sweet and helpful. Topas Ecolodge isn't slick or luxurious but a down to earth, natural beauty.

Room Tip: All the bungalows seem to have fantastic views
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonDivadiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor

Lovely to hear that everything was running smoothly although Hanne and I was away from the lodge.
We do work hard everyday to keep the place clean and well maintained. We are also persevering on teaching the staff more english skills. I am pleased to hear that your stay was memorable and I hope you will return at some time in the near future.


Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

Cool and humid (June), drizzled daily but normally early in the morning. The rooms are nice but have cockroaches problem. Breath taking scenery, hiking into Red Dao valley rice terrences is highly recommended and an easy walk. The lodge also provide bicycles which should be fun but we didn't have time to try out. Night sky was amazing (if no cloud or moon).

Room Tip: Try to get the bungalow with the view. North and NE side and outer-rim. The best view is probably ro...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Niranarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor

During the different seasons we do get ”visitors”. This is the type that do not pay. There are a great variety of insects around the property. Our housekeeping team is instructed to thoroughly clean the rooms between having guests. It is a constant battle to remove them. We do not use any type og chemicals to bring the number of insects down, as this would be an uphill battle, and not one we can win.
I am pleased to hear that you did a hiking trip during your stay at Topas Ecolodge. Cycling in the area is very doable – from the easiest to very strenuous.. I hope you at some time will come back and explore more of the area on a mountain bike.


Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

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Reviewed 19 June 2014

My family of four stayed here for 3 nights in two executive bungalows in June and this was an amazing part of an amazing 20 night trip in Vietnam.
We arrived on Victoria Train from Hanoi exhausted, hungry, miserable and HOT.
The minute we arrived we were mesmerized. I probably can say this place is like nothing else and I have seen a lot of places in the world.
I read all the review on Tripadvisor before I made this reservation and I was a little hesitant but I thought the view is beautiful enough that we probably can overlook little things.
But from the moment we arrived to the minute we left we were speechless from everything.
The place is spectacular.
The food was amazing, our room was everything you can ask for, the balcony was so private and added so much to the room, the staff was so nice and helpful.
And the management team was always available and ready to make your stay perfect.
Before I went, I knew there are new managers and that made me feel better and indeed they are there to make this hotel a top place in Sapa.
And the management team was always available and ready to make your stay perfect.
Before I went, I knew there are new managers and that made me feel better and indeed they are there to make this hotel a top place in Sapa.
You will fall in love with this place and after couple of hours you even fall in love with the ladies in front of hotel who won’t leave you alone when you go for a hike.
If I ever go back to Vietnam, this place will be on top of my list to visit.
And the management team was always available and ready to make your stay perfect.
Before I went, I knew there are new managers and that made me feel better and indeed they are there to make this hotel a top place in Sapa.
You will fall in love with this place and after couple of hours you even fall in love with the ladies in front of hotel who won’t leave you alone when you go for a hike.
If I ever go back to Vietnam, this place will be on top of my list to visit.
And I found some of these reviews so unfair to the management team.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Banafsheh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1402Eric, Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank you for writing to TripAdvisor


We have some simple goals to achieve as managers her at Topas Ecolodge.
If or not we manage to bring the place to a top level in Sapa area is to be seen. We do work hard everyday to keep the place clean and well maintained. We are also persevering on teaching the staff more english skills. I am pleased to hear that your stay was memorable and for good reasons.


Thank you for your comments lodge manager Eric

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Topas Ecolodge

Address: 24 Muong Hoa, Sapa 12345, Vietnam
Phone Number:
Region: Vietnam > Lao Cai Province > Sapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sapa
#7 Spa Hotel in Sapa
Price Range: £120 - £219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Topas Ecolodge 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Bungalow stay at Topas Ecolodge is the perfect way to experience the remoteness and quiet of Northern Vietnam, its landscape, fresh air and ethnic minorities. Set deep in the spectacular Sapa valley, Topas Ecolodge has a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and across the scenic valley. As our guest you will enjoy all the comforts of a pleasant stay in an environment that is making a responsible and sustainable commitment to the nature and people of Sapa Valley. We got heated pool, spa, free mountain bikes and great opportunities for relaxation or great active days. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Topas Ecolodge Sapa
Topas Ecolodge Hotel Sapa

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