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Reviewed 3 April 2019

There aren't many hotels in the world that can boast such a spectacular location. Topas perches atop a high peak with views of a plunging valley and undulating peaks to one side, and stunning rice terraces and local villages to the other. The views are 360 degrees and spectacular whichever way you turn.

The pool area is also fabulous, an Insta-worthy infinity pool with incredible views in to the valley below. A poolside bar means you don't need to schlep back to the main building, which is located quite a distance away.

On that note, this property would not be suitable for the less mobile or those in wheelchairs. It is a considerable walk from the entrance gate at the top of another and higher hilltop. This does afford spectacular views of the property however as you walk down into it for the first time. Rooms circle the circumference of the peak and some are quite far from the main building. Paths are uneven and can be wet and slippery (it was perpetually misty and damp whilst we were there) as well as poorly lit at night. I would say this adds to the rustic charm however, if everything was too polished it wouldn't feel right. There are even resident goats tethered up to graze within the grounds.

The rooms are certainly in-keeping with that rustic theme, but they lack amenities and are VERY cold if you're there in the winter like we were. Each standalone chalet is entirely constructed of stone, and do not retain heat. I would have hoped in an area that is often cold, they would have tried to make the rooms look and feel more warm and cozy (like they have in the main building). At night the floors especially are like walking on ice, so hope you don't need to use the bathroom at 3am!

Food was somewhat lacking, which is a shame considering the Vietnamese cuisine is so broad and delicious. The evening meal we had was a huge disappointment, I would say the worst meal we had on our Vietnam trip... Certain dishes had to be sent back as items were stone cold. Out of four, not one of us finished our food, yet no staff queried anything.

The most frustrating thing for me were the trips sold by the hotel. They know full well that the second you step out of the property you will be inundated with the local ladies, around 15 of them, wanting to accompany you and "help you" the entire duration of the 2-3 hour excursion. The ironic thing is, the trip itself is advertised as a walk to a village to meet these exact women adorned in their unique tribal attire. Instead you spend the entire walk with these ladies bending your ear with incessant inane chat and probing questions, leaving you unable to absorb the surroundings and just enjoy the walk. It even gets quite dangerous as they insist on helping you up and down slopes and through paddy trenches. One lady in her enthusiasm caused me to fall into a paddy and get my shoes, socks and feet completely drenched. Then of course, as you approach the end, the gaggle produce supposedly handmade items (which curiously you can buy anywhere in SE Asia...) and guilt trip you in to paying for them and for their "assistance" (read hinderance) on the excursion. Now you may argue this isn't the hotel's fault. Except in this case it really is. There are no other hotels in the vicinity and these locals have come to rely completely on this single hotel for income. The hotel tried to capitalise on the location and its people. If it had been approached better and managed sustainably it would have retained a more authentic experience rather than the farce it has become. What is more, the property conveniently miss this detail out of their trip description leading you to believe you are off on a wonderful hike. I find this deceiving, they know your trip will essentially be ruined and yet still take your money. It also makes me question, despite its supposed eco-credentials, just how much (if any) is given back to the local community.

Date of stay: December 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Rastnim
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
General-Manager-TEL, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2019

Dear Rastnim,

Thank you for your recent stay at Topas Ecolodge and for your detailed review.
We are happy to read that you liked our property and the beauty of the area.
Nevertheless, the problem with the neighbors ladies is much more complicated than you write. We already hire about 92 staff from surrounding villages and we do purchase supplies from them too. And yes, you will face the same issue in other places as Ta Phin or Lao Chai - Tavan near Sapa.
Anyway, it is a constructive review and we are very well aware of this and keep working on solutions to make each guests stay a memorable one.
I wish you a pleasant journey in Vietnam.

Sincerely,

Hubert de Murard
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2019 via mobile

The views are amazing. The cottages are tastefully decorated. The infinity pool is a gem. The bar is cosy with a fireplace. Breakfasts excellent. Menu for dinner although very disappointing. So sad. Such a contrast to the excellent food we had elsewhere allover Asia.

Date of stay: February 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank lucasjnl
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
General-Manager-TEL, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2019

Dear lucasjnl,

Thank you for your 4 star review and we are glad that you enjoyed your stay at Topas Ecolodge.
Nevertheless, it i a pity that you haven't appreciated our cuisine, which is, in many opinions, tasty and generous, using the most of local vegetables and spices.

Kind regards,

Hubert de Murard
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 March 2019 via mobile

It is a break-taking View on the peak by driving around 5 hours from Hanoi. The last one hour is the road on mountain which is a bit dangerous but most the drivers are expert. Perfect for family and couple trip. Especially honeymoon trip. Moreover, The staffs are so friendly and helpful. Then they deserved the 4.8 rate from me. The remainder is food that isn't much delicious to compare to other luxury hotel or resort.
Strongly recommended!!!

Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank robertochhi567
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
General-Manager-TEL, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2019

Dear robertochhi567,

Thank you so much for your amazing review and for sharing your experience with other travelers.
Indeed, our drivers can't speak much English but drive safely, which is our priority.
I invite you to discover our packages online if you wish to combine stay, transport and hikes.

Kind regards,

Hubert de Murard
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 March 2019 via mobile

Got picked up in Hanoi in a very luxury/comfortable mini bus (even had WiFi ) most the journey is on a fairly straight road but when you get around an hour from the hotel that is when the fun starts, the journey from here up the the hill is an interesting one with some amazing views.
Once we arrived at the hotel and checked in we went to our room which was great with fantastic views over the rice fields.

The first day we had good weather which was great as could see for miles and the views were amazing however our next couple of days the weather changed and we was living and surrounded in clouds , although this was an experience in it self.

Food was always very nice as was the staff.

Also recommend going for a walk around the perimeter of the hotel (buffalo trail) however be prepared to meet the local hillside women who will follow you and talk to you which is great however when you walk back be prepared for them to push to buy something from them , so if your not interested just say from the start that your not buying anything as they really are persistent.

Would recommend the bike tour to the local village , where they show you how the locals live, our guide was called sue and he was very friendly and spoke really good English. Again the weather wasn’t great for this however it was still very enjoyable and would recommend.

The infinity pool here is also amazing however be prepared to be surrounded by loads of “Instagram people” looking to get that perfect photo.

One thing I loved here was the goats roaming around the land, was woken one morning to the baby goat knocking on our door, which was amazing .

This hotel will also always mean a lot to me as this is where I asked my girlfriend to marry me.

Would recommend this place for a few days of relaxing in pure bliss.

Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
General-Manager-TEL, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2019

Dear mattsmith2038,

It is great to read your review. Especially knowing that you got engaged at our place. Indeed, Topas Ecolodge is a special place suitable for special moment.
We can also organize wedding, let us know :)

Sincerely,

Hubert de Murard
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 March 2019

We enjoyed our two night stay here, a break from our travels in the north of Vietnam.
Our bungalow was spacious, comfortable and quiet. Plenty of hot water. Wifi is available in and around the dining room/bar area. We had a nice balcony and view over the mountains. Only small thing. There were several double electric sockets but only one in each pair worked.

The food is great and plentiful. Shame the food was mainly Western. More Vietnamese dishes would have made it more interesting and authentic.

We appreaciated the free wine between 5 and 6pm.

The staff speak limited English but this should not detract from their lovely service.

Be aware there are quite long walks between the welcome house, swimming pool, dining areas and bungalows. Some is uphill. I saw electric carts circulating. No doubt you can arrange to be taken if the walk is a problem. Suggest you ask in advance.

The area immediately around Sapa seems built up and commercial.However, further out, the scenery and terraces are beautiful and it is very worthwhile coming to the area.

Overall, an excellent stay. Perhaps the property is too Western and therefore lacked local character e,g decor and menu (as above).

Date of stay: March 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Milonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
General-Manager-TEL, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Dear Milonga,

Thank you very much for your nice review.
It is always great to read reviews like your about the lovely service of our team members.
We will go through all sockets after your feedback to solve the issue.
Indeed, we now have a free flow of wines between 5pm and 6pm at our lounge.
It would be a pleasure to host you again in the future.

Kind regards,

Hubert de Murard
General Manager

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