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Reviewed 30 April 2022

Wow! This place is stunning! And so much to see and do. It was quiet and felt private, although Vietnam had only just opened to foreign tourists. I still think at capacity, it would not feel too crowded.
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Rooms: We stayed in Bungalow 211. The view of the mountains and valley below were spectacular. We sat on our private balcony, drank the complimentary tea and just enjoyed the view! The rooms are simple but really comfortable. The bed is very comfortable and there is plenty of room to put your stuff. There are 2 chairs and a table both in the room and on the patio, as well as a chair with desk in the room.
The windows are huge so you can lay on the bed and look out at the mountains but there are blackout curtains so you're not woken up too early when the sun comes out.
Re-fillable, glass water bottles are provided, along with a kettle and teas. They provide a turn-down service and leave some very tasty homemade sweet treats. There is a safe in the room.

NOTE: There is reliable wi-fi throughout the resort but not in the bungalows themselves so if this is important you, it could be an issue. We did not miss this at all.

Bathroom: Shampoo and conditioner are provided in reusable containers. There is a rain shower and a hand held one. The water is hot, which was really nice given the long hikes we did. 1 sink and there are toothpaste/toothbrush kits, shaving kits etc. Towels are replaced if you ask.

Pools: We used the warmer pool (salt water) as the temperature didn't get much above 20. It's an infinity pool and you can swim laps. There are loungers around the pool with umbrellas and towels on each chair. There are also a few tables with chairs around them. There is a bar to serve drinks. I can't express enough how special it was to be in the pool and just look out into the mountains. Beautiful! The cooler infinity pool is directly below the warmer one with a jacuzzi. Both pools are crystal clear.

Spa: We did not use the spa services so can't comment.

Restaurant: The menu at the Stilt House was varied and the food excellent. The breakfast buffet had a good range of Vietnamese as well as European choices. Great quality. There is a firepit/barbecue in the evening where you can add a fresh piece of corn or sweet potato to your meal. There is also a "happy hour" and you can have free hot chocolate/coffee/tea as well as some mulled wine (which was delicious).
Tip: If you sit outside, you'll have better views at the back of the restaurant but the front on the balcony also has a great view, just not as vast.

Service/Staff: Outstanding! Everyone who works here is friendly, helpful, welcoming and well-trained. We were allowed a late check-out so we could shower and change before our flight home. The reception staff arranged walking tours and the restaurant staff were gracious and hard working.
The lodge employs locals which is a great positive. While many don't speak English, this is not Connecticut! So please don't expect fluent English. There are staff on site who do speak English so if you do need this "service", it is available.

Hiking: We arranged 2 hiking trips both through the Ecolodge and both were excellent. The first was the Nam Pa Jungle BBQ hike. Our guide was Tinh and she was outstanding. We'd highly recommend her! Our 2nd hike was with Tinh and the Red Dzao women. They walk with you (whether invited or not) which can be disconcerting for some people like the couple behind us who asked them to leave (they did). However, I found them really kind and particularly helpful when we were crossing some of the more wet and rocky areas (nothing terribly challenging, just wear good shoes!). Yes - they want you to buy their bags etc at the end of the hike but their wares are beautifully handcrafted and like everyone else, they're just trying to make a living. Be patient and trust that after their initial introductions and questions, they will just walk peacefully alongside you for the rest of the walk.

NOTE: The drive to and from the lodge is up and down some pretty steep and narrow roads with km drops just inches away. If you've been to Machu Picchu, it's very similar. We booked the Topas Ecolodge's shuttle service and the driver was excellent. He drove very slowly and carefully - even through some very dense fog at one point on the way up. While the views are stunning, it can be a little unnerving. However, the professionalism and attention of the driver more than mitigated these fears.
We took the shuttle from Hanoi's French Quarter and then to the airport. Both times the driver was on time and very professional.

Tip #1: Bungalows/Rooms are spaced out over the grounds and the walk is up and down hills (short inclines and declines). The 100s & 200s are a few minutes walk to the main reception area and 1-2 min to the restaurant and the outdoor pools. The 500s are closer to the main reception and pools but further from the restaurant.

Tip #2: If you're debating whether to stay here or the Riverside Lodge -- stay here! We visited the Riverside on one of our walks and while ok, it is not in the same league imo. Spend the extra as you'll be glad you did!

Tip #3: Don't feel you need to visit Sa pa town, especially if you don't have much time. It's a 45 min shuttle ride one way and while we didn't go, the people staying next to us and the people we spoke to at the pool regretted going into town instead of doing a hike. They said it was just hotels, restaurants and markets (many of the hotels and restaurants were closed). They didn't stay long and felt they could have better spent their time at the Lodge or on a hike.

If you can't already tell from this review, we had an amazing time here and of all the wonderful places we stayed on our 3 week tour of Vietnam, this was a highlight - a place we would definitely come back to!

Date of stay: April 2022
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank annal335
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christian Milling Nielsen, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2022

Dear annal335,

Happy spring greetings from the mountains

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful in-depth Topas Ecolodge experience.

Wow what a wonderful review to start the week with, you put a big smile on everyone's face this morning.
I feel very proud and happy to read that you enjoyed every aspect of Topas Ecolodge, from our sustainable initiatives, our well trained mountain drivers, the food & beverage, your private bungalow and our breath taking outdoor pools.

I do also really appreciate you sharing you're travel tips, I'm sure it will benefit other visitors of our lodge.
Regarding the tip for 500s (Deluxe) bungalows, can I add to that, that in July will we open 9 private pool villas nearby, and in August will a brand new 360 degrees restaurant cater breakfast to the 500s + 600s ( Pool) Bungalows.
The 360 Restaurant will then again open for dinner service, offering an exclusive 360 degrees sunset view over the mountains.

Sa Pa town, is unfortunately not what it used to, but luckily do the great nature and local life remain the same outside of the town.
I always recommend guest who got a couple of nights to spend in Sapa, to do a combination of our sister lodge, Topas Riverside lodge to experience the local village life, in a comfortable "homestay" style and then end your holiday at Topas Ecolodge with amazing views, I believe that package is the best way to experience the true Sapa.

Again, we thank you so much for giving us a chance to serve you, and your amazing in-depth review of our little lodge in the North of Vietnam.

I hope we will be lucky to have the opportunity to welcome you back again one day.

Until then, my best,

Christian Milling Nielsen.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2022 via mobile

The place is a breathtaking!!!
We stayed 2 nights with our little girl. Super helpful and friendly staffs.
Love the mulled wine was offered before dinner. Did ourselves grilled corn and sweet potato by a fireplace.
You can even swim even it is 5degrees outside!!!!! Our daughter spent hours there.
Thanks to Thang the restaurant manager and all the staffs made us a memorable trip at Topas. We definitely will come back!

Date of stay: January 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Thanhhientran
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christian Milling Nielsen, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2022

Dear Thanhhientran,

Winterly greetings from our mountain winter wonderland.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to share your feedback, I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed some of our winter activities, Sa Pa can during the winter season have limited views, but there's a very special atmosphere that makes up for it.
Your kind comments will be shared with the whole team as I am sure that your review will encourage them to continue giving the best Sa Pa service to our guests.
One of our goals at Topas is to provide once in a lifetime experiences, and I am so happy to hear we accomplished that.

Again, thank you for giving us a chance to serve you. We look forward to your return.

Until then, my best,

Christian Milling Nielsen.

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Reviewed 23 August 2021 via mobile

My friend and I’ve just had a wonderful getaway trip at this stunning resort. Every single detail was just perfect: comfort shuttle bus, beautiful suite with spectacular views, amazing local food, and helpful, generous and service-minded staff, especially we would give a big credit to Mr. Thang-Restaurant Manager.

The atmosphere and moments that Mr.Thang and his team curated for us was memorable. Attention to details, genuine and thoughful service like rarely seen at the other hotels. We could not ask for more than that.

We will definitely look forward to coming back to Topas Ecolodge.

Date of stay: July 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Rita_Truong
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christian Milling Nielsen, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 31 August 2021

Dear Rita_Truong,

Warm greetings from the mountain clouds.

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful Topas Ecolodge experience.

I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us, the family of Topas are working hard to make sure that our guests is being well looked-after.
We are currently a big family of over 100 members from 5 different local minorities and a few hand-picked managers.
I will be sharing your generous feedback with them all, as I know that it will encourage them even more to be giving the best Sapa minority service.
We are very lucky to have the pleasure of working with Mr. Thang, he recently returned to our mountain top after one year away.
Again, we thank you so much for giving us a chance to serve you.

We will all be looking forward to welcoming you back again one day.

Until then, my best,

Christian Milling Nielsen.

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Reviewed 27 June 2021

It's no wonder Topas Ecolodge is one of National Geographic's 'Unique Lodges of the World.' We've seen nothing else like it. Every room at Topas is a standalone bungalow with panoramic mountain views. High-end units are available with two levels and heated floors, but we found our regular room to be just fine for the two of us. The crown jewels of the resort are the heated saltwater infinity pools terraced in the style of the surrounding rice paddies. Breakfast was good, but the coffee offered with breakfast wasn't great - we had to go down and buy better coffee in the lounge. Dinners were very good, especially the Christmas dinner. I wish I were ten years younger so I could have eaten so much more! The main drawback of Topas Ecolodge is that you can't leave campus without being relentlessly hounded by local trinket peddlers. We would have loved to hike more, but we just couldn't shake the ladies following us. They would not take 'no' for an answer, and it become too much rather quickly. We recommend visiting Topas Eco Sapa once - it really is beautiful - but we probably won't go back to this particular Topas establishment although we would certainly like to visit other Topas lodges. Topas Eco Sapa is a bit too expensive for the lack of toiletries in the rooms, subpar coffee at breakfast, and - most importantly - inability to explore off campus in peace. If you do visit, Topas can arrange a shuttle, and their shuttle gets you to Sapa considerably faster than most drivers who take the route up to the border town of Lao Cai and back down into Sapa. Topas drivers take a route to the south that cuts the trip in half. If you're flying into Hanoi for your stay, try to coordinate your arrival and departure times to utilize the shuttle service. Enjoy!

Date of stay: December 2020
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank globepouncing
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christian Milling Nielsen, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2021

Dear globepoucing,

Warm greetings from our Mountain wonderland.

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your winter holidays stay at our mountain home. And thank you for choosing Topas Ecolodge to celebrate Christmas Evening.
I'm very happy that we made it a very memorable experience for you.

All your kind feedback have already been shared on our Monday meeting, thank you again.
I am however sorry to read you didn't enjoy the French press coffee provided at the breakfast. We have since your stay changed to another great local Vietnamese coffee, and I hope, if you are to visit us again that you'll enjoy this one. ​
We believe our greatest assets are the people who work at Topas Ecolodge who all take great pride in their job, but our heated infinity pools can be hard to compete with at times.
I take note of your experience when venturing outside our property with the Red Dao minority. While being lovely ladies can their sales techniques be off putting for some. We now have an established tour desk on site, offering guided tours in the panoramic scenery.

On behalf of the entire family, thank you again for your review and we hope to welcome you back one day.

Until then, my best,

Christian Milling Nielsen

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Reviewed 6 June 2021 via mobile

This hotel is breathtaking ! Extraordinary scenery, extreme comfort in the modern and beautiful rooms, swimming pools are unique and food is delicious ! The staff is very kind and the level of service is very good ! I highly recommend this hotel, number one in Vietnam for me so far !

Date of stay: June 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank anaisd295
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christian Milling Nielsen, General Manager at Topas Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2021

Dear Anaisd295,

Greetings from our Mountain Home,

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience after your recent stay with us at Topas Ecolodge.

Indeed, the views from our private mountain top bungalows is a perfect place to take a break and inhale the true undisturbed nature.
Our Stilthouse Restaurant is a spectacular spot to indulge your senses and enjoy our cuisine, and hopefully next time you wish to visit us, can we offer an unique new dining experience with even greater views.
Our local minority staff have worked hard to get to where they are today. But its all worth it when we get comments like this, thank you once again.

The family and I look forward to welcoming you back sometime in the future.
Until then, stay safe, be well.

Christian Milling Nielsen.

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