When I first arrived, they said they had a dormitory bed for $4, but it turned out to be a spare bed in a private room already occupied by two girls. They seemed surprised that the woman wanted to put another person in with them and when I realized they were a couple, I didn't want to intrude. "This really isn't a dormitory," I told the woman. The girls didn't seem to mind my presence, they were just surprised. So I took the bed and the woman gave it to me for $3.
After two nights, the girls left, and I was under the impression that I would just stay in the room because I hadn't heard anything to the contrary. I came back from a day of walking to see all my things had been packed up and moved to the luggage storage room. After expressing my annoyance at having my things moved without them telling me the situation, they said they had a dorm bed available for me for $4 because my old room was needed for a group arriving that day. I said fine and moved my stuff.
The next day, I went for another walk to another village. When I came back, I went to the room to cool off during the midday heat. Hearing a knock on the door, I answer to find one of the staff there. He asked how much longer I would be staying, and I told him 1 or 2 more nights. He explained that I could have the room if I paid $10 for it, because there was a group coming and the only room available for them was the one I was occupying.
I asked why all of a sudden the "dormitory" became a private room and I had to pay for the whole room instead of just the bed. I was appalled that an existing guest didn't mean anything to them and that they would just change the type of room it was to get me to pay more. Not to mention, I had already been moved out of a room without my knowledge to a more expensive bed.
This guesthouse isn't worth your time, you may be moved or forced out any day. It's the blue building on the hill overlooking the main square.
When I got off the sleeper bus, there were several people approaching us to sell their guesthouse. We met a woman who was from the Sapa Backpacker Guesthouse. The backpackers next to me he ard about this guesthouse from their friend and said it was a nice guesthouse, so we followed her to the guesthouse.
I requested a dorm bed which she charged me $3/night, not a bad price. The room was a 3 single bed bedroom. Later I was informed that she can "upgrade" me to a better room on the 2nd floor and shared with another lady. That was fine as she didn't charge me more and I didn't care about which room I stayed.
On the 2nd day morning, I was informed that I had to move to another room as the lady checked out, so I had to share another room with other people. I felt quite annoying about changing room every day but I said OK. The woman told me that she brought me to see another room later. I waited for around 10-15min but she didn't show up, I asked another girl but she showed me a bed in the store room! I went out and walked around. Later I came back and planned to pack my backpack, turn up I found the room was cleaned and my backpack was in the luggage room!!! They moved my things without my request!!! The woman didn't show me the room and they were having lunch, so I didn't ask.
I came back at night around 11pm, nobody was in the reception and all the lights were switched off. I kept shouting "hello" and then a man came out. I said where my room is, the man pointed at the store room to me! I said the woman today reserved me a bed, the man just kept saying "FULL"! but actually not! The man returned me $3 but it was 11pm, I couldn't find any accommodation. The man said he had another guesthouse, he called a girl to pick me up. That guesthouse was far from the city centre, which is even further away from the lake! I shouted at the girl I had to return to the city centre and wanna find another guesthouse by myself, but the girl didn't understand english...
Another guesthouse was newly built and still had the renovation smell. I shared the room with 2 girls who are the staff of the backpacker guesthouse! The pillow was super high and hard. At around 4am, there were many trucks and vehicles passed through the road next to the guesthouse, which made me couldn't sleep! And at that time, a traveler came to seek for a room, the 2 girls woke up and tidy up the bed they slept without changing anything! The traveler had to pay for $8 for a room but at this night, he had to share the room with me, that's not fair.
At 8am, a girl picked me back to the backpacker guesthouse. I asked for the dorm bed again. The woman told me there was a single room $5, I bargained to $4. Then she asked me whether I wanted the single room or the room with 3 beds. I said the room with 3 beds should be the dorm room, I should pay for $3 to stay there. But the woman said that there was only me in the room, so she charged me a single room price... what a non-sense woman. Then the woman and 2 other girls shouted at me "GO AWAY, GO AWAY".
The people here, no matter man or woman, were very terribly rude and impolite! They were not helpful at all and the system was so messy! Moreover, only the woman and the man could speak english! other people couldn't.
Too horrible experience! I was so regret to contribute them $6 to continue their operation.
The rooms are cheap at this guesthouse but the problem lies with buying bus tickets.
There is a daily minibus at 7:45 a.m. going to Dien Bien Phu. The day before we were told that this was what we would be taking the following morning and that it would pick us up at 7:30. When the time came, we were then told we would be picked up at 8:00 and when the bus didn't arrive at 8, we were told repeatedly to wait five minutes. At 8:30, the manager asked us to follow him down the hill and while we were waiting across the square, he informed the four of us that we weren't taking the minibus but rather he decided that we would be more comfortable on an actual bus.
However, when the bus arrived, there were not enough seats for all of us, so we accepted his angry offer of our money back. The other two travelers could not be delayed the extra day and ended up on the bus after two Vietnamese were asked to give up their seats by the manager.
We later ran into the two travelers and found out they had to change buses later on and arrived three hours after the minibus.
We also learned that the manager of the Backpacker Guesthouse had the same trick up his sleeve with travelers from the previous day.
The stay is cheap and basic, but don't buy tickets from this guesthouse!
sapa was very cold and raining when we were there, so we spent most of the time in the hotel. Holiday view hotel was great; it had a big lobby with a large fireplace in there. So us guys just sat there and drank beer most of the time. The owner, Mrs Hoi was a great host; she was very friendly and helpful. She let us borrow coats and blankets ƒº. And also free Breakfasts. the rooms were good compared to other hotels in sapa. (we looked at many hotels before choosing this hotel. the rooms were clean and the view was fantastic. what more can you ask for??? The location was great, it was right in the main street, so we could walk to anywhere in the towns. Thanks Mrs Hoi for a great trip. Would come back to this hotel again
- The location was right in the main street and the view of the mountain was great.
- the owner was very friendly and helpful
- the breakfast buffet was delicious
There are two buildings for Sapa Goldsea Hotel (2-stars) offering comfortable, rather than cosy, rooms.
Rooms come with TVs and attached hot shower rooms.
The view from our room was quite nice without the fog.
Here are some photos of my room at the Royal View Hotel at Sapa. Being opened for only for about half a year, the room is in very good condition and the design is very nice and cosy. Furthermore, there is a balcony with fantastic views of the mountains and town (the balcony even have a nice bench to sit on). The only problem is that there is no heater for cold weather but there are extra blankets in the room (the fireplace in the room is non-functional). There are some rooms without the mountain views so it is very important to ask for a room with a view beforehand to avoid disappointment.
The Royal View Hotel (3 star) is opened in year 2006 and it is a very good hotel, clean with cosy rooms and fantastic views of the Sapa town and surrounding mountains on a clear day. It is located along the stretch of road just after the Sapa market and this is where most of the hotels in Sapa are located. In fact, this hotel is located next to another famous hotel in Sapa called the Green Bamboo Hotel. Everything is good (including food) except that the free internet at the hotel lobby is often used by hotel guests and the connectivity is rather slow. As for breakfast and food, they are tasty but the variety is limited. Please see part 2 of this tip for the hotel rooms.
Make sure you get the room on the main building and with a balcony view of the valley.
The hotel has some rooms without windows and another older block of rooms.
Restaurant also has a nice balcony view of the valley. Staff are friendly.
Hotel is located outside of town center but only 10 minutes walk to the main market.
Just came back from Hanoi Sapa tour. We went on our own and booked cat cat Hotel through email.
We arranged with Cat Cat Hotel for a guide and transport to the Sunday market in Bac Ha. They gave us a very old army looking jeep without air-cond. We had to stop breathing whenever there is a car in front of us as the amount of dust was horrible(unpaved roads). We tried to ask the driver to keep a distance from other cars but the driver ignored our request. The guide was a local hill tribe girl who slept all the time throughout the journey as she said she had to wake up early to pick us from train station at 6 am. (unbelievable work attitude :-(
After the sunday market, we went to Ban Pho village, our guide just took us to ONE house and concluded the village tour as she claimed all the rest is the same. lol
We then checked into Cat Cat Hotel and find that the room is about 6 or 7 storey high without lift, worst still no light to walk up the outdoor staircase to our room at night. We were lucky to come back intact and survive through it.
We booked our 1st class wooden cabin train ticket through our Hanoi Hotel(Golden Sun), we got Ratraco very clean and nice. We asked Cat cat hotel to book the return ticket for us. They told us they booked Et-pumpkin 1st class for us. When we boarded the train, we almost had heart attack to find that it was a local train (not even a tourist train) with hard sleeper. Gosh, they charged us 1st class ticket but gave us 2nd/3rd class seat that costs half the price we paid. They claimed that they didn’t know but refused to refund the difference to us. (No wonder they only gave us the ticket in Lao Cai train station, too late for us to find out)
A piece of advice, beware!!!,
The hotel is family run business, no fixed room rate, breakfast not included in the room rate. They claimed to be hotel but more like a guest house.
Topas Eco Lodge is perched on a hill about half and hour bus ride out of Sa Pa. It is run by Danes and is made up of a communal area and individual bungalows.
We visited in June 2006 and had a fantastic stay. The bungalows are powered by solar panels and provide hot water and lighting. The meals were included in our stay although booze was extra.
The views from the bungalows were stunning and the lodge arranged some easy trekking for us. One day we walked down to the valley and swam in the river before having lunch at a local house and then as time was short travelled back to the lodge on the back of motorbikes. A great place to unwind and relax after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. We booked through Handspan in Hanoi although I think you can book direct.
Great views and peace and quiet
Baguette & Chocolat is a cafe that also maintains and rents out four quaint rooms at US$18-20 a night (and you get a wonderful breakfast thrown in!). We didn't actually stay here, but we got the manager to show us the rooms, which were simple and clean. At these prices the rooms are very decent value, just don't expect the frills that you get at the Victoria Sapa.
The cafe / B&B is a run as a non-profit organisation to help disadvantaged youths. So you'll be helping out vietnamese youths by spending your money here.
This is basically the best hotel in Sapa. While the rates are relatively higher, you do get your money's worth. While not huge, the rooms are comfortable, up to the standard of any comparable 4-5 star establishment. I found the service however the best aspect of our stay. The staff were always courteous and went out of the way to meet our every needs. For instance, we arrived late for breakfast one morning. Instead of chasing us away, the lady apologetically told us that we had to take our food outside the dining room as they had to close for cleaning.
The hotel also provides a complementary shoe cleaning service - essential for anyone who has spent the day hiking to the nearby villages. Again the staff were very obliging to clean our shoes and return them within an hour so that we could wear them out that evening. There are additional facilities like a tennis court, an indoor swimming pool, and complimentary use of mountain bikes for an hour, which we didn't utilise.
The fireplaces in the lobby are also a nice touch, and are great to sit in front of in the cold evenings!
Victoria is privately located at the top of a hill, away from the rest of the other hotels.
The hotel also runs its own carriage - Victoria Express from Hanoi to Lao Cai, which is only open to patrons of the hotel. So you can choose to travel up to Sapa in comfort.
Although quoted 35 USD, I bargainned them down to 30 USD for a room with a little balcony and amazing views across the valley. They have even bigger rooms for 50 USD and rooms without view for 20.
The decor and furnishings of the room, facilties and especially the view made it great value for money but the smell from the drain in the toilet spoilt the place.
The view across the valley
This budget place has rooms in beautiful, old-fashioned French villas right in the centre of Sapa. Unfortunately it is state-run, meaning bad service and the otherwise lovely rooms are a bit scruffy, esp. the bathroom.
15$ for a double.
Did not actually stay there though had dinner there. Dinner isn't fantastic but passable - a little on the steep side.
On the street where most of the guesthouses are (along with Mountain View Hotel).
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