BEST PLACES TO STAY IN AND AROUND SAPA

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VIETNAM GUIDE

Where to Stay in Sapa

Most travelers in search of Vietnam’s most majestic landscapes make their way to the small town of Sapa, near the Chinese border in the northwestern region of the country. This has created an explosion of accommodation options in and around Sapa in recent years, which can make it hard to choose where to stay.

Depending on what your purpose of travel is, your stay in Sapa can include a mix of both hotels and homestays, of which it is imperative to choose wisely so as to have the best experience. Whether you’re looking for a bit of luxury, to get off the beaten track, cultural immersion, or a weekend mountain escape, Sapa’s got it all.

Read on for more help on choosing the perfect Sapa property for you.

Sapa Hotels

While Sapa may not be the most quiet or aesthetic place to stay, it does serve as a good base for daily exploration of the region by day and a variety of restaurants and bars to frequent by night. You can find most of Sapa’s hotels clustered in and around the town, ranging from budget hostels and modest guesthouses to boutique resorts and luxury properties.

  • The Silk Path Hotel, perched on its own hill overlooking the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, is a 5-star mountain resort featuring French-Indochine styled architecture and breathtaking views of glittering rice terraces.
  • Sofitel MGallery’s 5-star Hotel de la Couple recently opened in 2018 with an enchanting mix of French art-deco design and ethnic minority textiles. This property is great for art-lovers who wish to be comfortable while discovering the surrounding area.
  • The Victoria Sapa Spa and Resort is modeled after a French mountain lodge with views of Mount Fansipan, Sapa town, and the resort’s lush gardens. The hotel also has their own train from Hanoi, a lux upgrade from the regular transport which includes a restaurant and stylish cabins of 2 and 4 beds.

  • Cat Cat View is a moderately priced hip guesthouse offering rooms and apartments with better vistas than the luxury hotels listed above.
  • The Hill Station Boutique Hotel is an interesting property offering only 3 rooms with a chic design over a restaurant specializing in authentic hill-tribe cuisine from the area.

Keep in mind that due to Sapa’s building boom, occupancy rates remain low outside of seasonal peak times (like during the Vietnam Mountain Marathon or the Lunar New Year).  

Be sure to book in advance when traveling during public holidays and major events to ensure you get the accommodation you want for the best rate.

There’s no time better than the present to start planning your escape to the mountains. Browse our favorite Sapa getaway packages here for the adventure of a lifetime!

Sapa Homestays

If you’ve never stayed in a homestay then you’re in for a treat. This is when a family designates a room or section of their house for guests to stay. They are cheap and basic but for the most part clean and comfortable, though not particularly private. If you need an en suite bathroom all to yourself, make sure to check in advance as most homestays will not have this.

All real homestays are beyond Sapa, nestled in the ethnic minority villages. There are a few hotels in Sapa that label themselves as homestays, but actually they are guesthouses. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – these hotels are often charming and friendly – but don’t expect to feel like you’re staying with a family if booking a homestay in town.

The sleeping arrangements are simple: a small mattress on the floor with sheets, a pillow, and a mosquito net. In the winter you’ll get blankets, too. For many people, the highlight is the family meal you have in the evening. You’ll be served a whole range of dishes, such as stir-fried beef with bamboo, grilled chicken with lemongrass, tofu in tomato sauce, and lots of fresh vegetables.

Vegetarian and vegan meals are also possible, though you might find small amounts of fish sauce. If you want vegetarian or vegan food and fish sauce is a no-no, tell your tour operator and remind your guide and chef beforehand. Breakfast is also included, though it’s not as grand as dinner.

Homestays are usually part of a multiday hiking (or biking) trip so you can arrange them through your tour operator, Sapa hotel, or local guide, as most don’t have websites to book on your own.

It is sometimes possible to just turn up at homestays and inquire about accommodation, however you may face language barriers and with last-minute notice, it might not be possible to cook a big dinner for you. That being said, there are a few boutique-styled homestays available to book independently.

  • Indigo Snail Boutique Homestay is a charming, trendy homestay in Ta Van Village (a 40-min drive outside of Sapa) with an array of sleeping arrangements to choose from, such as shared dorms for a real local experience, private rooms, and bungalows with en suite bathrooms. The space is run by a Hmong mother of 4 children and includes home-cooked breakfast and dinners.
  • Phori’s House is a wooden bungalow nestled into a natural hill in Ta Van Village. The rooms are small but stylish, and the bathrooms have large bathtubs to relax in after a long day of trekking through the mountains. Phori’s House has its own organic vegetable garden to help prepare your meals, and provides fabric bags to help protect the environment.

Speciality Lodges

For something extra special, why not book a stay outside of Sapa in Hoang Lien National Park, a remote area of Vietnam rarely visited by tourists?

The hiking and biking trails are perhaps even better here because there are fewer people on the trails and the villages see fewer tourists. 

However, don’t think you need to sacrifice comfort to have these authentic experiences, as there are two high-end properties in the area to rest your head at night.

  • Topas EcolodgeRecognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s most unique lodges, this eco-resort has been nominated as one of the top places to stay if you care about the Earth. Built an hour away from Sapa, highlights include an infinity pool overlooking rice terraces, charming bungalows that cling to the mountainside, activities created with the local community in mind, traditional spa treatments, and a wooden cabin restaurant with a menu that combines Scandinavian simplicity with local flavors and ingredients. Topas Ecolodge is a must-do experience when traveling through Vietnam, at least once but preferably twice.

  • Topas Riverside Lodge belongs to the same company as Topas Ecolodge but the concept is more like a high-end homestay. While Topas Ecolodge sits alone on top of a mountain, Topas Riverside Lodge is situated 20 km away on the outskirts of a Red Dzao village, alongside a river in a valley. A local family hosts guests for the duration of the stay, providing large communal lunches and dinners of Vietnamese and ethnic minority cuisine. This is a great base to venture into the jungle or to meet villagers from at least 5 different minority villages. Make sure to try the Red Dzao traditional herbal healing bath when staying here, you won’t regret it!

 
Let your travel designer know if you want to include a stay at “ecoxury” Topas Ecolodge or the boutique Topas Riverside Lodge homestay below during your Vietnam adventure! 

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