24 July 2009

Sapa Summit Hotel, Sapa, Vietnam

Hotel
US$25
22°19'48.68"N 103°50'43.53"E
1 Room
Including Breakfast

Jul 2009 approx A$29

Our newest friend Damian had headed up to Sapa a couple of days before us and checked out a few hotels - he booked us into the same one he and his girlfriend were in, and even got them down from US$30 to $25 for us to save us the bother.

The hotel is slightly out of town, maybe a kilometer up a hill, but that walk to town and back is worth it for the view you get. The Summit is a 40-odd room hotel although it seems an awful lot bigger, and we got the best room in the house. On the 2nd floor - the gardens and restaurant are on basement minus one floor - and on the corner with a balcony - small but big enough to sit on. Windows on both sides and - what can I say? Words cannot possibly describe the view. The rooms are clean with a very comfortable bed and pillows and a couple of chairs. A kettle, small fridge and TV (unfortunately only 4 satellite channels, only 3 of which are in English) make the room good, but it's the MASSIVE bath tub with power shower and lots of knobs and buttons I really don't know the purpose of which is the icing on the cake.

Usually we don't eat in hotels, but the prices are pretty much the same as outside unless you're eating off the street stalls. I have to say that as well as inexpensive, the food was served in big portions and everything we had was really, really nice.

There's a mini-mart over the road which will rip you off in the most unbelievable way, but the walk to town is pleasant enough and there are a couple of supermarkets with barcodes and marked prices so you know you're not being taken for a ride.

The gardens are beautiful, the views spectacular and short treks of an hour or two are not to difficult. It has to be said that if you're not into serious trekking or visiting minority villages (I think of that as visiting a zoo), there's nothing to do here except take it easy, read, enjoy the views and use the internet - there are a couple of computers available for guests free of charge in the restaurant area, where the Wi-Fi signal is much more stable. It's the perfect place to chill out.

Free but unstable Wi-Fi in room, internet connected computers in public area's, limited satellite TV, small fridge and kettle.

I've read a lot of unbelievably bad reviews on this hotel on TripAdvisor. Perhaps they got the small, cheap rooms, perhaps their expectations were higher. If you're fussy, never check into a hotel until you've seen the room you're going to be sleeping in. We got a big room in the "VIP Area' with views on two sides and a balcony and huge bathtub for a lot less than some of those who had pre-booked or came here as part of a tour.

Oh - and even in the summer, it gets a little chilly at night. Bring a cardigan.

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