Nestled high in the Hoang Lien Son mountains of North Western Vietnam is the hillside town of Sapa. Sapa overlooks the Muong Hoa Valley with its terraced rice fields. No doubt you have seen the images of Sapa and the rice terraces in every promotional photograph or video of Vietnam. In this case, the lens does not lie! This area is one of outstanding beauty.
(Editor update 2021)
Sapa is also the capital of the district known as Sa Pa in the Lao Cai province.
We were invited to experience the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa by Victoria Hotels from the TMG Group, the largest privately-owned travel and hospitality group based in Vietnam.
Our unique travel experience commenced when we were collected at our hotel in Hanoi and transported to the Hanoi Railway Station at 120 Le Duan Street in the Hoan Kiem district by their private luxury shuttle bus. Our 8-hour overnight journey to Lao Cai was on the stylish, Indochina-inspired Victoria Express Train. We felt that we were travelling back in time when luxury carriages plied many of the routes throughout Asia and Europe. As we awoke from our slumbers, the sun was starting to rise and the countryside and its people were starting their day and going about their chores.
On arrival at Lao Cai, there is a further 1-hour journey by shuttle bus to Sapa town. We travelled up through the mountains with mist drifting down over the terraced rice fields. Experiencing the early morning in this way was a magical start to a fascinating day ahead.Planning a trip to Vietnam read our ultimate travel guide here
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- 1 Map of Sapa Showing the Victoria Sapa Resort
- 2 YouTube of Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa
- 3 Check-In Experience
- 4 Breakfast
- 5 Accommodation
- 6 Dinner
- 7 Hotel Reception Area
- 8 Activities on Offer
- 9 Spa & Gym Facilities
- 10 For Reservations:
- 11 Hotel Details
- 12 Our Impressions and our thanks
- 13 Visas for Vietnam
- 14 Travel Insurance
- 15 For Travel Around Vietnam and South East Asia
- 16 Flight Deals to Vietnam
- 17 Pinterest
- 18 More Reading on Sapa and Vietnam
Map of Sapa Showing the Victoria Sapa Resort
YouTube of Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa
What a delightful check-in experience provided by Cherry Trang on Reception as we arrived a little blurry-eyed from the early start that morning. We were able to check in early before heading into the Ta Van Restaurant for our buffet breakfast.
The Ta Van Restaurant with its central fireplace for those cold wintery evenings has spectacular mountain views. The Breakfast Buffet was extensive, offering:
- fresh fruit including dragon fruit and passionfruit
- cereals and yoghurts
- cheese board
- Vietnamese hot breakfast options
- Western hot breakfast options
- Egg station where you can choose from fried, poached or omelettes
- pastry section that included croissants, pain au chocolat, bread and sweet pastries including doughnuts
- fresh fruit juices, as well as tea and coffee, are available
The breakfast and dinner staff are extremely helpful. They are a ‘mine-field’ of local information and love to share their knowledge with you.
The Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa offers:
- 21 Victoria Superior Rooms
- 52 Victoria Deluxe Rooms
- 2 Victoria Family Suites
- 2 Victoria Suites
Our accommodation was one of the beautifully appointed Victoria Deluxe Rooms with a balcony overlooking the hotel grounds and the mountain range in the distance that was shrouded in mist when we arrived. The corridor leading to our room, at the back of the hotel, overlooked the Sapa Lake with its background of the mountain range that is shaped like a dragon. Sapa sits in a valley and the views are spectacular everywhere you look.
The rooms are decorated with local traditional handicrafts. Each room comes with a:
- Ceiling fan
- Electric heater
- Safe deposit box
- coffee and tea making facilities
The bathroom is well-appointed complete with luxury toiletries.
Our bed was extremely comfortable, with high-quality linen and pillows. Two luxury towelling robes were provided.
There was a nice touch of a fruit bowl on our arrival. Tea and coffee making facilities are also provided.
A three-course dinner was included and we could choose from a Western Menu or a Vietnamese Menu. To give you a taste of what was available that evening:
The Western Menu:
- Wild Mushroom Soup with crispy almond and truffle oil
- Sea bass fillet with zucchini risotto, smoked eggplant caviar and passionfruit sauce
- Apple tart with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
The Vietnamese Menu:
- Sapa sturgeon soup with vegetables
- Sauteed chicken with cashew and vegetables served with steamed rice
- Yoghurt mousse with fresh mango
Both cuisines were excellent and the service from the staff outstanding. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of local beer over our leisurely dinner.
The restaurant features traditional performances by H’mong and Thai minority dancers on selected evenings.
Hotel Reception Area
The Hotel Reception Area leads into a lounge area with local colourful artwork depicting the local indigenous tribes. During the day you can watch the local ladies weaving garments. There are plenty of areas just to relax and read. A pool table, as well as a children’s playroom, is located near the Ta Fin Bar.
In summer you can enjoy your meals or a drink in the manicured gardens with views over Sapa and the mountains.
Activities on Offer
There are plenty of activities available. The Hotel has published an extensive activities guide which includes:
- half-day tours of 3-4 hours of walking visiting the ethnic minority hill tribes
- full-day tours of 4 – 8 hours walking where you can interact with the ethnic hill tribe communities
- half-day tours visiting waterfalls or the Hoang Lien National Park
- a day trek that includes mountains, rice fields and waterfalls
- visits to Markets. The markets rotate weekly and the local tribes come down from the mountains to sell their products
- overnight treks with accommodation at the Victoria Homestay, a H’mong home nestled in the terraced rice fields of the Muong Valley
- Trek to the top of Mount Fansipan – this is recommended for experienced trekkers available in a 1, 2 or 3-day trek
- Mountain biking – 1/2 day and full-day tours
As part of our visit, we enjoyed a half-day trek to the small village of Ta Giang Phin. The area is inhabited by the Red Dao ethnic groups.
Our next article will highlight our half day trek to the village and our visit to the local market.
To reach the town centre there are a flight of stairs at the front of the hotel.
Spa & Gym Facilities
The Victoria Spa offers massages, facial and body treatments, baths and reflexology. They have 12 massage rooms available as well as 2 hammams.
We enjoyed an invigorating 30-minute foot massage after our half-day of trekking. Just perfect after our trek through the terraced rice fields.
There is an indoor heated swimming pool, a gym area, sauna, steam bath and tennis court.
Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa
Address: Xuan Vien Street, Sapa Town, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
T: +84 214 3871 522 | F: +84 214 3871 539
Our Impressions and our thanks
Our adventure to Sapa with Victoria Hotels and the Victoria Express has been a memorable experience for us both. From the moment we were collected from our hotel in Hanoi and returned 3 nights later we were thoroughly pampered and well looked after by every member of staff. Our thanks go to all at the Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa, Victoria Express and the TMG group that made our stay possible. As always our opinions are our own.
Visas for Vietnam
You may require a Visa for Vietnam. Our article explains the process on whether you require a visa and how to obtain an e-visa online. Read more here.
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For Travel Around Vietnam and South East Asia
Flight Deals to Vietnam
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More Reading on Sapa and Vietnam
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