Settled on the verdant hillside of the Hoang Lien mountain range and far from the well-worn tourist path, Topas Ecolodge is literally a retreat. Here, guests can disconnect from the modern hectic world and immerse in the idyllic mountain lifestyle like it has been for centuries.
“It is over there!”, my chauffeur said as he pointed to a cloud-covering peak. I looked up yet saw nothing. At first, I thought he was joking because whoever is sane enough to build a resort in such a rural place. But I couldn’t be more wrong. After endless narrow and twisting roads, Topas Ecolodge appeared behind a thin veil of clouds.
Removed from Sapa township, this unique lodge enjoys a mountaintop location. It is surrounded by dramatic valleys and the lush landscape of Hoang Lien National Park. Seclusion and serenity reign here, with virtually no noise, except for the rustling sound of leaves, the melodious chirping of birds, and the crackling sounds of the lounge’s open fireplace.
In this remote corner of Northwest Vietnam, guests are able to slow down and relish the time spent outside the chaos of modern cities. From trekking through terraced fields and verdant mountains, experiencing the authentic hill tribe’s life, to simply indulging in the sublime vista (while sipping hot chocolate), Topas Ecolodge sets the table for such memorable experiences.
Seclusion and serenity reign here.
With the surrounding environment and local cultures in mind, Topas Ecolodge is designed like a compact mountain village. It comprises 41 rustic chalet-style bungalows, featuring granite walls, thatched roofs, and spectacular views of the valleys below. They encircle a green space where the kid playground and barbecue pavilion are located. Scandinavian minimalism is clearly visible here, with a neutral color palette and warm-toned wooden elements. The simple architecture complements so well with the mountain landscape, letting the wild beauty of Hoang Lien National Park take center stage.
At the heart of Topas Ecolodge stands Stilt House – a restaurant that was shaped from two traditional stilt houses of the Tay people. They were transported piece by piece from their original sites before reassembling at the resort. The restaurant also boasts a lovely terrace and a wrap-around porch where guests can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Overlooking the Stilt House and the bungalows are two “infinity” pools. The upper pool is heated by an eco-friendly system (ideal for winter), while the lower one is refreshingly cool (perfect for summer). It is a true luxury to come back to this place after a sweaty hike or a cold day in the forest.
A scenic walk from the reception brought me to my bungalow dangling on the hillside. It is a minimalistic two-story chalet furnished with sleek wooden furniture and bath equipment. Many are made from the finest locally sourced materials. For example, the bath itself is actually carved out of a single rock from the Hoang Lien mountains.
Yet the highlights are the large windows extending from floor to ceiling and the private balcony facing the beautiful rice terraces. Such an astonishing view is something we certainly cannot afford at home. Furthermore, without a television in the room, I was able to immerse myself in the scenery without any distractions.
As a pioneer in sustainable travel in Vietnam, Topas Ecolodge primarily uses cooking ingredients that originate from farms and orchards within a 15 kilometers radius. Some even originate directly from the resort’s organic gardens and fish ponds. The final result is a delectable menu that features local and seasonal specialties.
This post is written based on my personal experience. It was neither sponsored nor solicited by Topas Ecolodge or any third party. All texts and pictures reflect my own opinions. They are provided solely for informational purposes. I will not be liable for any errors or damages by making use of this information.