Want to travel sustainably on your trip to Vietnam? Here’s our pick of awesome eco-hotels and ecolodges near Hanoi that make for the perfect environmentally friendly getaway, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Looking for the complete package? You can travel with Culture Trip to Vietnam and stay in some amazing lodges and hotels around the country. You’ll also visit remote farms and villages, and take part in hands-on activities like bamboo weaving classes and tai chi – with our Local Insider there to ensure you experience the very best of Vietnam.
A stay at Topas Ecolodge will ensure you end every day as relaxed as you started it: perched atop a hill surrounded by mountains and rolling valleys dotted with tiny villages, the views couldn’t paint a more idyllic picture of rural Vietnam. You’ll also be putting money back into the pockets of locals, since this hotel employs regional indigenous people and funds their education with a portion of the profits. As you’d expect from any ecolodge, electricity usage is kept to a minimum, leftover food is fed to livestock, and all recyclable waste is duly recycled.
All this doesn’t come at the expense of comfort: all 25 chalet-style bungalows, built using local white granite, include everything you’d expect from a four-star hotel, despite the lodge’s remoteness (it takes about 45 minutes to drive to Sapa, the nearest town). Think infinity pool, herbal baths and massages that will untie your hiking-induced knots in no time. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would know – he stayed here in 2011.
Mu Cang Chai is an area famous for its rice terraces and trekking routes, and the Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge puts you right in the heart of it. Since opening in 2017, the lodge has earned itself a reputation for friendly, enthusiastic staff. There are five wooden bungalows built on stilts, each accommodating different room types. Modern interiors blend with the architectural styles of Northern Vietnam to give guests a comfy and culturally-embracing stay. Breakfast is included so you won’t need to go off in search of a local cafe. The nearest town is 20km (12mi) away if need to pick up supplies.
If you’re looking for a truly remote stay with minimal tech, Panhou Village is worth the effort it will take you to find it. Located in the Hoang Su Phi District of Ha Giang, and hidden in the creases of the Song Chay mountain range, the ecolodge offers 12 bamboo huts with sleeping areas and solar-powered showers. There is no TV or wifi. In fact, there is nothing even vaguely digital about the place, except for the camera you will certainly not regret bringing. Mountains, rivers and jungle stretch out as far as the eye can see, and it can all be explored with a local guide. Bear in mind the terrain can be rough and challenging.
Eco Hotel Hanoi is strategically located in the Hanoi Old Quarter, away from the hustle and bustle, yet central enough to be within walking distance from the tourist attractions. The four-star hotel has 65 well-appointed rooms with modern amenities that’ll make your stay as comfortable as possible. Soothe aching limbs in the sauna or wind down with a massage at the spa. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, and one or two street food stalls if you want to keep it cheap and cheerful.
Moon Garden is only an hour and a half away from Hanoi, in the village of Ky Son, a beautiful hamlet with farmland, rivers, temples and churches. The boutique hotel is built on stilts, and it offers guests an all-around cultural experience typical of rural Vietnam. You can cook classic Vietnamese dishes with the host family, be pushed through rice fields in an oxcart, go cycling, hiking and fishing, lounge in herbal baths, practice tai chi, and even take part in farming activities if you really want to experience working farm life in Vietnam.
Even somewhere as remote as Sapa can feel crowded at times – and that’s when you should make a quick getaway to Mai Chau, a quieter base and home to the Mai Chau Ecolodge where a long stay can easily creep up on you. Each of the 19 guest bungalows were built using natural materials – from thatched roofs and bamboo interiors, to wooden furniture and outdoor jungle showers. The absence of TV and internet are a testament to what the ecolodge stands for – a place to get away from it all and to immerse yourself in nature.
Each bungalow boasts its own garden, while communal facilities include a large outdoor pool, a dining and drinking area, a spa, bike rental, and a laundry service. Tours can be booked at the front desk, whether that means cycling around the village, trekking through the paddies, or mucking in with some work on a local farm.
Formerly called Suoi Goi Resort, Cat Ba Ecolodge in Ha Long Bay opened in 2010, in a basin of forested hills about 13km (8mi) from Cat Ba Town. It’s an ideal base for exploring the incredible natural beauty and biodiversity of Ha Long Bay, with a total of 18 eco-chalet-style rooms and seven tents blending neatly with the natural surroundings. The rooms are arranged around the in-house restaurant which serves up regional specialties morning, noon and night. There’s a swimming pool too, accessed by a cobblestone pathway lined with lush gardens and flowers. Each room comes equipped with ecofriendly amenities.
Ditch the concrete jungle of Hanoi for an ecolodge surrounded by jungle in the Bá Thước District of Thanh Hoa. Pu Luong Eco Garden offers eight deluxe rooms ideal for both couples and families, two stilt houses (one is a dorm), as well as one suite with a large terrace and an outdoor bathtub. It all overlooks a gorgeous infinity pool that acts as the only barrier between you and the lush green valleys that stretch to the mountainous horizon. The on-site bar and restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, plus a range of cocktails to toast the sunset with.
Book a stay at this family-run ecolodge and one of your hosts will come to collect you from Sapa town. It’s a 10km (6mi) drive along a winding road so definitely not a journey you’d want to take on foot. Each bungalow comes with a private balcony, hot running water, pre-stocked toiletries and air-conditioning which is a godsend during summer. It’s a great place to experience remote village life in Vietnam – your hosts will tell you all about the history of the area and even arrange a tour led by a guide who belongs to one of the minority tribes.
Mealtimes are pretty special too, if authentic home-cooked Vietnamese food is what you’ve come for. Most of the ingredients used are grown in their backyard. The hot pot is a popular choice.
Another lodge off the main road, Sapa Eco-Home Mountain Retreat provides the peaceful and nature-immersed setting you’ll likely have in mind. The owner, Maria, and her team do a great job of keeping the place in shape – the modern bungalows overlooking the rice terraces below are spotless – and they score maximum points on hospitality and kindness too. Stick your nose in the kitchen before dinner and you might just learn how to make an authentic Vietnamese spring roll. They also use their income to support the local community, offering English lessons so that locals can communicate with travellers.
Josh Taylor contributed additional reporting to this article.
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