While traveling, it is important to recognize the importance of environmental conservation, and seek accommodations that support environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism. Here are 10 awesome eco-hotels and eco-lodges up in the north of Vietnam that also make for the perfect getaway.
Topas Ecolodge is as an amazing hotel in a truly stunning setting, atop a hill, surrounded by mountains on all sides. The sunset and the sunrise are truly breathtaking — you can wake up every morning to magnificent, panoramic views of the towering peaks ahead and endless valleys dotted with minority tribes. The hotel takes pride in providing employment and education opportunities for the many tribes people in the region. They also care for the environment, keep electricity usage to a minimum, give leftovers to feed livestock, and recycle and reuse bottles, cans and boxes. There are 25 bungalows built rustic chalet-style using local white granite. All rooms include everything you’d expect from a four-star hotel, which is quite impressive when you think about how remote the hotel is (a good 45 minutes away from Sapa town). There’s a large number of activities at your disposal, most including hikes around the area. The infinity pool is also one of the best things about this hotel — it just can not get any better, unless you go for the herbal bath after a nice massage in the spa. Also, fun fact, someone you may have heard of stayed here once: Mark Zuckerberg. Yep, that guy.
Mu Cang Chai is an area famous for its stunning rice terraces and trekking routes, and how better to experience this than to stay in a place that blends so wonderfully well with its surroundings? The Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge launched in July of 2017, so it isn’t even a year young. You can expect brand new facilities and staff that are still as keen to welcome you as they were for their first ever guest. Set 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from town, this ecolodge is located on top of a small hill dominating the rice fields below. There are five bungalows, each made of wood and on stilts, housing different room types. While the interiors blend with the architectural styles of the local cultures that surround it, there are added international conveniences to make your stay comfortable. Rooms start from USD$15.00 per person per night, and this includes breakfast.
Panhou Village is located in Hoang Su Phi district in Ha Giang, in a lost valley hidden at the heart of the Song Chay mountain range. The 12 bamboo huts come with all you need — sleeping and showering areas (with solar powered hot water systems). There is no TV, no WiFi, and no other entertainment system, which makes it the perfect spot to disconnect from the world and truly get away. Panhou Village is surrounded by mountains, jungles and rivers. You can arrange tours with local guides to explore these the way they should be explored. Be warned, the treks here can be challenging, but extremely rewarding.
Eco Hotel Hanoi is strategically located in the Hanoi Old Quarter, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet close enough that the sightseeing attractions are within walking distance. This four-star hotel has 65 well-appointed rooms with panoramic views and each featuring modern amenities that’ll make your stay as comfortable as possible. After all that walking around, come relax in the sauna or go for a soothing massage at the spa. End your day with a nice meal and drink, and retreat up to the welcoming and extremely comfortable beds where you will fall asleep in no time. Truly a great choice for a fantastic and easy stay.
Moon Garden is only an hour and a half away from Hanoi, in the village of Ky Son, a beautiful rural hamlet with farm land, rivers, temples, and churches. It’s a peaceful retreat, boutique hotel built on stilts, and cultural experience all in one.There are plenty of unique and exciting activities for you to experience during your stay, such as cooking classic Vietnamese dishes with the host family, taking an oxcart through rice fields, cycling, hiking, traditional herbal baths, practicing tai chi, learning farming activities, cultural home visits, fishing, and the list goes on.
Pu Luong, Thanh Hoa is one of the least visited sites in northern Vietnam, and undeservedly so as it offers some of the most captivating landscapes in the region. This unique spot is tucked away within the wilderness, far from civilization, making it the perfect getaway. It offers some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the sunrise and sunset that you will ever see. Your three choices of rooms are Stilt House, Valley View Bungalow, and Valley Suite Bungalow. The stilt house is a bit of a dorm-like structure, and ideal for those on a lower budget. Opt for the private suites though, where you can wake up every morning to beautiful views of the karst mountains and rice terraces. The Valley Suite Bungalow even has its own cozy infinity pool, outdoor bathtub and a nice landscaped garden. If you’re on your honeymoon looking to not be disturbed, then Puluong Retreat Ecolodge is a fantastic choice.
Le Bains de Hieu Ecolodge is also located deep within the natural reserve of Pu Luong, surrounded by two gorgeous waterfalls, cascading down each side. The ecolodge is in Ban Hieu village, accessible only by foot through terrain that is surrounded by paddy fields and local villages, making it truly off-the-beaten-track. There are three bungalows here, each with private verandas, and these are connected by a wooden walkway that makes the lodge just as picturesque as the nature surrounding it. The host family goes out of their way to make you feel at home, despite not having the comforts of a five-star mega hotel. Take your time to explore the region on foot, by bicycle, or even on horseback. There are plenty of things to do, such as joining traditional nights to mingle with the locals or joining them in their day-to-day lives by helping out with farm work, weaving silk, or even creating brocade. Staying here offers escape into the vastly unexplored region. The ecolodge doesn’t have a website and is almost impossible to find or book. We recommend you contact Vietnam Ecotourism.
Mai Chau is an ideal town if you wish to get away from Sapa’s curious crowds but want to have similar stunning landscapes and unique culture. The Mai Chau Ecolodge has 19 bungalows that are meticulously designed, embodying the cultures that surround it. Only natural materials were used to build it — thatched roofs, bamboo interior, wooden furniture, outdoor jungle showers…need we say more? The absence of TV and other entertainment facilities are a true testament to what the ecolodge stands for – a place to get away from other people and to surround yourself with nature. Plus, there is a private garden for each bungalow, so who needs TV anyway? Other facilities include a large outdoor pool, dining and drinking venues, spa center, bicycle rentals, laundry services, and a 24-hour attentive reception. Tours can be booked at the front desk — cycling around the village, strenuous trekking through the paddies, participating in local farm work, they’re all there.
Formerly called Suoi Goi Resort, Cat Ba Ecolodge in Ha Long Bay opened in 2010, in a basin of forested hills eight miles (13 kilometers) from Cat Ba Town. It was designed and constructed with comfort in mind, catering to visitors looking to experience the incredible natural beauty and biodiversity of Ha Long Bay. The in-house restaurant is known for dishing out some of the most fantastic food in the region, which you can enjoy without even being a guest at the hotel. The rooms are arranged in three separate structures centered around the restaurant and common areas.
Buffalo Eco Garden is located in a soothing, calm corner of nature in Ninh Binh, known as the “Ha Long Bay on land”. The region is known for being home to thousands of limestone monoliths topped with dense jungles rising up from the ground, with plenty of rivers, caves and temples hidden in the area to explore.There are three types of rooms for booking, two with lake views and one with a garden view. The bungalows are built on stilts and made from bamboo and brick, with thatched roofs and wooden furnishings. You can spend the day doing various activities such as hiking the area, cycling, boat rowing and fishing. Other comforts include the delicious breakfast for just USD$2.00, where you can order anything without limit on the menu. The ingredients are fresh from their garden or from the animals that are raised in the farms by their restaurant.