As everyone says it is in a beautiful location overlooking the paddy fields and you really do get a sense of what rural Vietnam is really like. We had two beautiful adjoining rooms in their own villa overlooking the paddy fields at the bottom of the beautiful gardens beneath the pool.
The rooms really were lovely and when you remember where you are very well equipped, impeccably clean (I’m fussy) and very comfortable. I loved the style with bamboo roof (all new) and local furnishings. There was a fun wooden bath and the sink was carved from a piece of rock. There was an outside large terrace back and front and the back terrace is priavte and has a hot outdoor shower.
The pool area is good and the pool is clean and chilly! There were enough sun beds when we were there and you find most people are out and about exploring. We liked staying three nights as it gave us time to really enjoy the area, rather than a whistle stop tour.
It took about 4 hours on a pretty good road from Hanoi and we enjoyed the very different stop at the side of the road for sweet corn tea, raw sugar cane and sticky rice cooked in bamboo stick over an open fire by the local Thai (minority) people.
We really enjoyed the food and were on full board. The dining is really beautiful – all wooden and bamboo lampshades and v clean and smart. The breakfast is buffet style with a good variety for everyone. Don’t expect the beautiful bread you get in Hanoi though. The Pho was very good and so were the homemade pancakes and omelettes. Coffee could be better! There was plenty of food when we were there although I think the hotel was full and they replenished the buffet constantly and no queues.
We also had a number of lunches and dinners here and thought the food was delicious and a great variety. My favourites were the salads – green papaya, chicken salad, green banana salad and green mango. All beautiful and tasty. You had five courses starting with soup and ending with fruit. The fresh and fried spring rolls were also great. They have a good selection of soft drinks, juices, wines and beers. Weirdly they have a large bar which is never open which seemed a shame. The ladies in the restaurant were smiley, friendly, efficient and the service is super fast. No hanging about! There was an Italian lady who seemed to be some sort of manager – waste of time and space if you ask me. Her English was poor and the Thai ladies seemed more than capable of running a good restaurant without her. They were all dressed in their beautiful traditional dress, whilst she was in a baggy Tshirt looking like a spare part.
We had a guide with us who we did the activities with, so I can’t comment on using the hotel for that. We did use the hotel bikes though, which was great fun and the roads around the paddy fields are flat with little traffic . We also walked around the local area visiting all the villages. One thing we were told is best to avoid it at weekends as the Vietnamese come and stay the home stays (b and b) and it’s party time. Perhaps it would be fun, but it would certainly be a lot busier. They have these set up gardens with twee plants and bridges to take photos in!
Anyway, we loved it and I think it was a great balance between comfort and nature.