Sapa

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About Sapa

Sapa ranks alongside Ha Long Bay and Con Dao in terms of attracting tourists solely on the merit of its natural beauty. It is particularly rich in opportunities for treks, homestays and stunning panoramas. The best places to stay in Sapa are ideal bases for exploring this stunning destination.

Established as a hill station in 1922, mountaintop Sapa began life as a retreat for French colonialists seeking to escape the swelter of the Vietnamese plains such as Dalat in the south. Today it is the tourism epicentre of the northwest.

Sapa is orientated to make the most of the spectacular views that emerge on clear days - plunging valleys and towering mountains, skirted with finely-sculptured emerald green rice terraces.

The best time to visit is August to December when views are less likely to be subdued by thick mist. Often obscured by cloud is Mt Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak (3143m). It is accessible year-round to sensibly equipped trekkers in good shape - though it is a challenge that should not be underestimated.

Visitors to Sapa will come across a multitude of ethnic minorities and hill tribes. Chief among them are the Hmong - whose recognisable indigo dress is ornamented with colourful brocade and silver jewellery. Local markets are colourful places that showcase the culture and traditions of many of these groups.

What not to miss:

  • Visit the excellent Sapa Museum that showcases the history and ethnology of the Sapa area.
  • Drive through the scenic Tram Ton Pass, Vietnam's highest mountain pass.
  • Get a feel of daily life in the area at the bustling Sapa Market.
  • Embark on hikes through the stunning mountains and pass through traditional villages along the way.

Don't forget to plan well ahead if you want to book one of the best places to stay in Sapa - it's a very popular spot!

For luxury

  • The Victoria Resort and Spa, is built like a traditional mountain chalet. Be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s very own express train, as well as, believe it or not, the heated swimming pool!

Travel information

  • The nearest major airport is in Hanoi from where one must travel by road or rail on to Sapa. By train from Hanoi it is an 8-hour train journey to Lao Cai Railway Station, the gateway to Sapa.
  • Best time to visit - The months of March - May and September - December are when Sapa's climate is temperate and dry (ideal for hiking). The rainy season arrives from June - September and is best avoided.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.

Still not sure?

  1. Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Sapa.
  2. Expand your search to include all our recommendations in vietnam's other stunning hill destination Da Lat.
  3. Or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.

Weather

Monthly Weather in Sapa

Best Hotels in Sapa

  • My Boutique Hotel & Spa Sapa 25 rooms from £26

    Value chic  -  A smart boutique stay offered at exceptionally good rates
    Sights nearby  -  Stroll to Sapa church from the property

    A smart boutique property offering chic modern style right in the heart of Sapa town. Spacious rooms feature dark wooden furniture, crisp white linen, and large french windows. An elegant restaurant serves fine-dining Vietnamese fare paired with an excellent wine list. Chic and reasonably priced. See More

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  • Aira Boutique Sapa (Lao Cai Province) 50 rooms from £39

    Boutique  -  Individually styled rooms blend traditional design with dark wood touches mixed with contemporary details
    Hideaway  -  Offering a quiet Sapa stay - surrounded by mountain views yet just a short walk into the bustling town
    Local markets  -  Sapa market is a popular spot to pick up local handicrafts
    Spa

    An elegant boutique offering a picturesque and quiet location on the edge of Sapa yet with easy access into the bustling town. Spacious rooms have high ceilings, dark parquet flooring, and wood-panelled walls. The best have large balconies with awesome mountain views. A chic base to return to. See More

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  • Eden Boutique Hotel Sapa (Lao Cai) 25 rooms from £41

    Trekking  -  Explore Dragon Jaw Mountain, Ham Rong Mountain and Muong Hoa Valley, famous for its photogenic rice terraces
    Active Holiday  -  Trek and hike in Sapa's mountains, rice paddies and scenic valleys from your centrally located base
    Sights nearby  -  Sapa's main sqaure and church are 300 metres away. Within 1km you'll find Sapa Lake
    Local markets  -  Local Vietnamese street-food is in abundance a stone's throw from the property

    Great-value boutique hotel situated in the heart of Sapa. The property's prime location means that both trekking in the surrounding rice paddies and exploring local street markets are easy to do. Rooms and suites feel fresh and are tastefully decorated. There is a good Vietnamese restaurant and spa. See More

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  • Sapa Horizon Hotel Sapa town 25 rooms from £56

    Families  -  Family suites and the attractive price tag make this a great choice for those travelling with children
    Local exploring  -  Set in the heart of the Sapa within walking distance of the market and many restaurants
    Spa

    A charming small hotel set right in the heart of Sapa. Despite its location, most of the rooms offer superb mountain views from their large picture frame windows. The best have private balconies. A casual restaurant serves up Vietnamese fare. A laid-back choice, perfect for exploring the region. See More

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  • The Hill Station Sapa 3 rooms from £62

    Foodies  -  The in-house deli and restaurant focus heavily on good quality produce and is known for its excellent Vietnamese cookery classes
    Active Holiday  -  Hike and trek in the stunning mountain scenery surrounding Sapa UNESCO World Heritage town
    Cooking classes  -  Including a market visit with the chef, cookery classes focus on the cuisine of the area's Black H’mong ethnic group
    Local markets  -  The town's many markets and street-food stalls are all walking distance

    Cosy and intimate 3-room boutique hotel located in the heart of Sapa, a former colonial hill station. Set up to link Sapa's French heritage with the area’s ethnic culture and produce, there is a strong focus on local cuisine. An excellent deli and restaurant are on-site, as well as a scenic terrace. See More

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  • Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa (Lao Cai Province) 152 rooms from £62

    Spa breaks  -  Unwind in Chi Spa, where the nature-inspired techniques meet with a local Sapa touch
    Back to Nature  -  Perched on a hill overlooking the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Spa

    A luxury hotel set on a hill overlooking the surrounding mountain range. Spacious suites and rooms are smart and contemporary with a touch of local flare seen in the traditional fabrics. Two elegant restaurants serve Asian and European fare. The extensive spa, however, is the real lure. See More

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  • KK Sapa Hotel Sapa (Province Lao Cai) 186 rooms from £62

    Local exploring  -  Within easy access of bustling Sapa and the surrounding mountains - there is plenty to do here
    Families  -  The family suites and Kids Club makes this an ideal choice for those travelling with children
    Sights nearby  -  Wander through the Old Quarter the hotel is set in to the pretty Sapa Church
    Local markets  -  Pick up local handicrafts in popular Sapa market

    A luxury hotel perfectly positioned in the Old Quarter of Sapa with wonderful mountain views. Spacious rooms are minimalist and contemporary with bamboo furniture and large private terraces. An elegant restaurant serves Vietnamese cuisine and the spa and indoor pool are a spoiling touch. See More

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  • Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa Sapa (Lào Cai) 77 rooms from £86

    Back to Nature  -  Nestled in Vietnam's northwest highlands at an altitude of 1650m you are ensconced by mountains and nature.
    Local markets  -  Visit the local villages and markets and experience daily Vietnamese life.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool.
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    A truly novel experience: guests arrive via an overnight luxury train. Rooms are decorated in a Franco-Vietnamese style with all mod-cons. Choose from romantic four poster suites to spacious family rooms. Dining is a similarly fusion affair. Drop kids off at the games room and explore the spa. See More

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  • Hotel de la Coupole Sapa (Cai Province) 249 rooms from £86

    5* Luxury  -  Bringing grand French Indochine style to the hills - this is true luxury
    Back to Nature  -  Escape the heat of the plains to spend time in the cool mountains
    Local markets  -  Head into Sapa Market and shop for local handicrafts
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor pool

    Utter opulence in the hills of Sapa. Expect exuberant French Indochine style with grand proportions and spectacular views from every angle. Suites and rooms have rolltop baths and private terraces. The fine-dining restaurants are equally impressive. A five-star mountain escape. See More

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  • Sapa Jade Hill Resort Sapa (Lao Cai Province) 100 rooms from £84

    Country Escape  -  The resort will suit those who appreciate peaceful and quiet surroundings after a day of hiking and biking in the mountains
    Local markets  -  Visit Sapa's Night Market to sample delicious Vietnamese streetfood
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.

    A luxury resort situated close to Sapa old town yet surrounded by scenic countryside. Light rooms, suites and private villas with endless mountain views mean there is something for everyone. Enjoy the spa, heated pool, large leafy grounds and sample Vietnamese cuisine at the hotel's market evenings. See More

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  • Topas Ecolodge Sapa 33 rooms from £211

    Hideaway  -  There is no need to leave this remote spot with plenty to explore by foot or bicycle straight from the property
    Back to Nature  -  Offering a secluded location with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains
    Swimming Pool  -  Two outdoor pools
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.

    A unique ecolodge set in a remote and beautiful location overlooking the Hoang Lien National Park. Carefully crafted bungalows are made using natural material and offer luxury and seclusion. The two infinity pools are simply spectacular, plus there's a spoiling spa. A perfect escape to nature. See More

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