>  Hotel Reviews   >  Hotel Review: Hôtel de la Coupole, Sapa, Vietnam

Hôtel de la Coupole is a luxurious accommodation nestled in the heart of Vietnam. This hotel, with its beautiful design and excellent facilities, offers guests an incredible experience in one of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam. Combining French art and highland culture, it’s a unique sanctuary that seamlessly weaves traditional charm with modern comfort. Though the design is exceptional, the service was lacking – read on to find out everything you need to know before you book!

Location: 4.5/5

SaPa, Vietnam is a stunning mountain town located about 300 kilometers away from Hanoi. Currently, it’s only accessibly by overnight train or private car or a bus. They are building an airport which will greatly change the way travelers can access this amazing region but until then, it’s a long drive.

Hotel de la Coupole is located in the heart of the town of SaPa and is directly connected to the Fansipan tram and is walkable to every restaurant and shop in town. It’s a perfect location for being a home base to explore the trekking, shopping and restaurants. The location is so good in fact that it can end up being pretty noisy on the weekends. There are a number of rooftop bars and restaurants within a block of the hotel and despite the incredible soundproofing, it can be quite loud on Fridays and Saturday nights in particular.

Despite the noise, it’s the perfect jumping off point if you’re looking to stay in the heart of the city in a truly magnificent property from a structure and decor standpoint.

Lobby & Check in experience: 4/5

We arrived on the overnight train from Hanoi early in the morning and were shuttled up to SaPa by 8:30am. It was a long night and we were welcomed with hot chocolate and warm towels, which were a great touch in the cold climate. While our room was not ready, we were able to “pre-check in”. Overall, the check in was super fast but they missed in some key areas. They didn’t provide any proactive information about the hotel, the surrounding area and how to access the Fansipan tram. The property is very large so it would be incredibly helpful to have additional information about the hotel. Additionally, the hotel is full of incredible art and antiques that have been imported from France and the hotel doesn’t offer any tours or information about it. It feels like a real shame and made the check in process feel more like you’re boarding a tour group rather than a luxury hotel.

The lobby itself is absolutely stunning, with beautiful art and decor from France and from Vietnam. There is so much history and architectural wonder within the walls of the lobby and it truly takes your breath away when you walk inside. There are pieces of art and decor absolutely everywhere and you could spend hours even just exploring the lobby. Throughout every day, we saw many people come through the lobby just to admire how beautiful it is.

Rooms: 4.5/5

We booked a Deluxe Suite that features a separate bedroom and living room as well as a spacious full bath and a half bath. As with the rest of the property, the rooms are incredibly well-designed and have beautiful colors and fabrics. The living room has a seating set, TV, access to the balcony and a large minibar. The minibar is chargeable with the exception of coffee, tea and water. The lighting is super funky, featuring upside down mannequins and clever lampshades. The bedroom features a gorgeous king bed with a very regal headboard in dark tones. There is another TV in the bedroom, access to the balcony and the spacious bathroom.

The bathroom has a double vanity, free standing tub, shower room, separate toilet room and walk in closet. Overall, the room is very comfortable and spacious. I was particularly happy to have booked the suite after catching a bad flu when we arrived to Sapa. Having a comfortable room with a deliciously inviting free-standing tub really helped.

There are so many things to love about the suite- the fact that the rooms are all soundproofed is #1. While we could still hear a bit of the music on the weekend, it is remarkably quiet in the rooms. Once you open the balcony door, it is incredible how loud it is. Sapa has a lot of fun bars and karaoke clubs so if you book anywhere else in town, make sure they also have soundproofed rooms. The style is the other element that makes these rooms so unique. The elements that combine both Parisian art and design with the Sapa hill tribe colors and metal works make this such an elegantly done retreat.

Because of how incredibly thorough the style is at the hotel in general, it was very obvious that there were some missing elements in the room, almost as though art had broken or been taken and not replaced. Above the minibar, for example, was just a blank wall and it felt really out of place. It begs the question of whether or not the hotel can keep up the thoroughness of the design over time. We did notice that the rooms were not thoroughly cleaned, therefore leaving water spots on the wood or marble surfaces and it was almost painful to see this because the hotel isn’t old enough to sport this kind of wear and tear.

That being said, I would highly recommend booking one of the suites at the hotel to experience the full “glamour” of the Coupole.

Service: 3/5

Service was overall quite disappointing considering how incredible the hotel design and architecture was. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, the service is impersonal, rushed and somewhat unhelpful. The staff don’t seem to care that they work in one of the most incredibly intricate and spectacular structures in the region. It feels very much like a charter hotel that welcomes massive groups and they’re much more focused on those groups and unable to support individual guest requests. Staff were constantly rushing around, snapping back if you came to the front desk to ask a question or simply uninterested. Housekeeping was similarly disappointing, leaving surfaces wet or messy and leaving behind irreparable stains that will undoubtedly hurt them in the long run.

Dining was a mixed bag of good attempts at service and simply being too busy or rushed to help. While breakfast was the better of the options, drinks and dishes were often forgotten. We did go to the empty bar one night to try a cocktail and after we got our cocktail, the staff never came back for over an hour. We were one of 4 guests in the entire bar so eventually we gave up, went up to pay and then left. Truthfully, we would have stayed for another cocktail or two if they had gotten off their phones and come by.

We do hope that one day the staff receive better training not just on how to provide excellent service, but also training on the value and beauty of the hotel to be able to showcase that excitement to guests who are awestruck when they enter the property. If the service was upleveled a bit, it would truly emphasize the magnificence of the hotel.

Dining: 4/5

Coupole has three dining outlets plus their room service and they are good, though very overpriced.

Absinthe is the bar located across from their restaurant, Chic. Absinthe is open from 11am-11pm and is adults-only after 6pm. The bar itself is beautiful with towering ceilings and cool seating arrangements throughout. The cocktails are great, but the service was genuinely terrible. I can understand why the bar is completely empty on a Saturday night because between the overpriced drinks at $11 USD (for reference: $4 in a nearby high end restaurant), and the lack of service, it’s hard to justify spending your time here. That being said, the cocktails were great and the bar itself is cool so it’s a great place for a nightcap.

Chic is the main dining option on property. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as supplies the room service. Breakfast is very good and has a variety of western and eastern dishes including Pho, egg stations, baked goods and more. They do have good coffee and tea beverages as well. Lunch and dinner feature the same menu and it is the same menu as the room service. The prices for room service are slightly elevated compared to the restaurant but the food was overall very good.

There is a cafe in the lobby called Cacoa which was not open when we were here but they do have sweet treats for purchase and it’s located in the lobby.

Overall, the food itself was very good. Despite the price, the food had great flavors, felt very fresh and the cocktails were good. The service is an area that was lacking when it came to the dining experience to justify spending approximately double what you can get at similarly high end restaurants in town.

Facilities: 5/5

Hotel de la Coupole is truly more of a resort in Sapa and has 5 star facilities across the board. Some of the highlights:

The Fansipan tram is located in the same building as the hotel so it is extremely convenient and easy to access one of the main attractions of Sapa. You can purchase tickets to the tram from the reception, making it even easier to access. Be sure to pack layers- it can get very cold!

The pool and fitness center are beautiful. The pool features vaulted ceiling and ample seating around the warm indoor pool. It’s a very relaxing place to enjoy an afternoon watching the fog roll past the hotel. The gym is located in the pool area with modern equipment if you’re more of a gym person than a trekking person. There is a pool attendant and they do apparently serve food and drinks at the pool, though no one came by during our time at the pool.

The spa is fantastic and located near the gym. We did a couples massage plus the famous Red Dao herbal bath and both were excellent. I would highly recommend a visit to the spa, particularly if you can secure one of their great deals they offer to hotel guests when you book multiple treatments.

Overall, for a hotel in the city, Coupole offers so much to guests, making it one of the best jumping off points in Sapa. Be sure to spend some time at the actual property to really indulge in the different offerings. The only thing we think is missing from the hotel is a tour of all the incredible art and decor so we do hope they add a complimentary daily tour for guests to experience the intricate details and stories of the hotel’s design.

Style: 5/5

Hotel de la Coupole is truly one of the most incredible hotels we have stayed at from a design perspective. Every little corner of the hotel has incredible art and decor both custom made and vintage from the 1800s in Paris, including store fronts, art, couture clothing and trinkets. There is so much to see and experience at the hotel and every space is immaculately well designed. Travelers who were not even staying at the hotel came through day and night to admire the incredible vaulted ceilings, art and architecture of the lobby. It’s really beautifully done and quickly put Bill Bensley at the top of our favorite hotel designer list.

Overall: 4.3/5

Overall, Hotel de la Coupole is an incredible amount of design and lacking a bit in the substance. The rates at Coupole are generally quite high for the service you receive. That being said, it is an exceptional jumping off point to explore Sapa and the surrounding area, Fansipan and the shops and restaurants in this beautiful little town. If you are considering going to Sapa during your trip to Vietnam, I would highly recommend staying at Coupole. We do hope they increase their service levels to elevate the hotel from a solid 4 star experience to a true 5 star.

post a comment