Besides its stunning natural beauty, and the charm of its many indigenous Hill Tribe communities, the mountain town of Sapa now boasts an array of superlative travel experiences that are attracting tourists from all over the world.
A masterpiece of hotel design
Paying tribute to the magnificent architecture of ‘old Indochina’, Hotel de la Coupole - MGallery by Sofitel is a stunning five-star accommodation that has taken hospitality and hotel architecture in Sapa to unprecedented heights.
Located in the misty heart of Sapa with views of the Hoang Lien mountain range in the background, the hotel’s outstanding design is one the most fascinating creations ever conjured up by the award-winning architect Bill Bensley, who was once described as ‘the king of exotic, luxury resorts’ by Time magazine.
After making a number of survey trips to Sapa, Bensley was mesmerized by the rich culture of this mystical land. The gorgeous interiors blend the lush textures of French haute couture with the vibrant colours and patterns of local hill tribes, who still populate this mountainous realm. The design also captures the essence of the northwest thanks to a huge collection of hill tribe accessories that tastefully adorn every corner of the hotel from various ethnic dresses with majestic motifs hanging on the wall to the beautifully handcrafted jewelries seen in the hallway. There’s also a wonderful throwback feel throughout the hotel with antiques and vintage items also embedded into the décor.
Guests will be hugely impressed how Hotel de la Coupole manages to blend a classical European style with features that capture the essence of the mountainous landscapes. For example, the heated, indoor pool, Le Grand Bassin boasts a stately air with large Romanesque pillars while the ceramic tiles are inspired by the tribal patterns and colours of local Hill Tribes.
Here and there you will see tributes to the stilt houses of the northwest as well as rich, lush colours that would not look out of place in a flamboyant runway show. Everything seems to underscore Bensley’s flair for story telling through interior decor and design.
A new icon of Sapa, Vietnam, Hotel de la Coupole - MGallery by Sofitel also offers superlative services with incredible restaurants, comfy spacious rooms, stunning views and much more besides. It is truly a triumph of hotel architecture and hospitality, one that will leave luxury travellers greatly impressed as they sojourn in Sapa by the roof of Indochina.
Unforgettable moments in Sapa
There are now many wonderful ways for visitors to explore Sapa and experience its natural beauty and ‘timeless charm’. The Muong Hoa mountain train runs for 2km, connecting Hotel de la Coupole - MGallery by Sofitel to the cable-car station, which in turn can deliver visitors to the peak of Fansipan.
It’s a short, but spectacular journey. Sitting in charming carriages with classical European interiors and vintage fittings, passengers will see the mist-covered and lush landscapes all around Sapa as the elegant train trundles through valleys and tunnels.
The two-carriage train, which can travel at a maximum speed of 16kmph per second and serve up to 2,000 guests per hour, was designed and produced by the Swiss company Garaventa. Each carriage is 20m in length and 3m wide, weighs 25 tonnes and can carry 200 passengers at once.
The breathtaking journey also leads visitors to Sun World Fansipan Legend, where they can experience the highland culture of the northwest in a cultural space that hosts colourful festivals and events all year round.
From there, guests can head for the ‘Roof of Indochina’ by cable-car. What was once a two-day trek can now be achieved in 15 minutes. The incredible cable car ride is truly unforgettable experience. The system holds two Guinness World Records: at 6,282-meter long it’s the world's longest three-cabe system; rising 1,410 meters throughout its journey, it’s also the cable car system with the greatest elevation in the world.
Riding in the cabin is an exhilarating experience as you float through the clouds, high above the terraced fields, lush valleys, and villages with breathtaking views of the swirling clouds and the forested slopes of the Hoang Lien mountain range.
Standing at the top of Fansipan, visitors won’t just be able to feast their eyes on 360-degrees of awe-inspiring natural scenery. Now they will also get to relax in a peaceful garden complex and admire a complex of spiritual architecture that includes the grand bell tower of Thanh Van Dac Lo, the Great Amitabha Buddha Statue, the Kim Son Bao Thang Pagoda, the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, which were all developed by Sun Group.
From the Hotel de la Coupole, the cable car-system and Muong Hoa railway line to Sun World Fansipan Legend and these striking, sacred buildings and statues on the top of Fansipan, Sapa has a new generation of icons that have heralded a new day for this incredible destination that is famed for its timeless charm.