Du er her:  Topas Ecolodge » Breaking Barriers, Building Dreams: Meet 10 Incredible Women of Topas Ecolodge

Breaking Barriers, Building Dreams: Meet 10 Incredible Women of Topas Ecolodge

To celebrate the unwavering efforts of such incredible women behind our little lodge this International Women’s Day, we want to share inspirational stories of women hailing from diverse backgrounds breaking barriers and building dreams.

1/ Ms. Pham – The best wine waitress

Pham, a Red Dao woman, initially sold fabrics to lodge guests near the entrance. In 2019, she joined the kitchen team as a dishwasher and later transitioned into a full-time waitress. Since that time, she has been awarded the prize of best wine waitress at the Stilt House Restaurant.


Renowned for her warm smiles, Pham connects with clients effortlessly despite limited English proficiency. Day by day, she diligently strives to enhance her language skills by attentively listening to and fulfilling customers’ requests, giving them a seamless dining experience.

Pham’s journey has served as an inspiring example for our local staff, encouraging them to overcome obstacles, enhance their skills continuously, and pursue sustainable dreams.

2/ Ms. Diem, Receptionist – Welcome House


Since joining Topas Ecolodge in 2006, Ms. Diem has become a vital member of the lodge’s Front Office team.

Initially unaware of her future in the hospitality industry, this Tay girl fell in love with Topas Ecolodge’s beauty and warmth during a visit with a friend. Embracing the opportunity to work in such a captivating environment, she finds joy in immersing herself in nature’s splendor and fostering close relationships with her peers and leaders. Leveraging her extensive experience, Diem consistently assists the Front Office Manager and colleagues in warmly welcoming and greeting guests at the Welcome House. It’s easy to spot her among the positive comments from our guests on TripAdvisor or Google Profiles. With her radiant smile and empathetic approach towards customers, Diem never fails to provide comfort and assistance to our guests.

3/ Ms. Yen – Rice Spa


Yen and her magical hands have been providing some of the best massages at Rice Spa, Topas Ecolodge since 2014.  She especially loves working here in the mountains because it is close to her home, so she can easily take care of her children and support her family after work.


Reflecting on her journey at Topas Ecolodge, Yen initially doubted her abilities due to a lack of formal education and experience. Yen remembered her first day at Topas Ecolodge, despite the willingness to change her life, support her local villages, Yen was lacking in confidence due to her limited educational background and experience. However, with the unwavering support of her leaders, colleagues and friends, she has thrived over the past decade, continuously enhancing her performance while aiding her team.

4/ Ms. Hien – Restaurant 360

Hailing from the Tay community near the lodge, Ms. Hien eagerly joined Topas Ecolodge upon hearing about its existence. Since 2008, she has consistently contributed her knowledge of local ingredients and cooking techniques to craft authentic, nutritious, and delectable dishes for guests at the Stilt House.


Stilt House, a traditional Vietnamese cuisine restaurant nestled within Topas Ecolodge, prioritizes sustainability while offering guests flavorful dishes in a relaxed and inviting setting, making it a favored dining spot among visitors.

5/ Ms. Lan – Storage

Lan, another Tay girl living near Topas Ecolodge, assumed the role of Storage Supervisor in 2018, following a friend’s recommendation. Working closely with suppliers and purchasing team, Lan ensures guests receive top-notch ingredients and comfort throughout their stay at the lodge.

Proud of the lodge’s beauty, services, and camaraderie among colleagues, Lan finds fulfillment in her role.

Similar to her fellow Tay colleagues at the lodge, Lan not only secured a stable job at Topas Ecolodge but is also able to impart her unique traditions and culture to colleagues and guests. When encountering Lan, Hien, or Diem at the lodge, you might consider asking them to demonstrate the graceful movements of Tay dance, a captivating traditional art form of the Tay people.

6/ Ms. Sieng – Garden Supervisor

I am a Tay woman living in Sapa. I was introduced to Topas Ecolodge through a friend who works here, she aimed to assist me in securing stable employment and earning a livelihood. Grateful for seizing the opportunity in 2020, I cherish my role and strive to provide our guests with an authentic and picturesque experience of Sapa at our charming lodge. My dedication to ensuring our guests’ enjoyment remains unwavering.” – Ms. Sieng, our Garden Supervisor, shared.


The allure of Topas Ecolodge is truly enhanced by the touch of Ms. Sieng, the dedicated caretaker of our vibrant greenery and enchanting flower trails. She is the go-to person for all inquiries about the trees, flowers, and wildlife in our quaint hilltop gardens, a reliable garden supervisor that we can always rely on.

7/ Ms. Loan – Housekeeping Coordinator

Loan is a Giay women living in Ban Ho Village, just nearby our little lodge and has been working as a Housekeeping coordinator at Topas Ecolodge since 2018.


Thanks to her dedication and attention to detail, our bungalows are always kept clean and tidy with a pleasant scent to provide guests with the comfort they all deserve.

8/ Ms. Claudia – Butler, Front Office

Claudia joined Topas Ecolodge in December, 2022, swiftly showcasing remarkable skills as part of the Front Office team. Originally selecting Topas Ecolodge for an internship, Claudia relocated from Hanoi to Sapa, Lao Cai to explore the local culture and hospitality industry.


She reflects, “Life often surprises us. After completing a 4-month internship, I made the choice to transition into a permanent role at Topas Ecolodge. I consider myself fortunate to be welcomed into the lodge’s family. The genuine hospitality and warmth of the people here were pivotal in my decision to remain part of this family.”


After two years of working at Topas Ecolodge, Claudia has become Head Butler, overseeing the tailor-made services and offering dedicated support to guests staying in the Pool Villas.

9/ Ms. Jay – Restaurant Manager, Stilt House

Recently appointed as Stilt House’s Restaurant Manager earlier this year, Jay brings her expertise in the F&B industry to enhance service quality at Topas Ecolodge. With expertise in the F&B industry, she actively imparts knowledge and supports Topas Ecolodge’s local team in enhancing their language proficiency and professional service skills.

Transitioning from bustling Bangkok to the serene mountain retreat in Sapa has been an enriching experience for Jay, allowing her to delve into North Vietnam’s authenticity and embrace Vietnamese hospitality. Jay shares: “Topas was the place I never expected that I would be part of the Topas family, but my friend is working here and asked me to join the team. When I arrived here, the first thing I loved was the lodge’s peaceful atmosphere, and our lovely people. They are so friendly and kind, even though they come from different villages and ethnic groups and speak different languages. Tay is one of the most common languages among staff and I can understand them because my language is Thai. I am part Vietnamese because my grandmother is Vietnamese, but I had never been to Vietnam before, however when joining Topas Ecolodge, I felt like I was at home.”


10/ Ms. Madeleine – DOO

A newcomer like Jay, Madeleine joined our team at the lodge just this year. This bright Danish woman has demonstrated exceptional management skills as the Director of Operations.


With a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, particularly from her tenure at Hotel Icefiord in Greenland, Madeleine is poised to introduce innovative ideas to enhance the lodge’s sustainable operations and ensure seamless customer experiences.