Hanoi is one of the most charming, frantic cities in Indochina, and the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi is its best hotel by a mile. Right in the middle of the action, at the heart of the Old Quarter of the city, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is a veritable oasis with the charm and atmosphere of a bygone era.
While most parts of the Old Quarter are colonial in style, there are some communist buildings, including Ho Chi Minh’s impressive mausoleum, and you can easily walk to many of these historic and cultural landmarks from the hotel.
Managed by Sofitel since 1989, the hotel has 364 rooms and is divided into two parts: the historic wing, which is very French, and the more contemporary Opera wing, which has been stylishly renovated. This wing also incorporates an Executive Floor and Club Lounge. These floors are on the upper levels and include suites offering personal butler services. Both sides are nice, so don’t fret about which one to choose. The Opera side was teeming with groups of French, Australian, Spanish and Italian guests and, as far as I could work out during my stay, it is definitely more group-oriented. So if you are travelling alone or as a couple, I would go for the three-storey Metropole side, otherwise it can feel like you are surrounded by tour groups. Rooms on the Opera side have high ceilings, dark wood floors, with dark-green shutters, ceiling fans and beautiful white linen on the beds. With rates as low as $275 during low season, it is popular with large touring groups, which do feel like they take over the hotel as they pass through, but it feels more glamorous in the evenings when these groups melt away into function rooms.
French influence is everywhere from the the super-expensive Hermès shop in the outdoor corridor to the greetings of ‘Bonjour Madame’. I loved the hotel from the moment I arrived, with its central courtyard and lush gardens, chic pool and multi-level spa. It is not a top five-star luxury hotel but it has its own special place. I enjoyed sitting out on La Terrasse and watching the craziness of the city while having a morning espresso. I felt as if I had stepped into a piece of Hanoi history: the hotel survived bombing during the Vietnam War and Joan Baez wrote a song, Where Are You Now My Son?, when she was in the air-raid bunker of the building. Other guests have included ambassadors and heads of state, and its famous residents have included Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene and Charlie Chaplin, all of whom have suites named after them.
Hanoi is fascinating. I really fell in love with the city and the hotel. It was perfect for my two-night stay.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Subject to availability, not applicable to Grand Premium or Suites
- Food & Beverage credit
- US$75 or equivalent credit to be used during your stay, mini bar excluded,
- Hotel experience
- Afternoon tea with chocolate buffet OR a glass of champagne in Bamboo bar or Le Club bar for two
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability, restricted times apply
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Platinum Member benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group
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