Room Type: Prestige Suite | Room Size: 64 m2 | Price: A$1065 per night including breakfast
This French Colonial property built in 1901 oozes old-school glamour with its rich history and stellar service. Conveniently located in Hanoi’s French Quarter and surrounded by leafy boulevards, it feels slightly removed from the surrounding chaos of scooters and taxis. The hotel’s white stucco façade with green shutters, and the vintage Citroen Traction Avant at the front entrance, are a nod to its French heritage. (You can take a chauffeured city tour in the Traction Avant if you are so inclined). Inside is a large courtyard with a garden, pool and several outdoor dining areas, creating the calm environment one might seek after a day in bustling Hanoi.
The Prestige Suite features neo-classical design with dark timber floors and bold accents in red, black and white. The large ensuite with a French-style freestanding tub, separate shower, mosaic tiles, and marble basins is particularly inviting. Sofitel’s exclusive MyBed, with a down and feather mattress, is world renowned for comfort. All Suites come with Club Metropole benefits such as butler service, internet, afternoon tea, cocktails and late check out (if available). The dark green bottles of Hermès amenities are a thoughtful touch.
The Hoan Kiem Lake district, which includes the French Quarter, is a hub for locals and tourists alike. With its wide footpaths and lakeside gardens bustling with tai chi, aerobics and plenty of bridal parties with their photographers, it is one of the best hangouts for people watching. The nearby Hanoi Opera House was built in the early 1900s and can be seen from some of the rooms. The Vietnam National Museum of History is also just a few steps away.
Look and Feel
Both a historic landmark and a luxury hotel, the Sofitel Legend Metropole is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Vietnam. The 364 rooms and suites are divided into two wings, the opera wing (with larger, more contemporary rooms) and the historic wing (smaller rooms with plenty of charm). The bellboys with their brimless caps and the female staff in traditional ao dai (a white silk tunic worn over trousers) and hat are a reminder of days gone by.
There are several dining options including multi-award winning Le Beaulieu, known for its French cuisine. Spices Garden serves Vietnamese dishes with a French twist, while Angelina offers an Italian/Mediterranean-inspired menu, led by chef Olivier Génique. From 9pm, Angelina turns up the volume with a resident DJ. Le Club Bar with its 1920s speakeasy feel offers afternoon tea and evening jazz. The beachy vibe of Bamboo Bar, with its thatched roof and wooden floor, is the perfect spot to relax with a poolside cocktail, and street-side Parisian brasserie La Terrasse puts visitors in the heart of Hanoi’s vibrant urban life.
The three-level, 400-square-metre Spa du Metropole looks over the hotel’s courtyard and pool. Spa products are sourced both locally and internationally and include essences especially created by a renowned Grasse parfumier. There are two couples’ suites and six rooms for individuals. Extended opening hours (10am-10pm) means more time for pampering. SoFIT is the hotel’s fitness centre and one of the best in Hanoi. It is equipped with Life Fitness bikes and Lifestride advanced cardio equipment; personal training is also available.
One of the unique offerings is the daily Path of History tour where guests can learn not only the hotel’s history, but also visit the war-time air-raid shelter, which was only rediscovered in 2011. This tour is complimentary and takes about an hour.