standing elegantly as an iconic beacon of calm amidst a sea of urban energy, the sofitel legend metropole hanoi encapsulates so much of the character of hanoi. in the vietnamese capital, contrasts and incongruence abound, manic yet collaborative traffic, a faceless anonymity yet friendly depth of character and the obvious writhing asian tiger continues to struggle free from its relentlessly constrained political cage. such contrasts filter through the hotel’s pleasantly chilled corridors. an essence of colonial deference pervades set against a history of political resistance. hotel metropole provided a base both for hanoi jane fonda’s anti-u.s. objections and joan baez’ stirring musings during the vietnam war. the oppressive concrete claustrophobia of the wartime bunker was only recently uncovered. it lurks as a subtle, yet chilling reminder of the turbulent past as guests stroll between comfortable poolside lounging to bask and imbibe in luxury at the cocktail bar. the hotel itself offers two worlds of contrast. guests can choose to stay in either the original wing which offers sumptuous yet understated retro-style, a magnificent recreation of the hotel’s heyday. rooms provide the highest comfort levels with attention to detail fully flowing both in tangibles and service levels. a somewhat glitzier and opulent style pervades the new wing, a style more akin to other asian territories.
what both parts of the hotel share however is an approach to service that delivers a truly memorable experience. doors open for you with a warm and genuine smile, nothing is too much trouble for the staff around the accommodation. the trick is that it’s never too much. for those guests who really want to keep themselves to them and unwind after a day’s cultural overload from the sites of hanoi, they will never be made to feel pestered by over-service at hotel metropole. naturally the quality and attention to detail extends to the dining experiences at the hotel. the vast range of fare both vietnamese and international at breakfast provides an impeccable start to the day. fresh fruit served at room temperature, honey dripping directly from its comb and fresh pastries echoing the french heritage set the tone of perfection. or those looking for further relaxation, the hotel’s formidable le spa is a haven of calm and tranquillity. individual treatment rooms, adorned in the highest level of luxury, promise to pamper and sooth your very being. a stay at hotel metropole can’t fail to impress, you’re in good company given it was the hotel of choice for brad and angelina for their first endeavours in vietnam. your reluctant departure will be met with a feeling of experiencing part of hanoi’s heritage, whilst having indulged in the best of modern hospitality. in the best of both worlds contrasts have their advantages, in a city and culture where opposites attract. location: 15 ngo quyen street [hoan kiem].