Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel Review
The Sofitel Metropole Hanoi is a perfect mix of luxury and culture. Located in a building built as a hotel in 1901, and situated near the city’s largest lake in the Old Quarter, the Metropole Hanoi is a popular spot for wedding photography, coffee dates and even live jazz. The beautiful historic and modern wings offer different amenities and room styles, but all guests have access to the extensive activities on site. So many famous and talented people have passed through that lobby, we couldn’t help but feel a little starstruck. When a hotel is featured on Travel & Leisure’s list of the world’s best hotels and Fodor’s 100 Best Hotels list, you may have some pretty high expectations.
The two wings of the Metropole hotel are completely different in style and layout. We stayed in the historic wing in a Grand Luxury room. We had a lovely interior view of the pool and garden area from our bedroom, and a nice sitting area in the entrance hallway which also housed a desk. The bathroom was large with a separate tub and shower. The choice of fluffy robes and silk kimonos was a nice touch.
We were excited to find a mango, dried fruit and assorted chocolates waiting for us when we arrived. Just like our last Sofitel stay, we had a tough time getting out of the bed in the morning.
The Club Metropole Floors offer private check-in, a separate kitchen and access to separate meeting rooms as well as personal butlers and afternoon tea. Some of their most impressive suites are named after the infamous guests who have stayed there. For ultimate luxury, consider the Charlie Chaplin, Graham Greene or Somerset Maugham suites.
There is so much to do within the Metropole Hanoi, from shopping some of the most famous luxury brands to local crafts, that you could almost get lost. Le’Epicerie du Metropole deli and market sells delicious French sandwiches, jams and cheeses, cakes and the famed macaroons in every flavor. The hotel imports food directly from the manufacturers in France in addition to homemade goods, ensuring quality and freshness.
If you’re not up for shopping, the saltwater pool is heated so it is pleasant all year round. The spa offers a variety of treatments in a quiet, peaceful wing of the hotel and the gym is full of the latest equipment.
During the Vietnam War, the hotel was home to many embassies and hosted diplomats and other government officials. After the war, the hotel remained the top location to host VIPs and journalists.
To get a better sense of the hotel’s history, take a tour of the bomb shelter used in the Vietnam War that was just rediscovered three years ago (exclusively offered to hotel guests). During renovations, the shelter was uncovered filled with water after being buried and forgotten for almost 40 years. The shelter was used to hold about 40 people and was used often, sometimes several times a day, by staff and guests alike. In one room, our tour guide played Joan Baez’s “Where are you now, my son” which she wrote during her stay at the hotel. Baez’s voice is heard over live recordings of an air raid she made from the same location.
The Metropole has hosted a long list of VIPs including Brad and Angelina, Bill Clinton, Charlie Chaplin, Stephen Hawking and David Beckham. You can see the full list near the lobby in the historic wing along the history tour path.
Breakfast at the Metropole Hotel was one of our favorite parts of the stay. The same buffet is set up in Le Beaulieu and Spices Garden for guests to enjoy a combination of Western and Vietnamese dishes. French press coffee was brought to our table so we were free to refill as often as we liked. We gorged on croissants with Nutella, fresh fruit, fresh yogurt and eggs and bacon. The chef occasionally passed through the dining room with something fresh from the kitchen—baked eggs, salmon on toast. It was the ideal way to wake up before a day of sight-seeing.
Because Eric wasn’t feeling well, we ordered room service twice (OK, we may have done that anyway) and we enjoyed a veggie ciabatta, grilled panini and club sandwich. All were made with excellent bread and cheese (a nice treat after Thailand) and flavorful vegetables.
We tried the buffet lunch at Spices Garden, the Vietnamese restaurant, so we got to sample some traditional local dishes. Some of the most interesting were chạo tôm, ground shrimp on a sugar cane stick, and bánh tét, a wheel shaped cake made with sticky rice, bean paste and egg filling. This cake is usually just eaten to celebrate the Chinese new year. The dessert bar is extensive and a fun way to try a mix of western dishes (which you can buy in the French bakery), homemade sorbet and Vietnamese cakes.
We experienced nothing but excellent service, of course. The staff is all smiles and we love how everyone says hello. Business travelers and honeymooners alike would find everything they need in the Metropole Hanoi from the heated saltwater pool and beautiful spa to a quiet business center and comfortable rooms.
- Don’t miss the daily history tours to learn about the significance of the hotel and to visit the rediscovered bomb shelter
- The longer you stay the better, if for no other reason than to enjoy all the amazing dining options
- Check the hotel’s daily events and make plans to enjoy live jazz, the chocolate buffet, Sunday brunch or a live DJ
- At the bamboo bar, the Greene Daiquiri is a must! Served with a side of homemade sorbet, it is sure to please both those with and without a sweet tooth
- Visit The Metropole Hanoi online for more information and to make a reservation
Poplar Travels was a guest of the Metropole Hanoi. Our opinion is always our own.