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Hotel Metropole, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Hotel Metropole, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Hotel Metropole in Hanoi, (which is part of the Sofitel group as mentioned) is an oasis in the manic and slightly crazy city of Hanoi. The hotel was built in 1901 and is of the French Indochinese colonial style and is often quoted as the ”Grand Dame” of Hanoi.

 The new opera wing blends in seamlessly with this lovely old hotel and staying in the old heritage part in a “luxury heritage room” we felt as though we had somehow been swept back in time. Boutique luxury hotels  are few and far between and we try and stay away from “chain” hotels but are pleased that we chose  the Metropole even though part of the Sofitel group.

 The standard heritage rooms were adequate in size, decorated in colonial style with some lovely design touches though the bathrooms were a trifle small. The rooms themselves though, were nice if not outstanding. Do not expect either, great views from any of the rooms as these look out onto the busy city roads, unless you  book a room with a view over  the garden or  internal swimming pool in the courtyard.

All this however, is compensated by the reasonable room rates, convenience of the hotel to the  Hoan Kiem lake and old French quarter. The hotel also has a wonderful spa, lovely pool, nice bar and helpful and attentive staff (even if a little confused at times). Vietnam has only recently fully opened up to tourism and they are trying their best, so to expect their  English to be perfect is I think a little unfair.  The Hotels own Spices garden Restaurant for our first venture into Vietnamese food was also good. There is a  terrace bar ( La Terrasse Du Metropole)which runs outside the corner of the hotel  and looks like a quaint Parisian cafe but faces  a busy road. It was too cold to sit outside at La Terrasse and we are not sure what this would be like in warmer weather with the exhaust fumes of so much traffic.

We loved the Bamboo bar by the pool. The pool itself looked gorgeous with fairy lights all around and even though we were in Hanoi off season as it was cold the pool was warm enough to have a welcome swim  after sightseeing in the grimy city. The Bamboo Bar had gas heaters and blankets against the cold which we snuggleed up in with nice cup of hot chocolate!

It has to be said though (if you are to trust this Wold Travel guide) that there is not a great deal to do in Hanoi and we advise it should really be regarded as a base for excursions outside of the city especially to Ha Long Bay. The Bustle of the Old French Quarter though, is worth a visit and a walk around the lake in an evening watching the local life going on. If you do chose to visit Hanoi make it a short stay, but stay at the Metropole!


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