The Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi is situated in the Old French Quarter of the city, and you are right amongst the hustle and bustle of what is a frenetic city. The hotel harks back to the colonial era in ethos and design. Behind its classical white façade with green shutters and original wrought iron details, it gives way to a plush interior with neo-classical references and lots of stately wood paneling. Most rooms look to the streets or to the internal courtyard with garden and pool. When booking check whether you are reserving a room in the historic Metropole wing or the newer Opera wing. rooms in the Opera wing are larger and a touch more modern in style.
Guests over the year have included the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham and it still attract prominent politicians and celebrities when the are in town. It is the number one address.
It’s all very elegant with butlers and doormen on hand at every turn. Dining experiences are many and varied. Breakfast is a stunning occasion and not to be missed. If you have a chance, book a tour of the bunkers where guests often escaped to during air raids throughout the Vietnam War. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the history of the hotel and the war itself.
The spa at Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi
Located in the centre of the hotel, Le Spa du Metropole overlooks the central gardens and courtyard. The whole experience combined Eastern exotics with French cosmetology. Sothys Paris, Ytsara and Laurent Severac are the in-house brands of choice. Laurent Several is a renowned perfumer from France who blends exclusive oils for the spa. the treatment combine the best of east and west with a particular focus on the spa traditions of Vietnam and Indochina. The Jet-Lag Recovery Massage was top of my list (after a 12 hour flight from London) and it worked a treat. It’s remineralising and stimulating using a Kansu bowl to help loosen muscles and it did help promote sleep.
There’s a big spa menu to choose from, my advice would be to select from the locally inspired treatments for a truly local feel and experience.
It’s elegant, refined and a glimpse of a by-gone age. It’s popular with US tourists and a must for any visit to Hanoi.
The details: Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi
Rooms from £250 per night.