One Night at Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi
After a quick flight from Da Nang to Hanoi with a small delay, we landed at the old domestic terminal of the Vietnamese capital. Having downloaded the Vietnamese Uber called Grab, we were ready to get on our car and head directly to the city. Hanoi is actually bigger than I thought and distances seemed massive. That’s why our ride from the airport took us nearly an hour instead of the calculated 30 minutes. Since our time was short and precious in the city (especially since we stayed at the country’s most legendary hotel) we needed every minute we got. Fortunately, check-in was super-fast and the staff actually immediately registered that we have access to the Club Lounge so check-in was done there while sipping the first glass of champagne and eating canapes as per Afternoon Tea service. Hence our stay at the Metropole started in the best way possible.
As soon as we did all the paperwork we finished our glass of champagne and were of course accompanied to our lovely Grand Premium Room, the hotel’s signature room category with an amazing layout. I have to admit that I have a liking for unusual room layouts and when the bathroom is open plan it gives the room a special touch. This time it was semi open plan with a free-standing antique bathtub next to a window looking onto the hotel’s garden, double vanities as well as a separate walk-in shower with rain head – one of the prettiest showers I have seen with mosaic and marble floor plus Hermes toiletries. Generally, these Hermes toiletries are a real USP and made the entire in-room experience a lavish and unforgettable one. Next to the shower there was a separate toilet in marble and the hotel provides two fluffy bathrobes as well as two chic silk kimonos – latter one wins the price for the chicest hotel bathrobe we have ever seen.
The main bedroom consisted of a chaise longue with a coffee table that had a few lovely welcome amenities along with a handwritten note – very attentive touch, two super comfy Sofitel beds, a writing desk with power sockets even featuring European 220 volt- and USB ports. A small wardrobe and a luggage rack made the rest of the room. To be honest, after having seen most of the room categories, the Grand Premium Room is by far the most spacious and most wonderful category the Metropole provides. I mean the rooms in the historical Metropole building definitely have a lot of charm plus are great to feel the spirit of Vietnamese history. Another big amenity to consider is to book access to the Club Lounge.
Having seen quite a few hotel club lounges now, Ritz Carlton stood on the top for me so far. However, I was totally blown away by the Sofitel Legend Metropole’s Club Lounge on the seventh floor of the Opera Wing. With a service for breakfast, Afternoon Tea from 3-5 pm as well as Happy Hour from 5.30-7.30 pm, there is no consistent food and drinks offer, tough when service it is massive and just luxurious. So make sure to be there when they have presentations to enjoy a glass of Deutz champagne or even choose one of the amazing cocktails included in Happy Hour service. Always keep in mind to dress appropriately in order to maintain the hotel’s elegant vibe and history. There is a separate buffet area where the food is displayed and the drinks are being served by the staff including water and alcoholic drinks. During Happy Hour there is even a drinks menu so you can order any signature drink with your hors D’oeuvre.
Shortly after having tested the champagne and a Singapore Sling, we were having an appointment at the lobby for a private bunker tour. Due to the bad rain, which we escaped when we did a power walking tour on our own through Hanoi, the bunker was flooded and we weren’t able to see a huge part of Hanoi’s history. Anyways we received a short introduction to the hotel’s history by walking the historic path in the Metropole wing where portraits of the most famous guests were displayed. The Sofitel Legend Metropole for sure is not just one of the most magnificent hotels we have seen - it also is one of the most legendary ones. I could only compare it to the Raffles Singapore or the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.
After the hotel tour which led us to the Charlie Chaplin suite – situated in the historic Metropole wing - as well, we had to stop by the beautiful Bamboo bar. Being located on the hotel’s outdoor pool (there is no indoor pool however they have a spa), the Bamboo Bar is one of the most iconic bars in the world with a traditional service and vibe plus the situation just on top of the bunker. Our table was right next to the Le Club Bar and we were, therefore, able to enjoy the amazing Jazz band playing every evening except Mondays. Just sitting outside and listening to this perfectly matching band while sipping a Singapore Sling and enjoying the view of the French-inspired building was making us more than happy and our stay at the Metropole an unforgettable one.
Even though our sleep was not long, having a flight at 10 am to Shanghai means being at the airport two hours before departure needing to leave at 7 am, Lukas and I slept like in heaven thanks to the amazing beds which Sofitel do in the most amazing way. Actually, I was again surprised by the buffet in the Metropole Club Lounge. Service was really attentive and not even did we have fresh orange juice but also a bottle of sparkling water without having asked for it. The staff even offered us to prepare Eggs Benedict which arrived within 5-10 minutes so perfect for our power breakfast. To be honest, the bread was the best we had during this one week Asia trip and I can’t imagine having had such a great Baguette – well I guess that’s thanks to the French Management. Generally, the selection of breakfast products was great with prosciutto, salami, seafood, excellent French cheeses as well as fruits and delicious sweets. We quickly checked-out and left for the airport which took us nearly 50 minutes.
All in all, Sofitel Legend Metropole is the city’s best place to stay, has plenty of history, amazing rooms and a great luxury level attracting the most discerning luxury traveler. Considering the rates are around 250 euros a night, it is definitely not cheap for Vietnam but a great value for money on an international level. I would definitely stay there again and hope that with the upcoming renovation, the old school colonial charm isn’t lost. From my point of view, the lobby of the Metropole wing with the Le Club Bar and the Bamboo Bar should remain as they are. We can highly recommend the Sofitel Legend Metropole.
We were guests of the Sofitel Legend Metropole for editorial purposes, however all above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.