With vintage cars and traditional rickshaws on either side, a doorman in a traditional Vietnamese golden uniform opened the door to usher us in through the colonial entrance. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has been sculptured and cultivated with a sophisticated grandness for over a century and has been welcoming guests since 1901. The hotel is more than just a 5-star hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, it is considered a historic landmark within the cosmopolitan city.
The century old hotel was built in the French colonial style, featuring green shutters against white walls, boasting old world elegance and five-star service. Spiral staircases lead up to a manicured rooftop garden that overlooks the pristine grounds and pool.
If you hear some buzzing, you might have found the hotel’s very own beehive that houses over 15,000 bees, which produces fresh honey on a daily basis.
There’s an old-fashioned charm that’s evident from the moment you arrive that continues to grow on you throughout your stay at the luxurious hotel. You could stay in the hotel’s newer neo-classical Opera Wing, but I much preferred the character and style of the Historical Metropole Wing.
There are 364 richly designed rooms and suites and I loved the grandeur of our room with its draped curtains and mahogany wooden furnishings.
We’d only been in the hotel for a few minutes, exhausted from our flight into Hanoi, before I was whisked into their Le Spa Du Metropole for some much-needed pampering. A fusion of Vietnamese and Western therapies was the perfect way to relax, and to build up an appetite. A gourmet lunch in their Spices Garden restaurant was next on the agenda, which was an extensive buffet spread full of traditional Vietnamese dishes, freshly caught seafood, as well as tender steak and lamb pieces, which were grilled in front of you and, of course, tiers of desserts.
My favourite dining experience though was sitting out at La Terrasse on their Persian styled terrace and soaking in the opulent French Quarter. The surrounding area reminiscent of a bygone era is a cultural hub that boasts the Hanoi Opera house, the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake and a collection of trendy restaurants and cafes.
The Old Quarter was also in close proximity, making the hotel an excellent base to explore Hanoi from.
You don’t have to go far if you want to try something truly unique. In the Le Club Bar with views of the courtyard, you can try Hanoi’s renowned Vietnamese Egg Coffee, which the Sofitel Legend Metropole are said to be the innovators of. It had an unusual taste to it, which is worth experiencing, though I’d probably stick to the lattes.
Personally, I was a bigger fan of their scrumptious French delicacies and pastries that were available from the quaint onsite boutique store.
If you want to gain an extra appreciation to your stay, there’s an in-house historical tour that reveals some intriguing insights to the hotel’s extensive past. Famous names, such as Charlie Chaplin who has a suite named after him, have been attracted to the prestigious hotel over the course of the century, so you’ll be in good company if you decide to stay at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.