For me, there is nowhere else to stay in Hanoi. The Metropole is completely wonderful and makes exploring this rather crazy, charming city a true joy. Entering the hotel feels like stepping back in time; there’s an elegance that belongs to a previous era, and its history is fascinating; the building survived bombing during the Vietnam war - be sure to take a tour of the underground bunker if you have time!
Having hosted heads of state and celebrities from all over the world over the decades, The Metropole is rightly a popular haunt in Hanoi, offering space, serenity and seamless service amidst the frenetic buzz of the city – I highly recommend it for a 2-3-night city break.
The hotel is separated into two wings; the French-style historic wing and the more modern Opera wing. Whilst the Opera wing was more recently renovated and offers an Executive Floor and Club Lounge, including suites with butler services, both wings are lovely and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending either.
Rooms are colonial in style, quiet and air-conditioned, enjoying high ceilings, dark-wood furnishings and beautiful white linens. Whilst they’re not huge, they are well-designed and thoughtfully furnished to provide everything you could wish for during a stay, with lovely decoration. You’re also spoiled with little luxuries such as gorgeous silk dressing gowns, Lanvin amenities and delicious chocolates on arrival.
Located in the heart of the city in the Old Quarter, the Metropole’s tranquillity is what surprises you most on arrival – a real city escape. The location is ideal for wandering the city’s central landmarks, discovering its history, and a visit to the impressive mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is a must. The Metropole arranges city tours in sleek vintage cars, which is great fun and the perfect way to visit the most interesting historical and cultural sites without wearing yourself out.
When you’re not out exploring, there’s a fabulous multi-level spa, swimming pool (such a luxury in a hot city) and verdant gardens with terraces where you can sit out and enjoy a coffee, watching the world pass you by.
Whilst I’d recommend going out to try local restaurants and indulging in incredible Vietnamese food, The Metropole restaurants and bars are very popular and you’re spoilt for choice. Le Beaulieu is probably my favourite; more than 100 years old, it serves delicious French cuisine, and if you’re staying over the weekend, it’s perfect for brunch, with live violin music to entertain guests. Bamboo Bar is also a great little spot for an evening drink, there’s always a great atmosphere there before dinner. And for breakfast, the Conservatory is the nicest place.
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...