Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam

LOCATION: This grand dame of a hotel is in the French quarter of the city, with its wide tree-lined avenues, Opera House and boutique shopping. The hotel is a five minute walk to Hoan Kiem Lake and the markets of the Old Town.

FIRST IMPRESSION
: To walk into the Metropole is to walk into a touch of history. The hotel is as iconic a part of Hanoi as Hoan Kiem Lake or its ubiquitous mopeds. The hotel dates back to 1901 and has seen plenty of action in that time, from sheltering celebrities in its bunker during US air raids in the 1970s to hosting former US president Bill Clinton on his first trip to Vietnam in 2000.
In fact, the hotel has recently restored the air-raid shelter, so that visitors can retrace the steps of former guests such as Joan Baez and Jane Fonda.

THE FACTS:
The property is divided into two very different wings – the grand original Metropole building and a stylish contemporary Opera wing built in 1996.
The Opera wing has larger rooms in striking tones of red and black, with oversized headboards and free-standing bathtubs. This wing also has an impressive executive lounge, where guests can plan out their day on iPads. In the older Metropole building, rooms are smaller but full of character, with wooden floors and classical French design.
Both wings have their own individual charms, but what’s consistent is the genuinely warm and friendly staff who treat every guest like a movie star.
The outdoor pool is small but lovely, surrounded by sun loungers and adjacent to the Bamboo bar, which serves a mean Croque Monsiour for lunch or a light dinner.

WOW:
The Metropole is home to some of the top places to eat in the city. Le Beaulieu serves up classic French dishes and Spices Garden is the perfect place to try Vietnamese dishes in plush surroundings. Don’t miss the chocolate buffet at Le Club bar every afternoon, complete with chocolate fountain and every kind of sweet treat under the sun.
A good base for: The Old Town market, a maze of streets dating back to the 13th century, is at the heart of the city. Other must-see sights are the Temple of Literature, the city’s first university, and Hoa Lo Prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton, with its spine-tingling guillotine room, still with its original equipment.

HOW MUCH:
From $323 for a premium room

sofitel.com/Hanoi

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