Last updated on: Jun 15, 2020
When I first stepped into the lobby of this neoclassical beauty, I felt like I had been transported back to an era well before internet and cell phones. Built in 1901, Hanoi’s grandest hotel, the Sofitel Legend Metropole is certainly legendary. The hotel has welcomed presidents, dignitaries, and celebrities from Charlie Chaplin, who celebrated his honeymoon here, to Jane Fonda, who sought refuge at the hotel for weeks during the Vietnam War.
I was seeking my own kind of refuge here, as Hanoi’s the kind of place where just crossing the street is a challenge. Rooms offer cozy interior decor with a French touch and beautiful dark hardwood floors.
I could definitely feel the French influence, and the plush Sofitel ‘MyBed’ and pillows were so inviting that I was quite content to relax in bed. That’s the essence of this hotel.
It’s not an ultramodern skyscraper with all the switches and buttons, but a no-frills property with upscale ambience and traditional elegance.
Like most of Vietnam, dining here is exceptional. Spices Garden offers a private dining room and outdoor terrace, with pan-Asian and Vietnamese specialties. There’s also Italian and French restaurants and 3 nice bars.
The showcase of the hotel is perhaps its pool, which is located in the hotel’s interior courtyard. Can you imagine yourself taking a dip in this fabulous heated pool?
The hotel is located within walking distance of the opera as well as numerous places to shop and eat. The nearby shopping ranges from night markets to boutique shops like you’d find in Paris.
You could take a leisurely stroll to the noodle joint where Anthony Bourdain took President Obama or dine at a many wonderful authentic restaurants like Nha Hang Ngon, where I had a wonderful meal which included an amazing banana-leaf-wrapped chicken.
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Bun Cha Huong Lien, where Anthony Bourdain took President Obama
Perhaps the best part about staying in the Sofitel is you’d never know you were in the heart of Hanoi, because its calming atmosphere drowns out the noise of the city. But if walls could talk, I’m sure this historic hotel would have plenty to say.
Have you stayed at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi? How was your experience?