This review isn’t the most timely. I was in Vietnam 6 months ago (March 2012). Vietnam is such an incredible place and I wouldn’t stay anywhere else other than the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi! I apologize for my delay in writing this review, truth be told I was writing for Fodor’s and when I finished my articles for them I was a bit burnt out. But I’m back and ready to share my fabulous experience.
Check in truffles!!
The Sofitel Metropole was my first stop on my trip. We had a grueling flight to Hong Kong, a massive layover and then finally reached our destination of Hanoi after a gazillion (or so) hours. As you can imagine, I was dead tired–but perhaps more dead tired than ever before. The only way to describe it is that I was a zombie.
Arrival in Hanoi, Vietnam: Whatever you do, definitely opt for the VIP Visa servicethrough Trails of Indochina. I am not quite sure what they do but they get you your Visa and through customs so quickly that it’s a little scary. In fact I didn’t speak to one person in Customs. We were just walked right through, helped with our bags and brought to our driver from the Sofitel Metropole. We were greeted with a BMW waiting with the freshest macaroons I have ever tasted (props to Vietnam’s French influence–Bonjour!) as well as Perrier (Oui!Oui!) and cold towels(C’est Bonne!). We drove peacefully, albeit totally jet lagged for 45 minutes to the Sofitel Metropole, where I was greeted with a dozen of the freshest roses I have ever seen. Happy Valentine’s Day to me, y’all! We were staying on the club level so check in was performed in our room,which after being up for 29 hours felt amazing to not have anyone look at me. Our room was filled with more roses and a mango drink for each of us. I immediately saw why Royal and celeb clientele like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro and Mick Jagger choose to stay here when in town. Our tour guide told us this was the nicest hotel in town and she was definitely not lying (although she did say people have freedom of thought in Vietnam in the same breath she said Mao was the greatest philosopher so you be the judge!). Be careful not to confuse the Sofitel Metropole with the Sofitel Plaza, which I’m sure is nice but this is where it’s at.
Our butler let us pick out specialty pillows before departing after check in–like neck pillows or extra thin or squishy pillows to ensure you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud. During the rest of our trip we were told by several of the locals that the Sofitel Metrople is the most luxurious hotel in Hanoi. And it’s also the oldest!
There are two wings of the Sofitel Metropole, each equally as luxurious. Our room could not be nicer and I must say, although Hanoi is beautiful and so culturally rich, returning to such a luxurious hotel at the end of a very busy day was much appreciated. Have you ever been to Hanoi? No? Well imagine you are in a video game and 20 million people are trying to run you down on little motorbikes. Crossing the streets in Hanoi was an absolute adventure. I mean that in the greatest sense of the word. ADVENTURE! There was a point where I gave up and thought I was just going to live on my little corner of pavement I was stuck on…FOREVER. We also had a terrible cooking class, Anh Tuyet. More on that in another post. Point is, you don’t realize how foreign of a country Vietnam is until you’re there. No one speaks English and it’s a bit exhausting. While I loved seeping in the culture and we were gone from dawn until dusk, it felt really great to come back to a five-star hotel that made you feel comfortable and like every desire you could possibly have would be taken care of. That, is the Sofitel Metropole.
Every detail here has been thought of to make your stay feel luxurious. We especially appreciated the Club Level’s tea time from 230-430 each afternoon. There were fabulous little bites like homemade cakes, scones, waffles and macaroons. You could then sit down for a complimentary pot of tea and read a book in the lounge or talk about your day’s travels. We often grabbed coffees (they even gave you to-go cups) and headed back out after a short rest.
The rooms could not be more immaculate and this is coming from a total germaphobe who is constantly worrying at most hotels. And in Asia? Well let’s just say I was being as cautious as possible. Not here though. The second after our butler left I slipped into my comfy silk robe that was provided. The bathroom is complete with the ultimate pampering tool–the oversized tub, flat screen TV to sit back and soak with. The bath products are of course Hermes, which is also coincidentally located in the hotel property for easy access. It is accompanied by Cartier, Chopard and several other high end shops. But back to the bathroom, the shower has a rain shower head that makes you feel like you’ve died and went to shower heaven. All the appliances and technology are modern and updated. Nothing about this hotel wasn’t completely on the money. The marble floors, the converter provided in room, the complimentary wi-fi all make you feel like you are getting what you pay for at this grand hotel. The silk slippers, the plush terry his and her robes made me feel like Hugh Hefner. I also didn’t hear a peep while sleeping, or shall I say while my husband was sleeping and my jet lagged self woke at 6am.
Of note: The breakfast here was to die for. The croissants rivaled the best French bakeries in Paris. Complimentary umbrella use. The Lobby had the most intoxicating scent I have ever smelled. I will dream of it.
I was here as part of my honeymoon and I could not have been more impressed (and this comes from someone who stays at 5-star hotels ONLY. In fact, this was definitely one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Absolutely worth it–especially for a honeymoon. Comparable to the Four Seasons in Southeast Asia.
Visit the Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Vietnam if you have the chance. Have any of you dolls been? Or do you have other favorite hotels in Southeast Asia or Vietnam?
Here are some of my favorite pics from Vietnam for your viewing pleasure:
Also visit our review of the Best Luxury Hotel Hoi An, the Nam Hai.