“Grand, gracious and graceful - one of Hanoi’s favourite hotel tickles the pleasure receptors and draws an eclectic crowd”
Rooms are split between the Historical Wing (original building) and the Opera Wing (new building). They come in different shapes and sizes, anything from the relatively simple but charming Luxury Rooms (Historical Wing), up to the anything-but-simple Prestige Suite (Opera Wing).
The Luxury Rooms and Grand Luxury Rooms are in the Historical Wing and keep their traditional colours pinned to their sleeves with varnished wood floors, shuttered windows, wooden bedheads and crisp white linen. Some have high ceilings, others overlook the garden, and all have hanging lanterns instead of bedside lights. Bathrooms throughout come in fine style, with marble floors, mirrored walls and bathrobes to pad about in.
The remaining rooms are in the Opera Wing. They tend to be airier and come with restrained contemporary good looks - the odd roll of fancy wallpaper, padded leather bedheads, panelled walls painted white, perhaps a strip of fabric hanging above the bed. That said, they still retain a formal air with ceiling roses, shuttered windows and varnished wood floors. The smaller Premium Rooms and the Premium Rooms with Terrace feel elegant and spacious; the Grand Premium Rooms and Prestige Suites come with Club Metropole benefits (which includes 24-hour butler service and complimentary afternoon tea and cocktails), making them a good option for those celebrating a special occasion.
All rooms are technologically sound with flatscreen TVs and DVD players (there’s a film library at reception or you can buy your own in the market for next to nothing). There are minibars, ceiling fans and air-conditioning to keep you cool.
The Metropole’s kitchens are a highlight of a stay here, and even though Hanoi has some good places to eat, you’ll want to book in here as often as you can. You have several choices:
La Terrasse du Metropole is a French-inspired pavement café to the front of the hotel, where you can tuck into your saucisson sec (similar to salami) while watching Hanoi’s badminton enthusiasts play in the local square. Light bites and plats du jour are served here from 7am-midnight.
Inside, you find Le Beaulieu restaurant (think smart French bistro in Aix-en-Provence with an Asian twist). The Sunday brunch is a Hanoi institution and draws locals in their droves. The menu features dishes such as freshly baked croissants, fried tofu, chicken noodle soup and fresh fruit; have as much or as little as you’d like, all accompanied by an extensive tea list.
Past reception is Le Club bar and restaurant. Here you find one of Hanoi’s greatest culinary experiences: the Metropole’s afternoon tea. You can chose from the chocolate buffet (cake stand after cake stand overflowing with irresistible chocolate delights) or the more formal option (cakes, sandwiches, the odd chocolate treat); alternatively have them both for a tiny surcharge. There are over 20 different types of tea to wash it all down with. Le Club also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the room acts as the hotel’s sitting room with live piano music throughout the day.
The Bamboo Bar is in the courtyard and overlooks the swimming pool, making it a great spot for evening cocktails, with flaming torches fluttering in the breeze. The informal menu here is the same as Le Club: pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and toasties, croque monsieur, sashimi, yellow noodles with seafood and coriander.
Some of the best Asian food we ate was at the hotel’s Senses Garden Restaurant. Dig into scallop soup with Dalat artichokes, grilled chicken stuffed with Sapa chestnuts, then red persimmon and grapefruit sorbet.
Breakfast is served all over the place and offers a full buffet of fresh fruits and juices, home-baked croissants and pastries, bacon and eggs or noodle soup, freshly-brewed tea and strong coffee.
Children of all ages are welcome but there are no specific facilities for them and the pool is not supervised. Kids aged 2 and under stay free in a baby cot; children aged 3 to 11 years can stay for free in their parents' bed (must be requested); over 3s in an extra bed are charged the full extra-bed rate.
All rooms can accommodate an extra bed or baby cot except the Luxury Rooms (Historical Wing), which can fit a baby cot only.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking